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IndyCar Odds, Picks & Predictions: The Mispriced Driver for Sunday’s Race at Portland

IndyCar Odds, Picks & Predictions: The Mispriced Driver for Sunday’s Race at Portland article feature image
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Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: NTT IndyCar series driver Kyle Kirkwood (14) leaves the pits

If you’ve followed me on Twitter for any length of time, you probably know that my favorite driver is Kyle Kirkwood.

I haven’t been this obsessed with a driver since Jeff Gordon retired, and Kirkwood is only the third real driver I’ve ever rooted for among all the major racing series.

I say all this because I need to warn you that, while there probably is some bias, I’m able to see through this bias and objectively declare that this bet has a monster edge.

Will it win every time? Of course not.

But I absolutely cannot pass up this Kirkwood bet because I believe the edge is just that huge.

So let’s dive into the bet I’m absolutely nutty about for Sunday’s IndyCar Grand Prix of Portland (3 p.m. ET, NBC/Peacock).

IndyCar Pick for Portland

*Odds as of Sunday morning

Caesars Sportsbook has really dived into adding multiple markets for IndyCar races in the second half of the year.

In fact, it has some pretty spicy group bets, with group sizes up to six drivers!

That’s exactly where I’m looking for this Kirkwood bet.

Group C consists of:

  • Helio Castroneves (+220)
  • Jack Harvey (+320)
  • Takuma Sato (+320)
  • Callum Ilott (+400)
  • Conor Daly (+550)
  • Kyle Kirkwood (+1000)

While there are some big names on this list, including former Portland winner Sato and four-time Indy 500 champion Castroneves, we need to focus more on speed this weekend.

In first practice in the warm Friday weather, Kirkwood was the fastest of this sextet, placing seventh overall. The other drivers ranked 12th, 14th, 17th, 20th and 25th out of 25 drivers.

Kirkwood wasn’t quite as strong in the cooler second practice, coming in 14th, but only Ilott (ninth) from this group was faster. The rest ranked 18th, 19th, 22th and 23rd.

In the cooler qualifying weather, Kirkwood fared the best of the group as he barely missed out on advancing to the next qualifying round when Colton Herta bumped him as the last car to cross the line.

Nonetheless, Kirkwood’s 13th-place starting position is ahead of Ilott (14th) and the others (17th, 20th, 21th and 22th).

Notice a pattern here? Kirkwood and Ilott have been the fastest.

In final practice, Kirkwood was slower, but he ran all of his laps on the slower primary tire, again in cooler weather.

He stated in his post-qualifying interview that he’s better relative to the field on the faster alternate tire, as well as in warmer temperatures.

Well, he gets just that in the race.

By not advancing into second round of qualifying, he’ll have an extra set of sticker reds compared to the drivers starting inside the top 12.

So will all his competitors in Group C, but he starts ahead of all of them and it should benefit him more than the others based off his interview.

It could be argued Kirkwood should be favored to win this group. At worst, he should be second to Ilott, but we’re getting him as the 10-1 longshot.

Grab this Kirkwood group bet before it’s too late!

The Bet: Kyle Kirkwood to win Group C +1000 | Bet to: +500

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