NASCAR Props Challenge Picks for Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney
- NASCAR's Props Challenge game asks fans to answer 10 prop-betting questions each week, with weekly winners eligible for prizes.
- PJ Walsh offers his Props Challenge picks and analysis for Bank of America ROVAL 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC).
Martin Truex Jr. came to party. After winning NASCAR’s first playoff race at Las Vegas, Truex backed it up with another victory at Richmond on Saturday night.
On the other end of the spectrum, Alex Bowman, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Erik Jones are all below the 12-driver cutoff line heading into Sunday’s elimination race at the Charlotte Roval.
To make this week’s NASCAR Props Challenge picks, I’ll rely on betting odds to project expected driver performance, as well as race trends from last year’s race at the Charlotte Roval.
1. Which playoff driver will score the higher finish: Alex Bowman or William Byron?
Both drivers are 80-1 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, so oddsmakers view them as evenly-matched for Sunday’s race.
But when it comes to road courses, Bowman had a better average finish than Byron at Sonoma at Watkins Glen this year, as well as an impressive fourth-place finish in this race one year ago.
2. O/U 0.5 drivers underneath the cutoff line will advance to Round 2 of the Playoffs?
I’m expecting this week’s race to see plenty of action (and wrecks), and with both Alex Bowman and Clint Bowyer sitting within four points of the cutoff, I think it’s likely that one will find a way to jump into the top 12 in points.
3. Aric Almirola will advance to the Round of 12: Yes or No?
Almirola currently occupies the 11th position in points, meaning as of right now he’s in. In addition, Aric had the ninth-best finishing position at road courses this season.
If Almirola doesn’t beat himself, he should advance to the Round of 12.
4. Matt DiBenedetto has finished in the top 10 at both road courses so far this year. Does that trend continue? Yes or No?
While I love DiBendetto as a sleeper for Sunday’s race, it’s difficult to see his 80-1 odds and expect a top-10 finish at the Roval.
5. O/U 1.5 drivers lead at least 25 laps?
The Monster Energy Cup Series has run only one race at Charlotte’s road course layout, meaning we have the smallest of samples to rely on when it comes to race trends.
However, that one-race sample is all we have. In this race last year, two drivers (Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski) led at least 25 laps, so let’s go over.
6. Which team will have the best finish at the Roval: JTG Daugherty Racing or Front Row Motorsports?
JTG’s Chris Buescher’s average finish of 14.5 at the road courses this year is the best of both teams’ drivers. As a result, I’ll go with JTG.
Pick: JTG Daugherty Racing
7. O/U 3.5 drivers earn at least 10 stage points?
Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and Chase Elliott all earned at least 10 stage points in this race last season.
Considering we need only four drivers to do it on Sunday, this is an easy over.
8. Will the race winner be decided by a last-lap pass? Yes or No?
Last year there was calamity coming the checkered flag as Jimmie Johnson got into Martin Truex Jr. while racing for the lead, allowing Ryan Blaney to sneak by and steal the victory.
However, I think that situation was a bit fluky and expect track position to still be king, meaning the leader taking the white flag will ultimately stay out front for the win.
9. O/U 25.5 lead lap finishers?
As mentioned in question No. 2, I think this race is going to see plenty of wrecks as desperate drivers push their cars to, and over, the line. Therefore, the combination of torn up racecars should result in fewer than 26 drivers finishing on the lead lap.
10. Which Team Penske driver will finish higher: Brad Keselowski or Ryan Blaney?
Ryan Blaney did win this race last year, but Brad keselowski has significantly better odds — 8-1 vs. 20-1 — to win on Sunday. I agree with Vegas and will go with Brad to finish higher than his teammate.