NASCAR GoBowling at The Glen Odds, Picks: How to Bet the Favorites

NASCAR GoBowling at The Glen Odds, Picks: How to Bet the Favorites article feature image

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott

  • The 2019 GoBowling at the Glen will start today at 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN) at Watkins Glen International.
  • Nick Giffen offers one mid-tier driver to bet right now, as well as how to approach the favorites following pre-race inspection.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to its second road course race of the year at Watkins Glen International. “The Glen” is a very different road course from Sonoma Raceway, where the first road course race took place.

Watkins Glen is full of high-speed corners, whereas Sonoma has more low-speed turns.

As a result, we’ll be looking at each driver’s Watkins Glen history much more than his overall road course performance. Practice times and year-to-date driver rating also have a significant factor in my statistical model for the Glen.

Since 2013, five of the six race winners started inside the top six (Joey Logano won from the 16th starting position in 2015). Additionally, every driver since 2013 who led at least 20% of the laps in a single Watkins Glen race started 12th or better.

In other words, it’s going to be hard to win and dominate if you’re starting too far back.

Inspection takes place at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, and any cars that fail inspection will be sent to the rear of the field for the start of the race. That makes betting favorites prior to inspection extremely hard, since they could be sent to the rear.

As such, I’m holding off on any single-digit odds to win, and looking at one double-digit play for today’s race . Once inspection is complete, I may post more outright bets to win.

In the meantime, I give my thoughts on how to play the favorites, should each pass inspection.

*All odds as of 7:00 a.m. ET on Sunday. A quick explainer on the odds below: A $100 wager on +2000 would profit $2000.

Brad Keselowski +2000

Keselowski opened at +1200 at the Westgate SuperBook and despite some solid practice sessions, he now finds himself listed at +2000 thanks to a 10th-place qualifying effort.

Keselowski practiced inside the top eight in both five- and 10-lap average in final practice, and was one of two drivers to make a 15-lap run in final practice, suggesting he was happy with his car. Also, we know drivers starting inside the top 12 can lead laps, so Keselowski certainly has a shot to lead laps and therefore a chance win if things fall right.

Keselowski’s track history is also quite strong. Not counting his rookie year, he has finished inside the top three 50% of the time at The Glen, and holds the fifth-best driver rating at the track among active drivers.

He’ll certainly have to overcome race favorites Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott, all of whom have a better driver rating at The Glen and a better starting position, but we can’t bet these guys until inspection is complete.

How to Bet the Favorites

Currently four drivers are listed in the single digits at the Westgate SuperBook. They are:

  • Kyle Busch +200
  • Martin Truex Jr. +400
  • Chase Elliott +400
  • Denny Hamlin +900

It’s simply too hard to bet Busch at +200 even if he passes inspection. There’s just too much variability at road courses to feel confident that he’ll win more than 33% of the time.

Should Truex pass inspection, I like a bet on him at +450 or longer, but I haven’t found him beyond +400 yet.

Elliott is listed at +550 at DraftKings Sportsbook, and if he passes inspection, that is a fine bet.

I’d pass on Hamlin at +900, but if he falls into the double digits with a passing car, he’s worth consideration.

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