NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions: The All-Star Race Prop to Bet Early for Sunday Night’s Race at Texas
Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Crew members push the #2 Menards/Libman Ford, driven by Austin Cindric
The NASCAR All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET, FS1) format is very unique and changes every year, but I'm eyeing qualifying props for two reasons.
First, the teams will be running the normal race package that has been (and will continue to be) used at every track other than the drafting package for Daytona, Talladega and Atlanta.
This means we have some real data to lean on ahead of Sunday night's All-Star Race.
And second, both the qualifying format gets muddled with required pit stops, which can be random and make handicapping the final qualifying results difficult.
However, to get the qualifying process underway, each All-Star Race eligible driver will make a single lap before the fastest eight cars move on to an elimination bracket that includes pit stops.
In my opinion, single-lap qualifying speed will be much easier to project than the final qualifying results, which is why I'm keying in on the "Driver to Advance to Round 2 Qualifying" market that is essentially betting on which drivers will post a top-eight speed in single-lap runs.
NASCAR All-Star Race Pick
*Odds as of Tuesday afternoon
As I mentioned above, the All-Star Race package and tire combination is the exact same that's already been run at at Kansas, and the same right-side tire as Las Vegas, so we have some really good data compared to previous iterations of this event to lean on from a betting perspective.
So, when we look at just qualifying for those two races (Las Vegas and Kansas), which are 1.5-mile tracks just like Texas, Christopher Bell has dominated, winning the pole in each, while Kyle Larson has qualified second and third.
But third on the list is quite a surprise: Austin Cindric.
The reigning Daytona 500 champion has qualified third and fourth in those events, giving him the third-best average starting position behind just Bell and Larson.
In addition, the driver with the fourth-best average starting position from Las Vegas and Kansas, Tyler Reddick, isn't even in the All-Star Race yet (he has to transfer in via the Open race or fan vote), so that's one more heavy-hitter who Cindric won't have to outrun to make the top eight.
Cindric is listed at -110 to advance to the second round of qualifying, which correlates to a 52.38% implied probability.
That means the break-even point for this bet is Cindric qualifying among the top eight 52.38% of the time, which I think is worth a wager considering how well he's qualified with this package and tire combo already this season, plus not having to deal with some other fast drivers, like Reddick.
The bet: Cindric (-110) to advance to Round 2 qualifying