NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions for Indianapolis: 2 Best Bets for Sunday’s Verizon 200
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC).
This is the fourth road course race of the 2022 Cup Series season, meaning we have plenty of data to use from similar tracks.
Practice and qualifying give us extra insight into driver speed this weekend.
Finally, we should consider strategy, as it has been a key element of road course races so far this year.
Throwing all that into the mixer, I’ve arrived at two bets I like for today’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard.
NASCAR at Indianapolis Pick
*Odds as of Sunday morning
Kevin Harvick Top Ford (+2000)
Harvick has finished inside the top 11 in all three road course races this year.
While that 8.3 average finish only places him fourth among the Ford drivers, that puts him just 1.7 places behind the leader in that statistic: Austin Cindric.
There’s plenty of reason to believe Cindric, as well as Chase Briscoe, may points race to help secure their spots in the playoffs.
With Kurt Busch missing today’s race due to lingering concussion symptoms, Briscoe and Cindric have a chance to put a solid gap over the 23XI driver in the point standings.
At Road America, both Cindric and Briscoe stayed out during Stage 1. By finishing first and second respectively in that stage, Cindric and Briscoe ended up with stellar results in the points.
Cindric scored the second most points among all drivers despite finishing seventh. Meanwhile, Briscoe scored the sixth most points despite fishing only 14th.
Harvick, meanwhile, is on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. That means his sole focus is to win.
Harvick posted the eighth-fastest time over five consecutive laps in practice, and crew chief Rodney Childers tweeted that they had a fast car on Saturday (and a fast driver).
Harvick has finished third, third and fourth among the Ford drivers at road courses this year. He was even in contention for the win at Sonoma before a slow final pit stop.
This 20-1 price at DraftKings is simply too long for the wily veteran driver, given the current circumstances.
The Bet: Harvick Top Ford +2000 | Bet to: +1200
Martin Truex Jr. (+300) Over Chase Briscoe
Should Briscoe be favored here? Absolutely.
Should he be favored by this much? Doubtful.
First, let’s just start with the basic fact that road course racing produces a decent amount of randomness. Truex, despite being slower than Briscoe at both Circuit of the Americas and Road America, finished ahead of the second-year driver in both races.
Next, let’s look at practice. Truex, while not blazingly quick, posted the seventh-best time over five consecutive laps in practice. Additionally, his best single-lap speed was only 0.12 seconds behind Briscoe’s best practice lap.
That certainly doesn’t seem like enough of a gap to be a 3-1 underdog.
Now, add in the aforementioned point-standings circumstances for Briscoe, and it’s pretty hard to say Briscoe should be a massive favorite here.
My model says Briscoe is about a 2-1 favorite, and that’s not even counting the playoff situation, which is almost impossible to factor into a statistical model.
That means there’s value in betting Truex at +300 at DraftKings.
The Bet: Martin Truex, Jr. over Chase Briscoe +300 | Bet to: +225