NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions for Charlotte: 2 Early Bets for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota
The longest race of the NASCAR season takes place this Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX).
When breaking down this race, it’s important to note that the series has run at three other 1.5-mile, non-drafting ovals in the Next Gen car. These races at Las Vegas, Kansas, and Texas all used the same right-side tire that will be on the cars this weekend.
In addition, the race at Darlington not only used the same right-side tire, but also the same left-side tire. That means we can even use the 1.336-mile Darlington as a way to gauge performance at Charlotte.
With that in mind, I’ve made two early week bets for the Memorial Day Weekend event.
NASCAR at Charlotte Picks
*Odds as of Wednesday afternoon
Denny Hamlin to Win (+1200)
If you just look at finishing results, this Hamlin bet may look like a bad one. But there’s much more to the story here.
Hamlin had a fast car at Las Vegas, driving up from 11th to fourth by the end of Stage 1 before missing a shift, causing drivetrain issues to ruin his day.
It’s unlikely that Hamlin will make that mistake again. That’s because he was still used to the Gen-6 car’s H-pattern shifter, but with nearly a half-season under his belt in the Next Gen car, enough muscle memory should be built up.
Hamlin finished fourth at Kansas, and likely had a car to contend with the top three of Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson had he not lost track position multiple times.
Hamlin also led Darlington for 42 laps before issues again plagued him.
With 600 miles on the docket, there will be plenty of time for Hamlin to overcome any early-to-mid race issues.
My model give Hamlin an 8.3% chance to win, which outpaces his 7.7% implied odds that DraftKings gives him at 12-1.
The Bet: Denny Hamlin to win +1200 | Bet to: +1200
Christopher Bell Top-3 Finish (+750)
The Toyotas have been the class of the field at 1.5-mile tracks in 2022 despite claiming only one win.
All four Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Toyotas were strong at Las Vegas and Kansas, in addition to the strength the 23XI Racing Toyotas showed at Kansas.
Bell won the pole at both Las Vegas and Kansas, pulling in 10th- and fifth-place finishes, respectively. That’s despite a spin at Las Vegas setting him back in the early going.
At Darlington, Bell came home in sixth place despite the track giving him fits in the first two years of his Cup career.
That all bodes well for the youngest member of the JGR stable.
Even though my model shows value on a 25-1 outright bet, it’s a bit of a tall ask for a driver whose best finish at an intermediate track is third (twice). Instead, a top-three bet like FanDuel is offering at +750 is more palatable.
My model actually gives an even bigger edge to the top-three bet than the outright. It says Bell finishes third or better 16% of the time compared to 11.8% implied odds.
The Bet: Christopher Bell Top-3 Finish +750 | Bet to: +600