NASCAR Odds, Picks, Predictions: The 7-1 Top-10 Bet to Make for COTA (Sunday, March 26)

NASCAR Odds, Picks, Predictions: The 7-1 Top-10 Bet to Make for COTA (Sunday, March 26) article feature image

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Justin Haley

  • Sunday's EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix is the latest NASCAR Cup Series race and takes place at COTA.
  • It's the first road race of the season, and NASCAR bettors are dealing with some uncertainty.
  • Below, Nick Giffen shares his NASCAR pick for the experienced road-course vet who's worth a top 10 bet.

As the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for Sunday's EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix, bettors are faced with plenty of uncertainty.

For starters, this is the first road course race using the new, lower downforce aerodynamic package.

Second, this is the first race at COTA without stage breaks. That should open the door for new strategy.

Then there's the question of how each manufacturer and team have made progress at road courses in comparison to their peers.

Put all of that together, and we have a tough race to handicap.

Heightened uncertainty means it's prudent to look at longer shot value. That's exactly where I'm looking with my favorite top-10 bet for Sunday.

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NASCAR Odds, Picks for COTA

Looking down the odds board, Justin Haley comes in with the 27th-shortest odds to finish inside the top 10.

That puts him behind three drivers making limited appearances. He's also behind every Toyota, which notably struggled at road courses last year.

But Haley has proven he is a solid road course racer.

In the Truck Series, he won one of his two road course starts with GMS Racing. Then, in the Xfinity Series, Haley scored a third-place finish at the Indianapolis road course, directly ahead of some guy named Chase Elliott who was driving for JR Motorsports.

Last year, Haley brought his Kaulig Cup car home in 15th place at COTA, finishing ahead of four of the six Toyotas. That's despite using a sub-optimal strategy by staying out through the end of the first stage, miring him deep in the field to start Stage 2.

Variance played out in Haley's favor, finally, at the Charlotte Roval, where he claimed a fifth-place result. He nearly scored another top-10 finish with a 12th-place finish at Sonoma.

Even back in 2021, Haley was able to survive the mayhem at the Indy road course to bring home an eighth-place finish in the Spire No. 77 car.

Point is, Haley's in the mix enough, and enough variance and strategy can happen at these road courses to shake things up.

Haley has two top-10 finishes in 13 career Cup starts on road courses. And that's despite more than half coming in that Spire car, a car that finished 31st in the owner standings.

I'll ride Haley's talent – and what I'm personally handicapping as the favored manufacturer in Chevy –  at +700 odds at FanDuel without hesitation. I'd bet it down to +500.

Pick: Justin Haley Top-10 finish (+700) | Bet to +500

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