NASCAR Odds, Picks, Predictions for Gateway: The Early Top-5 Bet to Make (Sunday, June 4)
Logan Riely/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell
The NASCAR Cup Series is at World Wide Technology Raceway, better known as Gateway, for 300 miles of racing at the 1.25-mile flat track on Sunday.
Because the track is longer than one mile in length, cars will run the standard aerodynamic package instead of the low-downforce package. That makes handicapping this race a bit tricky, as the other shorter flat tracks (Phoenix, Richmond) have been run with that low-downforce configuration.
That said, it's still a similar driving style, so we should be able to use performance at shorter flat tracks as a solid early-week proxy for performance this weekend.
That leads me to my favorite midweek bet for Sunday's Enjoy Illinois 300 at Gateway (3 p.m. ET, FS1).
NASCAR Odds, Picks for Gateway
If we look at each driver's performance with his current team, one of the stand-out drivers is fourth-year driver Christopher Bell.
The Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver is in his third year with the organization, and looking at short flat tracks in his time with the team, he has seven top-five finishes in 18 starts. If that were to be his long-term top-five rate, that would equate to +158 as fair value.
However, Bell has gotten even better over the past year and a half. In his seven recent short-flat track races, he's finished inside the top five in four of those starts. That includes two wins and another second-place finish.
Bell has completed 6,705 of the 6,708 laps run at these tracks during his JGR tenure, with a driver rating above 90 in 15 of the 18 starts.
This year, Bell has had the third-best average speed at the two most similar tracks to Gateway, Phoenix and Richmond, so all signs are pointing in the right direction for him to be among the race favorites heading into Sunday.
I have fair value on this at around +150, so I have no issue betting this down to +160 to leave some wiggle room for model error.
BetRivers and Barstool are offering a generous +195 price, so snap it up while you can. As an alternative, Bet365 has this at +170, and BetMGM at +165, both of which are still above my betting threshold.
The Bet: Christopher Bell Top-5 Finish (+195 at BetRivers) | Bet to: +160