NASCAR at Texas Odds, Pick & Prediction: The 18-1 Driver To Bet Early for Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

NASCAR at Texas Odds, Pick & Prediction: The 18-1 Driver To Bet Early for Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 article feature image

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Larson (No. 5) and Kyle Busch (No. 18) lead the field to green

I've been very conservative over the last couple of months when it comes to my NASCAR betting cards.

Sure, I've still gotten in on the action, but nowhere near how aggressive I was earlier in the season.

This isn't necessarily planned ahead of time — it simply follows the strategy of only making bets, especially bigger ones, with value.

I often tell my friends that "a unit saved is a unit earned," meaning preventing yourself from making a bad bet preserves that unit for a better opportunity down the road.

Now, there are still times to get aggressive as a bettor, and one of those opportunities is presenting itself for Sunday's Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC) at Texas Motor Speedway.

For the record, this doesn't mean that I'm betting more than normal in terms of unit size, just that for the first time in a while I'm jumping on one driver immediately before the market drives this price down.

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NASCAR at Texas Betting Pick

*Odds as of Tuesday morning

The key to this bet is the tire combination that NASCAR Cup Series teams will run on Sunday at Texas.

This is the same combo that was used at both Las Vegas races and at Michigan in late August.

Unsurprisingly, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin, who have been the best two cars all season, rank first and second, respectively, in driver rating over those three races.

However, when we sort by fastest laps run, another driver comes to the forefront.

Again, Larson has run the most fast laps on this tire combination this season, but the driver with the second most isn't Hamlin, it's actually William Byron.

In fact, here is the top five in terms of fast laps run on this tire combination as well as each driver's odds to win Sunday at Texas from PointsBet:

  1. Kyle Larson (+325)
  2. William Byron (+1800)
  3. Denny Hamlin (+675)
  4. Chase Elliott (+725)
  5. Kyle Busch (+725)

One of those driver's odds are not like the others.

And it's not like Byron hasn't been able to put finishes together at these tracks either.

On top of the raw speed, the No. 24 Chevy has also led the fourth-most laps while posting the fifth-best driver rating over these three races.

To be fair, I do get the argument that drivers no longer alive in the playoffs — Byron was eliminated following last weekend's race at the Charlotte Roval — win very rarely, and that's true.

But based on the data above, that appears to be priced into Byron's 18-1 odds.

I've already grabbed Willy B. at that price, and wouldn't be surprised to see that number on the move throughout the week.

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