With seven road course wins and a second-place finish in his last 11 attempts, Chase Elliott is heavily favored at PointsBet Sportsbook for Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
Early odds list him at +185 this week. In four previous road course races this season, Elliott has been either the favorite or second favorite each time with odds ranging from +205 to +300. His longest odds came in the most recent race at Road America after losing to teammate Kyle Larson at Sonoma Raceway.
Elliott currently sits third on the all-time winners list on road courses and could tie Tony Stewart for second with an eighth victory. Jeff Gordon leads the category with nine road course wins.
One way to view American odds is to move the decimal point two positions to the left. That will let a bettor know what they will make on a $1 bet. The return on investment for +185 odds is $1.85. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a line of +300 is the same as 3/1.
The next favorite is Larson with odds of +500. In addition to his Sonoma win, Larson was in position to assume the lead at the Circuit of the Americas earlier this year before that race was shortened by rain, which allowed Elliott to get to the end of the race without pitting for a final time. In his latest attempt, Larson was in contention for a top-five finish at Road America before contact from teammate Alex Bowman dropped him to 16th. Larson was the Road America favorite with +290 odds.
Martin Truex, Jr. is ranked third with odds of +700. Truex is tied for second among active winners on road courses with four. The most recent of these came at Sonoma in 2019, but in eight races since then he has only three top fives. The most recent of those also came at Sonoma this June. In his last three starts at the Glen, Truex has one win and two second-place finishes.
Watkins Glen did not host a race in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kyle Busch is fourth on the list with odds of +850. He’s tied with Truex with four career road course victories. His most recent came at Sonoma in 2015. His last two attempts on this track type netted top-five finishes with a fifth at Sonoma and a third at Road America. He also challenged for a top five for most of the afternoon at Circuit of the Americas but got off-sequence on pit stops and finished 10th.
No other driver has better than 10/1 odds.
Denny Hamlin rounds out the top five with a +1200. Hamlin has one previous road course win. That came at the Glen in 2016. This year he has two top fives and an eighth on the course type.
With relatively long odds of +1600, Joey Logano may be the best longshot in the field. He also has one road course victory at the Glen in 2015, but he has come close on a number of recent occasions. He entered Road America with a four-race streak of top fives on the twisty tracks that includes second-place finishes last fall on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval and this spring on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. He finished 15th at Road America.
The only driver other than Elliott or Larson to win a road course race in the past two seasons is Christopher Bell. He is listed with odds of +2200 this week after scoring the victory at Daytona and finishing second at Road America. His Daytona win came with very long odds of +6000.
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Dan Beaver handicaps NASCAR races for NBC Sports Edge.