Chase Elliott is once again the favorite on a road course at PointBet Sportsbook for Sunday’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (1 p.m. ET, NBC).
Finishing second last week at Watkins Glen International, Elliott now has seven road course wins and two runner-up finishes in his last 12 attempts.
Those results have him listed at +200, which is slightly higher than he opened last week. In early odds for the Glen, Elliott was listed at +185. Last week before finishing second, Elliott had to come from the back of the pack twice, once for a penalty in inspection before the race and once after pitting off sequence with a flat-spotted tire.
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 +200 odds is $2.00. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a line of +300 is the same as 3/1.
Last week’s winner, Kyle Larson is ranked second with odds of +340, which are considerably lower than he opened at the Glen. For that race he was +500 on Tuesday and showed only a minor adjustment to +450 by the weekend. In the closing stages of last week’s race, Larson managed the gap between his car and Elliott’s to earn his second road course victory in the past three races.
With that win, Larson joins Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. (four wins), Kyle Busch (four) and Kevin Harvick (two) as active drivers with more than one road course victory.
Truex is ranked third at +775 after finishing third last week. He also was third at Sonoma Raceway, but his other three road course races this season ended in finishes of ninth or worse. His effort at the Glen extends his record there to four consecutive top-three results.
Busch is fourth on the list with odds of +1100. While that is significantly higher than the +850 he faced at the Glen, it is in the same general range as where he opened at Road America. For that race he was +1200 at the beginning of the week before his line moved to +850 on the weekend. Busch enters the weekend with three consecutive top-five finishes on road courses.
No other driver has better than 15/1 odds.
Denny Hamlin rounds out the top five with a +1500. He now has three top-fives and an eighth in five road course races this year as he seeks his first victory of the 2021 season. Hamlin has one previous road course win. That came at Watkins Glen in 2016.
Last week Joey Logano was noted as an interesting dark horse with +1600 odds at the Glen. His race there was marred by contact from teammate Brad Keselowski when the No. 2 car experienced brake problems during the race. Logano entered Road America with four consecutive road course top-fives and finished 15th. His poor finish of 22nd at the Glen has him listed at +2200.
Christopher Bell also spun at the Glen after contact from Larson while the two battled for second. Bell was able to overcome the spin and finish seventh. He too is listed at +2200, which is the same line with which he opened the Glen.
Part-time Cup drivers AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric are listed at +2500 and +2800 respectively. Both have superior records in the Xfinity series and should be regarded as potential dark horses.
Allmendinger won the 2014 Watkins Glen race and finished fifth at the Circuit of the Americas earlier this year.
Cindric has run well in the opening laps of the two road course races he entered at the Cup level, but has a best finish of 25th at Circuit of the Americas.
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Dan Beaver handicaps NASCAR races for NBC Sports Edge.