NASCAR takes a break from regular racing this week as racing shifts to the lights of Texas for the annual All-Star Race. Let’s preview the odd circumstances for this race, how that affects betting strategy, and the best betting picks and predictions like top-fives, top-10s and player props on DraftKings Sportsbook.
NASCAR Betting Odds & Picks: 2021 All-Star Race
All-Star Race Outright Favorites
Following back-to-back victories, Kyle Larson opened up as this week’s favorite at +480. It didn’t take long to see that number get shaved to +350 while nearly everyone else remained static. This abrupt change in Larson’s outright suggests one thing… the public doesn’t have a clue how this race is going to work. Casual betters, DFS players, and fans are going to lose their minds when Mike Joy explains in three consecutive segments why the field is getting reset via random draw or inversion. In this week’s preview, I detail these field resetting rules.
Therefore, with just 40 laps really deciding how this race will shake out, it’s tough to have any confidence behind one driver. Considering though just how dominant Larson has been at intermediate ovals in 2021, it’s easy to see why even betters with an understanding of the race’s rules will back Larson.
Kyle Larson’s averages, through five races, in the 550 HP package
Laps Led – 167.2
Fastest Laps – 63
Driver Rating – 135.9
FD points – 90.6
DK points – 115.8
Finish – 5 (dragged down by 19th at Kansas)
Running position – 2.8
— Phill Bennetzen has a NASCAR spreadsheet 🏎🏁 (@RaceSheetsDFS) June 7, 2021
That said, considering the field resets and how a 10 lap shootout will decide the victor, there’s no real reason to not embrace some drivers with better odds. For example, Kyle Busch sits +800 and his worst finish in the past four intermediate races is fifth. Or consider William Byron at +1600 who has an average finish of sixth in the five races using the low horsepower package. If this package races a lot like the 550 horsepower package, there are way more tantalizing numbers than what Larson is offering currently.
All-Star Race Top Five Bets
With this being an All-Star Race, only 21 drivers will compete on Sunday evening. Thus, with half of the normal field removed, it should be easier this week to finish in the top five. Conceivably that makes sense until one considers that it’s drivers who would never compete for a top-five much less a top ten who won’t be competing. Thus, just don’t go jumping on every plus bet that’s a top-five. Not having to compete against the Rick Ware Racing stable doesn’t make Cole Custer any more viable for a top-five at +600 than a typical weekend.
However, there is a school of thought that this race may resemble a plate race thanks to NASCAR using tapered spacers to reduce horsepower. Should this playout, then these drivers with higher odds do become more interesting. Especially when one considers that final 10 lap run to the end where everyone is bunched up back together and all it will take is a good restart and good short-run speed. In that scenario, Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell at +600 enter the fray as viable and conceivable.
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All-Star Race Prop Bets
The following is a short but interesting list of props offered by DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Top 10 Finish: Michael McDowell +115
- Best Finish Group D: Ryan Newman +350
- Top 10 Finish: Ryan Newman +115
- Best Finish Group B: William Byron +260
With the blind assumptions of the masses combined with the unknowns of just how this race will play out, this makes for a week for taking big swings. The biggest home runs always come in the form of outrights, thus, this week’s parlay takes an outright. In fact, it combines two, Ryan Newman at +8000 to win the All-Star Race and Ross Chastain at +1200 to win the Trucks race.
Newman is compelling from a sense that if this turns into pack racing, all he needs to do is draft his way forward in the fifth segment and then block for the final 10 laps. After all, Newman is still one of the better superspeedway drivers along with being a notorious blocker who’s hard to get around with.
As per Chastain, Truck races at Texas have had a bad tendency to turn into wars of attrition. Those wreck fests were night races when the track should be tighter and have more grip. Now the Trucks are racing in the afternoon in the June heat and humidity. Consequently, this track could get really slick decreasing grip and turn this race into a caution-filled march. In that event, Chastain offers experience, a truck that he’s been very competitive in, plus an outright with high odds.
When Newman and Chastain’s outrights are combined in a parlay, DraftKings Sportsbook offers +105200 odds paying out $26,325 on a $25 wager. This parlay working might take the planets aligning but this weekend affords this crazy scenario actually being realistic.
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