Five races, five winners! Last week I was able to pick the newest winner at 15/1 odds right here! William Byron became the 3rd different Hendrick Motorsports driver to win this season, picking up right where they left off last year. The 2020 champion, Chase Elliott, is the only one who hasn’t visited victory lane yet. But NASCAR’s most popular driver and current point standings leader is also a road course ace and co-favorite this weekend with teammate Kyle Larson as they head to the first right and left turn track of the year.
Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is a Grade-1 FIA specification track built in 2012 to host Formula 1 racing. The track is 3.426 miles long with 20 treacherous turns. Snug in the rolling hills just outside Austin, Texas, COTA hosted its first NASCAR race last year and it was, well, very, very wet. Alan Gustafson, crew chief for Chase Elliott’s number 9 LLumar Chevrolet Camaro, said in an interview earlier this week that he’s happy to be racing on the track instead of on the water this year.
Cody’s Betting Card for Circuit of the Americas
When this article was written last week, we didn’t know who the #JordanJinx was on yet, it ended up being Tyler Reddick top-10. Reddick was caught up in a wreck and finished in 28th. So the jinx hit again. Unfortunately for Reddick he’s getting it back to back weeks. Caesars Sportsbook was offering Reddick at 40/1 and Jordan couldn’t pass it up this week. Reddick has shown speed all year, and impressed at road courses last year. 40/1 is worth a sprinkle despite the Jinx.
Kurt Busch Top 10 Finish (+125)
FoxBet is offering the eldest Busch brother at plus odds for a top 10 finish this weekend. While Toyota has had a very down season, Kurt has been the best of the bunch this year, and we talked on the NASCAR Gambling Podcast about another bet I like around Busch. In 4 of the 7 road course races last year Busch finished in the top 6. With the start that he’s had this season the wiley veteran has proved a new car and new team isn’t phasing him.
Cody’s Best Bet: Joey Logano over Denny Hamlin (-102)
I couldn’t hit submit on this bet fast enough. Denny Hamlin has been a top dog and front runner every year for a long time, but we haven’t seen that this year. His 13th at Phoenix has been his best finish and for Denny that is very below expectations. Logano has proven his ability to run well and win in different situations and cars, including winning Bristol Dirt last year, the Clash this year. Joey has finished ahead of Hamlin in all 6 races this season, and has a solid track record at road courses. That streak moves to 7 this week.
To Win: Kyle BUsch (+1500)
It hasn’t been an ideal start to the season to the season for the younger Busch brother and two-time Cup Series Champion. He’s gotten some bad breaks and Toyota overall has been down. Busch has shown promise, though, leading at hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway late in the race and headed towards a possible win before a late caution and pit strategy allowed Alex Bowman to, as Kyle put it, “back into another win.” Kyle is racing Saturday in the Truck series and those laps around this track with help him on Sunday. This could be the week Busch gets his 60th career victory.
Long-Shot: Daniel Suarez (+2500)
We’ve seen it plenty of times this year: the long shots can win more than anytime we’ve seen recently! Trackhouse Racing has started the season hot between Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, and although Suarez struggled a little last year on road courses, when you look back to when he was in good equipment at Joe Gibbs Racing, he had some very good runs and finishes. Can Suarez become the first Mexican-born driver to win at the Cup series level this week?