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EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix Predictions: NASCAR At Austin Odds, Picks & Best Bets

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 20 mins

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix Predictions: NASCAR At Austin Odds, Picks & Best Bets

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It’s the first road race of the season for NASCAR’s top series, so you know what that usually means: Chase Elliott atop the NASCAR odds board. But not this time, as the greatest road racer of his generation continues to recover from a broken leg suffered in a snowboarding accident last month.

That puts IMSA sports car driver Jordan Taylor in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 car that Elliott has driven to seven victories on road course events, at least three more than any other active driver. 

One of those wins came in the inaugural NASCAR race two years ago at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where Elliott’s absence will certainly be felt this weekend.

With Elliott out, Hendrick driver Kyle Larson—a four-time road course winner himself—is the NASCAR betting favorite at +600 to win. Taylor, Elliott’s sub in the No. 9 car this week, is well down the list at +3300 on betting sites.

And further down than that, you’ll find a galaxy of semi-retired stars giving COTA a shot: former Formula One champ Kimi Raikkonen at +4000, seven-time NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson at +5000, and former F1 champ Jenson Button at +10000. Really feeling bold? There’s IndyCar driver Conor Daly at +200000 to win.

But don’t get fooled by the famous names. The era of road course “ringers” in NASCAR is long gone—the regulars now are just too good. Elliott’s absence leaves a void, to be certain, but one that will be filled by the drivers he usually competes against every week.

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix Odds

Odds via BetMGM and current as of publication. Check out our BetMGM Sportsbook Review.

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EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix Betting Tips

There’s not much historical data to go on when it comes to Circuit of the Americas, given that NASCAR only began competing on the 3.41-mile road course in 2021. The best average finish among current drivers at COTA is 2.5, shared by Elliott (shocker) and Ross Chastain, who split the first two events there. 

Close behind are Alex Bowman (5.0) and Tyler Reddick (7.0), who finished second and fifth last season respectively.

Larson, the odds favorite, was the runner-up behind Elliott in the inaugural NASCAR race at COTA in 2021. He’s also been a little better than even his teammate on road courses as of late, with four victories over the past two seasons. 

Reddick has two road course wins and nine top-10s in 15 career road course starts, though those all came at Richard Childress Racing. He’s making his road course debut this week for his new 23XI Racing team.

Martin Truex Jr. has four road course wins, the most recent in 2019. You have to go even further back for four-time road course winner Kyle Busch, whose last came in 2016. Both of A.J. Allmendinger’s Cup Series wins have come on road courses, and he notched a pair of top-four road course finishes in 2022. 

And keep an eye on veteran Michael McDowell, who owns eight top-10 finishes on road courses over the past three years.

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EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix Best Bets

Tyler Reddick to Win

Odds: +900 at BetMGM

The newest member of the team co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan appears to have found his groove in his No. 45 car, posting a third at Phoenix followed by a fifth at Atlanta last week. Reddick has finished eighth or better in five of his last six road course starts, winning two of them.

 The team may be new this year, but the know-how in the driver’s seat remains the same. 

A.J. Allmendinger Top 5

Odds: +260 at BetMGM

Allmendinger’s plucky Kaulig Racing outfit may not be much of a factor on intermediate oval tracks, but he can certainly turn it on when he arrives at a road course. 

’Dinger has finished top-10 in half of his 32 career Cup road course starts, a percentage that includes a fourth-place finish at the Roval, a runner-up at Watkins Glen, a seventh at Indy and a ninth at Road America, all last season. He was also fifth in the inaugural NASCAR COTA race in 2021.

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Michael McDowell Top 10

Odds: +575 at BetMGM

Did we mention that McDowell knows how to record top-10s on road courses? He was sixth at Watkins Glen, eighth at Indianapolis and Road America, and third at Sonoma—all last season. He finished seventh and led laps in the NASCAR debut at COTA in 2021. 

This is a team that found new life in the arrival of the next-gen car last season, and while McDowell may be best known for his Daytona 500 victory, the former sports car driver is a road racer at heart.

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EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix Time, Date and TV

When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. EDT

Where: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas

TV: FOX

About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.