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NASCAR Enjoy Illinois 300 Predictions: Free Expert Picks & Best Bets For This Weekend

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 14 mins

NASCAR Enjoy Illinois 300 Predictions: Free Expert Picks & Best Bets For This Weekend

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The postponement of the Coca-Cola 600 to Monday ended up being worth the wait for Ryan Blaney, a +1800 bet on betting apps, who snapped a 59-race winless skid with his victory in NASCAR’s longest race. 

Now, the series is in for quite a transition: We go from Charlotte Motor Speedway, the track drivers arguably know best, to a 1.25-mile oval in metro St. Louis that’s hosted just one previous race at the sport’s top level.

That would be World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill., a layout that most people still refer to by its original name of Gateway. After years of Xfinity and Truck series events at the track, the big show arrived for the first time in 2022, when Joey Logano used a late restart to claim the victory over Kyle Busch. Kyle Larson opened as the +500 odds favorite for Sunday’s event.

It’s another vexing race for NASCAR betting, who have had a lot of these to deal with lately. One past Cup Series event isn’t a lot to go on, and Xfinity and Truck results don’t translate due to the differences in the vehicles. 

Like the recent all-star exhibition in North Wilkesboro—and a downtown Chicago street race coming up in July—this is when you put your faith in the sport’s top teams and drivers, betting that all their expertise will put them ahead from the time the cars first roll off the trucks.

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NASCAR Enjoy Illinois 300 Betting Tips

Logano led 22 laps last season at WWT Raceway, holding off Busch in an overtime finish. But we’re hesitant to take him this year because he’s suffering from the sluggish first half that seems to plague all defending series champions, with just one top-10 finish in his last five starts. 

Runner-up Busch led a race-high 66 laps last season at Gateway, and he’s in much better form this year with three top-five finishes—including a victory at Talladega—over his last five outings.

Martin Truex Jr. led 42 laps in last year’s event, and his third-place run Monday at Charlotte continued what’s been an excellent month for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. 

Quite uncharacteristically, the top finisher for Hendrick Motorsports last season at WWT was Larson in 15th, and the championship odds favorite has hit a little bit of a speed bump recently with results of 20th at Darlington and 30th at Charlotte sandwiched around his All-Star victory. 

Could Blaney, your 600 winner, go back-to-back? Well, he did lead 12 laps and place fourth in Madison last season.

Upset potential certainly brewed at Gateway a year ago, when Michael McDowell led 34 laps, Chase Briscoe led 27, and Austin Cindric led 26. 

With a race worth of notes to go on in the current car, though, we wouldn’t expect such long-odds candidates to catch the field as flat-footed as they apparently did in 2022. But there might be a top-10 party-crasher in A.J. Allmendinger, who was 10th at Gateway last year and has placed 14th in two of his last three starts.

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NASCAR Enjoy Illinois 300 3 Best Bets

Martin Truex Jr. to Win

Odds: +1000 at BetRivers

He had a great run at WWT Raceway last season, and he’s on a great run now. Throw out his crash at Darlington, and Truex has finished first, eighth and third in his last three points races where he’s been running at the end. 

He led 42 laps at Gateway in the middle of last year’s race before fading to sixth at the finish. And at fifth in the standings, Truex certainly fits the definition of a driver who’s on top of his game.

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William Byron Top 3

Odds: +200 at BetRivers

The Hendrick driver may have finished 18th last year at Gateway, but he’s been the best driver on the circuit over the past month. How about this run for Byron: fourth at Dover, third at Kansas, first at Darlington, second at Charlotte. 

He’s led a cumulative 301 laps over that same span and has moved up to second behind Larson in championship futures. We’re witnessing a young driver really come into his own.

Kyle Busch Top 3

Odds: +300 at BetRivers

This was one that got away for Busch last year—he had led 16 consecutive laps when Kevin Harvick suffered a brake issue and slammed into the wall to force overtime. 

Logano got the better restart, Busch slid too far up the track trying to overtake, and the No. 22 car went to Victory Lane. But there was still a lot to like about Busch’s performance last year, just as there’s a lot to like about his seventh- and eighth-place results in the past two points events.

NASCAR Enjoy Illinois 300 Time, Date and TV

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

Where: World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison, Ill.

TV: FS1

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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.