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NASCAR Grant Park 220 Predictions: Free Expert Picks & Best Bets For This Weekend

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 20 mins

NASCAR Grant Park 220 Predictions: Free Expert Picks & Best Bets For This Weekend

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Say this about NASCAR’s first street race: the scenery should be wondrous to behold. The 2.2-mile layout for Sunday’s event takes 12 turns through Grant Park in downtown Chicago, with the start-finish line right in front of the Buckingham Fountain. 

With the course running between Lake Michigan and the spires of Michigan Avenue, it should all make for breathtaking TV.

But from a NASCAR betting perspective, this is a complete unknown. This isn’t just a new track we’re talking about—this is a completely different style of race, one involving tighter turns, little to no runoff areas, and even two bridges over railroad tracks. 

No top Cup drivers are entered in the weekend’s Xfinity race, so their track time will consist of just 50 minutes of practice on Saturday in addition to qualifying.

While it’s easy to identify drivers who have excelled on road courses, we’re unsure how those skills will transfer on a street circuit that’s certain to be tighter, rougher, and more physical. 

That’s why in situations like these that are fraught with unknowns, we typically lean on the best in the business—Kyle Larson and his No. 5 team, who ran away from the field in the All-Star Race at a restored North Wilkesboro, and is our pick to win again Sunday in the shadow of Soldier Field.

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Grant Park 220 Odds

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

Grant Park 220 Betting Tips

Chase Elliott makes sense as the betting apps odds favorite due to his series-best seven career wins on road courses, but A) a road course and a street course are not the same, B) Elliott has yet to win this season, and C) his last road course victory came almost exactly two years ago, at Road America on July 4 weekend in 2021. 

Is Elliott capable of winning Sunday? Absolutely. But in such a high-profile race, we’re surmising that public money being wagered off mere statistics is pushing Elliott to the positon of odds favorite.

Because if you’re going off more recent road course events and this season’s results, the natural call would be Martin Truex Jr., who won the road course event earlier this month at Sonoma and has finished outside the top 10 just once in the past two months. 

Truex shares the position of No. 2 odds choice with Tyler Reddick, who’s won three road course evets over the past year but has also plummeted into the 30s in his last three starts. And then there’s Larson, who has a pair of road course victories to his name, and has placed eighth or better his last three times out this season.

Kyle Busch has four career road race victories—we hate to keep using road races as a barometer for a street race, but that’s all we have at the moment—but his most recent win came at Sonoma way back in 2015, though he has been ninth or better in his last five outings this season. A.J. Allmendinger is getting bet up the odds board because he owns two career road course victories, but his car has been fairly pedestrian this season no matter if it’s making right or left turns.

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Grant Park 220 Best Bets

Kyle Larson to Win

Odds: +750 at DraftKings

An event loaded with unknowns put a premium on a team leaning on simulation to make the car fast from the moment it’s unloaded from the hauler. These days, nobody does that better than Larson and the No. 5 team. 

They put on a clinic at North Wilkesboro, running away from the field on a track nobody had seen in three decades. While we don’t exactly expect that Sunday given the likely physical nature of this race—expect lots of cautions and lots of restarts—bettors can do a lot worse than going with the top team in the sport.

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Martin Truex Jr. Top 3

Odds: +185 at DraftKings

We’ve been backing Truex a lot over the past month, and he keeps paying off with top-five and top-three finishes. He’s placed third, fifth, first, and second in his past four races, and has led nearly 400 laps since kicking off this hot streak with a victory at Dover on the first weekend in May. 

This is another veteran driver who can show lots of patience when it’s needed, another team at the top of its game, and another natural wager to make for the inaugural Chicago street race.

Michael McDowell Top 5

Odds: +350 at DraftKings

A bit of a flyer here, but we’re leaning on the fact that McDowell is one of the few current NASCAR drivers with street racing experience, from his early days in Champ Car and Formula Renault. At the least, the way drivers absorb and process information on a street course should feel familiar to him. 

It doesn’t hurt that he placed seventh at Sonoma in the most recent NASCAR road course event, one of two top-10s he’s scored in his last three times out.

Grant Park 220 Time, Date and TV

When: Sunday, 5:30 p.m. EDT

Where: Grant Park, Chicago

TV: NBC

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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.