Verizon 200 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course: Best NASCAR Bets, Odds, and Analysis

Before talking about this week’s best NASCAR bets at the Indy Road Course, I want to talk about the “final” results of the M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400. If you don’t know, on Sunday Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished the race in first and second place respectively. However, both cars were disqualified as a result of the post-race inspection. This made Chase Elliott the winner.

I’m not here to talk about the merits of the disqualification. What I want to talk about is how the disqualifications effected bets. You see, depending on which book you had placed a bet at your ticket could be graded differently.

Know Thy Sportsbook’s House Rules:

Based on my reading of various books house rules, and the experience of folks in the Garage Guys Discord, here are how various books responded:

  • DraftKings: After the disqualifications, DraftKings was the best place to have a ticket. DraftKings has a very bettor friendly policy, they pay the unofficial winner based on pre-inspection results AND any subsequent winner as the result of a post race disqualification. So at DraftKings you could have been paid twice if you were holding a Hamlin and an Elliott ticket. Draft Kings also paid all other effected markets (top Toyota, top 3, top 5, top 10)
  • FanDuel: The FanDuel house rules say they will grade bets based on the results published before post-race inspection. However, mid-afternoon on Monday FanDuel announced what appears to be a one time exception to this rule. FanDuel has stated they will be paying bets based on the post-inspection results with a site credit. Personally this resulted in a 4.7 unit credit for my Erik Jones top 10 bet. (3.7 units in winnings plus the original unit wagered).
  • BetMGM, Kambi books (Unitbet, BetRivers, and Barstool), Bally/Elite, and PointsBet: All graded bets on the pre-inspection results.
  • Caesars, Superbook, and Circa: All graded bets on the post-inspection results.

Other than saying DraftKings policy is quite favorable, I’m not saying that one way is better than the other. That said, the big take away is to make sure you know the rules of the book you are betting at. So with that out of the way, onto this week’s race.

How to Project Performance this Week

As I mentioned several weeks ago, when looking at road courses it is important to evaluate not just a driver’s road course performance, but also recent speed in general. This held true at Indy last year, as all six tracks that the Cup Series raced at in the two months leading up to the Indy Road Course race had strong correlation to Indy Road Course performance. This year, the Cup Series has been at four of those same tracks, New Hampshire, Pocono, Nashville, and Road America, in the past few weeks. As such driver performance at those tracks weighs heavily in my expected performance metric for this week.

A quick note: last year about half way through the race the curb at the Indy Road Course decided to attack the drivers. So I’m not paying attention to data from the end of that race to project this week. The only data I considered was from prior to lap 42 when turn 6 started to cause cautions.

I’m also making a manual adjustment to my metric with regards to the Toyotas. Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. both pop as highly rated in my metric. This makes sense since they have both had good speed the past few weeks. However, Toyota has simply not shown up at road courses this year. My unadjusted metric says that the best odds for Hamlin, 22-1, and Truex, 18-1, are both value. That said, I can’t get onboard with them based on what we have seen to date at road courses and I have adjusted them downwards as a result.

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Early Best NASCAR Bets: Verizon 200

#99 Daniel Suárez Group F Winner +270 | (Caesars)

After a disappointing 15th at Nashville the week following his first win at Sonoma, Suárez has put together a string of four straight top 10 finishes. he has also performed exceptionally well at the two tracks with the highest correlation to the Indy Road Course; as mentioned he won at Sonoma and finished 5th at Road America. Both tracks had over 70% correlation to Indy Road Course last year.

There is no doubt that the other drivers in this group, Reddick, Cindric, and Briscoe are all strong road course drivers. However, I have Suárez comfortably ahead of all three, in both expected performance and opportunity to race optimal strategy. Of the single race winners Suárez is behind only Alex Bowman. Suárez is 41 points clear of the last place single race winner, Kurt Busch making him generally safe. Briscoe and Cindric on the other hand are both within 10 points of Kurt. Reddick has a slightly larger cushion of 24 points, but he is by no means clear. This means that the three drivers Suárez has to beat may all be racing for stage points.

Nick Giffen of Action Network noted in a tweet that of 12 drivers who stayed out at the end of a stage at Road America, none finished inside the top 5. Of the 10 who did so at Sonoma none finished inside the top 10. This means that if Briscoe, Cindric, and Reddick do points race, while Suarez can adopt an optimal strategy for the final stage, he will be in great shape to win this group. All things considered I’m happy with nearly 3-1 odds on this bet.

#17 Chris Buescher Top 10 +125 | (Barstool Sportsbook)

My expected performance metric has two pairs of drivers who are head and shoulders above the field. Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson are the elite of the elite per my metric. Ross Chastain and Daniel Suárez are a second top tier pair that is a step down. After that things get crowded in the third group.

A driver that may surprise many as being in the third group (which has eight drivers in it) is Chris Buescher. Buescher has quietly been putting together a solid season and currently sits 23rd in the points. The finishes have not necessarily been there for the 17 team, but he has shown streaks of speed, particularly at the last two road courses, where he also managed to secure solid finishes.

At Sonoma Buescher qualified third and finished second. At Road America he qualified seventh and finished sixth. He was first and sixth in total speed at those tracks as well. He has also won the pole at Dover and qualified 4th at Martinsville. The point is that Buescher can be fast, particularly outside the large ovals. +125 implies that Buescher will accomplish a top 10 just 44.44% of the time, I think that he pulls the feat off closer to 50% of the time, though I want a cushion to preserve my edge, so +125 is as short as I would go on this bet. If you wanted to be more aggressive I think +400 for a top 5 also shows marginal value for Buescher.

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