NASCAR EchoPark Texas Grand Prix odds and value picks
The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX makes its NASCAR Cup Series debut this Sunday in the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix (2:30 p.m. ET, FS1). Better known as COTA, the tricky 3.41-mile, 20-turn course will present the drivers with a unique challenge over 68 laps.
“It’s definitely an interesting place,” Kyle Busch told USA Today. “It’s a long course – a lot of corners, a lot of high-speed straightaways, heavy braking zones, so it’s definitely going to have its challenges for the drivers as well as the equipment.”
We’ve been hard at work over the past few months prepping @COTA to host the inaugural #NASCAR races!— NASCAR at COTA (@NASCARatCOTA) May 20, 2021
5,000 gallons of paint, 13,000 tires, 340 turtles, and much more went into transforming the circuit for #NASCARatCOTA.
Chase Elliott is unsurprisingly the +250 race favorite, as he won four straight Cup Series road races prior to a spin that led to a 21st-place result at the Daytona Road Course earlier this year. Martin Truex (+450) – a three-time winner in 2021 – is the only other driver at odds below +1000.
But there are a great deal of unknowns heading into this racing weekend, including the starting order. Qualifying will be held mere hours before the green flag drops on Sunday. Bettors should hold out for value when making selections for the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix.
Here are our top three underdogs to watch out for at COTA this Sunday.
EchoPark Texas Grand Prix
Sun, May 23 2021, 6:30 PM
Truex Jr, Martin
The Daytona Road Course has not been kind to Ryan Blaney of late, but he’s had enough success at other road courses to suggest he’s worth a wager at COTA this Sunday.
Blaney won at the Charlotte Roval in September of 2018, which began an active streak of three straight Top 10 results there. The No. 12 Ford driver was third in NASCAR’s most recent visit to Sonoma, and fifth when last seen at Watkins Glen.
Since tallying three straight results outside the Top 10 to start 2021, Blaney has recorded an average finish of 9.6 over a 10-race span, including his victory at Atlanta.
Kevin Harvick – who won nine times in 2020 – is due for a breakthrough after starting this season 0-for-13. It could come at COTA this Sunday.
Harvick has an average finish of 7.89 over NASCAR’s last nine road races, a mark surpassing that of Chase Elliott (8.11). The No. 4 Ford driver has also been in good form overall, recording an average finish of 4.5 over his last four races.
Harvick is one of five Cup Series regulars (Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Austin Dillon being the others) taking part in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at COTA to gain valuable experience.
Christopher Bell caught many off guard when he won his first ever Cup Series race at the Daytona Road Course earlier this year, as he failed to crack the Top 20 in his first two road races in NASCAR’s premier circuit. However, Bell did have an Xfinity Series score at Road America from 2018 to lean on, suggesting his recent triumph was not a fluke.
These odds on Bell seem generous, but wait and see where he qualifies for the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix for a clue.