After a two-week Olympic break, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season resumes in earnest this weekend. Watkins Glen International will host a race for the first time since 2019, as NASCAR descends on the Finger Lakes for a tripleheader weekend. It all culminates on Sunday afternoon with the Go Bowling at The Glen. In addition to the added wrinkles that come with racing at a road course, drivers and teams have just one month left to improve their standing for the fast-approaching playoffs. Add it all up and perhaps the best NASCAR betting advice this week is to expect the wild and unexpected!
So happy to have you all back at The Glen this weekend! 🙌
We're going to have a grand ole time this weekend! pic.twitter.com/ePK8fvNSdB
— Watkins Glen International (@WGI) August 5, 2021
The following outlines some of the best NASCAR betting picks for Sunday’s Go Bowling at The Glen. Analysis of the top odds and picks to win outright is also included.
Go Bowling at The Glen Best Bets
The following sections detail the top NASCAR betting picks for Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen International.
Top 20 Finish: Austin Dillon (+160 at DraftKings)
DraftKings Sportsbook has made a new addition to their NASCAR betting offerings coming out of the Olymp[ic break. At least for this week, bettors have the opportunity to wager on a top-20 finish for any driver in the field. Of course, such a wager sees pretty hefty juice required for a number of the top Cup Series contenders. On the flip side, a horrendous history at Watkins Glen International sees playoff contender Austin Dillon sitting at +160 odds just to finish in the top 20.
On the surface, these odds for Dillon might seem to be appropriate. It’s no secret that Austin Dillon isn’t a great road racer. That sentiment has certainly been cooked into the odds for this week’s race. However, Dillon has clearly been making progress on the road courses. In fact, he has three top-20 finishes in the four prior road races this season. An 11th-place showing at Road America is among them, which also served as Dillon’s best career finish on a road course. Locked into an ultra-tight points battle to make the playoffs, Dillon should be able to run a clean race and be among the top-20 finishers at The Glen.
Top 10 Finish: Ross Chastain (+125 at DraftKings)
With just four races remaining until the start of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, several drivers find themselves in desperation mode. While most drivers below the cutline do not have a realistic chance to point their way into a top-16 spot, winning a race serves as an alternative to secure one’s spot in the postseason field. When one combines the current points scenario and heightened pressure to win along with driver skill on road courses, one of the drivers who stand out is Ross Chastain.
Justin Marks on hiring of Chastain for 2022: “Ross is a young, aggressive driver that we believe has the talent to win races at the Cup Series level. We think his personality & work ethic will fit perfectly with Daniel as we build our organization for the 2022 season and beyond.”
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) August 3, 2021
A watermelon farmer-turned race car driver, Chastain is an aggressive driver even when he’s not in must-win mode. This is a trait that his new boss, Trakchouse Racing co-owner Justin Marks, is well aware of. For now, Chastain is focused on getting into the postseason for his current team, Chip Ganassi Racing. While his two prior Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen were ones to forget, keep in mind that Chastain has exponentially better equipment in his current CGR ride. The Go Bowling at The Glen marks the fifth road course race of the 2021 season. The only one to date in which Chastain failed to finish top-10 was a DNF at Daytona all the way back in the second race of the year. Plus-money odds on Chastain and the No. 42 team to finish top-10 is truly NASCAR betting value at its finest.
Best Finish in Group D: Daniel Suarez (+220 at DraftKings)
Daniel Suarez is among those drivers in must-win mode if they hope to sneak into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. He finds himself a co-favorite in Group D this week alongside Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell (+220). After their run-in on the final lap at Sonoma Raceway, there’s a little drama to add flavor to this group matchup. While both drivers are known for being solid road racers, Suarez has much better stats at Watkins Glen International in his three prior starts. He finished top-5 in 2017 and ‘18 and is certainly running in better equipment now than he was then. Meanwhile, McDowell has not cracked the top-10 in any of the last 10 races at The Glen.
Rounding out Group D as longshots in this four-man horse race are Chris Buescher (+320) and Aric Almirola (+320). Like Suarez, Buescher finds himself needing to make something happen to qualify for the postseason. After a terrific first half of the season, the No. 17 team has been struggling mightily for several weeks now. Buescher also isn’t as renowned for his road course abilities as the Group D favorites. Meanwhile, Almirola comes in riding a momentum wave after his stunning New Hampshire win. Like Buescher, he is a longshot in this group for a reason, having little profound success on road courses, including Watkins Glen. With that, we’ll look to back Suarez and the Trackhouse Racing No. 99 team this week.
NASCAR Betting Odds to Win | Watkins Glen
The table below offers a comparison of the NASCAR betting odds to win the Go Bowling at The Glen across three major U.S. sportsbooks. The top 20 drivers in terms of odds are included.
|Martin Truex Jr.||+600||+650||+800|
Favorite: Chase Elliott (+200 at DraftKings)
Who else but NASCAR’s “Road Course King” to be the betting favorite for Sunday’s Go Bowling at The Glen? Both of Chase Elliott’s victories this season have come on road courses at Circuit of the Americas and Road America. While those tracks were new to the NASCAR Cup Series schedule this year, Watkins Glen International has been a mainstay for years. Elliott is a two-time defending champion of this race, having won in both 2018 and ‘19.
Dating back through the 2018 season, Elliott has won seven of the 12 road races contested. He has two additional top-5 finishes for a total of nine. His average finish over the 12 races is a ridiculous 6.42. And that’s with a single DNF result of 37th included! In fact, he is quickly closing in on the all-time record for NASCAR Cup Series wins at road courses. Elliott will seek to become the third driver to win three consecutive Cup Series starts at Watkins Glen on Sunday.
Value Bet: Martin Truex Jr. (+800 at FanDuel)
Martin Truex Jr. checks in with the third-shortest odds among all drivers to win the Go Bowling at The Glen. Considering that he won at Watkins Glen in 2017 and finished runner-up to Chase Elliott in both 2018 and ‘19, Truex certainly is deserving of a look. Aside from Elliott, Truex has been the driver to beat at road courses dating back to the start of 2018. In 12 starts, he has notched a pair of victories and six top-5 finishes. His average finish over that same span is an even 8.00. While the No. 19 team has struggled a bit after winning three races early in the year, there have been signs of life in recent weeks. Truex did well to recover from the wet weather mishap in the most recent race at New Hampshire. He is certainly among the select group of drivers who could topple Elliott on Sunday.
Longshot Hopeful: Ross Chastain (+4700 at FanDuel)
For all of the same reasons that Ross Chastain is worth a play to finish top-10, he is an excellent option for those inclined to bet a longshot winner. The No. 42 team has been building momentum in recent weeks to go along with their solid season thus far on road courses. After learning this week that he will indeed drive the second car for Trackhouse Racing in 2022, Chastain is bound to be fired up. After Aric Almirola’s bid-stealing win at New Hampshire, perhaps Chastain can stun the field at The Glen and add his name to the playoff field.
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