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Best bet for the Grant Park 220 before practice

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Before I get into an overview of the Chicago Street Course or how I’m handicapping this race, I want to start with a reminder. If you don’t have an edge, it’s ok to not bet. As NASCAR bettors we often want to have a little action on ever race. We should not however feel compelled to bet simply because odds are available to bet on. For this race we have no data on how the track will run, so all we can do is make broad generalizations about what we think will happen. If you want to wait until you see cars on track that’s OK. If you want to abstain from betting at all, that’s OK. Don’t make a bet just to bet if you don’t have confidence that its a good one.

The flip side of my previous comment is that we shouldn’t avoid betting just because there is some uncertainty. Uncertainty can work in our favor if books don’t account for it properly. A key example is how long many of the favorites opened at. Tyler Reddit opened at +750 at many books and was as long as +1000 at Westgate Superbook. Daniel Suarez, who’s one win is at a road course and who has shown above average speed at road courses opened as long as +3000.

One final point. If you are making a bet, make sure it’s one you think has value at the time you make it. If the fair price for a driver is +1000, but the best available is +750, don’t bet. Even if you think that he might drop to +600 as the week goes on, don’t bet. The fact that +750 is longer than +600 doesn’t mean that +750 is a good bet if the fair odds are +1000.

Michael McDowell Top 10 | +105 (BetRivers and Barstool Sportsbook)

(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Sunday represents the first time that NASCAR will race on the streets of Chicago. In fact, it will be the first time NASCAR will race on any street course. As such, without any data specific to this venue, I’m treating it as a blend of all road courses. I’ve bet on Michael McDowell to finish Top 10 at both road courses so far this year. That trend continues for Sunday.

As I wrote about when making this bet for COTA and Sonoma, McDowell is a strong road course driver. In fact, as I noted in my article about Sonoma, prior to that race only Chase Elliott and Tyler Reddick had completed more laps inside the Top 10. McDowell continued that strong run at Sonoma logging 101 of 110 laps inside the Top 10.

Given how strong McDowell has been at road courses in the Gen 7 car his price at +105 simply makes no sense. McDowell has completed over 75% of all road course laps run in the Gen 7 car inside the Top 10. He is five of eight finishing inside the Top 10 and but for an unfortunate incident in overtime at COTA earlier this year he would be six for eight. For whatever reason though, McDowell is running under the radar and still getting better than even money odds. I have a full unit on this and would bet it down to even money. If you are in a state where you have access to Bet365 or Betway you can even get this at the slightly better price of +110.

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