The NASCAR Cup Series heads to the Circuit of the Americas for the first road-course event. Toyotas struggled in every road-course event last year but looked solid in Friday’s practice session. The top NASCAR matchup and prop bets for Sunday’s action include Michael McDowell, who is trading at far too long of a price just to score a top-10 result.
I handicap the opening outright odds for the NASCAR Cup Series early in the week, and you can read about my bets here. Only members of OddsShopper Insider Access will get access to my full betting card, but I will include most of it in articles and on our YouTube Channel.
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Best NASCAR Prop & Matchup Bets for the Echopark Texas Grand Prix
Can Michael McDowell Keep Scoring Top-10s?
Michael McDowell, one of the Cup Series’ premier road-course racers, scored four top-10 finishes across the six road-course events last year. He even led laps at Watkins Glen in August before finishing sixth. McDowell, a former sports-car racer, has the resume necessary to succeed at a track like the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), which was not designed with stock cars in mind.
Over the last two seasons, McDowell has scored a top-10 finish in six of his 13 starts at road courses, good for a raw hit rate of 46.2%. He recorded a top-10 at COTA in 2021, the Cup Series’ first event at the track, before finishing 13th here last season. He even got off to a good start in practice by recording the sixth-fastest time of the session and ranking first among Ford drivers. He also recorded the third-best overall average lap time.
McDowell’s odds to score another top-10 result are slightly better than the market price. His raw hit rate on road courses over the last two seasons actually exceeds the +145 available via FanDuel Sportsbook. Members of OddsShopper Insider Access even got this NASCAR prop bet at +165 before practice!
Best NASCAR Top 10 Bet: Michael McDowell +145 for 0.65 Unit at FanDuel
Will A.J. Allmendinger Outrun William Byron?
Although William Byron has put in some work to become a better road-course racer, he still can’t jump with A.J. Allmendinger at tracks like these. Allmendinger has a dominant Xfinity Series resume and two Cup Series wins at these tracks. He even nearly won last year’s race at COTA and was leading on the last lap until Ross Chastain moved him out of the way. In contrast, Byron is yet to lead a lap on a road course in the NextGen car and is yet to win on a road course in any of NASCAR’s top three divisions.
Byron finished ahead of Allmendinger at a road course just twice last year. He beat him at COTA after Chastain’s move took Allmendinger out of the running. He also beat him at Sonoma by 10 spots. Byron scored a single top-10 finish on a road course last year and is yet to bring home a top-5. In contrast, Allmendinger has scored a top-5 in seven of his 32 Cup Series starts on road courses.
Fortunately for bettors, Byron put together a strong run in practice, which has led the books to price him as the favorite against Allmendinger. That is an overcorrection. Byron’s unremarkable record at road courses means that he should either be matched up with somebody else or listed as the underdog. Back Allmendinger to score a better finish than Byron at -108 via FanDuel Sportsbook. Readers yet to register at FanDuel can score $200 in bonus bets after placing a $20 wager!
Best NASCAR Matchup Bet: A.J. Allmendinger vs. William Byron -108 for 0.54 Unit at FanDuel