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Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Preview and Best Bet

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Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Preview and Best Bet
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 races Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 during the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

Top Sportsbooks have released their betting odds for the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race. After the third and final race of the Round of 12 concluded, we are now onto the Round of 8, the first race of which takes place this Sunday.

Read ahead for all of the information pertaining to this upcoming race that you could want to know. I also offer a well-informed betting pick for the race so you can play it at your favorite sports betting site.

NASCAR Cup Series: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Sunday, October 17, 2021 – 01:00 PM EDT at Texas Motor Speedway

Playoff Update

Last Sunday was the final race of the Round of 12. As such, this race witnessed the elimination of four drivers from further playoff contention, the most well-known of which was Kevin Harvick. These four drivers will still compete, but they will not be able to advance to the next round. Psychologically, it must be deflating to have just had your hopes and dreams dashed.

Therefore, in view of our NASCAR Picks, I am not interested in backing those four eliminated drivers — Harvick, Christopher Bell, William Byron, and Alex Bowman — in any shape or form.

For me, only the remaining eight drivers are actual options to invest in. There are still three rounds in this Round of 8 just like in the previous rounds. This upcoming Sunday will witness the first race of Round 8.

Race Info

For Sunday’s race, drivers must complete a total of 334 laps. As has been the case this season nearly without exception, there will be three stages for this race.

Stage 1 ends upon completion of the 105th lap. Stage 2, likewise, requires 105 laps. Stage 3 consists of the remaining 124 laps. An entry list is published at the start of every week for the upcoming race. Every spot but one has been filled.

As for the starting lineup, that gets published on Wednesday morning. Because the track for this race is quite familiar to NASCAR competitors, there is no need for qualifying or practice. Instead, a predetermined formula will determine which driver starts in what position.

Track Info

In terms of layout, the Texas Motor Speedway resembles that of the Charlotte Motor Speedway where NASCAR drivers just competed. So, in a sense, this upcoming track will feel extra familiar to everyone in the race. Most famously, drivers competed here for the most recent All-Star race back in June.

Drivers will compete on an asphalt track surface which manifests itself in four turns. Each lap requires 1.5 miles. So in completing 334 laps, drivers will have accumulated just over 500 miles.

There is a fair amount of banking at this course, which is good for speed because drivers use the available banking to corral additional momentum for their vehicles. At this track, turns 1-2 are each banked at 20 degrees while turns 3-4 are each banked at 24 degrees.

Driver To Avoid

With our sports betting in mind, one driver to avoid investing in is Denny Hamlin because of his consistently bad and frequently quite awful history at this track.

In his last three races here, his best performance was a ninth-placed finish while he finished 20th and 28th, respectively, in his two previous efforts here.

Those 20th- and 28th-place finishes were particularly poor because he enjoys the top-10 starting position in each race: he started seventh before finishing 20th and actually started in third place before finishing 28th.

Overall, his average finishing position is 14.03, which is worse than his average starting position because he consistently drops a significant number of spots relative to his starting position.

My Guy

Based on the average driver rating at the Texas Motor Speedway, there are few drivers really worth liking for Sunday’s race. One of those drivers is not Hamlin. But know for your best bets that one of those drivers is Kyle Busch.

Kyle Busch has one of the best average driver ratings at this track in recent times. In his last six races here, Kyle Busch has two races and three top-five finishes despite starting from a worse position, on average, than his nearest competitors. He has gotten progressively stronger at this track, finishing seventh, fourth, and first, respectively, in his last three races at the Texas Motor Speedway.

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Because of his advantage over Hamlin — in view of each driver’s history here — I recommend betting on him to finish ahead of Hamlin on Sunday. For the above reasons, back Busch in the head-to-head for your NASCAR pick this weekend.

NASCAR Pick: Kyle Busch Finish Over Denny Hamlin (-110)

*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.