The sixth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and final race of the Round of 12 is set to take place this weekend. Sunday’s action will take place on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, perhaps better known as the Charlotte ROVAL. The drivers will have to navigate a whopping 17 turns each time around the course in the Bank of America ROVAL 400. As far as the playoff standings are concerned, there are a number of drivers who both need a great finish or even an outright win if they hope to advance to the Round of 8. There certainly are a lot of details to consider when handicapping the race odds and deciding on some NASCAR betting picks.
The following article offers a breakdown of the NASCAR odds and best NASCAR betting picks for Sunday afternoon’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course.
Bank of America ROVAL 400 Race Info
61st Bank of America ROVAL 400
Date: Sunday, October 10, 2021
Start Time: 2 p.m. EST
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course — Concord, NC
Distance: 248.52 miles (400 kilometers)
Stages: Three (Laps 1-25; 26-50; 51-109)
Pole Sitter: Denny Hamlin
Defending Champion: Chase Elliott
Bank of America ROVAL 400 NASCAR Betting Odds
Considering how good Chase Elliott (+220) is on the road courses, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see him listed as the NASCAR betting favorite to win Sunday’s race. Elliott has compiled an astounding average finish of 5.93 in the 14 road races run since the start of 2018. He has won exactly half of those, with two of the seven victories coming at Circuit of the Americas and Road America this season. He has 11 top-5 showings and an average driver rating of 124.0.
To top it all off, Elliott has won the Bank of America ROVAL 400 each of the last two years. He could certainly use a three-peat victory this weekend considering where he currently sits in the playoff standings. Elliott and Kyle Busch are tied for seventh on points and are both just nine points ahead of Kevin Harvick above the cutline. A win this Sunday will remove all doubt when it comes to advancing on to the Round of 8.
Bank of America ROVAL 400 NASCAR Betting Picks
Bank of America ROVAL 400 Race Winner: Kyle Larson (+450)
For as great as Chase Elliott has been on road courses recently, Kyle Larson has been right there with him this year. In his first season driving for Hendrick Motorsports, Larson has two road race wins of his own. Both victories came in dominant fashion at Sonoma and Watkins Glen. Larson might well have earned a third at COTA if not for the race being called early due to rainfall. While the No. 5 team is sitting in a good position as far as advancing to the Round of 8 in the playoffs, Larson will undoubtedly want to pad his points at the ROVAL if possible. The driver with the second-shortest odds is arguably the best value on the board this week.
Other Bank of America ROVAL 400 NASCAR Betting Picks
Top 5 Finish: Christopher Bell (+220)
Only one of the four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers is currently below the playoff cutline heading to the Charlotte ROVAL. Christopher Bell pulled off a top-5 finish in the rain-shortened race at Talladega last week. Despite this, he is still 28 back in NASCAR Playoffs standings thanks to a rough run at Las Vegas. While Bell could still mathematically point his way into the Round of 8, it sure feels like a must-win scenario facing him and the No. 20 team at the ROVAL this week.
On the bright side, Bell certainly has proven himself capable of finishing well on the road courses. In fact, he won the first road race of the season back in February on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. Bell also scored a top-5 finish in July at Road America and a top-10 result at Watkins Glen. While he only finished 24th in this race last year, he is in a very different situation this time around. His current JGR equipment is vastly superior to his 2020 ride in the No. 95 for Leavine Family Racing. Bell has no choice but to go out and finish as high as he possibly can this Sunday. He has had a solid season on the road courses and will be pushing with all he has.
Top 10 Finish: Chase Briscoe (+110)
Sticking with the theme of young drivers who have been performing well on road courses this season, our second NASCAR betting pick for this week is a top-10 finish for Chase Briscoe. Briscoe has thrown down some of the best runs of his rookie Cup Series season on the type of track where he began his racing career: road courses. Most recently, he would have won at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course if not for his spin of Denny Hamlin resulting in a penalty. Briscoe has also finished inside the top-10 in three of the other five road races on the season. But this current season is not the only reason to be optimistic about the No. 14 car this weekend.
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Going back to Briscoe’s time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, he averaged a top-10 finish in three races on the Charlotte ROVAL. He won one of those three races and posted an average driver rating of 124.9. While he is yet to face the ROVAL in a Cup car, Briscoe has some of the best numbers of any Xfinity driver at the track. A plus-money return on a top-10 makes for an intriguing NASCAR betting option this week.
Best Finish in Group E: Chris Buescher (+275)
Chris Buescher is one of the more consistent road racers in the NASCAR Cup Series today. He is matched up against an interesting trio of drivers in Group E this week. Daytona 500 winner Micahel McDowell is listed as the Group E favorite at +250. Buescher is joined by both Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez at +275 odds to win this four-man horse race. It’s no surprise that McDowell is the favorite, given his reputation on road courses. However, he hasn’t had much of any success on them this season.
Meanwhile, Buescher has a respectable average finish of 14.86 in the 14 Cup Series road races dating back through 2018. That is the best of any driver in this group, as is his 18.3 average finish in the three previous Charlotte ROVAL races. Since the start of the playoffs, Buescher has had two top-10 showings, including sixth last week at Talladega. With some momentum on his side and not a lot of great competition, the No. 17 car is a great choice to win Group E.
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott (+350)
Ever since the advent of stage racing, strategy calls have become a critical part of road course racing. While many drivers will likely opt to pit before the end of Stage 1 to gain track position during the stage break, it’s hard to envision Chase Elliott doing so. After all, he needs all the points he can possibly get when it comes to his standing in the playoffs. While several of the playoff drivers in front of him might opt to play for the long run, Elliott is talented enough to race for points in Stage 1 and still be there at the end to go for the win. My gut tells me he stays out to go for the Stage 1 win. The +350 return on this NASCAR betting wager is greater than Elliott’s odds to win the race itself!