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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 09:49 AM

NASCAR Bank of America Roval 400 Picks, Predictions


NASCAR Cup Series
Bank of America Roval 400 Picks

Four drivers will be chopped from Playoff competition after Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway which will leave us with eight drivers remaining eligible to win the 2020 NASCAR Cup Championship.

Who will those four drivers be?

And who will win on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn mashup-up layout that features the high banks on the oval with the flat infield course that requires drivers to make both left and right turns?

Charlotte Betting Resources

  • Date: Sunday, October 11, 2020
  • TV-Time: NBCSN, 2:05 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

It’s not hard to handicap a race when Chase Elliott has won the last three road course races and four overall. It hasn’t mattered whether it’s a traditional road course like Watkins Glen or the mash-up courses at Daytona and Charlotte, he’s had the best set-up and took the checkers. The Daytona road course made it’s NASCAR debut in August and Elliott led a race-high 34 of the 65 laps.

“I don’t know why the road courses have been good to us thus far,” Elliott said. “I came from short-track racing. I did a little bit of road-course racing in go-karts, but I don’t know how much that translates. Most of my years coming along were short tracks around the country, asphalt racing -- very different from road-course racing. I do think a lot of the credit should go to Jeff (Gordon). Jeff was a fantastic road racer, as we all know. I really think he and Alan (crew chief Gustafson) had a very good understanding of what was important at road races and what they really wanted in the cars and what mattered.”

The Gustafson angle could be the main reason and the success Elliott has had has been transferred over to the rest of Hendrick Motorsports drivers as all four finished 12th or better in the August Daytona road race.

NASCAR Cup Odds
Bank of America Roval 400

William Hill sportsbooks have installed Elliott as the 7/2 favorite for obvious reasons, a number that might actually be too generous. Over half the field is not a fan of road races and they’re gonna hate 2021 when the NASCAR Cup schedule has six road course dates on it. One driver who applauds the new schedule will be Martin Truex Jr. who is William Hill’s second choice to win at 4/1.

Before Elliott became King of the road races, he stole the crown from Truex who has four wins on them, three coming in the last eight races. He was third on the Daytona road course after leading 10 laps and he was seventh at the ROVAL last season. The ROVAL still owes him because he was winning the inaugural race there in 2018 until Jimmie Johnson raced him hard for the win on the final turn and spun them both out giving Ryan Blaney a gift scavenger win.

The top reason I’m supporting him to beat Elliott this week is the race package. This week it’s the 750 horsepower package, which has captured his only win of the season at Martinsville and has finished third or better in five of the last six races using it.

  • Chase Elliott +250
  • Kevin Harvick +700
  • Martin Truex Jr. +700
  • Denny Hamlin +750
  • Ryan Blaney +1000
  • Clint Bowyer +1400
  • Joey Logano +1000
  • Kyle Busch +1400
  • Brad Keselowski +1400
  • Joey Logano +1400
  • More NASCAR Futures
  • (Odds Subject to Change)

Let’s just tell it like it is. We should simply look at what happened in the Daytona road race as a map to navigate through the odds. Elliott was first, Truex was third and Denny Hamlin was runner-up. Hamlin has turned himself into quite the road racer in the second half of his career or let’s just say it started in 2016 even though he won a road race at Mexico City early in his career in the Xfinity Series. After a win last week at Talladega, his seventh of the season, he has no pressure to win and he seems relieved by it.

“The Roval is a tough track and can turn your entire season on its head with just one wreck,” said Hamlin who is 7/1 to win this week. “It’s unforgivable. We’ll go out there with the best strategy we can and execute it to the best of our ability.”

In the last 11 road races, Hamlin has seven of his nine career top-fives which includes a 2016 win at Watkins Glen. Two of his glaring finishes over that span have been 19th and 12th on the ROVAL. I’ll have a little something on him to win and show a profit if he does.

The angle I’ve been reviewing all week has been for the "Desperate 4" who are about to be chopped unless they win and I’ve determined that two of them can certainly win, and one of them is my favorite bet of the week.

Live Roval Long Shots

9) Kyle Busch 12/1 (21-points behind)

“I think the hardest part is just trying to understand the different dynamics between the slow sections in the infield portion of the track versus the high-speed and high-banked portion of the oval track,” Busch said of the Roval challenges. “You are slipping on every corner, there’s not a corner where you are necessarily feeling really good about it. It’s going to be a technical challenge all the way around yet again this year.”

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Busch has four road race wins, but none since 2015 at Sonoma. He hasn’t won this season and his whining about something after each week is getting annoying. Come on, just let him win. Maybe this is the race. His odds are attractive, but I must disclose that he was 37th in the last two races on the mash-ups at Daytona and the ROVAL, and he was 32nd in the 2018 ROVAL race.

10) Austin Dillon 200/1 (21-points behind)

“We’re going to rely on our notes from the Daytona Road Course a lot,” Dillon said. “Kaz Grala was a fill-in driver for me that week, and he did a great job. We will try to use that same setup moving forward. The ROVAL has never been the greatest track for us, but we’ll see what we can do. We’re going to try our hardest.”

Grala filled in and finished seventh at the Daytona road course which is better than all 14 of Dillon’s Cup starts on road courses. His best finish was 16th at Sonoma in 2018. So, needless to say, I won’t be taking the chunky 200/1 odds on Dillon.

11) Clint Bowyer 20/1 (38-points behind)

“We know what we have to do Sunday on the roval,” Bowyer said. “We will go there to win. That place is tricky as heck, but it has been good to us the last two years, and we need to do it again.”

This is my man. He hasn’t won in what seems like 10 years, but he gets after it on the roads which is surprising that Stewart Haas Racing might give his No. 14 to Chase Briscoe in 2021 because there are six road courses on the schedule. Hello SHR, he leads all active drivers with 12 top-five finishes on road courses.

Only Elliott has a better average finish than his 11th-place average. His only road win came in 2012 at Sonoma, but he’s taken to the two mash-up tracks very well with finishes of sixth or better in all of them. Sixth at Daytona, fourth at the ROVAL last season, and third at the ROVAL in 2018.

You know why I ultimately made Bowyer my top choice besides greed, it was because this is his life at a crossroads. This may be the last chance he has to win a championship. He needs to win to keep the dream alive. This race may decide whether Briscoe gets his ride in 2021. There’s so much on the line for him and his family in this week’s race that I’m buying in. Still, I didn’t put him to win in my top-five prediction. But he’s No. 1 in my betting portfolio this week.

Make a note that Bowyer announced on Thursday that he plans to retire at the end of the NASCAR season and join the Fox Sports booth as an analyst. I still like him at this price and perhaps the news will loosen him up a bit on Sunday.

12) Aric Almirola 50/1 (48-points behind)

“I think the competitors would expect that we race aggressively all day,” Almirola said. “I don’t think anybody would expect anything less. We are certainly in a position of desperation. We have to go there and we have to win. We are going to be aggressive and we are going to race to try to win.”

I can’t see Almirola winning this race because his only two wins have come on superspeedways. Road courses just aren’t his thing as is the case for half the drivers. His best Cup finishes were at Sonoma’s technical course where he was ninth in 2019 and eighth in 2018. I would need triple-digit odds on him to bet just a little bit. Good guy, but very average road racer.

That’s all I have for this week, all the best on Sunday.

Bank of America Roval 400
Top-5 Finish Prediction

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