2021 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Predictions and Betting Tips
Last week, Kyle Larson reminded everyone why he is the championship favorite. He recovered from an early issue to capture his Cup Series leading seventh victory of the season. He also became the first driver in NASCAR history to win three road course races in a single season.
This week, the Round of 8 begins at Texas. Unsurprisingly, Larson won there earlier this season. However, that was the All-Star race, which isn’t a points-paying event.
Fans can tune in to NBC this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
Let’s check out the odds for Sunday’s race and discuss my favorite bets.
Latest Odds for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 in 2021
- Kyle Larson (+340)
- Denny Hamlin (+600)
- Kyle Busch (+700)
- Chase Elliott (+750)
- Martin Truex Jr. (+900)
- Ryan Blaney (+900)
- Joey Logano (+1200)
- Kevin Harvick (+1400)
- William Byron (+1600)
- Brad Keselowski (+1800)
Raise your hand if you are surprised to see Kyle Larson as the favorite? No one? Okay, me neither. Larson starts Sunday’s race from the pole and has dominated 1.5-mile tracks this season.
Denny Hamlin has opened the playoffs with six consecutive top 10 finishes. He won the most recent race on a 1.5-mile track.
The 1.5-mile tracks use the 550-horsepower package. Larson may have more wins with the package, but Kyle Busch has the best average finish.
Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney round out our group of drivers with odds under (+1000). Elliott reignited his rivalry with Kevin Harvick last week, but Elliott had the last laugh.
Truex and Blaney enter the Round of 8 third and fourth in points. However, they’ll both need better results to advance to the Championship 4.
Now, let’s check out my top picks for Texas.
Top Betting Tips for the 2021 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500
- Kyle Busch Top-Three Finish (+200)
- Ryan Blaney Top Five Finish (+110)
- William Byron Top 10 Finish (-175)
- Kurt Busch Top 10 Finish (-125)
I’m going to save my race winner for later. For now, I want to look at a few placement bets.
Kyle Busch has been money on 1.5-mile tracks this season. If you exclude Homestead, Busch hasn’t finished worse than fifth on a 1.5-mile track this season. He won at Kansas and led 91 laps in the summer Atlanta race.
Busch has four career wins at Texas, including the most recent points race at the track. He has also led at least 11 laps in five of his last six starts.
I expect him to kick off the Round of 8 with a top-three finish.
Surprisingly, Ryan Blaney has yet to win at Texas. Just look at his last five races at the track.
|Finishing Position||Laps Led (of 334)|
In the first 2019 race, he was leading when his car had a mechanical issue.
Blaney has a pair of wins this season with the 550-horsepower package. He should have no issue scoring a top-five.
When it comes to tracks that use the 550-horsepower package, Kyle Larson and Busch lead the way. However, William Byron isn’t far behind. He won at Homestead and had race-winning speed at Pocono, Michigan, and the second Las Vegas race.
Because Byron is no longer in the playoffs, I wonder if he’ll get lesser equipment than his teammates. That’s why I pivoted from the top-five bet, but I still feel confident in his ability to score a top 10.
Somehow, Kurt Busch has finished between seventh and 10th in 10 of his last 11 Texas starts. Talk about consistency. He also has a victory on a 1.5-mile track this season. I expect him to keep up his top 10 streak.
2021 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Prediction
- Predicted Winner: Kyle Larson
It’s no fun to bet the favorite but honestly, how can you go against Kyle Larson?
Larson has lived up to the name “Yung Money” this season. He only has two wins on 1.5-mile tracks this season, but he has been competitive in just about all of them.
Check out his numbers from the 1.5-mile races he didn’t win.
|Finishing Position||Laps Led|
Late race contact at Kansas cost him a top-three finish. He had a top-five car in the second Atlanta race before a late pit-road penalty relegated him to an 18th place finish. In the second Las Vegas race, he dominated the early portion, but he couldn’t recover from bad pit strategy.
I’d say he had the winning car in three of those five races.
Larson doesn’t have the best Texas numbers, but he does have three top-five finishes. He also led 74 laps in the fall 2017 race before a crash ended his day.
Earlier this season, Larson won the All-Star race at Texas. He led 17 laps and snagged the lead away from Chase Elliott in the final 10 laps.
Right now, Larson has all the momentum. He has been money on 1.5-mile tracks and tracks that use the 550-horsepower package. Even if his Texas history isn’t the best, I expect Larson to stay up front and punch his ticket to the Round of 8.
More Tips for Betting on the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500
I’m sure you’ve been able to identify a theme with my picks. It’s all about the drivers who have a good history at Texas, been good at 1.5-mile tracks, and excel using the 550-horsepower package.
Larson is my top pick, but Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and William Byron fit the criteria. Add in Denny Hamlin, and I’d say there’s an excellent chance the winner comes from that group.
I hope this gives you a better idea of which bets to target for Sunday’s race. If you need help placing your bets, check out our NASCAR Betting Guide.