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NASCAR Best Bets: Motorsports Picks, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas

Pearce Dietrich gives his top NASCAR bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500, which starts on October 17 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Kyle Larson has made it easy to pick winners this season in NASCAR. Last week at the Charlotte Roval, he delivered for the Best Bets article as a +450 winner. Should we continue to go back to the well? Until it runs dry, this article will continue hammer Larson.


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Kyle Larson to Win (+340)

For the first time in NASCAR history, a driver won three road course races in a season. Adding a bunch of road courses to the schedule played a significant role in unlocking this achievement, but putting Kyle Larson in a Hendrick car was a big part of it, too. As amazing as Larson has been on the crooked courses, he’s been better at the ovals in the low horsepower, high downforce package.

As always in NASCAR, bettors can trust their eyes. Watching the races matters and taking notes on all of the action and moves that occur while simultaneously checking lap-by-lap data is a prerequisite to picking the right drivers. That sounds like a lot of work because it is, so I’ve done it for you. Kyle Larson is the play this week.

Your eyes did not lie last week when he was the pick to win and won, or two weeks before that at Las Vegas when he should have won, but beat himself with a bad pit strategy call. The Real Rating data (my own statistical creation that weighs a driver’s average position along with the amount of laps led and laps driven inside the top 5, top 10, top 20, top 25 and top 30) overwhelming supports Larson as the pick to win (97/100 at 550 tracks). Anything can happen as was evidenced in 550 package races at Las Vegas and Kansas earlier this season and Larson’s odds will not stuff your bank account, but as I’ve stated on numerous occasions throughout this season — Larson is the Michael Jordan of NASCAR. Betting against him is not a profitable endeavor.

William Byron to Win (+1600)

Some still believe that the comparison of Larson to Jordan is hyperbole, so they’re not going to like this one either — Hendrick Motorsports is the 90s Bulls or maybe the 90s Hendrick Motorsports. Byron won a 550 package race at Homestead earlier this season and has been fast in the other low horsepower, high downforce races.

In the most recent 550 package race at Las Vegas, Byron had an exceptional car. Due to an inspection failure, he had to start in the back of the field, but he easily reached the top 10 by the competition caution. In stage 2, the Hendrick cars gambled with pit road strategy and it backfired. Byron responded by again driving through the field and making his way to fifth place in the middle of stage 3. However, his misfortune continued and a flat tire required a green flag pit stop that finally derailed his race.

It took three bad breaks to take Byron out. Two bad breaks and he still had a shot. What could Byron do without any bad breaks? Byron’s 85/100 Real Rating at 550 package tracks is the fourth-highest this season.


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Brad Keselowski vs Christopher Bell - Brad Keselowski (-140)

Last season, Keselowski was a major force in the 750 package (high horsepower, low downforce) and not so much the 550 package. This year, he has come back down to Earth in the 750 package and has taken a step forward in the 550 package. At the beginning of the 2021 season, Keselowski stated that the new tire NASCAR was using would make the 550 package race similar to 2019 — a good season for Keselowski — and less like 2020, and so far he’s been correct.

In contrast, Christopher Bell is not known as a great driver in the 550 package. The dirt racing legend is a preferred target at short tracks in the high horsepower package. While his JGR car has been strong in 550 races and he does have some decent runs at the intermediate tracks, his strength is not in this package. Bell has a Real Rating of 60/100 at the 550 package race tracks and Keselowski has a 77/100. Bell’s clunkers are weighing down his average, but he’s only scored above a 75 twice this season where as Keselowski has topped that mark six times.

Ross Chastain vs Matt DiBenedetto - Matt DiBenedetto (-115)

Similar to the Keselowski vs Bell matchup, one of these drivers is good in the 550 package and one is better in the 750 package. Chastain’s Real Rating in the 550 package is 40/100. That’s worse than Ryan Newman, Michael McDowell, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace and Ricky Stenhouse Jr, just to name a few. Chastain has one race where he has earned above a 50 (58/100 at Kansas). Basically, he’s been a bottom half driver in this package all season long.

DiBenedetto shines in this package, and on his worst day, is a 20th-place driver in the low horsepower, high downforce package. His talent at these tracks is not new nor groundbreaking. He’s aggressive, but strategic on restarts and then maintains track position in his quasi-Penske car. That approach has earned him a Real Rating of 68/100 and he’s scored a 67 or higher in six of the eight 550 package races. If we were to translate that to a finishing position, on average he’s a 15th-place driver. This seems pretty straightforward, a 15th-place driver that sometimes sneaks into the top 10 versus a driver that cannot buy a top 20.

Place your NASCAR bets on DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.


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All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.