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NASCAR Picks: NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter at World Wide Technology Raceway Best Bets, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook

Pearce Dietrich gives his top NASCAR bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter at Gateway, which starts on June 5 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The +5000 long shot seemed crazy until there were two laps reaming on Sunday night and Ricky Stenhouse was restarting in fifth place. The Coca-Cola 600 chaos was accurately predicted last week, and that almost led to a big win. Temper those expectations this week. Gateway will not provide chaos. It will be a snooze. The favorites will be out in full force and the long shots will be cruising a lap down. As always, trust the spreadsheet but also trust your eyes. Here are the best bets for the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter at World Wide Technology Raceway (Gateway), which gets underway Sunday, June 5 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter at Gateway

The Cup Series has never raced at Gateway (WWTR). The Xfinity Series abandoned this track over a decade ago. Only the Truck Series still turns laps at this unremarkable venue in one of the fastest shrinking metros in the nation. Why Gateway? It’s a flat track with less passing than Nashville but at least Nashville is in Nashville. Gateway has been rebranded with a large sponsor — World Wide Technology (not to be confused with Prestige Worldwide) — and has disassociated with St. Louis — it’s suddenly an Illinois race track. NASCAR can change the name and the name of location but it’s still the same boring track.

Gateway is a fast, flat short track to some or a slow, flat intermediate track to others. Nashville is comparable and since the terrible reconfiguration of Texas, Gateway is similar in its singular groove. Passes can happen, but they're rare and require a great car. Passing in the top five is even harder. This is a track position race and a pit road race. Don’t dismiss qualifying. Drivers that qualify above their heads will have a shot if they stay clean on pit road. Likewise, drivers that have raced well this season but qualify poorly will likely have odds that do not truly represent their disadvantage.

Race Winner

Kyle Larson +800

It’s repetitive and it’s boring, but it’s the pick. His skill does not need to be mentioned at this point. His car has been fast this season. It’s been exceptional at the intermediate tracks, especially over the last month when the schedule switched over to a traditional intermediate track heavy stretch. Last but not least, Larson and this team are fighters. The last month hasn’t been easy. They’ve had to overcome adversity. Each time they have come up just a little short. If Larson doesn’t have to overcome an issue, then he should own the field just like last season at Nashville.

Driver Props

Matchups — Head 2 Head — Kurt Busch vs. Aric Almirola

Kurt Busch -125

Everyone knows that 23XI Racing is JGR. For all intents and purposes, Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace are cars five and six of the stable. Charlotte once again displayed the speed of the two 23XI cars. It’s one thing for Kurt Busch to regain his championship form, but it’s something else to see Bubba Wallace take the long awaited and much anticipated developmental step toward the top tier of the Cup Series. Apparently, everyone does not know this. Why is this a matchup? Kurt Busch won handily at Kansas, and he had a top-5 car at Charlotte but got caught in one of the many wrecks in the 18-caution wreckfest — as predicted in last week’s Best Bets article — that was the Joke-a-Cola spin hundred. Almirola and SHR have been terrible this season. They’re not in Kurt’s league. This is a track that should suit Almirola, but only if NASCAR were still racing high-horsepower, low-downforce cars. In the neutered Next Gen car (less horsepower and more downforce), Almirola’s advantages have been erased.

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Matchups — Head 2 Head — Ross Chastain vs. Chase Elliott

Ross Chastain -110

It’s intermediate track season, but it’s always been Ross Chastain season. He’s been good all year, and he’s been even better since the schedule switched over to traditional tracks. At Charlotte, Chastain finished 15th, but he earned the highest driver rating and scored a perfect 1.00 Real Rating. In the three races before the Coca-Cola 600, his driver rating ranked second, third and fifth with Real Ratings of 0.97, 0.83 and 0.89. It goes without saying that he’s been the best driver in NASCAR over the last month. And then there is the little fact that very few drivers in this field have experience at Gateway, but Chastain is not one of those drivers. Not only has he raced at Gateway, but he won the 2019 Truck Series race at Gateway. If that’s not enough, he finished second at Nashville last season.

Matchups — Head 2 Head — Christopher Bell vs. Tyler Reddick

Christopher Bell -110

Is this nothing more than a bet on who won’t wreck or blow a tire? Reddick and Bell have talent and fast cars, but they’ve been inconsistent in the Next Gen car. Sometimes it’s their own fault, sometimes it’s the fault of another driver and sometimes it’s a mechanical failure. Regardless of the cause, the effect is the same. The good news is that not all mistakes are terminal, at least for Bell. When something bad happens to Reddick, something bad happens to Reddick. That’s not always the case for Bell. He’s been able to rebound and recover, and Charlotte was a perfect example of his resiliency. His team was terrible on pit road and Bell got into the wall on lap 272 and 338. When the checkered flag flew, Bell was in fifth place. Reddick rebounded last week for a sixth-place finish, but he suffered from tire problems again. As stated in last week’s article, there is no indication that this team has solved its tire problem. If Reddick suffered another failure at Charlotte, then why will Gateway be any different?

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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