NASCAR betting: Chase Elliott is on a heater and enters Indianapolis as the favorite

Can Chase Elliott continue his hot streak at the Indianapolis road course?

Elliott enters Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race (2:30 p.m. ET, USA) with a five-race streak of top-two finishes. That streak, of course, comes with a slight caveat. Elliott was declared the winner at Pocono after finishing third when Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were disqualified.

But a five-race streak of top-three finishes is still an incredible accomplishment even if it includes two wins and not three. No other driver has a run like that this season. Elliott has been NASCAR’s best driver over the summer and now he heads to a road course — the type of track where he’s been the best for years.

Elliott is +450 to win Sunday’s race and finished fourth at Indianapolis a season ago. That was the first Cup Series race on the Indianapolis road course after NASCAR moved from the traditional oval that hosted the Brickyard 400 ever since its inception in 1994.

LONG POND, PA - JULY 24:  Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet) during driver introductions prior to the NASCAR Cup Series M&MS Fan Appreciation 400 on July 24, 2022 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.   (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott has five top-two finishes over his last five NASCAR Cup Series races. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The race a season ago was a mess. The 82-lap race was extended to 95 laps because of a 10-lap caution with less than three laps to go. Turn 6 was calamity corner during the race thanks to a massive curb and a nine-car wreck caused that caution flag on lap 79. A seven-car wreck then followed on the ensuing restart before Chase Briscoe and Denny Hamlin had their kerfuffle and AJ Allmendinger won the race.

Hopefully Turn 6 doesn’t cause as much chaos in 2022. Here’s what you need to know to bet the race. All odds are from BetMGM.

The favorites

  • Chase Elliott (+450)

  • Kyle Larson (+700)

  • Ross Chastain (+700)

  • Daniel Suarez (+1000)

  • Tyler Reddick (+1000)

Larson finished third as he was fantastic at road courses in 2021. He hasn’t been as great in 2022 but is still a sold play. Chastain got the first win of his career at Circuit of the Americas in March and should be near the front on Sunday. Suarez won the first race of his career at Sonoma in June and Reddick won the first race of his career at Road America in March. If you’re looking for a continuation of the “first win” theme on Sunday, don’t bet any of these favorites. They’re all no longer looking for their first win.

Good mid-tier value

  • AJ Allmendinger (+1800)

  • Martin Truex Jr. (+1800)

Allmendinger is a worthy bet at these odds given his success at this track. We’re slightly surprised his odds aren’t in the range of +1400. Truex should be strong again and it feels impossible that he could miss the playoffs. Maybe Sunday is the day he gets a win to lock himself in.

Don't bet this driver

  • Michael McDowell (+2500)

McDowell’s team will be desperate for a win after a 100-point penalty at Pocono. But he isn’t going to get to victory lane and isn’t worth betting at these odds.

Looking for a long shot?

  • Kevin Harvick (+2800)

We can’t believe Harvick is even worthy of being in this category, but welcome to 2022. Bet Harvick at worse odds than McDowell or Chris Buescher. Seventeen drivers have better odds than Harvick does this weekend.