NASCAR

NASCAR Betting Picks: Coca-Cola 600

Jim Sannes
Jim Sannes@JimSannes
NASCAR Betting Picks: Coca-Cola 600

The two Charlotte races during the NASCAR Cup Series' Next-Gen era have been bananas.

Part of this is due to the length of the race. It's the longest of the year at 600 miles, so we have more time for things to get unhinged.

But the surface at Charlotte has also worn quite a bit, leading to increased tire fall off and cars that are harder to handle.

As a result, the 18 and 16 cautions the past two years rank second and third all time among Cup Series races at Charlotte.

While the chaos might not be that extreme this year, I do expect there to be a degree of unpredictability again. And that's leading to value in the betting markets.

With increased chaos comes higher odds of a longshot winner or a non-elite car sneaking into the top 10. My model is showing value in both of those categories in FanDuel Sportsbook's NASCAR betting odds for Charlotte, and I think the model is on the right path here.

Let's dig into what those initial values are, and then we can circle back later if more value arises later in the weekend.

Coca-Cola 600 Betting Picks

Bubba Wallace to Win (+3000)

(UPDATE: Wallace has since lengthened to +3100 to win. My model has him at 4.4% now, up from 3.1% implied at the new number, so Wallace is still a value for me.)

Most of the value this week lies in the top-10 market, which we'll get to later on.

As far as outrights, only one driver is a percentage point higher in my sims than he is in the market. That's Bubba Wallace.

Wallace has been both a victim and a benefactor of the chaos the past two years in Charlotte. In 2022, he spun and had to retire from the race after a brain fart from his team led to failure under the damaged vehicle policy. Before that, though, he did finish fifth in the opening stage.

Last year, Wallace received an early pit stop penalty and went a lap down. But, he worked his way forward and eventually finished fourth, thanks in part to all of those cautions.

Wallace seems to benefit from the increased tire wear in Charlotte. He has finished seventh or better in three straight races in Darlington, and he was sixth in Homestead last year. He and 23XI didn't run well in Kansas, a track they had previously dominated, but the bounce-back in Darlington the week after was encouraging.

All told, my model has Wallace at 4.3% to win, up from 2.3% implied. I think he has the speed to do this even if the race is more tame, allowing me to agree with what the model says on this one.

Chase Briscoe to Finish Top 10 (+450)

(UPDATE: Briscoe has since shortened to +380 to finish top 10. After qualifying, my model has him at 25.0%, up from 20.8% implied, so we've still got the green light even at the shorter number.)

If you want to be more aggressive, I do show slight value on Chase Briscoe to win (+8000) and finish top five (+1000). But with how much value I've got here, specifically, I'm fine focusing exclusively on this market.

My model has Briscoe at 28.0% to finish top 10, up from 18.2% implied. I'm way off here, but I think the market is underselling both Briscoe and the unpredictability at the track.

Briscoe had a legitimate shot to win this race back in 2022. He got to the inside of Kyle Larson with two laps to go but spun trying to make the pass.

Last year was a nightmare for Briscoe, but that was true at all intermediate tracks. He started to tick up toward the end of the year, and that has carried over into 2024 with finishes of sixth in Texas and fifth in Darlington.

It's clear Stewart-Haas Racing has increased speed this year, and Briscoe is using it well. With how forgiving this market is, I think this is a great spot to buy in.

Michael McDowell to Finish Top 10 (+600)

(UPDATE: McDowell has since shortened to +500 to finish top 10. My model has him at 19.8% post-qualifying, up from 16.7% implied, so he is still a value for me.)

Michael McDowell is another guy who combines good recent Charlotte runs with increased speed in 2024.

Back in that 2022 race, McDowell finished eighth. He didn't have top-end speed, but he kept his nose clean and emerged through the wreckage for a good run.

He has been doing the same thing this year. McDowell squeaked out a top-10 finish in both Kansas and Darlington, two higher-speed tracks that feature decent tire falloff. Those runs were legitimized by top-16 average running positions in each.

Thus, my model has McDowell at 21.1% to finish top 10, up from 14.3% implied. The value here isn't quite as big as with Briscoe, but I'm still more than happy enough to add him to the betslip.

Carson Hocevar to Finish Top 10 (+1200)

(UPDATE: Hocevar has since shortened to +700 to finish top 10. However, he had good speed on Saturday, so my model is now up to 22.2% to finish top 10, up from 12.5% at the new number. I also have value on him to finish top 5 at +2500 and to win at +25000.)

We'll need a bit more calamity to get these latter two drivers into the top 10, but there's no doubt they've got the talent.

Let's start with Carson Hocevar, who has had better speed than his finishes would indicate. He had a top-20 average running position in Vegas, Texas, and Kansas, all three 1.5-mile tracks on the schedule thus far. He has just one top-10 to show for it, but even that's impressive with his implied top-10 odds at 7.7%.

Even in mid-tier equipment in the Truck Series, Hocevar ran well on tracks like this. He won Homestead last year, and he won in Texas -- Charlotte's sister track -- the year before.

With Hocevar, you always worry about over-aggression in a 600-mile race. Even with a higher incident rate assigned to him, though, I've got him at 17.5% to finish top 10, well clear of his implied mark.

John Hunter Nemechek to Finish Top 10 (+1600)

(UPDATE: Nemechek is still +1600. My model now has him at 11.9% to finish top 10, up from 5.9% implied. Thus, Nemechek is still a value for me.)

John Hunter Nemechek is a bit more of a leap of faith, given he hasn't flashed the same upside as Hocevar so far. But his team has generally been fast on these tracks, and he ran well at these spots in Xfinity.

LEGACY Motor Club was fast in Charlotte last year before all three drivers ran into issues. Erik Jones later had a great run in Texas during the fall, showing that the Charlotte speed wasn't a fluke.

As for Nemechek, he was a demon on 1.5-mile tracks in the lower series. He won at Darlington and Kansas in the Truck Series in 2022, and he has 7 podiums in 10 races at either Darlington or a 1.5-mile track in the Xfinity Series since the start of last year.

LEGACY is yet to have a top-20 average running position at one of the relevant tracks this year. Thus, you are lobbing up a bit of a prayer here.

But my model is accounting for that and still has Nemechek at 11.7% to finish top 10, up from 5.9% implied. We may wind up looking dumb, but I do think there's still reason for lingering optimism.

Post-Qualifying Addition: Tyler Reddick to Win (+1000)

My model was high on Tyler Reddick entering the weekend, and he validated that optimism Saturday. I've got him as a value to win now.

Reddick ranked second in single-lap speed and third in five-lap average once you adjust for group speed differentials. He qualified eighth, so he'll have easy access to the front in a long race.

Charlotte has become more of a Reddick-centric track recently. He excels at running the wall, and that has become the preferred groove. Reddick had a fifth-place average running position and finished fifth, as well.

My model has Reddick at 11.1% to win, up from 9.1% implied. He's currently the biggest outright value on the board for me.

Post-Qualifying Addition: Corey LaJoie to Finish Top 10 (+1600)

Corey LaJoie was another of the top-10 values earlier in the week. He just wasn't as big of a value as others, so I passed at the time.

Now is different, though.

After accounting for group speed differentials, LaJoie was ninth in single-lap speed in practice and 17th in five-lap average. He qualified 21st, but even that isn't too bad.

LaJoie finished 17th in this race last year, and he was 16th in Darlington a few weeks ago. He can run well at tracks with lots of tire degradation, though those are his more flattering runs. Thus, he's going to need a bit more chaos to finish top 10 than Hocevar or Briscoe. But I've got him at 18.5% to finish top 10, up from 5.9% implied, so he's a big value regardless.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.