Bank of America ROVAL 400 Odds & Predictions
Race: Bank of America ROVAL 400
Date: Sunday, October 11, 2020
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course
Time: 2:30pm ET
What Did We Learn From Last Weekend?
Talladega was a pretty good race in terms of the actual racing. There was some dicey racing throughout the track, leaving us with a near photo finish result. In a race that ended in three overtime attempts, we saw Denny Hamlin take the checkered flag over Matt DiBenedetto by a mere 0.023 seconds. Shortly after that, NASCAR took it upon themselves to penalize Matty D because they said he forced William Byron below the yellow line, leaving him with a disappointing 21st place finish. Chris Buescher also suffered the same penalty on the final lap, dropping him to a 22nd place finish after actually leading 15 laps during the race. NASCAR was full of themselves and full of some interesting calls during this race, to be honest. I was not a fan of the penalties. It really took away from what Talladega racing is, in my opinion.
To be completely honest, the race made me angry. NASCAR needs to step off when it comes to these penalties. Let’s talk about going beneath the yellow line. NASCAR officials threw some penalties at Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and a few others throughout the race for moves that didn’t even equate to them picking up any positions. I don’t understand the purpose of penalizing a driver for an evasive move that didn’t garner any gain. Yes. Several guys went below the yellow line. No. They didn’t pick up any extra points or positions in doing so. Sooooo why did NASCAR penalize them? Why is NASCAR deciding that a driver can’t go below the yellow line to avoid a wreck? Or did NASCAR somehow not see it while the rest of us did?! I get the yellow line rule. I do.
Drivers shouldn’t go down there to gain momentum and make moves. Cool. Understood. But if the drivers are 3-4 wide across the track and someone comes down to block, and another driver happens to dive left and crosses the yellow line, is that really cause for a penalty? Was that driver supposed to abide by that rule and cause a multi-car wreck instead of not moving? Those calls really aggravated me. NASCAR rescinded the penalty originally given to Chase Elliott. They should’ve done that to a few other guys, in my opinion. They also withheld penalizing drivers that did the exact same thing as Joey Logano, for example. I have no idea why, but apparently, Logano was the one being targeted this weekend. It was pretty ridiculous.
Where Are We Headed This Weekend?
But I digress. There are no such penalties this weekend as the drivers head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a road course. It’s a much different venue and another track that causes a lot of uncertainty. This is not where drivers on the bubble wanted to end up. I really don’t like the idea of Talladega being followed by a road course. But, hey, I’m just a “fan,” so what do I know? The Charlotte Roval is a 2.28 asphalt circuit with a total of 17 turns. It’s a total of 109 laps with 25 laps in stages 1 and 2 and a final stage of 59 laps. I like that the last stage is much longer. It gives us a better idea of the actual drivers, cars, and their strategy. Inevitably, the road course will be a battle of track position and tires. We often see that tires give an advantage at these places, but it’s been more often than not that we’ve seen drivers simply pull away from the field for many seconds over the second-place driver. I’m honestly not too sure about this race being much different. I imagine there is going to be some dicier racing because it’s the last race of this segment, and several drivers are trying to move on, but this particular road course doesn’t lend itself to a much different scenario.
Odds and Value Picks
When it comes to picking a winner here, it’ll be interesting based on the points situation. There are several drivers who have to win. No ‘if, and, or but” about it. Aric Almirola is one of those drivers. There are others who couldn’t technically move on with enough points picked up from good track position, but who wants to rely on that this weekend? There are also some drivers in the Chase who love road courses. Then we have the group that detests these types of tracks. That being said, it’ll give us some interesting strategy as we head into the Roval this weekend. Let’s take a look at your potential winners:
Low Odds Pick: Chase Elliott (+220). Bet your NASCAR picks for FREE this week by taking advantage of a 50% real cash bonus offer on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at Bovada!
Mid-Range Pick: Ryan Blaney (+1000)
Dark Horse: Erik Jones (+5000)
Erik Jones might seem like an odd pick. You’re right. It is. That’s okay. His circumstances of needing a ride next year kind of put him in a position where he’s racing a lot more aggressively. I think that we will see him race pretty hard this weekend as a result. In his two starts with JGR, he’s finished 15th and 12th. He’s learning on the road courses, and he’s getting better. Look for him to be racing for the win this weekend. Ryan Blaney is another driver that’s looking for a win. He’s not in the Chase anymore, which gives him all the more reason to go for a win instead of taking the conservative route. His first run on this track resulted in a win. That’s pretty indicative of his skill on a road course. You really don’t win these types of races by being lucky. It isn’t Talladega. On top of the win, he’s finished in the top 10 in six of his last nine road course starts. That gives you the idea that the win wasn’t a fluke. He’ll be chasing down Chase Elliott, though. With Chase still comfortably in the playoffs, he’s coming into this weekend as the defending winner at this track. Not only that, but Elliott won the road course at Daytona this year. He’s got a knack for these types of tracks, and with a championship on the line, he’ll be giving it everything he’s got. Let’s take a look at how Elliott and the rest of the crew are shaping up after Talladega.
- Denny Hamlin (+700)
- Kurt Busch (+2000)
- Kevin Harvick (+650)
- Chase Elliott (+220)
- Brad Keselowski (+1600)
- Martin Truex Jr. (+700)
- Alex Bowman (+1600)
- Joey Logano (+1600)
- Kyle Busch (+1600)
- Austin Dillon (+10000)
- Clint Bowyer (+1400)
- Aric Almirola (+5000)
I was really disappointed to see Almirola get caught up in a wreck last weekend. He was having a really strong run, leading the pack at several points. This weekend is going to be a Hail Mary attempt at a win for him, as that’s his only option to stay in the Chase. Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon are actually tied in terms of points right now, both 21 below the cutoff. Bowyer is at 38, so he’ll be looking for a win as well. Joey Logano and Alex Bowman both need to have solid days to maintain their position in the Chase. I didn’t think that Logano would be in danger, but he’s had some bad luck in the last few races. This weekend, he’ll be looking for a lucky penny or four-leaf clover or anything to bring him a little luck. Stay tuned at the drivers battle it out in the last race in the round of twelve at Charlotte Motor Speedway! Want more free bets? Deposit $200 and get $200 FREE at GTBets!