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Odds for NASCAR race at Indianapolis: Expert picks & favorites to win Sunday’s Cup Series race

NASCAR is spending the Independence Day weekend at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Ind. The grand finale will be the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 Powered by Big Machine Records on Sunday afternoon.

Picking a winner for the event is more of a challenge than usual because NASCAR continues to eschew qualifying and practice amid the coronavirus pandemic, but this weekend’s picks are made a little easier by the racing that took place last weekend.

There are no real surprises at the top of oddmakers’ boards, and two of the obvious choices are the co-favorites.

Below are the complete Vegas odds to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis, plus our top three picks of drivers who could end up taking the checkered flag.

NASCAR race odds to win at Indianapolis

The Cup Series will race this weekend without Jimmie Johnson, the series’ active leader with four wins at Indy. He’s out after testing positive for COVID-19. The other multiple winners in the field are Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

Below are the complete odds to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

Driver Odds to win Indy race
Kevin Harvick +450
Denny Hamlin +450
Kyle Busch +600
Brad Keselowski +750
Joey Logano +750
Chase Elliott +1100
Ryan Blaney +1100
Martin Truex Jr. +1300
Clint Bowyer +2600
Erik Jones +2600
William Byron +2900
Kurt Busch +3100
Alex Bowman +3500
Aric Almirola +3500
Matt Kenseth +6500
Chris Buescher +8000
Matt DiBenedetto +8000
Tyler Reddick +8000
Christopher Bell +10000
Bubba Wallace +10000
Ryan Newman +10000
Austin Dillon +11000
Cole Custer +11000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +15000
B.J. McLeod +20000
Brennan Poole +20000
Corey LaJoie +20000
Daniel Suarez +20000
Garrett Smithley +20000
JJ Yeley +20000
Joey Gase +20000
John Hunter Nemechek +20000
Josh Bilicki +20000
Michael McDowell +20000
Quin Houff +20000
Ross Chastain +20000
Ryan Preece +20000
Timmy Hill +20000
Ty Dillon +20000

NOTE: No odds were listed for Justin Allgaier, who replaced Jimmie Johnson (COVID-19) for Sunday’s race.

The drivers who led the way at Pocono last weekend are at the top of the odds board for the weekend at Indy. The similarity in tracks likely played a role: Pocono is a 2.5-mile, mostly flat track; the Brickyard is also 2.5 miles long and mostly flat. Some of Pocono is patterned after Indy.

The next three betting choices — Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano — have won and/or finished second at Indy in the recent past. Keselowski won in 2018, Busch went back-to-back in 2015 and 2016, and Logano has been a runner-up twice, including last year.

The pole position, which for Saturday’s race was awarded to Logano based on the results of a random draw, has produced five race winners at Indianapolis in the Cup Series, almost 20 percent of the winners in the 26 NASCAR Cup Series races at the track.

Below is the breakdown of wins from varying starting positions in the history of Cup racing at Indianapolis (Source: Racing-reference.info):

Starting position Winning % Wins
1st 19.23 percent 5
Front row 26.92 percent 7
Top 5 50.0 percent 13
Top 10 65.38 percent 17
Top 20 88.46 percent 23
Outside top 20 11.54 percent 3

The top 10 starters for Sunday’s race at Indianapolis are: 1. Joey Logano; 2. Kurt Busch; 3. Alex Bowman; 4. Justin Allgaier (filling in for Jimmie Johnson); 5. Aric Almirola; 6. Denny Hamlin; 7. Kyle Busch; 8. Martin Truex Jr.; 9. Brad Keselowski; 10. Chase Elliott.

NASCAR at Indianapolis expert picks

1. Kevin Harvick

Career stats at Indianapolis: Two wins, seven top-fives, 13 top-10s in 19 races. Average finish: 8.9.

This is an evergreen choice, because the series points leader has to be considered a threat to win every race at this point. Harvick’s form at Indy since joining Stewart-Haas Racing (two wins, six top-10s in six races) strengthens that argument. He’s also coming off a first and a second in the Pocono weekend back-to-back.

2. Kyle Busch

Career stats at Indianapolis: Two wins, five top-fives, 11 top-10s in 15 races. Average finish: 12.5.

The average finish at the track has been hurt by early exits in 2017 (crash) and 2019 (engine). He finished fifth in the Pocono Saturday race and was running up front Sunday when contact between the 18 car and Ryan Blaney’s No. 12 car took him out of that race. Busch hasn’t won yet this year, either, and the playoffs are slowly approaching. Busch’s Indy wins give him the edge over his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin.

3. Joey Logano

Career stats at Indianapolis: Zero wins, four top-fives, seven top-10s in 11 races. Average finish: 10.9.

The polesitter has been close a lot at Indy: His last seven race finishes at the Brickyard, starting with last year and going back to 2014, have been 2-13-4-7-2-5-8. It’s good to have early track position to pair with that track record.