The stage is all set for NASCAR and IndyCar to shine. It’s unfortunate to come under these circumstances, but March 11 and March 12 will go down as a dark day in infamy for the sports world. It’s will be forever remembered as the day the sports world went dark.
Most sporting events will remain that way for the foreseeable future. The Coronavirus has wrecked havoc around this planet of ours and sparring no one. The fear quickly turned widespread over the past week. The once unthinkable became real on Wednesday when the NBA halted games and postponed the rest of the 2019-2020 season indefinitely.
As a result, most sporting events around the world followed suit. All NCAA events, winter and spring are canceled, as in done. The NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, PGA including the Masters and other sporting leagues have postponed their seasons too. But, what about racing.
This has been no doubt, a crazy last 24-48 hours. The racing world was certainly affected, but in a much minimal way than what other sports have been.
First off, the 12 Hours of Sebring has been postponed until November. Formula E has been postponed a couple of months. The next three Supercross races have been postponed. The first three races of the Formula One season have been postponed (Australia, Bahrain and Vietnam). The earliest that F1 will race is now May 3 in the Dutch Grand Prix. But, there’s talks that even that race could be affected. Europe is fighting widespread out breaks over there and from May through mid-June, there’s all European races (Netherlands, Spain, Monaco and Azerbaijan).
But, NASCAR and the NTT IndyCar Series are pushing forward this weekend as planned. The stage is theirs. Nothing in terms of scheduling for NASCAR has been altered while IndyCar will instead go from a three-day show to two. All without fans.
So, for the sports betting world, a multi million dollar industry, they can take their focus and money to racing. This was supposed to be a big time for this industry. We should be rolling into the weekend with some major NCAA Conference Tournaments. That would lead into the big dance (NCAA Tournament) starting next Tuesday and run through early April. Then, you’d get the Masters starting up from there. Between, you’d get MLB starting up while the NBA’s regular season winding down before the playoffs.
All have been postponed.
Despite that, don’t think you have to stop betting. The racing world could be very lucrative. On Covers I’m 3-0 this month alone in profiting $11,600. Over the last 70 races dating back to last year, I’m up $55,480.
You may be thinking now, say what?! Is it that easy? Well, it could be. But, you have to look at sports betting in terms of NASCAR and IndyCar a little differently.
Racing isn’t like stick and ball sports. In stick and ball sports, there’s one winner and one loser. In racing, just take the IndyCar race in St. Pete this weekend, there’s going to be one winner on Sunday and 25 losers. That’s a 1-in-26 chance of winning. In stick and ball sports, you have a 1-in-2 shot.
That may turn people away, but in racing, you can narrow some drivers down immediately based off the track, practice sessions and qualifying.
Two weekend’s ago, Alex Bowman opened 28/1 to win the NASCAR race in Fontana. He didn’t have a great past history there, which is why. He’d only go out and dominate both practice sessions on Friday and improved his odds to 18/1. If you got in on him on that Friday, you’d get him at 28/1. If you got him on Saturday, it was 18/1. Either way, big odds which saw him win outright on Sunday for a big pay day.
Racing has so many trends that you can break down and I will break all these down each race to help you win money which in turn helps the sport grow because you’re paying more and more attention to it now.
Just this weekend in St. Pete for example, here are some key trends to watch.
Starting Position Key
Want to win on Sunday, you better be on top of your game on Saturday. Nine of the past 11 Grand Prix of St. Pete winners have been won from the Firestone Fast Six. 11 of the last 14 have been won from a top 10 starting spot.
The weird stat about this though, just once has this race been won from the pole (2007).
Power The Pole King
Will Power has now won eight poles in St. Pete since 2010. Furthermore, Power has qualified on the front row in five straight years and nine of the last 10. His worst qualifying effort since then was a fourth in 2014, a race he coincidentally won.
Don’t expect more than a couple of cautions on Sunday. We saw only two of them a year ago and in three of the last four. The only exception was eight yellows in 2018.
Who’s The Surprise Rookie Going To Be?
The last two years, a rookie has wowed us in St. Pete. In 2018, Robert Wickens earned the pole in his first ever Indy Car start and led 69 of the 110 laps. Last year, Felix Rosenqvist made his Indy Car debut with a third place starting spot and fourth place finish including leading 31 laps.
Who’s going to be the rookie in 2020?
Rinus VeeKay, Oliver Askew and Alex Palou will battle for Rookie of the Year Honors and made their series debuts on Sunday. But, while he’s not considered a rookie, Pato O’Ward is making his first career start at St. Pete too, so the standout could be any one of these four.
VeeKay, has made six career starts on the 1.8-mile street circuit in the Road to Indy Program, scoring five podiums including three of those being victories. He’s won three of his last four St. Pete starts including race No. 2 of the Indy Lights weekend last March.
Askew, also has made six St. Pete starts through the same ladder system. He was second and first respectively in USF2000 (2017), fifth and sixth in Pro Mazda (2018) and third and 10th in Indy Lights (2018).
O’Ward is probably the most seasoned veteran among all on this track as he’s made eight career starts on it. The Mexican driver won in Pro Mazda in 2016 and Indy Lights in 2018.
Palou, has never seen the track prior to this weekend.
You can break it down by those trends. Then, look at some of the favorites and why they may or may not be good picks.
He didn’t used to be good at this race but his victory last year changed the course. In his first seven St. Pete starts, Newgarden had just three top 10 finishes but none of which inside of the top five. Last year, he goes out and leads 60 laps en route to a victory.
He’s always starting up front which is good since nine of the last 11 winners of this race have come from a top five starting position. Power, has started no worse than fourth since 2010. But, in that time frame, he has just one victory though. Power, did finish third last year, so you can’t count him out. Also, Power ended 2019 with four top four finishes over his final five starts including two wins and a runner-up in the final four races.
While he started off slow in St. Pete, he’s been quick the last two years. Rossi, finished third in 2018 and fifth last year. Also, he’s been great on another street course in Long Beach in each of the last two years as well.
Dixon, does have two podiums in his last three tries including a third place run in 2017 and runner-up last year. That was his fourth runner-up (2006, 2007, 2012, 2019) but that and a third place finish in 2017 are his only podiums. Also, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver has failed to lead a lap in 12 of those 15 starts and hasn’t led a lap since 2013. CGR hasn’t had much success in St. Pete anyways with just one victory in the history of this race (2011).
Simon Pagenaud is a great fantasy play for this weekend. He’s had six top 10 finishes in eight St. Pete tries to go along with 15 top 10 finishes in 17 tries last year. But, Pagenaud has never won this race before. He does have four top five finishes, two of which being runner-ups (2016, 2017) in his last six starts. He was 13th in 2018 and seventh last year. If that trend continues, he will win on Sunday.
Immediately, you can eliminate half of the field and narrow it down from there. Where you can be profitable, you have to bet more than one driver as a result. Pick a couple favorites (2-4) then go with a couple of sleepers (1-3) to get you a total of (3-5) picks each race and bet accordingly so you know that among those 3-5, you will have a winner and 2-4 losers so that your winner outweighs the losing bets.