It’s rare to get first-time evers in NASCAR, a sport with a lasting history. However, we’re getting that on June 5 as the sports hosts the first-ever Illinois 300 in the 2022 Cup Series. Being as it’s a completely-new event, you’ll likely need all the betting help you can get and that’s what we’re here for. We’re giving you our best bets to win the NASCAR Illinois 300 right here!
NASCAR betting lines are typically wide-open, but that's especially the case at this inaugural event. The favored drivers are as long as +800 to win — a pretty staggering amount. At the moment, the following drivers listed below have the best odds to win the first-time event, per the top oddsmakers. Here's the list:
|Martin Truex Jr.
2022 NASCAR Illinois 300 Preview
So what is the Illinois 300 and why is NASCAR even here to begin with? Allow us to explain and preview what’s ahead at the 2022 Illinois 300 with the top things you need to know as a bettor entering race-day.
The event is behind held at the World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR for short) in Madison, Illinois. The town is right next to St. Louis, Missouri — which is where the bulk of the attending fans will likely come from anyway. This track has hosted Truck and Xfinity Series events in the past, but not the highest level of NASCAR racing, the Cup Series. The raceway is 1.25 miles long and being it's a 300-miler event, drivers will need to complete 240 laps to finish.
Obviously, being an inaugural event, we have zero driver or team history to base off of. This throws off our usual betting strategy of picking drivers with a history of success in a given event. With that said, it’s also not a 100-percent new track to some Cup Series drivers. In total, 22 Cup Series drivers have run at least one race here in the past. Of those, eight have won an event outright.
Kevin Harvick is the most decorated driver of the bunch with three wins at WWTR — twice in Xfinity (2000, 2001) and once in trucks (2010). Ross Chastain is the most recent winner, taking the trucks outing in 2019. Other prior winners include Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Cole Custer, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., and Bubba Wallace.
Though, how much those wins mean now is up for debate. Obviously, trucks and stock cars are completely different breeds. Then there’s also the element of the brand-new Next Gen car, which is a new wrinkle to account for. But we do believe the experience of running the truck once before means something, which could carry over to Sunday.
Betting Picks To Win NASCAR Illinois 300
As usual with any NASCAR event, you’ll want to make more than one betting pick to win the Illinois 300. That’s especially true here given the “newness” of the event. While many drivers are deserving of a bet, we feel these three should be atop your to-bet list:
Ah yes, we start with Busch, a previous winner of the WWTR. But that’s only half the reason why we’re picking Busch to take the first checkered flag here. The other half? His recent dominance at intermediate tracks — which is exactly what awaits him at the Illinois 300.
If you group all the intermediate-track races from 2021 and 2022, Busch actually has the best average finish (4.4) among the entire NASCAR circuit. That’s 2.6 better than the next-best driver, Kyle Larson. This recent string of success, plus his previous history at WWTR, makes Busch a no-brainer bet — if not to win, then at the very least to finish top-5.
We said it in the paragraph above that Larson has the second-best average finish at similar tracks to WWTR. That’s true, but what we failed to mention is that Larson has the most wins at intermediate tracks — with four separate victories in 2021. This makes Larson a real boom-or-bust bet on Sunday, whereas Busch is a “safer” choice since he’s more consistent than Larson (one win and six top-fives on these tracks in the past two years). But hey, this is gambling, and boom or bust is the name of the game hence our backing of Larson!
Blaney had a nightmare outing at last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600. He crashed and created a huge pile-up at the “Crown Jewel” race — failing to capitalize on his All-Star victory the weekend before. But we’re not deterred and still taking him as our third and final bet at the Illinois 300. Blaney is always in the thick of contention, hence why he’s fourth in the Cup Series right now. Needing a “rebound” performance after the DNF, we can see a motivated Blaney threatening for a win here.
How To Watch The NASCAR Illinois 300
Mark Sunday, June 5 on your calendar right now and book 3:30 pm EST — because that’s when this historic first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race is. You can watch the Illinois 300 on TV exclusively on FS1 if you’re inside the United States. Those that've "cut the cord" can also resort to fuboTV to stream the upcoming race.
How To Bet On NASCAR Illinois 300
There's a litany of sportsbooks to bet on the Illinois 300 this Sunday, however, the "best of the best" are featured in the below table. What makes these the best, though? Welp, killer promotions for one, but also its industry-leading lines on NASCAR events beyond just the Illinois 300. Read through our unbiased sportsbook reviews linked in the underneath table to understand what we mean!