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Road America 180 Predictions: Don’t Be Afraid to Look Past the Top Dog

Written by: Reid Spencer
Published July 28, 2023
11 min read
  • AJ Allmendinger is the favorite, but his odds are extraordinarily short.
  • Not known as a road course ace, Austin Hill is brimming with confidence.
  • Speaking of confidence, Parker Kligerman has plenty—and rightly so.

Road America 180 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.

AJ Allmendinger-105
Cole Custer+450
Sheldon Creed+850
Justin Allgaier+1200
Parker Kligerman+1400
John Hunter Nemechek+1600
Austin Hill+1600
Sammy Smith+2000
Connor Mosack+2200
Sam Mayer+2500
Chandler Smith+2800

Our Picks for the Road America 180

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Road America 180 Xfinity Predictions

Road America 180 Predictions

AJ Allmendinger Is Heavy Favorite, But His Odds Are Way Too Short

There’s no doubt that AJ Allmendinger is the class of the field when he chooses to run a NASCAR Xfinity Series race on a road course.

Naturally enough, he’s a prohibitive favorite as the series visits Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, for Saturday’s Road America 180.

There’s plenty of justification for that status. Eleven of The Dinger’s 17 Xfinity wins and both his NASCAR Cup Series victories have come on road courses. Road America was the site of his first-ever NASCAR triumph, back in 2013.

The strange thing is that Allmendinger is foregoing practice and qualifying of his Cup car to race at Road America, even though he is on the bubble for the Cup Playoffs in his full-time ride.

The problem at Road America is that Allmendinger is posted at -105 via DraftKings Sportsbook—worse than even odds. With 38 drivers entered in the race—perhaps 15-20 of whom are capable of winning—we can’t justify picking Dinger for such short money.

Never Mind the Venue, Austin Hill Has Been Thriving in the No. 21 Car

Not to brag, but we’ve ridden a horse named Austin Hill to a succession of correct picks this season.

Why? Because we think Hill and his No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team have been consistently underrated on certain tracks, despite the four victories Hill has posted in the first 19 NASCAR Xfinity Series races.

In the last 10 events, Hill has scored eight top fives, the latest a victory at Pocono last Saturday. Pocono is a 2.5-mile track with three distinct corners and the way it drives bears similarities to a road course.

Hence, we’re picking Hill to finish in the top three once again at a nice, healthy +450 via DraftKings. We’ll keep riding the horse until he throws us.

Parker Kligerman Doesn’t Lack Confidence Heading to Road America

For a driver who’s currently on the outside of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, Parker Kligerman certainly is exuding confidence.

Kligerman hasn’t won a race this year, but his road course skills are well-known, and he should be a factor in Saturday’s Road America 180.

In his last two road course starts, Kligerman finished fifth at Sonoma and ninth on the Chicago Street Course. He was in the mix for the win at Portland earlier in the season before he changed Turn 1 on the final restart.

He’s on the record saying he can lead practice, win the pole, and take the checkered flag this weekend.

Road America is a sprawling layout of more than four miles, and it’s unlikely we’ll see the same sort of congestion that typified the race at Portland.

We’re picking Kligerman (+1400 DraftKings) for the same reason we’re rejecting Allmendinger—value. 

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How to Watch the Explore the Road America 180

  • Race: Road America NASCAR Xfinity Series race
  • Location: Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wis.)
  • Time: Saturday, July 29, 3 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: NBC
Image for Reid Spencer


Reid Spencer

218 Articles

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]

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