Four weeks of the 2021 NASCAR season is in the books and it has been wholly unpredictable up to this point. This weekend, the drivers head west to Phoenix for the Instacart 500, where we might see the driver standings get shaken up one more time. It is tough to say how long we are going to keep seeing longshot winners take the checkered flag this season, but you do have to think that we are going to start seeing the favorites pick up some wins sooner rather than later. Whether that happens this weekend remains to be seen, but as we always do, we are going to take a look at a few of the favorites to win the Instacart 500, along with their NASCAR odds.
NASCAR Cup Series Race at Phoenix: 2021 Instacart 500 Odds & Picks
Brad Keselowski (+500)
Keselowski has the edge in the eyes of the bookies this weekend given that he is starting in pole position on Sunday. It has been a steady start to the season for Keselowski, who has a pair of top 5 finishes to his name, which is good enough to have him in second in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. While Keselowski is in as the favorite here, he does still seem like a bit of a longshot pick given that he has never won in 23 attempts at the Phoenix Speedway. He does have 7 top 5 finishes in those runs, including a second place run in his last race there.
Chase Elliott (+550)
While the defending champion is not exactly setting the world on fire in the early going, he has picked up enough points to be sitting in 4th place in the driver standings after the first month. He does have a top 5 finish, but he will be hoping for a repeat of what went down in Phoenix last season. In 2020, Elliott had wins under his belt, which helped him get into the final four heading into the last race of the season. That race came at Phoenix, where he won and clinched the title. In 10 races at Phoenix, Elliott has been in the top 10 no less than 6 times, so definitely a threat.
Denny Hamlin (+650)
If I were to go out on a limb and make a prediction for this race, I would probably be looking at Denny Hamlin. Phoenix Speedway is a track where Hamlin, more often than not, delivers his best. He has been in the top 5 at Phoenix in 4 of his last 6 runs there, one of which was a win back in 2019. That was his second win at this track, with the other coming in 2012. Hamlin is at the top of the driver standings after 4 races, so he is certainly in form to start the season.
Kevin Harvick (+650)
No driver won more races than Harvick last season, and while he has yet to break his goose egg this year, this may well be where it happens. Harvick is on an insane run at Phoenix, finishing in the top 10 in 15 straight races at that track. As if that were not impressive enough, he has 6 wins during that run. Overall, he has 9 wins in 36 attempts at Phoenix Speedway, which is a fantastic average, and why I think he might get the win on Sunday.
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