And just like that, we are down to 8 drivers left standing in the Cup Series playoffs. There are now just 3 races remaining before we get to the final cut that will take us down to the last 4 drivers. The first of those races goes on Sunday, with the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. The battle for those final 4 spots is going to be fun to watch, as there are some very big names sitting below the cut line, including Chase Elliott, the defending Cup Series champion. One win can change everything, though, so expect to see some wild races over the next 3 weeks. For now, let’s take a look at the favorites for this one along with their NASCAR odds.
NASCAR Cup Series Betting: Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Race Preview
Kyle Larson (+250)
When it comes to looking at the favorites for this race, you have to start with the man who has been at the top of his game all season long. Larson has already won 7 races this season, including the final race in the Round of 12 last weekend. If there is a reason to consider betting against Larson this weekend, it is that he has not been that great on this Texas track. He has had 13 career runs on that track in the Cup Series, and while his best finish was 2nd back in 2017, his average finish across all those races is 15th. Larson might just be beatable this weekend.
Denny Hamlin (+650)
After a regular season where Hamlin remained consistent but failed to win, he upped the ante in the playoffs, winning 2 races already in the postseason. This is essentially the opposite path that Hamlin took last season, although he did make it into the final 4 in 2020. Given his experience last season, you would not bet against him getting into that final race of the season with a chance to win it all. Hamlin last won in Texas in 2019, which was his 3rd career win on this track. Given that he has wind here and appears to be hitting form at the right time, Hamlin looks like a very good bet.
Chase Elliott (+650)
Last season, Elliott did enough to work his way into the final four before delivering a winning effort in the final race of the season. He is not guaranteed a spot in the final four this season, but he has 3 races to put that right. Ideally, that would mean picking up a win in one of the next 3 races. When you are the champion, you tend to always be among the favorites, but let’s not forget that Elliott is yet to win at this track and has failed to crack the top 10 in his last 4 runs in Texas.
Kyle Busch (+750)
Busch is another driver sitting just below the cut line, which means he could really use a win to guarantee himself a spot in that coveted final four. Busch has a pair of wins on the season, but he also has an excellent record in Texas. He has 4 wins at the Texas Motor Speedway, including a win in this race in 2020. Given that record, you have to say that he looks like an absolute steal at these odds.
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