The Cup Series playoffs began last weekend with the Round of 16 and things did not go according to plan. It was a driver, Erik Jones, who didn’t make the cut, who ended up coming away with the win in what was a wild race in Darlington. There are now just 2 more races to come before we see the field cut down to 12, and all the drivers will be looking to get the win that will automatically move them into the next round. This weekend, the action shifts to the Kansas Speedway and the running of the Hollywood Casino 400. We are all still waiting to see if someone will emerge from the pack to take a serious run at the title, but for now, everyone is taking things one race at a time. Let’s look at the current favorites along with their NASCAR Odds for this race.
NASCAR Cup Series Betting Preview for the 2022 Cook Out Southern 500 Race
Denny Hamlin (+550)
If you were looking for a driver guaranteed to make it all the way to the final four, you would have hard time not having Hamlin as part of the discussion. After all, this is a driver who has made there in each of the last 3 seasons, although he did fail to win a championship in any of those years. He made a very good start to the playoffs, finishing 2nd to Jones last weekend, which has the bookies believing he might be about to go on a good run of form. Hamlin finished 4th in Kansas earlier this season and was top 5 on that track in the playoffs last season. Definitely one to watch on Sunday,
Kyle Busch (+630)
We are not suggesting that this is a must win race for Busch, but if the Round of 16 were to end today, he would miss the cut. His season was going pretty well, but it all fell apart in the second half, and he has now has just 2 top 10 finishes in the last 12 races. Busch needs to find his form quickly if he is to get into the top 12 and move on. Of course, the easiest way to do that would be to win one of the next 2 races, which he is certainly capable of. He finished 3rd in Kansas earlier this season, so might this be his chance to get back on track?
Martin Truex Jr. (+770)
Over the last 5 seasons, Truex has won a Cup Series championship and finished 2nd in 3 others. To say that he has been consistent is putting things rather mildly. This season, though, he saw that run come to an end, as he failed to win a race and finished below the playoff line. Despite that disappointment, the bookies still like Truex to be in the picture this weekend. He has had some good form in Kansas, so maybe he can deliver the goods.
Kyle Larson (+780)
The defending champion looks to be in decent shape ahead of the next cut, but he has been a little up and down this season, so a win would certainly be welcomed. What makes him so dangerous this weekend, though, is that he has been very tough to beat at the Kansas Speedway. He finished 2nd there earlier this season and had a win on that track in the playoffs on his way to the Cup Series Championship in 2021.