In NASCAR, there tends to be two very different attitudes when talking about the playoffs versus the regular season. During the regular season, it’s always great to win, but drivers don’t get the same rewards that they do when they take a checkered flag in the playoffs. Yes, picking up points in the postseason is still important, but the reality is that winning guarantees a move to the next round. As we head into the final race in the Round of 8, there is only 1 driver who can relax in Martinsville this weekend. That would be Joey Logano, who punched his ticket into the final 4 already. There are 3 more spots up for grabs, but who gets them? Let’s look ahead to the Xfinity 500 and take a look at the current favorites so you can place your bets against their NASCAR Odds.
NASCAR Cup Series Betting Analysis for the 2022 Xfinity 500 Race
Chase Elliott (+620)
In a post written earlier this week, I looked ahead to the end of the season and made predictions about the final top 3 in the Cup Series. In that piece, I predicted that Elliott would end up as the champion this season, but he still has some work to do to make that happen. As it stands right now, he is 3rd in the driver standings and looks like a good bet to head into the final 4, even without a win, but you can bet that he would like the guaranteed spot that comes with a win. If you go back to the 2020 season, when Elliott won it all, he was in a similar position as he is now and made it into the final 4 with a win in Martinsville. Will history repeat?
Denny Hamlin (+720)
When it comes time for playoff cuts, we always see some unexpected names fall by the wayside. Most recently, it was defending champion Kyle Larson failing to make it into the Round of 8. Right now, Hamlin is sitting right below the cut line, so the pressure is very much on his shoulders heading into the Xfinity 500. Hamlin has made the final 4 in each of the last 3 seasons but given that he has not been great in Martinsville in recent runs, he is very much in trouble heading into this one.
Ryan Blaney (+790)
Yet another driver coming into the weekend with some real pressure, as Blaney is currently sitting below Hamlin in 6th place overall. Whether he makes it into the next round or not, this has been another good season for Blaney, but a trip to the final 4 would mark a major step forward in his career. The problem that he has is that he has yet to win a race this season, which he might need to do in Martinsville if he is to progress.
William Byron (+790)
Let’s be honest, if you had predicted William Byron making the top 4 prior to the start of the season, you should probably step forward and take a bow. He had never gone beyond the Round of 12 in previous seasons, so predicting that next step would have been bold indeed. He is currently sitting in that top 4 spot right now, but this is the most pressure-laden race of the season, especially with more established drivers looking to make a move this weekend. Byron won in Martinsville earlier this season, so he cannot be counted out.