The chase for the title is down to eight drivers with three races left in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. While there is little time remaining, there isl a huge window of opportunities for the remaining seven drivers to cause some problems for current frontrunner, Kyle Larson.
It’s anyone’s guess whether any driver can dethrone Larson, but we should get a clearer answer Sunday at the Hollywood Casino 400. The race will take place on Kansas Speedway, and it marks the second event in the Round of 8.
The NASCAR odds for this weekend are out, so it’s time to look at who the main candidates are to win and which underdogs have in them to cause an upset. We will try to answer that and more with our free NASCAR Hollywood Casino 400 betting preview.
Larson in Hot Form
Kyle Larson (+175) is in hot form ahead of the season’s final three races, having won at Charlotte and Texas. Given his success, and particularly in the playoffs, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Larson is once again priced as the main favorite on the sports betting sites.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 17, 2021
There is no denying that Larson has been the most dominant driver in the NASCAR Cup series but he seems to have found another gear in the playoffs. With eight wins to his name and three from seven playoffs races, Larson is a serious candidate for the championship title.
“I knew we had a good shot to win today. Our car was amazing, probably the best 550 (horsepower) package, intermediate car we’ve had all year. This is so cool. And we get to race for a championship in a couple weeks. This is crazy.”
Hamlin and Busch Looking To Spoil The Party
Denny Hamlin (+750) and Kyle Busch (+750) travel to Kansas as the second and third favorites to win the 2021 Hollywood Casino 400. Hamlin is priced fairly low despite coming off his worst result of the playoffs, having placed 11th in Texas.
However, Hamlin still has four top-five finishes across seven races regardless of his unconvincing showing last time out. Admittedly, Hamlin hasn’t won as many races as Larson, but he has been one of the most consistent drivers.
Busch is priced just slightly higher than Hamlin, and that seems fair. He has had a slow start to the playoffs but has improved and holds three top-10s across his last four starts.
Although not spectacular results, Busch won at Kansas earlier this season and consistently does well on this track. He has four top-5s across his last six starts on the Kansas Speedway and definitely deserves some respect.
It’s tough to make a case against Larson to win in Kansas, but the offered betting odds make betting on him far less appealing. Of course, scores and odds go hand-in-hand, and since Larson has achieved the most out of the remaining eight drivers, it makes sense that he is the top favorite, but that doesn’t mean he is a good bet at +175.
The other drivers mentioned – Busch and Hamlin – are understandably priced at higher odds than the current frontrunner, but you can’t say that neither has a chance to win. On the contrary, Hamlin has been one of the most consistent playoffs drivers, while Busch never disappointed in Kansas.
Out of the two, we like Hamlin better. He placed 11th last time out, which could make you concerned, but one poor result doesn’t take away from what he has achieved in previous races. What’s more, Hamlin has three wins in Kansas across 26 starts (2019,2020), eight top-5s, and nine top-10s.
Even though he hasn’t impressed at Kansas in his last two appearances (15th, 12th), Hamlin checks all the marks for a driver that can cause an upset and make Larson’s road to the championship title a bit tougher.