Five Races To Go Before Playoffs
The NASCAR Cup Series Playoff is fast approaching, with five races separating us from the main part of the 2022 season.
And while there is no way of telling who will come out on top and claim the throne, the NASCAR odds today suggest three drivers are in a great spot to do it.
Elliott Leads the Way
Chase Elliott has been phenomenal, having won four races, including three from his last five starts. His superb form ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff alone is enough to make Elliott the top dog on online sports betting outright markets, but there’s more.
Not only is Elliott by far the most dominant driver ahead of Verizon 200 at the Brickyard, but he is also one of the most consistent drivers of the season. Across 21 races, he has placed worse than 14th only four times (26h at Fontana, 29th at Kansas, 33rd in Concord, and 21st at WWT).
Moreover, he has eight top-5s and 15 top-10s which is significantly more than any of his competition. This also explains why Elliott leads the standings with 787 points, 105 ahead of Ross Chastain (682) in second and Ryal Blaney (676) in third.
The question is not so much whether Elliott can win his second NASCAR Cup Series title but rather whether he can keep this pace up heading into the playoffs.
Larson, Hamlin, and Kyle Busch Close Behind
Elliott is a clear favorite to win the NASCAR Cup Series title, but there are three drivers that could spoil his plans. According to the outright betting markets, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch are all in the mix to steal the spotlight.
The scores and odds of the three contenders make a lot of sense, but for different reasons. Larson is the defending champion and by far the most dominant driver of the 2021 season, which holds some weight, albeit he has not been nearly as impressive this year.
With one win to his name, Larson has a lot of catching up to do, and while he will compete in the playoffs, we need to see a bit more from him.
Kyle Busch is currently No. 8 on the season standings, and he has one victory to his name. Moreover, he has not finished inside the top 10 once across the last six starts.
Still, Busch has ten top-10s to his name and is one of the drivers you just know will shift into the higher gear once the playoffs roll around. Will that be enough to defeat Elliott is anyone’s guess, but you can feel confident saying that Busch will not go down without a fight.
Lastly, we have Hamlin, who is priced at +800 to win the NASCAR Cup Series Championship despite sitting in the No. 20 spot on the standings.
However, despite his less-than-convincing placement, Hamlin has won two races this year and has five top-5s. Admittedly, not the best record to hold, but like Busch, Hamlin is an entirely different beast in the playoffs.
And when we talk Hamlin, we have to touch on the fact that he should have won at Pocono but was disqualified. So even though he doesn’t have a W to his name, he has earned it.
2022 NASCAR Cup Series Outright Betting Odds
|ODDS TO WIN 2022 NASCAR CUP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP||MONEYLINE|
|Martin Truex Jr||+1400|
2022 NASCAR Cup Series Prediction
You could make a strong case for any of the top four favorites to win the championship, but as it stands now, it’s very difficult to fade Elliott.
There are no guarantees that he will be as dominant until the end of the regular season and in the playoffs, but with the form he has been showing of late, no other driver comes even close to him.
Betting on Elliott is a bit of a “what if” situation, as there is a world where he slips and crashes out of the title race. But until proven otherwise, Elliott is by far the most dominant driver of the 2022 season – like Larson was in 2021, and how did that end?