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Usual Suspects Larson, Hamlin Favored in Goodyear 400

It’s throwback weekend for the NASCAR Cup Series when they roll into Darlington Raceway for the Goodyear 400 on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, the NASCAR odds makers are all in on Kyle Larson to win at +400 NASCAR betting odds, with Denny Hamlin not far behind at +425. Will one of these two win for the third week in a row? Stay tuned for our NASCAR best bets of the week.


Usual Suspects Larson, Hamlin Favored in Goodyear 400
Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet/Logan Riely/Getty Images/AFP

Take Value With Byron Over Top Favorites

Larson was once the cream of the crop at Darlington, scoring four straight top-three finishes from 2018 to 2021. But he followed that up with three straight finishes outside the top-10. However, he regained his Darlington stripes when he won the Southern 500 last September. When Larson has been good this year, he has been good.

In addition to two wins, including last week at Kansas, the 2021 NASCAR Cup champ has finished in the top three in four of the last six races. If you are not on Larson to win, his top-three odds sit at +140.

Hamlin’s stats this year have been bordering on comical. He has three wins but only two other top-10s in nine races. It seemed he was on his way to a fourth win before the late caution rendered him in fifth. He has four wins under his belt at Darlington, though he has struggled a bit of late. He has finished outside the top-10 in three of the last four races, with his last win coming in the summer of 2021.

Hamlin’s top-three odds are similar to Larson’s at +150. We won’t go any further than that for either Hamlin or Larson as they boast minus NASCAR odds for anything outside a top-three. That, combined with inconsistency at Darlington, leaves us in a win-or-bust mode.

We will actually go in a different direction, though it is not particularly bold. We’ll go with Larson’s teammate, William Byron, to win. Even though he has won a series-high three wins this season, he has finished outside the top-20 the last two weeks and is in desperate need of a strong run.

Byron seems to win races when least expected, though his +750 odds make him far from an underdog. He has a win under his belt at Darlington and three-straight top-10s. The Hendrick cars should be up front, and we’ll go with Byron’s better value over his teammate Larson.



23XI, RFK Drivers Have Strong Betting Record at Darlington

If you look outside the favorites, look no further than 23XI Racing. While never winning a race at the historic track, Tyler Reddick has three top-threes in his last four starts. His NASCAR odds to finally get the win are +700, while his top-three odds sit at +220. We are not as bullish about his teammate Bubba Wallace. The driver of the 23 car has three-straight top-10s at Darlington, though only one is a top-five. His -110 odds aren’t particularly appealing, though his +375 top-five odds pose a much higher possible payout.



Another driver with a top-10 streak here is Brad Keselowski, who is still searching for his first win in over 100 races. We don’t believe he’ll snap that streak to the tune of +1600 odds, though we think it’s more than reasonable for Brad K to score his fourth-straight top-10 with not particularly appealing -140 odds.

We actually prefer Keselowski’s teammate, Chris Buescher, who is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Larson at Kansas – the slimmest margin of defeat in Cup Series history. Buescher’s -115 top-10 odds are a much better value than that of his teammate/boss. But the bet we love is for Buescher to finish as the top Ford, as the manufacturer has struggled massively so far, failing to reach victory lane. His +350 odds are a great value.



Red-Hot Gragson Merits Top-10 Props

If you are looking outside the usual suspects, look no further than the red-hot Noah Gragson. He has three-straight top-10s on three different kinds of tracks. He is carrying the banner for a still struggling Stewart-Haas Racing team. We say take a shot on Gragson and his +170 top-10 odds.

Erik Jones, one of our favorites for longshot top-10s, is returning to the series after missing two races with a broken back. It may be a stretch to expect a lot out of Jones as he re-adjusts to the car with his injury, but Darlington would be the track to do so. Jones opened his Cup career with six-straight top-10s at the “Lady in Black.” One might attribute that success to being in a Joe Gibbs car or an affiliate.

While his numbers have declined since joining what is now Legacy Motor Club back in 2021, Jones did manage an upset win in 2021 for what was then Petty GMS Motorsports, the first win for the iconic 43 car since 2014. While not a spectacular value, you are still getting Jones at plus-money when 13 drivers currently sit with minus-odds on the BetUS Sportsbook. Take the chance on Jones at +150.

If you want a true longshot, why not Carson Hocevar? He finished 10th at Texas and was in the top-10 late last week at Kansas. While Darlington is not quite an intermediate, it’s clear Hocevar does better on the bigger tracks. Plus, he finished a solid 17th in his lone Darlington start last year for Legacy, just his second-career Cup start. We’re not saying it is likely, but at +1000 odds, we are throwing a very low-stakes bet on Hocevar.


NASCAR Top-10 Picks:

  • Noah Gragson +150
  • Erik Jones +150
  • Carson Hocevar +1000



Questions Of The Day

Who is the favorite to win the Cup Series Championship?

Kyle Larson is the favorite at +400 odds.

Who has won the most races in 2024?

William Byron and Denny Hamlin each have three wins.

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