The final race of the NASCAR Cup Series season takes the grid from Martinsville to Phoenix. Ryan Blaney’s win in Martinsville, his second of the playoffs, secured his spot among the final four drivers. It’s down to Blaney, Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, and William Byron for the 2023 Cup Series title. For the fourth season, Phoenix hosts the season finale and there’s plenty to bet on besides the winner. Here are some of the best 2023 Cup Series championship bets.
Cup Series Championship Race: Bets for Victory
Kyle Larson (+160)
Larson’s the favorite to take his second title in three years with a win this week. Though he didn’t win last time out in Martinsville, his sixth-place finish was a strong showing considering it’s one of his worst tracks on the Cup Series schedule.
This week is much more welcoming as Phoenix is one of his better tracks. In 18 career races there, he’s finished at least 10th 11 times. He’s a strong qualifier there: in those 18 races, he’s started outside the top 10 just twice. He won this event in 2021 to take his first Cup Series title. In the first Phoenix race this year, he qualified on pole position and led the most laps but finished fourth. He’s the favorite for excellent reasons.
William Byron (+300)
Byron won the spring race at Phoenix this year, his first Cup Series victory at the track. It was his second win in the first four races of the season and was a sign of his NASCAR results to come.
Byron’s been stellar in the 2023 Cup Series playoffs. He’s finished 15th or better in every playoff race. No one on the Cup Series grid can match that, hence why he was able to make the championship race without winning in the Round of 8. He’s gotten hot at the perfect time of the season. With this momentum, he’ll rightfully be near the front once again.
Ryan Blaney (+300)
His win in Martinsville secured his spot in the championship to cap off a fantastic Round of 8. Sixth in Las Vegas, second in Homestead, and the win in Martinsville is a stretch of results no one in the Cup Series can match.
He’s never won in Phoenix but has historically always had great pace around the track. He’s started from pole position three times in 15 races there, most recently in the spring race last season. He finished second in his last two races there. In the last four years, he’s only finished outside the top 10 once due to a crash. Blaney is rightfully a favorite for his first win in Phoenix to take the title.
Christopher Bell (+450)
Bell has the longest odds for victory among the championship four’s NASCAR betting lines. It’s understandable: seven career starts in Phoenix have yet to yield a top-five result. He’s never led a lap at the track and his spring race result (sixth) was by far the best he’s done there.
But Bell’s earning a well-deserved reputation as one of the sport’s best closers. He only had one regular season win but beat out more experienced teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin in the playoffs to make the championship four. He’s the only returning driver from last year’s championship four and has the consistency to win his first title.
Denny Hamlin (+2000)
Hamlin missed out on the championship four after leading the most laps and winning stage one in Martinsville. He’s one of the best drivers in Phoenix with an average finish of 10th in 36 career races. In similar tracks this year, he’s finished second (Gateway and Richmond) and seventh (Loudon). He won this event in 2019 and has consistently qualified well with 11 top-10 starts in his last 12 NASCAR races in Phoenix. He’s missed out on that elusive title and could instead play spoiler with a win here.
2023 Cup Series Championship Bets: Top 3 Finish
Favorites: Larson (-300), Byron (-150), Blaney (-175)
This makes sense given the playoff form and the NASCAR points standings. But there are a couple drivers who could break through.
Tyler Reddick (+425)
Reddick’s early playoff success fell away after the Round of 16. Pole position and a stage one win in Charlotte was his best result in the Round of 12 and third in Homestead made for his best finish in the Round of 8. But he’s raced well in Phoenix before. He finished third here in the spring race in the 2022 spring race as well. A trip to the top trio will be a nice way for him to finish the season.
Kevin Harvick (+350)
No active driver can match Harvick’s average finish in Phoenix (eighth). He hasn’t finished outside the top 10 in Phoenix since 2013. He’s finished at least eighth in every race since 2019. In the spring race, he raced from 15th to fifth. It’d be a fitting end to Harvick’s Cup Series career to notch a top-three finish.
2023 Cup Series Championship Bets: Top 5 Finish
Favorites: Larson (-400), Byron (-250), Blaney (-250), Bell (-140)
Others to consider: Harvick (+200), Hamlin (+250), Joey Logano (+375)
If you’re worried about betting big on Harvick or Hamlin within the top three, a top-five bet may be a happy medium. It’s still a worthwhile return with less risk involved with needing the win.
Logano’s included here as he won this race last season and Phoenix is one of his better tracks. He raced well in similar tracks in 2023 with second in Loudon, third in Gateway, and fourth in Richmond. He raced to fifth in Martinsville last week. It’s easy to imagine him making it there again this week.
2023 Cup Series Championship Race Predictions
Finally, the final race of the season is here. Thousands of laps over three dozen races has brought us to Phoenix and a chance to see a first-time champion crowned Sunday.
Byron looks like the best choice for victory Sunday. He’s been the most consistent driver during the playoffs and won in Phoenix this spring. He’d be the first Cup Series driver to sweep Phoenix races since Harvick in 2014. If you’re looking for a bigger payout, Hamlin’s definitely the way to go.
A top three of Byron, Larson, and Hamlin looks promising. Adding in Harvick and Logano for the top five will earn a nice payout as well.
For NASCAR betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.
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