Four Xfinity Series drivers are out of contention for the championship following the third playoff NASCAR race in Charlotte. Daniel Hemric, Parker Kligerman, Josh Berry, and Jeb Burton have been eliminated from the title chase. Eight drivers remain as the Round of 8 begins this week in Las Vegas. Here’s a breakdown of this weekend’s Alsco Uniform 302 betting odds.
Favorites: Nemechek leads the usual favorites once again
John Hunter Nemechek (+170)
Nemechek followed his win in Texas with eighth place in Charlotte, including a stage 2 win, to stay atop the NASCAR championship standings. He’s enjoying a 16-point lead over Austin Hill as the Round of 8 begins this week.
Nemechek finished sixth in Las Vegas this spring, including a stage one win. He won the regular season finale in Kansas, a similar track, in dominant fashion. He led the most laps and won stages one and two. It’d be a surprise if he weren’t near the front this time.
Justin Allgaier (+300)
After a late crash with Burton, Allgaier had a poor result in Charlotte (37th). But his stage one win helps his playoff points, and he remains third in the standings. The NASCAR schedule turns to one of his better tracks this week.
Allgaier’s never won in Las Vegas, but he’s finished fifth or better in every fall Las Vegas race since it joined the calendar in 2018. In the spring Las Vegas race this year, he finished second to Hill. He broke through for his first Bristol win since 2010 earlier in the playoffs after years of top-five finishes. Could he do it again in Las Vegas?
Austin Hill (+550)
Hill won the spring Las Vegas race during his early run of victories on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule. His pace has been a bit off in the playoffs with 33rd-, seventh-, and ninth-place results in the Round of 12.
With his win in the first Las Vegas race, he could be in for a turnaround this week. He finished fifth in the season finale in Kansas, and this could be the track he needs to close the gap to Nemechek. If he wins, he’d be the second driver to sweep the two events after Chase Briscoe did so in 2020.
Josh Berry (+700)
Berry may be out of the running for the Xfinity championship, but he’s one of the best choices for victory in the NASCAR starting lineup this week. He won this event in 2022 and 2021.
Berry finished fifth in the spring race at Las Vegas and sixth in Kansas in the regular season finale. Bad results in Bristol (36th) and Texas (27th) doomed his hopes of moving past the Round of 12. Instead, he can now play spoiler to the rest of the playoff lineup.
Cole Custer (+800)
Custer’s second only to Nemechek in playoff results, with fourth, sixth, and second in the first three rounds. He hasn’t been especially strong at Las Vegas or Kansas this year, with 12th- and 36th-place results, respectively. But he’s done well there in previous years; Pole positions in 2018 and 2019 led to top-five finishes.
Alsco Uniforms 302 Betting Odds: Sleepers for this weekend
Chandler Smith (+1600)
Smith, one of two rookies still remaining in the playoff field, took pole position and led the most laps in the Las Vegas spring race. A late charge from Hill robbed him of the win after a pass before the final lap.
He’s been solid in the playoffs so far by finishing fifth, fourth, and 12th in the Round of 12. This is a bet on him replicating his form from the spring race.
Daniel Hemric (+4000)
Hemric’s seventh-place finish in Charlotte wasn’t enough to keep him in the playoffs past the Round of 12. This week, he could get revenge in Las Vegas, where he finished 10th in the spring race.
Riley Herbst (+4000)
Similarly, Herbst had a strong finish in the spring race (eighth). He didn’t qualify for the playoffs, but he’s done pretty well in the first three rounds. Eighth in Bristol, 37th in Texas, and fourth last week in Charlotte are up and down, but overall pretty strong for a non-playoff driver. This is a bet on him continuing his pace from last week and replicating his spring race form.
Alsco Uniforms 302 Betting Odds: Picks for Saturday’s race
The first round of the Xfinity playoffs whittled down the field to the eight drivers who drove the best and most consistently in 2023. With one exception (Jeb Burton), the remaining drivers are all of the non-Cup Series winners in the regular season.
That said, Berry looks the best among the favorites. This is by far his best event on the Xfinity calendar and he comes in off a great finish in Charlotte. For a bigger payout, look to Smith or Herbst.
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