The NASCAR Cup Series continues Sunday at Darlington Raceway as the circuit draws closer to the All-Star Race on May 22. Here, we’ll break down and analyze the NASCAR Goodyear 400 odds along with providing value picks among this weekend’s odds.
Who Wins Here?
When placing a bet on NASCAR, the first thing you should do is simply go and look and see who’s won at the track, — both recently and all time. Denny Hamlin is at the top, leading all active drivers with four wins at Darlington. His first win came back in 2010 and his most recent victory came the last time the Cup Series ran at Darlington in September 2021. That was just the second year the raceway hosted two Cup series races. Those wins are included in Hamlin’s 11 top-five finishes on the track. With 15 top-10 finishes in 19 career Cup Series races here, it’s safe to say Hamlin is quite comfortable here, also illustrated by his 7.1 average finish. He’s currently tied for the second-lowest odds to win Sunday at +700.
Right there with Hamlin at +700 is Martin Truex Jr., who has two wins of his own at Darlington. He has four top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes in 19 races. His first win came back in 2016, but he was quite successful when the Cup Series ran at Darlington last year, taking the checkered flag in the May race followed by a fourth-place finish in September.
While Kevin Harvick may be behind Hamlin in wins (3) at Darlington, he does have the most laps led among active drivers. In 28 races, he has an average finish of 12.4. He’s finished in the top 10 17 times and in the top five 12 times. What’s been impressive is that Harvick hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 at Darlington since 2012 and has only finished outside of the top five twice in that span. Yet, Harvick currently sits at +1400 to win Sunday.
Are Favorites Good Value?
Kyle Larson is currently the betting favorite to take the checkered flag Sunday at +450. However, he has never won at Darlington. He’s been a classic case of always a bridesmaid, never a bride, finishing second at Darlington three races in a row. He also has a pair of third-place finishes. While he may have significantly fewer races than Harvick or Hamlin on this track, Larson is the active leader in terms of average finish at 5.5. In Vegas’ eyes, this will be the weekend Larson finally finds himself in Victory Lane.
Tied with Truex and Hamlin at +700 is Chase Elliott, who comes into Darlington with momentum after taking the checkered flag at the Monster Mile in Dover on Monday. While Elliott isn’t bad at Darlington, he’s not particularly amazing, either. He’s finished in the top five just twice. However, Chevys are rolling right now, having won seven of the 11 races this season. Vegas seems to expect the Chevys to remain strong Sunday.
What Happened Last Time?
In last year’s Goodyear 400, Truex took the checkered flag with Larson finishing second. In the fall running at Darlington, Hamlin won.
Best of the Rest
Currently, at +900, Kyle Busch has some value. He finished third in last year’s Goodyear 400 that saw three Toyotas from Joe Gibbs Racing finish in the top five. Busch has a win at Darlington, but it came back in 2008. In 20 races, Busch has finished inside the top 10 13 times and inside the top five six times While Toyotas haven’t fared as well this year as in previous years, expect to see one of them battling it out late.
Like Toyota, Ford also hasn’t fared well this year with just two wins. However, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski provide some value. Keselowski (+4000) won at Darlington in 2018 and has eight top-10 finishes and five top-five finishes in 16 races. His average finish is 11.1.
Logano (+1500) has never won at Darlington, but he has finished in the top 10 in half of his 16 career races at the track to go along with four top-five finishes. Since 2019, he has had an average finish of 10.3 in six races and will likely be one of the Fords battling it out late.
It would be remiss to not mention Ross Chastain (+1200) here. He has commanded the respect of everyone across the sport this season. After the Daytona 500, where he finished 40th, it was Austin Cindric that had the buzz. Chastain didn’t do much the following week at California, but he’s been on a tear since. He’s one of only two drivers with multiple wins this season. Even outside of the wins, he’s been consistent. He has two second-place finishes, two thirds and a fifth. At this point, you have to figure out a way to get Chastain on your card, even if it’s not to win outright.
However, there is one driver that could prove to be the steal and bargain of the weekend. At +4000 value, Erik Jones has to be on the card. The most recent of his two career wins came in 2019 at Darlington. In eight races, he has six top-10 finishes and four top-five finishes. His stats are extremely similar to Larson’s five top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes. At +4000 odds? That sounds like great value.
Larson is the favorite among the odds to take the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at +450. Elliott is right behind him at +600. William Byron is +700. Ryan Blaney is +800 while Hamlin and Kyle Busch are +900.Follow us on Twitter