It's officially Nascar playoff season, and as always, there will be better opportunities aplenty. Much of the focus will be paid to individual events, such as the Cook Out Southern 500 and Bass Pro Nights Shop Race in advance of the final race, slated to be held in Phoenix in November. And yet, there is real value in trying to pin down the bigger picture before it starts to shrink.
The benefit of going over 2021 Nascar championship betting odds and predictions now is that you're bound to get the best prices. Potential payouts get less lucrative as the playoff field narrows.
With this in mind, here are the latest Nascar championship odds, courtesy of Bovada:
|Martin Truex Jr.||+350||+350||+350|
Remember: We have months to go before the Nascar champion is actually crowned, so you'll want to confirm all Nascar odds at Bovada and all the other top online sportsbooks, as they will move between now and early November.
2021 Nascar Championship Predictions
For those not familiar with Nascar playoff betting, you'll want to pay close attention to the schedule.
It begins with the Round of 16, a bracket that includes three separate races. From there, it moves into a field of 12, which hosts another three races. After that, Nascar narrows the championship pursuit down to eight drivers, who will partake in yet another three races. And then, finally, the playoffs conclude with four remaining drivers who duke it out in the Nascar Cup Series Championship.
Our Nascar picks are aimed at trying to identify which driver will wind up winning that last race. However, because the field is so large right now, it's a little trickier than normal. We don't know which four drivers will make it to the end. And that's fine. That extra risk is both great for prospective payouts and adds another layer of fun to this whole process.
Should Kyle Larson be the Nascar Favorite?
Kyle Larson (+225) has dominated the Nascar field for much of the season. He has five victories to his name and 18 top-10 finishes overall. Both marks lead the entire standings by at least two races apiece, a truly impressive differential this late into the season.
Still, NASCAR's favorite status is oftentimes weird. Any driver can win any given race and throw the entire hierarchy for a whirl. In recent months, too, Larson has needed to worry about the rise of Ryan Blaney (+1200), who is now tied for second in the overall standings on the back of his 14 top-10 finishes and the two consecutive first-place spots he's nabbed in the past two races.
It's important to note, though, that the Nascar playoff series is built to favor the top drivers. It also isn't a win-or-go-home situation. The points system matters. Larson has built up a nice lead—which he has expanded upon with two straight second-place finishes—and should definitely be favored to maintain his position at the top.
Better Bet: Chase Elliott or Kyle Busch?
Neither Chase Elliott (+600) nor Kyle Busch (+650) are racing at their absolute best right now. They each have two victories and a single pole position finish on the season, and Elliott was the most recent of the pair to pick up an overall win, all the way back during the Nascar Cup Series at Road America.
This isn't to say Elliott and Busch are out of it. They're not. They are fifth and fourth, respectively, in the overall standings.
Our preference at this point is Elliott. He's not paying out as much, but he has proven to be the more effective driver later in races.
Best Nascar Underdog Odds
Two options seemingly stand out here. The first is Martin Truex Jr. (+800), who despite being tied for second in the 2021 Nascar standings barely lays top-five odds at the moment.
Sportsbooks seem to be favoring his slump. He hasn't won a race—or even finished in second place—since the Nascar Cup Series at Darlington, which took place all the way back in May. He's surviving thanks to the three first-place finishes he picked up earlier in the year.
Normally, he would be our best underdog. But we can't quit Ryan Blaney (+1200) at the moment. He has really burst onto the scene with his back-to-back victories. It's time to take him seriously.
Nascar Cup Championship Pick
Many might view Ryan Blaney's recent uptick as some sort of a fluke. Not us.
Blaney is the real deal. He hasn't just surged up the standings because of his recent first-place closes. He has four top-five finishes over his last five races.
Perhaps he's peaking, but he's doing so at the best possible time. And given the skill, he's shown navigating outside passes during the middle and at the end of races, we're inclined to step out on a dark-horse limb with him. Maybe this changes. Right now, though, he's our guy.
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your Nascar betting: