The NASCAR Cup Series Playoff will officially go down to 12 drivers after Saturday night's Bass Pro Shops Night Race in Bristol, Tennessee, which begins at 7:30 PM ET. This is the 29th race of the year and the third of the postseason. Last weekend saw Bubba Wallace edge out Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin for top spot at the Hollywood Casino 400. For Bristol, the betting odds are favoring Hamlin at +700, followed by regular season winner Chase Elliott (+750), Kyle Busch (+750), and Kyle Larson (+800). Keep reading for the Bristol race picks.
Before we get into the preview, odds, and predictions, make sure to check out our how to bet on NASCAR page.
Bristol Race Odds
|Martin Truex Jr||+1600|
What You Need to Know
Bristol speedway is 0.533 miles in length and is a 125-125-250 stage lap setup. There are some familiar names who have won this race in the past. Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports took first place in 2021, while Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin won the two years before that. It's the final race in the round of 16 for the playoffs. Kyle Busch has a total of three titles here in this race, the most of any active driver in the Cup Series.
Bristol Race Betting Preview
Busch is the first man we have to talk about here given his past success in Bristol. The veteran Joe Gibbs Racing star actually has eight total wins on this track, including his brilliance in the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. When a driver is this dominant on a specific speedway, it's hard to ignore it. He has the fourth-best odds to come out victorious at +750. But, Busch isn't driving all that well lately. He hasn't finished better than 10th in four straight outings. Last weekend in Kansas, it was a 20th place showing. Can he turn it around here in the Bristol race picks? We'll see.
Now we go to the odds favorite, Denny Hamlin. A 2019 winner as previously mentioned, Hamlin is in tremendous form right now and that's likely why he's a slim frontrunner in the sportsbooks. He's finished in second spot in back-to-back races, with Wallace barely beating him at the Hollywood Casino 400. In fact, Hamlin has four top-five finishes in his last six races. That's definitely a very good sign ahead of Saturday.
Elliott was on fire towards the tail end of the regular season, going on a run where he finished in either first or second in five consecutive races. The playoffs didn't start off great for him though, registering a 36th place finish at Darlington and then 11th in Kansas. Elliott obviously has what it takes to win the playoffs but he's not driving all that well at the moment. There is one reason he's an intriguing pick here, however. Elliott led for 129 laps in the 2021 edition and has three top-five finishes in his previous four short-track races. He's trending in the right direction and maybe it's time for Elliott to win his first playoff race of 2022.
Christopher Bell (+900) is another one to keep a close eye on. He doesn't typically drive very well at Bristol, posting 28th and 29th place finishes across the last two years. However, he's just one of two guys to finish within the top-five in both playoff races so far. He's also finished top-4 in in three of his last short-track races. He was fifth in Darlington to begin the postseason and then followed it up with third in Kansas. There's value with Bell in the Bristol race picks.
Joey Logano (+1200) is a serious contender for winning the playoffs and he's been good at Bristol in recent memory. Seven top-10s in his last 12 races at Bristol bodes well for his chances on Saturday. He's also had no shortage of success on short tracks. Keep an eye on Logano.
Bristol Race Picks
There are a few valuable bets here. As for the winner, I have to say I like Kyle Busch. The previous accolades at Bristol speak for itself. Also, I'm confident in Christopher Bell securing top-five again. Yes, he's not great at Bristol, but Bell is riding the momentum in the playoffs. Lastly, Chase Elliott will clutch up and finish top-three and prove why he was the regular season winner.
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