As the NASCAR playoffs continue to roll on, we're left with one revelatory thought entering the Hollywood Casino 400: The season is almost over. Just two races remain in the Round of Eight and then it's off to the NASCAR Cup Championship.
For now, we're focused on NASCAR Hollywood Casino 400 picks and the question on everyone's mind: Is Kyle Larson really unbeatable?
Let's begin by taking a look at the latest NASCAR betting odds for all drivers laying top-20 moneylines, courtesy of the folks over at BetOnline:
|Driver to Win|
|Marin Truex Jr.||+1000|
Remember to double-check these NASCAR odds before making any of your NASCAR picks. The payouts will move at BetOnline and other top online sportsbooks prior to the opening gun.
NASCAR Hollywood Casino 400 Predictions
- When: Sunday, October 24
- Time: 3 p.m. EST
- Where: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas
- Length: 500 laps (263 miles)
Should Kyle Larson Still be the Favorite
After a brief reprieve from the winner's circle, during which he was displaced from the top spot in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, Kyle Larson (+250) is back with a vengeance.
Not only has he regained the top spot in the NASCAR standings, but he's won each of the past two races and is the first driver to qualify for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
With eight victories on the year and a spot assured in the most important race of the season, you might expect Larson to take it easy. Not us. He will want to maximize his starting spot in the championship heat, and he also knows that he can impact which racers he must directly compete against depending on where he finishes at the Hollywood Casino 400.
Put another way: Larson is a real threat to win his third consecutive event—and ninth overall on the year.
Better Bet: Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, William Byron?
Don't look now, but Ryan Blaney (+1000) is suddenly in second place in the overall NASCAR standings. His two first-place victories during the month of August loom large here.
Martin Truex Jr. (+1000), on the other hand, has seen his stock plunge. He was once considered the most imminent threat to Larson's throne. But while he has the second-most overall victories on the season, he has been very feast or famine in recent months.
Seeing the name William Byron (+1000) next to Blaney and Truex will throw some for a loop. He is 13th in the standings and has just one victory all season. But he's started to pick up steam amid consistent driving in the latter half of races. He is now up to 18 top-10 finishes, giving him one more than Truex.
For our money here, we think Blaney needs to be the pick. He has been more aggressive during early turns and shorter tracks are his forte.
Are Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin Now Rivals?
Joey Logano (+2000) and Denny Hamlin (+550) just cannot seem to get rid of one another. The AutoTrade EchoPark Automotive 500 marked the second consecutive race in which they were involved in a dustup together.
Neither driver seems to like the other. Both delivered verbal jabs in interviews and on social media after last week's collision.
The relevance of this rivalry is debatable. We're going to read a little into it. Logano and Hamlin will be similarly positioned to start the Hollywood Casino 400, and Logano has clearly made it a mission to try maneuvering around his foe whenever they're in close contact.
Hamlin is still the better bet, on account of he's third in the overall NASCAR standings and was until recently a top-10-finish machine. But you'll want to keep an eye on how he and Logano go head-to-head on earlier turns.
NASCAR Hollywood Casino 400 Pick
Let's make this clear right out of the gate: Picking against Kyle Larson doesn't feel good. On the contrary, it feels completely wrong. But winning three straight races is tough, and he's at his best on longer courses, when he has time to pick apart his opponents and either snake up the ladder or gradually build upon his lead.
Ryan Blaney catches our eye if we're not going with Larson. He has become a top-10 staple, and his driving style is conducive to standing out within races that span under 300 miles. He is ultra-aggressive from the opening gun, which can hurt him on longer laps or events that push 500 miles. The Hollywood Casino 400 offers no such obstacles.
Each lap is barely half a mile. Drivers need to be adept at passing from the inside and out and toggling positions on a whim. That describes Blaney's style almost perfectly.
OSB Prediction: Ryan Blaney (+1000)
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NASCAR betting: