Don't look now, but the NASCAR season is winding down. All of eight races remain before the playoffs begin. Heading into the final stretch of the year, which drivers are the best bets to win 2021 NASCAR Cup Series? We answer that very question in this article!
NASCAR Futures Picks 2021
Eight points separate the top two drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series at this very moment. Denny Hamlin remains in the first place, a position he's held almost all season long. However, Kyle Larson is right on his tail after putting together a two-month hot streak for the ages.
Both drivers are running away with the crown. For reference, third-place William Byron is 66 points behind Larson for the second spot. Worse, fourth-place Joey Logano is 98 points away from Larson. But hey, a lot can happen from now and the playoff opener in Darlington come September. Even then, the playoff races can shake up the Cup Series even more.
Still, we have a large enough sample size of NASCAR races in 2021 to rethink how to approach a futures wager like who will win the 2021 Cup Series. Betting lines are currently unavailable at online bookies but we don't expect that to last. Still, we won't let that stop us from sharing our insight with you once they are live again.
Betting Pick — Hamlin or Larson?
If not for a blown tire, Larson would firmly be entrenched atop the leaderboard right now. It happened on the final lap of Saturday's Pocono 325 race. Larson was on the verge of finishing first — which would have been his fourth straight Cup Series win, a feat that's only been done eight times before.
Then disaster struck as Larson's left front tire went flat. With that fiasco, he settled for ninth place instead. If Larson had won, he would've earned 40 Cup Series points instead of 28. The 12-point swing could be the difference-maker in this tightly-contested battle for the NASCAR title.
Perhaps even worse than that, Larson let crucial playoff points slip through his grasp. With a win, he would've earned five automatic playoff points that he would carry the entire postseason.
Bygone will be bygones, though, and we still like Larson to outlast Hamlin for the Cup Series championship (though, those extra points would've made this betting choice easier). After leading the standings by as much as 101 points — which was the case at Dover in mid-May — Hamlin has been less than spectacular ever since.
We just don't sense any momentum with him, whereas Larson is bursting with confidence. He followed Saturday's disappointment with a runner-up finish in Sunday's Pocono 350. Counting the All-Star Open (which wasn't for any Cup points), Larson has now finished top-two in eight of the past nine NASCAR races. And c'mon, it would be nine consecutive competitions if not for an unlucky tire pop.
Unlike Hamlin, who's yet to take the checkered flag in any NASCAR race this year, Larson is racing with a killer instinct to him that we absolutely love. We're riding that instinct all the way to the bank as Larson is our favorite bet to make right now.
Is there anyone that can come out of the left field to steal the Cup Series from Hamlin or Larson? Welp, admittedly, we're not so confident there is. But... if someone is going to do it, it'll be Chase Elliott.
Who remembers how clutch he was during the playoffs last season? Elliott won three postseason races in 2020 to catapult him to a Cup Series win.
At the moment, he's sitting fifth overall in the standings. So he's in the hunt, he just needs some big finishes to catch Hamlin and/or Larson. He's done it before, so it's not unthinkable for him to repeat those heroic efforts again. You won't find a better "darkhorse" bet than Elliott right now.
So there you have it, we're backing Larson (and Elliott to a much lesser degree) in the Cup Series title hunt. By publishing this piece of advice, we're effectively "putting our money where our mouth is." Can you say the same? Whether you're tailing our pick or fading us, you'll want to have a futures bet locked and loaded as the season winds down.
If having a trusted sportsbook is what's holding you back from placing a bet, then look no further. The list underneath is among the very best bookmakers at offering NASCAR odds all year round. That goes for futures wagers or the weekly Sunday competitions. It's all there for the taking at the betting sites featured below.
Play at these books
But you know what's the best part of playing at these books? The sign-up bonuses, no question about it. These promo offers are geared at first-time players. If leveraged, new users stand to gain thousands of dollars in free play.
Take a glance at the table for full offer details. It's detailed right next to the red-colored "play now" button. You'll find the max bonus (in dollar figures) and match percentage. Essentially, the deal is earned after creating an account and funding it with your own money. That deposit is matched in free play by the bookmaker up to a certain amount.
These bonuses are a great tactic to build a betting bankroll. NASCAR, after all, is a long slog. There's a race every Sunday so extra funds will help "stay in the game." Visit the sites below to take advantage of these killer promos!
Eric has been passionate about sports since he was 10 years old. This passion led him to pursue a career in sports journalism, where he reported on various sporting events, ranging from high school games to professional leagues, for several years. Eric now channels his ...