NASCAR championship odds see huge shift before Martinsville

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Martinsville, NASCAR (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Martinsville, NASCAR (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Chase Elliott’s return to the NASCAR Cup Series was looking like a matter of “when” as opposed to “if”, and now that he is back, his championship odds have shot up.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott has been sidelined for the last six NASCAR Cup Series races after suffering a fractured left tibia in a Colorado snowboarding accident in early March.

The 2020 champion and five-time Most Popular Driver Award winner is set to return for this Sunday afternoon’s NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway.

As a result of Elliott’s return, the championship odds have shifted — even before he gets back behind the wheel of the No. 9 Chevrolet for this 400-lap race around the four-turn, 0.526-mile (0.847-kilometer) Ridgeway, Virginia oval.

Elliott was the preseason favorite to win the 2023 championship after finishing the 2022 season with the most wins, most total points, most laps led, and best average finish among full-time drivers.

But during his absence, Chase Elliott’s NASCAR Cup Series championship odds dropped all the way to +1300 (bet $100 to win $1,300).

Those odds made him the 10th favorite to win the championship. The news of his return alone has vaulted him back up to fourth at +850.

Here are the full updated NASCAR Cup Series championship odds for 2023, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

  • Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports: +650
  • Kyle Busch, Richard Childress Racing: +650
  • William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports: +800
  • Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports: +850
  • Joey Logano, Team Penske: +1000
  • Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing: +1000
  • Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing: +1000
  • Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing: +1000
  • Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing Team: +1200
  • Ryan Blaney, Team Penske: +1200
  • Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing: +1300
  • Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing: +1400
  • Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports: +2800
  • Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing: +4000
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing: +5000
  • Daniel Suarez, Trackhouse Racing Team: +5500
  • Ty Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing: +6000
  • Chase Briscoe, Stewart-Haas Racing: +6000
  • Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing: +6500
  • Ryan Preece, Stewart-Haas Racing: +6500
  • Austin Cindric, Team Penske: +6500
  • A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing: +10000
  • Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing: +10000
  • Erik Jones, Legacy Motor Club: +10000
  • Noah Gragson, Legacy Motor Club: +10000
  • Chris Buescher, RFK Racing: +10000
  • Todd Gilliland, Front Row Motorsports: +12000
  • Corey LaJoie, Spire Motorsports: +20000
  • Justin Haley, Kaulig Racing: +20000
  • Ty Dillon, Spire Motorsports: +20000
  • B.J. McLeod, Live Fast Motorsports: +20000
  • Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing: +20000
  • Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports: +20000
  • Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers Racing: +20000

Access full odds for the championship and bet now at FanDuel Sportsbook! Odds and availability are subject to change.

It stands to reason, since a big reason why his odds had gotten longer and longer were because with each race he missed, he dropped further below the playoff cut line and saw his chances to qualify for the playoffs decrease.

Now he is set to return with 18 regular season races remaining on the schedule. Hopefully if you were planning to bet on him, you got in at +1300.

Elliott was involved in a wreck in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, bringing an early end to his race. But he rebounded with a second place finish in the final race at Auto Club Speedway, his best ever finish at the track. He hasn’t competed since.

Elliott currently sits in 34th place in the point standings, last among full-time drivers, and is 134 points below the playoff cut line. With 18 races remaining before the playoffs, he could very well still get into the playoffs on points.

If not, he could get in by winning, though if there are more than 16 winners, he could still be at risk of missing the playoffs if he isn’t high enough in the standings.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

The NOCO 400 is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 16, and it is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from Martinsville Speedway beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now!