NASCAR: Now is the time to bet on Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Chase Elliott still isn’t locked into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, so his current championship odds provide prospective bettors with great value.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott enters Sunday afternoon’s Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway sitting in 27th place in the point standings, 84 points and 11 drivers below the playoff cut line.

Elliott has missed seven of the 16 races that have been run this season, six with a fractured left tibia he suffered in a Colorado snowboarding crash back in March and one because NASCAR suspended him for an on-track incident.

But in his nine starts, he has performed well. Aside from his two DNFs, he hasn’t finished lower than 12th place, and he has scored three top five finishes, including two in his last three starts. If he were to have scored his current points per race average in all 16 races, he would be 108 points clear of the playoff cut line.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which is now offering fans $150 just for signing up placing a $5 bet, lists the 2020 champion as the sixth favorite to win the 2023 championship at +900.

That’s why now is the time to bet on the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet to win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Yes, you get $150 in free bets instantly if you choose to bet $5 on Elliott to win the championship, which is more than the potential return on the $5 bet if he wins the title. That certainly cannot be ignored, though you’d get that $150 no matter what you bet on — another reason to sign up today.

But as for the bet itself, Elliott’s championship odds are currently reflective of the fact that he hasn’t yet locked himself into the playoffs.

Odds and availability subject to change.

+900 odds imply a one in 10 (10%) chance of winning the championship. Elliott has been in the round of 12 all seven seasons of his career, he has been in the round of 8 in each of the last six seasons, and he has been in the Championship 4 in each of the last three.

None of those three statistics is true for any other driver in the field.

That’s why these odds present incredible value. If Elliott locks himself into the playoffs, those odds are all but guaranteed to shorten significantly. Just look at last year, when he was listed as between a +200 and +300 favorite at most sportsbooks when the postseason began.

Chase Elliott should have plenty of great opportunities to lock himself in during the final 10 races of the 26-race regular season.

Three of the remaining 10 races on this year’s regular season schedule are races Elliott won last year. Three of the other seven are road or street course races. Do we need to remind anybody that Elliott is the winningest active driver on courses with left and right turns, having scored seven wins in such events?

Even if he doesn’t win, there is still a very real possibility that he gets into the playoffs on points. He did just take 14 points out of what was a 98-point deficit in a single weekend — and that was without scoring a single stage point.

In addition to wins, he led all drivers in total points, laps led, and average finish in the first season of the Next Gen car last year. We all know what he is capable of when he gets into a rhythm. Last year at this time, he was about to go on a stretch of five straight top two finishes, including three wins.

Of course, there is still a chance that he won’t get in at all. Even the best drivers miss the playoffs sometimes. Joey Logano didn’t make it in 2017. Jimmie Johnson didn’t make it in 2019 or 2020. Martin Truex Jr. didn’t make it in 2022.

It does happen.

That’s a risk you’ll have to take, but given the odds, it’s a risk that appears well worth taking, especially with two months left in the regular season. It’s not like Elliott is facing a must-win situation with one or two races left and an 80-point deficit to the cut line.

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

Elliott is set to go for his first win of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season this Sunday evening at Nashville Superspeedway in the Ally 400, which is set to be broadcast live on NBC starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. Elliott is the reigning winner of this race and is listed as the fourth favorite to win it this year at +850. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss it!