NASCAR: 3 drivers you should not have bet on before Las Vegas

Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR playoffs (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR playoffs (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

There has been lots of NASCAR Cup Series championship odds movement following the round of 8 opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway got the round of 8 of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs underway this past Sunday afternoon with the South Point 400, a race won by Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson.

The 2021 champion became the first driver to lock himself into the Championship 4, and as a result, he now finds himself as the betting favorite to win this year’s championship.

Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron had been the favorite after entering the round of 8 as the points — and wins — leader.

Byron is still listed second at FanDuel Sportsbook, which is giving fans an instant $200 just for betting $5.

But several drivers have seen their odds grow longer after the South Point 400. Hopefully you didn’t bet on any of them before the race.

This isn’t to say that you should go back in time and withdraw your wagers on any of these three drivers to win at Las Vegas (though that would theoretically be the smart thing to do, if it were possible).

This is simply to say that if you do truly believe that any one of them can win this year’s championship, we hope you waited to place a wager, because they all have longer odds now.

If you’re still confident, now would be the time to capitalize on well-paying odds and make a bet with two races remaining in the round of 8.

And if you’re not confident, then hopefully you never made the bet.

NASCAR drivers you should not have bet on: No. 1 – Ryan Blaney

I hate using the term “must-win” because when you say “must-win”, that implies that there is no mathematical way somebody can advance without winning, and theoretically, that isn’t the case for Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney yet.

Having said that, yes, Blaney probably needed to win to get to the Championship 4 after he was disqualified from the Las Vegas race and thus scored just one point, putting him a whopping 56 points below the cut line heading into race two of three in the round of 8.

Even though that disqualification was rescinded and he was credited with a sixth place finish, he still finds himself 17 points behind. After entering the round of 8 at +1100, the +3400 longshot is now on the verge of dropping to 0-for-5 in terms of round of 8 advancements to the Championship 4.

NASCAR drivers you should not have bet on: No. 2 – Chris Buescher

Competing for a resurgent RFK Racing team, Chris Buescher secured three straight oval wins to conclude the regular season, and he continued his strong season through the first two rounds of the playoffs.

But the round of 8 schedule did not really suit his strengths, and he fell further below the cut line ever after a solid 10th place run at Las Vegas, resulting in a major shift in his odds from +850 to +2400.

NASCAR drivers you should not have bet on: No. 3 – Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. didn’t see his odds lengthen as much as Blaney and Buescher did, but he entered the round of 8 slightly overpriced as the third favorite at +450. He didn’t secure a single top 15 finish in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and he had gone nearly two months without a top 10 finish.

Now, even after an eighth place finish at Las Vegas, his odds have gotten longer, as he simply doesn’t seem to be as strong as he was during the mid-summer stretch.

Perhaps he can get it together and reestablish himself as a legitimate contender at Homestead and Martinsville, two tracks where he has won before, and lock into the Championship 4 at Phoenix for the first time since 2021.

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

The 4Ever 400 is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Homestead-Miami Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, October 22. If you have yet to begin a free trial of FuboTV, do so today!