Kyle Larson is the new betting favorite to win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series title.
Regular-season champion Martin Truex Jr. entered the playoffs as the favorite but lost that status after he squeaked through to the second round by five points. Truex finished 18th at Darlington, last at Kansas after he had a flat tire four laps into the race and was 19th at Bristol. But since he started the playoffs as the top seed because of his regular-season title and three regular-season wins, he was able to advance to the Round of 12.
Larson, meanwhile, won at Darlington, finished fourth at Kansas and was second at Bristol to Denny Hamlin.
Larson is +400 to win the title at BetMGM and starts the second round 13 points back of both Truex and William Byron. Truex is starting the second round atop the points standings because of the way the points reset at the beginning of each round. Both Truex and Byron began the playoffs with 36 bonus points and those 36 points carry over to the second round.
Larson, meanwhile, starts the second round six points closer than he was at the start of the playoffs thanks to getting five points for his Darlington win and a point for winning the first stage at Kansas.
Truex, Hamlin and Byron are the No. 2 favorites at +450 each and then no one else is close. Based on those odds, oddsmakers are making it clear that Larson, Hamlin, Truex and Byron are the favorites to be the four drivers racing heads up for the title at Phoenix in the winner-take-all championship race.
The No. 5 favorite to win the title is Kyle Busch at +1000. And you can make the case that Busch’s odds are overinflated given his current form. Busch’s best result in the past seven races since he was third at Richmond is a pair of seventh-place finishes. He’s also finished 37th, 36th and 20th in that span. While finishes of 11th and seventh in the first two races of the first round were enough to get him easily through to the second round, Busch needs to find some speed.
Here’s a look at the betting odds and the points standings heading into the first race of the second round on Sunday at Texas. After Texas, drivers will race at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval before the postseason field is whittled to eight.
NASCAR Cup Series points standings and title odds
1. Martin Truex Jr., 3,036 points (+450 to win Cup Series title)
1. William Byron, 3,036 (+450)
3. Denny Hamlin, 3,032 (+450)
4. Kyle Larson, 3,023 (+400)
5. Chris Buescher, 3,021 (+1100)
6. Kyle Busch, 3,019 (+1000)
7. Christopher Bell, 3,016 (+1300)
8. Tyler Reddick, 3,014 (+1200)
9. Ross Chastain, 3,011 (+1800)
10. Brad Keselowski, 3,011 (+1800)
11. Ryan Blaney, 3,008 (+2000)
12. Bubba Wallace, 3,000 (+5000)