NASCAR Cup Series Favorites, Odds for Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington

by Jonathan Howard

The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs are finally here and the Darlington favorites and odds are out. So, who is going to take the checkered flag? There are a few drivers in the back half of the field of 16 that need a win in these first three races. If they don’t get a win, it’s likely they will be gone come the second round. It’s a war of attrition and it all starts this weekend at The Track Too Tough to Tame.

This track has been home to some great races. Earlier this season, it was Joey Logano taking the win at The Lady In Black. The First Round of the NASCAR Playoffs is here. Chase Elliott might be the favorite to win the whole thing, but who is the favorite for this week?

NASCAR Favorite at Darlington – Kyle Larson

To lead the NASCAR favorites at Darlington this weekend, it’s Kyle Larson. Larson comes in at 6-1 odds for the Southern 500. He won the playoffs in 2021. Is this the first weekend in his journey to a back-to-back? There was some drama, allegedly, within Hendrick Motorsports. However, Elliott and Larson both have their eyes on the same prize and understand what it takes to get there.

So, no hard feelings, right? At least off the track, at least.

After the No. 5, we have Denny Hamlin at 7-1 odds. He’s the top Toyota driver heading into the weekend and is going to try and do something he’s never done before – win a championship. Hamlin was going to pull double-duty this weekend, but that won’t happen now. He is still sore from that big wreck at Daytona and won’t suit up in the Xfinity Series.

After that is a group of four that all come in at 8-1 odds ahead of the big day at Darlington. We have Elliott, Logano, Ross Chastain, and Tyler Reddick together. That is a strong group. If one of these six drivers doesn’t win the race, I’ll honestly be surprised.

However, there is still a talented crop of playoff drivers, as well as an entire field of non-playoff participants that will be racing just as hard as they were in March.

Those are the odds for NASCAR weekend in Darlington. It is going to be a wild ride. Who is your favorite heading into the weekend, Outsiders? And will we see any surprises early in the postseason? Check out the rest of the odds here.