NASCAR Cup Series Odds, Favorites for Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway

by Jonathan Howard

The final race of the Round of 16. Let’s break down the NASCAR odds and favorites heading into the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol. There is so much at stake and a handful of drivers that just can’t afford to have a bad day on Saturday. When it comes down to it, there will be four teams feeling like they could have done more.

The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs have gone through two races and there have been no automatic qualifiers. None of the field of 16 drivers has taken a checkered flag. Of course, that could change and likely will change on Saturday at Bristol. East Tennessee has been home to some great racing in the past. Without the dirt, this track is a lot of drivers’ favorite.

NASCAR Odds Favor Denny Hamlin

As we are still five days away from the actual race, the opening NASCAR odds could change. However, for right now, it’s Denny Hamlin who tops the list of favorites. The Joe Gibbs Racing veteran is sitting in the top three of the playoff points standings.

If he has a decent race, he should expect himself to advance. However, the 13/2 favorite will prefer to erase all doubt with a win. The No. 11 was fast last week, can that speed apply to the short track this week? Hamlin has two wins at Bristol and 10 total top-five finishes in his career at the track. That does not include dirt races.

Right behind Hamlin in the odds is Kyle Larson. At 15/2 the Hendrick Motorsports driver could make a major move to win back-to-back Cup Series championships, but there’s a lot of racing left to go. A win at Bristol, just like last season, could help propel the No. 5 to another title.

Teammate Chase Elliott is also listed at 15-2 odds. The 2020 champion had some tough times in the opening race of the playoffs. At Kansas, he was bale to bounce back a bit. Still, seventh in the standings is not where Elliott would like to be. Let’s see if he can grab a checkered flag this weekend.

Kevin Harvick Needs a Win

As we go down the list of odds, we see some interesting names. JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell are listed at 8/1 odds. It will be the first race since Busch signed with Richard Childress Racing for the 2023 season and beyond. Bell, meanwhile, has already advanced to the next round on points. So, no pressure for him on Saturday.

For Kevin Harvick, however, there is pressure. The NASCAR odds have him listed at 9/1. And when it comes to the playoff standings, he’s more than 30 points below the cutline. The point being, Harvick needs to win at Bristol. He’s done it before. Can he claim his fourth checkered flag at Bristol?

He sure thinks so. For the veteran driver, the plan is simple. “Go win.”