Oddsmakers believe Sunday’s race at Pocono is wide open.
Eight drivers have odds of +1000 or better ahead of the first race at the 2.5-mile triangle with NASCAR’s new Cup Series car (3 p.m. ET, USA). There’s no track that compares well to Pocono, so it’s understandable how the race could be hard to project. Each of the track’s three corners are distinct from one another and two of the track’s three straightaways are extremely long.
Chase Elliott is the points leader and heads into the weekend as the favorite to win at +700. Elliott has five consecutive top-10 finishes and has finished either first or second in each of the last four races. He also has a streak of five races with a starting spot of fourth or better; it’s not going to be a total shock to see Elliott starting near the front on Sunday too.
Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson are all at +800 behind Elliott. Larson and Busch are both looking for their second wins of the season. Elliott has three victories and Hamlin is one of three drivers with two wins.
If a driver like Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr. or Kevin Harvick wins on Sunday, NASCAR will have 15 different winners in the first 21 races. That hasn’t happened in NASCAR’s playoff era. But it sure seems possible this season.
Here’s what you need to know to bet the race. All odds are from BetMGM.
Chase Elliott (+700)
Denny Hamlin (+800)
Kyle Busch (+800)
Kyle Larson (+800)
Martin Truex Jr. (+1000)
Ross Chastain (+1000)
Ryan Blaney (+1000)
William Byron (+1000)
Elliott has an average finish of 15.2 with seven top-10 finishes in 12 Pocono starts. Hamlin has six wins over 32 starts and leads all active drivers in wins at the track. Busch has four victories and Truex has two. Larson was leading the first 2021 race at Pocono late before a flat tire on the final lap cost him the win. Chastain finished outside the top 25 in both races last year while Blaney got his first Cup Series win at Pocono. Byron has the best average finish of any active Cup Series driver at Pocono and is the only driver with an average finish inside the top 10.
Good mid-tier value
Joey Logano (+1600)
Kurt Busch (+2000)
Logano has one Pocono win in 26 starts but has just 10 top-10 finishes. Busch has three victories at Pocono and has 21 top 10s in 41 starts.
Don't bet this driver
Brad Keselowski (+6600)
Keselowski has some very strong Pocono stats with a win and 11 top-five finishes in 24 starts. But his new Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing team hasn’t showed the speed necessary to compete for wins in the regular season. That's why his odds are so high.
Looking for a long shot?
Bubba Wallace (+2800)
Wallace’s odds are better than they’ve been recently. He got the first top-15 finishes of his Pocono career in 2021 and finished fifth in the second race a season ago. Funny how better equipment can lead to stronger runs.