It‘s been four races now, and we still don‘t have a win for a playoff driver. So goes this historic NASCAR playoff that has seen underdogs rise up like never before. Yet, sportsbooks continue to ride the regular season favorites as Chase Elliott is favored this week.
Elliott is given +1200 odds, or an implied 7.7% chance to win this weekend‘s race. Those are the worst odds given to any favorite during this season‘s playoffs. That would lead some to believe that sportsbooks are finally showing some belief in non-playoff drivers, but still only two of them have cracked the top-10 on this week‘s odds market. Those being last week‘s winner Tyler Reddick, +1600, and Hollywood Casino 400 winner Bubba Wallace.
So who will be Elliott‘s biggest rivals this week if not for the non-playoff drivers? Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney are all given +1300 odds, or an implied 7.1% chance to win this race. Kyle Larson and William Byron aren‘t far behind at +1400, or an implied 6.7% chance. On the flip side, Chase Briscoe is given +3300 odds, the worst of any playoff driver this week.
Quote from OddsChecker spokesman Kyle Newman, “The 2022 playoffs are unpredictable. They‘re the most underdog heavy playoffs we‘ve ever seen since the move to a 16-driver playoff. Perhaps looking at history will help this week. Bubba Wallace won this race last year to become the first non-playoff driver to win a playoff race since the move. Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney won it the two previous years. Perhaps the biggest piece of history though, Joey Logan has won the race twice, and he currently sits at the top of the Cup Standings.”
YELLAWOOD 500 WINNER
DriverOddsImplied chanceChase Elliott+12007.7%Denny Hamlin+13007.1%Joey Logano+13007.1%Ryan Blaney+13007.1%Kyle Larson+14006.7%William Byron+14006.7%Ross Chastain+16005.9%Tyler Reddick+16005.9%Bubba Wallace+18005.3%Kyle Busch+18005.3%
— OddsChecker —