August 16, 2022

Kyle Larson is still the NASCAR Cup Series championship favorite, but the race for the title is wide open.

Larson (+550) is one of eight drivers with odds of +900 or better at BetMGM to emerge with the championship at the winner’s finale in Phoenix. And with the Cup Series entering its only week of the season on Father’s Day, it’s a good time to take a look at the odds after Daniel Suarez became the 12th driver to win. one race out of the first 16 races of the season.

Suarez cruised to victory in Sonoma on Sunday to earn the first Cup Series win of his career. He joins teammate Ross Chastain as one of twelve drivers provisionally qualified for the playoffs with 10 races remaining before the start of the playoffs.

In case you’re unfamiliar with how NASCAR defines its playoff field, here’s a quick refresher. Sixteen drivers compete in the playoffs, and a win is usually an automatic berth in the playoff field. Four drivers are eliminated from the playoffs in each of the first three rounds of three races before four drivers race directly to Phoenix for the title.

Kyle Larson has the best chance of winning the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series title, but Kyle Busch is right behind him on the board. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

We used the word “typically” in the above paragraph because there have never been more than 16 winners out of the first 26 races of the season since NASCAR expanded its playoff field. There is a chance that a winner will be excluded from the playoffs in 2022. It only takes five more drivers to win in the next 10 races for there to be 17 winners. And drivers like Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick and Tyler Reddick are yet to reach victory lane this season.

Larson’s status as the defending champion is also a big reason he’s the title favorite. Larson is currently seventh in the points standings and has just eight top-10 finishes in 16 races. Five drivers have more top 10s than Larson so far this season.

Points leader Chase Elliott is tied for the No. 2 favorite with Kyle Busch and Ross Chastain at +600. Elliott, Chastain and Busch are the top three drivers in the points standings and separated by just 23 points. Chastain is one of four drivers to have two wins so far this season, while Busch has the best Cup Series finishing average at 11.8.

Denny Hamlin and William Byron are +800 to claim the title. Byron also took two wins but only finished in the top 10 five times in the first 16 races. Hamlin is outside the top 20 in the standings thanks to seven finishes outside the top 25 and has only three top 10s. But he has also won twice.

Blaney and Truex have the best title chances of any driver without a win. Blaney is +900 to win the title while Truex is +1200. Blaney is fourth in the standings and has five top five finishes. Truex is sixth in the standings despite only two top five finishes.

If the playoffs started today, the four drivers without a playoff win would be Blaney, Truex, Bell (+2200) and Aric Almirola (+12500). Almirola is 11th in the standings and seven points ahead of his Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Harvick (+3300) in his final season in the Cup Series. Almirola announced before the season that 2022 would be his last full-time run in NASCAR and, so far, he’s been consistent enough to sneak into the playoffs even though bettors think he has no real chance of win the title.

Here’s a look at the current top 20 favorites for the Cup Series title.

2022 Cup Series Title Odds

  • Kyle Larson (+550)

  • Chase Elliott (+600)

  • Kyle Busch (+600)

  • Ross Chestnut (+600)

  • Denny Hamlin (+800)

  • William Byron (+800)

  • Ryan Blaney (+900)

  • Joey Logano (+900)

  • Martin Truex Jr. (+1200)

  • Alex Bowman (+1600)

  • Kurt Busch (+2000)

  • Christopher Bell (+2200)

  • Tyler Reddick (+2200)

  • Briscoe Hunt (+2200)

  • Kevin Harvick (+3300)

  • Daniel Suarez (+3300)

  • Austin Cindric (+5000)

  • Erik Jones (+8000)

  • Brad Keselowski (+12500)

  • Aric Almirola (+12500)

  • Austin Dillon (+12500)