NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race Preview and Best Bet

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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Unibet Ford. Logan Riely/Getty Images/AFP

The NASCAR Cup’s concluding race is somehow already upon us. Here is betting advice for the playoff finale. Top sportsbooks have released their betting odds for the NASCAR Cup Series’ upcoming finale. Sunday’s race will feature four drivers competing to be the champion. Here is all of the information that you’ll want to know for the race plus analysis-driven betting advice.

NASCAR Cup Series: Series Finale 500

Sunday, November 7, 2021 – 3:00 PM EDT at Phoenix Raceway 

Playoff Update 

With Kyle Larson has won the first two races of the previous Round of 8, there was more uncertainty for playoff drivers. In the last race, Larson already had his spot in the championship race secure. Alex Bowman won the race but is not competing for the title.

Not without some drama created by Bowman’s show of poor character, Denny Hamlin did enough to advance. Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. will round out the field in Sunday’s championship event. These four drivers — Larson, Hamlin, Elliott, and Truex Jr. — are by far the most heavily favored drivers for Sunday’s race.

All four are competing to win it all. Since they obviously have the most incentive to perform well, they are four of the drivers most worth considering as candidates to invest in to win the race.

Race Info 

For this race, drivers must complete a total of 312 laps. As has almost without exception been the case this season, there will be three stages for this event. Stage 1 consists of the first 75 laps. Stage 2 concludes upon completion of the 190th lap. Stage 3 ends with the termination of lap 312.

An entry list gets published at the start of every week for the upcoming race. While only four drivers are eligible to become champions, there are 39 teams/drivers listed as competitors. So, barring unexpected circumstances, we already know which drivers will compete in Sunday’s event.

This year, there are eight Cup Series events in which the starting lineup is determined by qualifying. Those events have either been particularly high-profile ones or they’ve taken place at venues unfamiliar to NASCAR drivers. Sunday’s race is as high-profile as you can get.

Therefore, qualifying will take place. It will start the night before the race, on Saturday at 7:00 PM EDT. Saturday night’s qualifying will determine the order in which Sunday’s competing drivers begin the race. There will also be a practice session. This takes place Friday afternoon.

Track Info 

This track is one mile long. So in completing 312 laps, drivers will have accumulated 312 miles. It is a tri-oval with an asphalt surface. There is low banking throughout.

The start/finish straightaway is banked at three degrees, the famous dogleg at 10-11 degrees, the straightaway from the dogleg to the first turn at 10 degrees. Turn 1 is banked at 10 degrees, turn 2 progressively at 8-9 degrees, the backstretch at three degrees, and turn 3 and 4 progressively at 10-11 degrees.

Drivers to Avoid

Ryan Blaney has been competitively next to non-existent in most recent races. In his last two races, at Kansas and then at Martinsville, he finished 37th and 11th, respectively. His history at Phoenix offers little hope for improvement. His average finishing position here is 15.18, which is shockingly close to 10 spots worse than his average starting position. At Phoenix, he tends to fall way behind relative to his starting position.

It would be perfectly fitting for Kyle Larson to win Sunday’s race as he’s had the fastest car all year and he’s been the best driver overall. But, with our best bets in mind, I can’t pull the trigger on a guy who has never won at this track. This season, he finished seventh hereafter started the second. 

Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Menards/Richmond Ford, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Unibet Ford. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

I get that it seems hard to go against Larson and I am not recommending that you bet against him in match-up betting. But there are so many betting options being offered by online sports betting sites. There are better bets out there.

My Guy 

I like Kevin Harvick, who every week I find to be underrated dramatically by the oddsmakers. Despite the fact that he is not eligible to win the championship, he has been a competitive force, only last week ending his streak of two top-five finishes.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Unibet Ford, (L). Logan Riely/Getty Images/AFP

Phoenix is the perfect place for him to resume his strong form. Quite unlike Martinsville, Phoenix is one of his best tracks in terms of average finishing position. He has nine wins in 37 career races here. He has 12 top-five finishes in his last 16 tries at Phoenix. For the above reasons, take Harvick over Blaney in head-to-head betting.

NASCAR Pick: Harvick to finish ahead of Blaney at +100 with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Harvick to finish ahead of Blaney +100
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.