We have reached the opening race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs and what better place to begin the Round of 16 than the “track too tough to tame.” At Darlington Raceway, Kyle Larson is the favorite to win the Cook Out Southern 500.
Online sportsbook Bovada has released Cook Out Southern 500 odds for the Darlington fall race with Larson as the +350 favorite. He is followed by Martin Truex Jr. at +600, Chase Elliott at +800, Denny Hamlin at +800 and Kyle Busch at +800 to round out the top five drivers on the oddsboard.
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Cook Out Southern 500 Odds: Darlington Raceway
|Martin Truex Jr.||+600|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+25000|
Odds as of September 2 at Bovada
Why Is Larson The Favorite In The Cook Out Southern 500 Odds?
To start, Larson is the regular-season champion and the favorite in NASCAR Cup championship odds heading into the playoffs. Quite simply, the No. 5 machine has been the cream of the crop all year, finishing the regular season with the most wins, top-five finishes, top-10 finishes, laps led and stage wins – outstanding.
Earlier this year when the Cup Series visited Darlington, Larson was the runner-up behind Martin Truex Jr., though he didn’t lead a lap in that race. In fact, he has never won at “The Lady in Black,” but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been competitive. He has landed on the podium in four of his last five starts there with back-to-back second-place finishes and he led the most laps in 2018 (284 of 367) while finishing third.
NASCAR Predictions This Week For Darlington
The playoffs are upon us and no doubt the drivers will be up on the wheel for the opening race of the Round of 16 trying to immediately punch their ticket into the second round. What makes this race exciting is that the teams were able to collect data from the spring race and make some adjustments and should come out flying at the drop of the green flag. Here are my three picks for the Cook Out Southern 500.
Kyle Larson +350: As mentioned above, there was no driver more dominant than Kyle Larson in the regular season. As such, he is the betting favorite and rightfully so. While that first win at Darlington has dodged him, three straight podium finishes and leading the most laps in two of his seven career starts at this track just points to how strong he is. Surely a victory will come at some point, and why not this week?
Martin Truex Jr. +600: Why not start with the man who drove to victory lane in dominant fashion in May. Truex was outstanding at Darlington earlier this year, leading 248 of the 293 laps en route to victory. That was his second win at this track (2016) and he has led 10 or more laps in half of his career starts here.
Denny Hamlin +800: Earlier this year, Denny Hamlin was extremely consistent and competitive, though victory lane eluded him. He concluded the regular season with the second-most top-10 finishes, top-five finishes and laps led but still doesn’t have a win. He has three career victories at Darlington and 10 of his 18 starts there have resulted in top-five finishes. Hamlin starts outside of row 1 when the race begins.
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