After a largely successful return of the UFC, NASCAR is back this week at Darlington. Click here for live NASCAR odds.
NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington
Betting Favorite: Kyle Busch +600, Denny Hamlin +600
Busch won the 2019 NASCAR Cup. But Kyle hasn’t won at Darlington since May 10, 2008. That’s a string of 11 straight losses. The closest Kyle has gotten to taking home a trophy was in 2018.
Busch finished second after starting third. Last year, he finished third after starting thirty-third. Kyle’s average finish at Darlington is 9.5.
Of the two chalks, Hamlin is the better choice. Denny has won twice at Darlington. He last won in 2017. Denny also has 3 second-place, a third-place, and a fourth-place finish. Hamlin’s average finish at Darlington Raceway is 6.1. That’s the best of any NASCAR driver.
If you want to go chalky, back Hamlin over Busch. But why go chalky at all? A couple of other drivers project to have great runs in NASCAR’s first real race after the pandemic.
Smart Betting Pick: Kevin Harvick +700
Kevin Harvick offers +700 compared to +600 for the faves. He’s got as much of a shot as Hamlin to win and a much better shot than Busch.
At Darlington Raceway, Harvick averages a 7.6 finish. He’s crossed the finish line fifth or better in 6-of-7. The one time Kevin didn’t finish fifth or better in the last seven races at Darlington, he finished ninth.
Harvick won the 2014 race at the South Carolina racetrack. He’s secured a couple of fourth places finishes the last couple of years. For three years running, Kevin Harvick has finished third in the NASCAR Cup Standings.
One of the best drivers at NASCAR will want to show he’s ready for the season to resume. That means taking the checkered flag at Darlington May 17.
Long Shot Pick: Erik Jones +1800
Like Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin, Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. are the top drivers.
Erik is a close fourth. When it comes to Darlington Raceway, he’s better than the other three. Jones has never finished worse than eighth in three races at Darlington. He finished fifth in his first try. Erik finished eighth in his second try.
Jones’ third try was the charm. Erik won last year’s race at Darlington. Expect Jones to perform much better than the odds imply. Erik Jones is an overlay worth backing to win NASCAR’s first race back.