NASCAR odds update: Everyone is still chasing Elliott
The finish line is far in the distance, but the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season is just about a quarter of the way done. Seven of the 36 races on the schedule are in the books, and the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 from Martinsville Speedway will be completed by the end of Sunday.
Let’s take a look at where the odds to win the 2021 Bill France Cup stand.
Odds to win 2021 NASCAR Championship
Martin Truex Jr.
Elliott remains favored to repeat
Chase Elliott – the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion – has not budged from his perch atop the leaderboard. He remains at +550 to be the sport’s first repeat champ since Jimmie Johnson in 2010 (his fifth straight title).
Elliott has not begun all that well, posting only three Top 10 finishes (tied for eighth) while leading just 73 laps (also eighth) through seven events. He’s 11th among full-time drivers in average finishing position at 14.7.
Considering he hasn’t locked up a playoff position with a victory yet, the No. 9 Chevrolet driver is not the greatest bet on the board at this juncture.
Blaney is the biggest mover
Available at +1200 a month ago, Ryan Blaney’s odds to win NASCAR’s most coveted honor have dipped to +850.
Ryan Blaney became the sixth driver to win in six races to start NASCAR’s Cup Series season, surging to the front late after Kyle Larson’s dominant performance at Atlanta Motor Speedway fell apart on a fading set of tires.— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) March 21, 2021
He may have won the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to secure his playoff berth, but it still seems like Blaney has underachieved in 2021. His average finishing position through seven races is 14th, just one spot better than Elliott in the rankings. He’s led only 61 laps.
Bettors should probably take the “wait and see” approach with the No. 12 Ford driver.
Harvick, Busch up slightly after modest starts
Two of the more reliable veterans on the Cup Series circuit – Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch – have gone up a half-point in the championship wagering over the last month.
We’ll start with Busch, who’s gone from +800 to +850 to win his third career NASCAR title. Much like 2020, “The Candy Man” has begun very slowly. His average finishing position through seven races is 15.6, and he’s led a mere seven laps. Busch has won just one race since clinching his 2019 championship, making him a dubious proposition at this point.
Harvick, however, looks like a much more appealing wager at +750 (up from his +700 odds from one month ago). Though he’s yet to take the checkered flag in 2021, he’s second in average finishing position (9.4) among full-time drivers behind only Denny Hamlin.
Victories should be on the horizon for “The Closer,” who won a Cup Series-best nine races last season.