NASCAR Cook Out Southern 500 betting odds and value picks

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

September 3rd, 2021

NASCAR’s traditional Labor Day weekend feature – the Cook Out Southern 500 – is set for Sunday evening at Darlington Raceway (6:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Not only is the Southern 500 one of Cup Series’ unofficial “majors,” but it’s also the first of 10 playoff races, so anticipation will be running high.

Kyle Larson is the current favorite to hoist the Bill France Cup at season’s end, so it’s not surprising to see him as the +325 public choice for this race. But Larson is far from a cinch at “The Track Too Tough to Tame.” Let’s go looking for value as we make our selections for Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500.

Cook Out Southern 500

Sun, September 5 2021, 10:00 PM

Larson, Kyle


Truex Jr, Martin


Hamlin, Denny


Busch, Kyle


Elliott, Chase


Harvick, Kevin


Byron, William


Keselowski, Brad


Logano, Joey


Bowman, Alex


Kyle Busch (+650)

Kyle Busch appears to be getting overlooked as the fourth choice in the wagering for the Cook Out Southern 500.

Only Kevin Harvick has led more laps (792) at Darlington than Busch (725) among active drivers. Busch visited victory lane here in 2008, and has 11 Top 10s in 15 races at “The Lady in Black” since then. That includes his third place finish at Darlington last May.

After encountering some trouble at Daytona last Saturday, Busch will begin this heat in 12th place

Chase Elliott (+1000)

Chase Elliott has raced well at Darlington, but hasn’t always gotten the results to indicate that. Perhaps he can turn things around at a nice price on Sunday night.

Elliott has led 142 laps over his last three races at the tricky 1 3/8-mile oval, yet has managed only one Top 10 finish in that span – a seventh-place result last May. He’s also placed in eight of the last 12 stages at “The Track Too Tough To Tame.”

The No. 9 Chevrolet driver – who has a win and five additional Top 10s in his last seven races – will roll off the grid in fourth place in this event.

Christopher Bell (+3000)

Darlington isn’t a track where young drivers typically thrive, but Christopher Bell appears to worth a longshot look in the Cook Out Southern 500.

Bell put together one of his better runs at “The Lady in Black” last May, placing sixth in Stage 2 and leading his first ever laps here en route to a decent 14th place result. He’s wrecked in two of his last three races, but prior to that spate, Bell had compiled four straight Top 10s. That includes his runner-up results at Road America and New Hampshire.

The No. 20 Toyota will start in 13th.