It’s no surprise that Kyle Larson is getting the most money of any driver ahead of Sunday’s Cup Series championship race.
Larson is the favorite to win the 2021 Cup Series title at +140 and is the favorite to win at Phoenix outright at +175. Bettors at BetMGM like Larson at +175 to win the race and the championship as he’s getting nearly 20% of the money wagered on the race despite getting just over 10% of the bets.
NASCAR moved to a winner-take-all championship finale in 2014. The Cup Series champion has won the race in every year of the format.
If Larson wins on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, NBC), he’ll get his 10th win of the season and cap a dominating year. Larson has been the fastest driver in the series throughout the season in his first year with Hendrick Motorsports. He's racing Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. for the Cup Series title.
His teammate Elliott is the No. 2 favorite to win the title at +275. Elliott — who won the Phoenix race on the way to the 2020 Cup Series title — is +350 to win the race. Hamlin is +350 to win the title and is at +400 to win the race. Truex Jr. is at +450 for both the championship and the race.
Given the history of NASCAR’s championship races, it’s worth betting on Larson, Elliott and Hamlin to win the race because of the increased return. Yes, you’re risking a non-playoff driver winning the race in that bet, but it’s a risk worth taking until the streak of champions winning the final race of the season ends.
Elliott is getting 8% of bets to win the race and 10% of the handle. Hamlin isn’t too far behind at 7.4% of bets and 7% of the handle while Truex is getting just under 7% of bets and 7% of the handle.
Martinsville winner Alex Bowman is getting just 4.4% of bets to win the race. But Bowman (+2500) is getting 17% of the handle and is attracting more money than any driver not-named Larson. That’s likely because BetMGM is an authorized sportsbook in Arizona, and Bowman is an Arizona native racing in his home state this weekend.