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Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Betting Picks and Preview (2022)

by May 27, 2022

The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the year in the NASCAR Cup Series. Drivers will run 400 laps around the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event is one of the sport’s most prestigious events, behind only the Daytona 500, and it runs every Memorial Day Weekend along with Formula One’s Monaco GP and IndyCar’s Indy 500.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson won last year’s event after leading 327 of the race’s 400 laps. He had only ever led 20 laps at the track entering the 2021 Coke 600. Unsurprisingly, Larson enters this year’s race as the betting favorite. But despite his dominance last year, bettors can find more value elsewhere.

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Odds to Win the Coke 600

Best Bets for the Coke 600

The NASCAR Cup Series races on several 1.5-mile intermediate tracks. We've seen them race at three this season: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway. Of those three, Texas is the only quad-oval track, and it serves as the best comparator. Look for me to target drivers who performed the best in those races.

1. Winner: Kyle Busch | +700 (.25u) at BetMGM

Kurt Busch overshadowed his younger brother, Kyle, in the most recent points-paying race at a 1.5-mile intermediate. But Kyle Busch still ran well and finished third. He was also dominating the All-Star Race at Texas before a blown tire took him—and Ross Chastain—out of the event. Kyle Busch also finished fourth as Las Vegas back in March.

Toyota's recent success at 1.5-mile intermediates is the primary reason to target Busch over Larson. Kyle Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, along with the affiliate drivers at 23XI Racing, all recorded top 10 finishes at Kansas Speedway two weeks ago. Busch finished behind only his brother and Larson. All three of Busch's teammates finished right behind him in fourth through sixth. Meanwhile, only two of Hendrick Motorsports' Chevrolets finished inside the top 10.

Kyle Busch's short-lived performance at the All-Star Race also speaks to that trend. Busch was in control of the race before his tire blew. Competitor Kyle Larson, after his own tire blew earlier in the race, said that "it's Kyle [Busch]'s race to lose at this point... it's pretty impossible to pass." Assuming we see a similar product this Sunday, Busch should have a slight edge in the equipment department that allows him to fend off Larson and others. This line sits at +550 at both DraftKings and FanDuel Sportsbook, so we're getting solid value by playing it at BetMGM.

2. Top 5: Kyle Busch | -105 at BetMGM

Even if Kyle Busch can't win Sunday's Coke 600, he should at least record a top-five result. Busch has performed exceptionally at Charlotte Motor Speedway throughout his storied career. He owns only one win, but he also boasts 15 top-five finishes in 33 attempts. That leads all active drivers by five. Of all drivers with at least 10 starts at Charlotte, only Chase Elliott has recorded top-five finishes at a higher clip.

Kyle Busch's resume improves that much more when you count all the All-Star Races that happened here. Counting those events, Busch has 21 top-fives finishes across 48 starts here. He also owns four sixth-place, one seventh-place, one eighth-place, and two ninth-places finishes. Kyle Busch has a much better chance of recording yet another top-five result than this line suggests—that's why you'll find this line at -140 on DraftKings Sportsbook.

3. Winning Manufacturer: Toyota | +195 (.5u) at BetMGM

This line doesn't make any sense. Sure, there are far more Chevrolets entered in this race than Toyotas. Of the four betting favorites, half drive Chevrolets—but the other half drive Toyotas. Current Toyota drivers have combined for five wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In contrast, current Chevrolet drivers have combined for only three. One of those belongs to +5000 underdog Austin Dillon.

Again, we're honing in on this line because of Toyota's success at 1.5-mile intermediates relative to Chevrolet's. The three manufacturers have split Las Vegas, Kansas, and Texas evenly among themselves, but Toyota has been better lately. Toyotas controlled four of the top-five spots at Kansas and another one at Texas. Their five recent top-five results at tracks like these outnumber Chevrolet's two. Sure, the bowties would've done better but for Larson and Elliott crashing out—but they just didn't have the race-winning speed that Kyle Busch did.

4. Top 10: Bubba Wallace | +220 (.25u) at FanDuel Sportsbook

We'll target one final Toyota driver here in Bubba Wallace. Wallace hasn't been his best at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but his strong showing at Kansas Speedway makes this line a great value. Wallace wheeled his way to a top-10 result despite his pit crew committing multiple errors on pit road. His teammate, Kurt Busch, won the race. The books subsequently adjusted Kurt Busch's betting odds, but they really haven't touched Wallace's. That's a mistake.

Although Wallace hasn't yet recorded a top-10 result here at Charlotte, he did finish a career-best 14th last season. We've seen him record a pair of top-10 results already this season, too. The odds for Wallace to score a top-10 finish rank him below or tied with Chase Briscoe and Erik Jones, neither of whom have yet finished inside the top 10 at a 1.5-mile intermediate.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

Motorsports, NASCAR