It was an unforgettable Coca-Cola 600 this past Sunday to cap off an epic Memorial Day Weekend of motorsports. The NASCAR Cup Series regular-season is now 15 races old, with just 11 more remaining before the playoffs begin. With just over half of the season complete, now marks as good a time as any to reassess the NASCAR betting futures market to win the series championship. A lot has changed since the Daytona 500 kicked off the 2021 season back in February. Bettors have a whole lot more data at their disposal to aid in handicapping the NASCAR championship futures odds.
The following article discusses a few NASCAR futures bets to consider as the calendar turns to June.
The table below contains the updated NASCAR Cup Series futures odds to win the 2021 series championship across three major U.S. sportsbooks. All 32 full-time drivers are included.
Best NASCAR Futures Bets
The following sections discuss three NASCAR betting Cup Series championship futures bets worthy of consideration. Each pick comes from a different tier within the current odds, including betting favorites, double-digit challengers, and longshots. The listed odds for each driver reflect the best available in the market at the time of writing.
Chase Elliott (+800 at FanDuel)
As things stand now, it’s hard to argue with a championship futures bet on any of the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers. Kyle Larson has looked the best of the bunch and dominated the Coca-Cola 600 over Memorial Day Weekend. Unfortunately, any value that his futures odds might have contained has virtually dried up after that big win. Among the current championship favorites, Chase Elliott carries a much more desirable price tag.
It took longer than many expected for Elliott to win his first race of the season. The fact that it came in a somewhat controversial fashion under rainy skies at Circuit of the Americas is beside the point. Elliott is the best road course racer in the NASCAR Cup Series today. With several more road races remaining on the schedule, including this coming weekend at Sonoma, it’s highly unlikely we’ve seen the last of the No. 9 car in victory lane.
Although he is yet to win an oval race this season, that’s not to say Elliott hasn’t been strong. He was probably the second-best car in the field to Larson at Charlotte last weekend. He now has seven top-5 finishes and an average finish of 10.9 on the year, good for fourth among all full-time drivers. With at least another road course win likely headed his way, now is the time to wager on the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion in the futures market. Shop wisely, though, as there are notable discrepancies amongst the different sportsbooks.
William Byron (+1700 at FanDuel)
Shockingly, we have yet another Hendrick Motorsports driver as our best play from the second tier of drivers. At 17-1 odds, William Byron is grossly undervalued by the oddsmakers and apparently the NASCAR betting public as well. Before diving into more on why the young 23-year-old is a great play, it must be noted once again to shop around before placing this bet. Among just the three sportsbooks referenced in this article, his championship odds are as low as 10-1 elsewhere.
Now, to the driver himself. Byron won the third race of the year at Homestead-Miami and really hasn’t looked back since. Although he is yet to reach victory lane a second time, what the No. 24 team has done over the last 13 races is nothing short of incredible. That win kicked off a streak of 11 consecutive races in which Byron finished in the top-10. It wasn’t until the rain race at COTA two weeks ago that his streak was snapped. Even though his car took damage in that race, he still finished 11th, failing to keep his top-10 streak by a single position.
The Coca-Cola 600 was dominated by the Hendrick Motorsports foursome, with Byron being no exception. He ran in the top-5 for pretty much the entire race and even managed to get by Kyle Larson in the second half for the lead. After getting beaten badly on pit road and surrendering the lead back, Byron still hung tight to finish fourth. His average finish of 9.0 for the season ranks second only to Denny Hamlin. In addition, Byron’s season-long average driver rating of 101.3 is fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series. He may be young and baby-faced, but don’t confuse Byron for a pretender. The No. 24 car will be in the championship picture deep into the fall.
Tyler Reddick (+8500 at FanDuel)
Speaking of young drivers, our longshot NASCAR futures pick joins Byron in being one of the sports rising stars. 25-year-old Tyler Reddick is having a strong second Cup Series season driving for Richard Childress Racing. He finished runner-up to Byron in that third race of the year at Homestead. A ninth-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 this past weekend marked his eighth top-10 of the season. Reddick now has an average finish of 15.4 on the year, but there are more reasons than just stats that make the No. 8 an attractive NASCAR betting pick.
Like Hendrick Motorsports, RCR cars are manufactured by Chevrolet. If recent races are any indication of what we may see as the season progresses, Chevy has been on a whole different level relative to their Ford and Toyota counterparts. Joining Reddick among the top-10 finishers in the Coca-Cola 600 was his teammate, Austin Dillon. Even Daniel Suarez, driver of the No. 99 RCR affiliate car for Trackhouse Racing, was able to recover from a flat tire and finish 15th. The fact that the entire Childress fleet has been running well and consistently is a good sign for futures bettors.
That being said, Reddick is arguably the most likely of the three to win a race this season. His prowess running the high line at intermediate tracks makes him a legitimate threat most weeks. He is also a strong superspeedway racer, of which there is one more such race remaining in the regular season at Daytona. Even if he doesn’t manage to win, Reddick is currently 13th in points and 116 clear of the next-best driver without a win, Matt DiBenedetto. Bettors should fully expect him to be in the playoff field of 16. From there, anything is possible under the round-by-round format.
Other NASCAR Futures Value Bets to Consider
Not interested in betting on a Chevrolet driver to take home the NASCAR Cup Series championship? Here are three more bonus picks to consider. All offer up some betting value either relative to the driver’s performance or when compared to the odds at other sportsbooks in the market. And no, there is not a Chevy among them!
Denny Hamlin (+800 at FanDuel)
Kevin Harvick (+1200 at BetMGM or FanDuel)
Chris Buescher (+25000 at DraftKings)
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