Following a win last weekend at Texas, Kyle Larson locked in his spot for the championship race at Phoenix, leaving three openings remaining for the NASCAR Cup Series’ title event.
Those spots are still very much up for grabs among the seven remaining eligible drivers, including Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch.
Busch currently ranks fourth in the playoff standings with an eight-point advantage over the elimination line. Elliott is right behind Busch, sitting eight points below the elimination line.
Because both are vying for the final playoff position heading into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the Elliott vs. Busch head-to-head driver matchup at Barstool Sportsbook is also a very interesting one for bettors.
Let’s take a deeper look at Elliott vs. Busch, including which side is the smartest way to bet this NASCAR driver matchup.
NASCAR at Kansas Betting Pick
*Odds as of Friday morning
To be honest, I’m a bit surprised to see Busch available as an underdog in this matchup at WynnBet.
As NASCAR.com’s RJ Kraft points out, the younger Busch brother has the best average finish at 1.5-mile tracks, like Kansas, this season.
At Kansas earlier this year, Busch won the race and tied with Kyle Larson for the top driver rating, while Elliott ranked sixth in that metric.
If we expand this out further to garner a larger sample size and look at the five races using this right-side tire (Kansas, Michigan, Texas and two races at Las Vegas), we still see Busch with an advantage, albeit a small one — over Elliott.
Over that span of five races, Busch has the top average finish in the NASCAR Cup Series with the fourth-best driver rating. Elliott, on the other hand, ranks fifth and seventh, respectively.
Again, this matchup is very tight, but based on the data above you can make a strong case that the odds are flipped and Busch should be the short favorite over Elliott.
In fact, Kyle is actually a -118 favorite over Chase (-110) at Barstool Sportsbook, once again reinforcing the importance of shopping for the best odds before making any bet.
With this in mind, I’m taking Busch (-105) to finish ahead of Elliott, who is currently -115 in this matchup.
The Bet: Busch (-105) over Elliott
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