The second of three races in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 is set for this Sunday at Kansas Speedway. The 21st annual Hollywood Casino 400 will be run at a track quite comparable to the one that hosted last weekend’s race. Kyle Larson dominated at Texas to lock up his spot in Championship 4. It comes as no surprise that he is the odds-on NASCAR betting favorite once again for this week’s race. With several other playoff drivers in need of premium points and/or an outright win to advance, will anyone be able to catch the No. 5 car at Kansas?
The following article offers a breakdown of the NASCAR odds and best NASCAR betting picks for Sunday afternoon’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Hollywood Casino 400 Race Info
21st Hollywood Casino 400
Date: Sunday, October 24, 2021
Start Time: 3 p.m. EST
Track: Kansas Speedway — Kansas City, KS
Distance: 400.5 miles
Stages: Three (Laps 1-80; 81-160; 161-267)
Pole Sitter: Kyle Larson
Defending Champion: Joey Logano
Check out the complete Hollywood Casino 400 starting lineup and race stats!
Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Betting Odds
After back-to-back wins in each of the last two weeks, Kyle Larson (+240) now has seven outright victories on the 2021 season. He has been the cream of the crop all year long. It’s no surprise to see the NASCAR betting odds to win continue to shrink in his favor. While Larson is now locked into the Championship 4, he still figures to go out and be aggressive on Sunday. After all, another win could take away a spot in the final four from a fellow playoff contender.
Larson dominated both the NASCAR All-Star Race and last weekend’s event at Texas. While he didn’t win the spring race at Kansas earlier this year, he controlled the vast majority of it. If not for a questionable late-race caution, Larson would have cruised to victory lane. Redemption for that close call only adds fuel to a blazing hot fire this weekend.
Non-Playoff Drivers Showing Speed
While the top of the NASCAR betting odds board is largely dominated by the eight remaining playoff drivers, a handful of teams eliminated from championship contention have been showing speed on a weekly basis. The first of those drivers in terms of Hollywood Casino 400 outright odds is William Byron (+900). Hendrick Motorsports has dominated the 550-horsepower package tracks all season long. Byron was the only driver in Kyle Larson’s zip code at Texas last week. The No. 24 has been consistent all season and will be fast again this weekend.
A bit further down the board, we find a driver who scored a top-5 finish last week in Kevin Harvick (+1800). The No. 4 team is typically still battling for a championship, but it has been a season of disappointment for the entire Stewart-Haas Racing organization. That being said, Harvick is undoubtedly out to make a statement down the stretch of the season. Harvick and crew chief Rodney Childers tried some different things at Texas last week, and the changes certainly seemed to pay off. Add in the fact that Harvick has the best average finish over the last ten Kansas Speedway races of any driver (5.5) and he is certainly capable of cashing as a longshot outright pick.
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Finally, it’s worth keeping an eye on Tyler Reddick (+2200) as a non-playoff driver capable of cashing some NASCAR betting picks this week. The No. 8 Chevrolet has been one of the fastest cars on track over the past few weeks. Reddick had top-3 speed last week but got beaten on the various late-race restarts and only finished ninth. Of the three tracks remaining on the 2021 schedule, Kansas is easily the best chance for Reddick to score his first career NASCAR Cup Series win.
Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Betting Picks
Hollywood Casino 400 Race Winner: Kyle Larson (+240)
We’re going as chalky as it gets with our race winner pick this week. Kyle Larson may already have clinched his spot in the Championship 4, but that could actually bode well for him to win the Hollywood Casino 400 outright. With points of no concern, the No. 5 team can focus solely on trying to earn their eighth win of the season. Larson has been the best car when running the 550-horsepower package all year long. This is the last race where the package will be run. Given the advent of the Next Gen Cars beginning next season, Larson has absolutely nothing to lose. Plus, a win could help keep a fellow playoff competitor out of the final four. Given just how dominant Larson has been on this type of track, a +240 NASCAR betting return honestly isn’t too shabby.
Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Betting Picks
Top 5 Finish: Tyler Reddick (+250)
Since the start of the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs (and excluding Talladega), Tyler Reddick has had top-5 speed every single week. Unfortunately, late-race restarts and setbacks have prevented him from getting more than a single top-5 finish. That came in the form of a runner-up at the Charlotte ROVAL two weeks ago.
Driving the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing has made Reddick a contender at all tracks where NASCAR utilizes the 550-horsepower package this season. He finished seventh at Kansas back in the spring and enters the weekend with two top-10’s in four previous Cup Series starts here. With three top-10 runs in the last four races, he is as fast as any of the remaining championship drivers. Winning outright is a stretch, but a top-5 is very attainable for this team.
Best Finish in Group A: Kyle Busch (+260)
For this NASCAR betting picks selection, we are riding with the winner of the spring race at Kansas. It took a questionable caution flag from NASCAR to produce it, but Kyle Busch capitalized to win on his birthday. That victory marked the fourth top-5 finish in the last six races at the track for the No. 18 team. Busch ran well last week at Texas, finishing eighth. He is the second choice in Group A based on the NASCAR betting odds. With points being critical to his hopes of reaching the Championship 4, Busch figures to go out and run very well this weekend.
Like any other week, Group A is a stacked field, to say the least. Busch finds himself up against JGR teammate Denny Hamlin (+250), reigning NASCAR Cup Series Champion Chase Elliott (+280) and the driver currently second in the standings, Ryan Blaney (+300). Busch does have the best average finish of the bunch over the last ten Kansas races. While he has yet to win a playoff race, Busch has arguably been the most consistent of this group. Furthermore, he was the only one in brother Kurt’s zip code in the most recent race at Atlanta, arguably the most comparable track to Kansas Speedway on the circuit.
Best Finish in Group E: Daniel Suarez (+240)
Not only was Daniel Suarez impressive in scoring a top-10 result at Texas last week, but he also ran well here at Kansas back in the spring. Suarez finished 11th in that event. Chevrolet has been the manufacturer to beat on the 1.5-mile ovals this season. With pseudo RCR teammate Tyler Reddick also displaying plenty of speed in recent weeks, equipment should be no issue for Suarez in the Hollywood Casino 400.
Joining Suarez in Group E this week are a trio of Ford drivers. The No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet is the NASCAR betting favorite to win the four-man race that also includes Chase Briscoe (+260), Chris Buescher (+280) and Aric Almirola (+280). Briscoe was the only one of the Fords to show any kind of speed on the intermediate track at Texas last weekend. Not only does Suarez come in with momentum following his top-10 but he has the clear manufacturer advantage when it comes to running this package. Look for the No. 99 to make a run at back-to-back top-10’s on Sunday.
Top 20 Finish: Parker Kligerman (+150)
For the second straight week, we’re getting weird and diving to the depths of the race field for our final NASCAR betting selection. Why not, right? Parker Kligerman will forego his role as a pit reporter for NBC this Sunday to race the No. 96 Toyota for Gaunt Brothers Racing in the Hollywood Casino 400. This part-time team has only run at the superspeedways and select road courses this season. However, there is far more power under the hood of the No. 96 than other part-time teams and even some full-time outfits. If pit road operations are smooth, they should be able to make their way forward. Kligerman is a veteran driver with plenty of racing experience. We’ll take a shot on him to crack the top-20 at +150 odds.