The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season is set to kick off this weekend with the annual running of the Daytona 500. While many argue that the NASCAR season runs in reverse given that the 500 is the most distinguished race on the schedule, it is just one of many in terms of the championship points standings. There are nine months between now and crowing a Cup Series champion in November. Now is the time to get in on the preseason NASCAR betting championship futures odds before race results start shifting the numbers.
The following will take a look at the preseason NASCAR betting odds to win the Cup Series championship. We break the lengthy list of driver odds into tiers, offer some value NASCAR picks, and more.
NASCAR Cup Series Championship Futures Odds
All NASCAR betting odds courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook
NASCAR Betting Odds Tier 1 | Favorites
There are no surprises among the preseason NASCAR betting favorites. Three of the four drivers in this tier were among the final four competing to win the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix in last season’s finale. Defending series champion Chase Elliott begins the new season with 5-1 odds to repeat. This puts him in a tie with Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin as the three drivers with the shortest odds on the board. Harvick and Hamlin were the two dominant competitors last season, combining to win 16 races.
Just behind the three co-favorites are Joey Logano and Kyle Busch at 6-1 odds. Logano was part of the Championship 4 at Phoenix last season, third in the finale. Meanwhile, it was a disappointing season for the typically dominant Busch. He will undoubtedly win more than one race in 2021 and got off to a good start with a victory in the Busch Clash at Daytona preseason event.
Rounding out the tier of NASCAR betting favorites is Martin Truex Jr. at 7-1 odds. Like Busch, Truex struggled for much of the 2020 campaign. Truex and Elliott figure to be the primary beneficiaries of the increased number of road course races on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
Best NASCAR Picks — Favorites Tier: Kevin Harvick (+500), Martin Truex Jr. (+700)
NASCAR Betting Odds Tier 2 | Value Hotbed
In this second tier of NASCAR betting futures odds, we find several drivers with legitimate championship hopes at longer odds than those in the favorites tier. Brad Keselowski heads up the “Value Hotbed” tier at 8-1 odds. He was a part of the Championship 4 last season, finishing runner-up to Elliott in the final race at Phoenix. Keselowski’s Penske Racing teammate Ryan Blaney is also a factor in this tier at 12-1 odds.
NASCAR betting enthusiasts might be surprised to see Kyle Larson at 9-1 odds. After being suspended for the entirety of the post-shutdown portion of the 2020 season, Larson signed on with Hendrick Motorsports during the NASCAR free agency period. The 28-year-old’s talent has never been a question, and he finds himself back behind the wheel for a team with the resources to win a title.
There’s a bit of a drop-off in the NASCAR betting odds for the remaining three drivers in this tier. Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman leads the group with 22-1 odds. He will be shifting over to drive the vacated No. 48 car following the retirement of NASCAR Cup Series legend Jimmie Johnson. Kurt Busch was the Cinderella story of last year’s playoffs. He comes into 2021 with 28-1 championship odds. Aric Almirola rounds out the tier with 33-1 odds. The Stewart-Haas driver perhaps had the best season ever for a driver who failed to win a single race.
Value Hotbed NASCAR Picks: Brad Keselowski (+800), Alex Bowman (+2200)
NASCAR Betting Odds Tier 3 | Longshots
The third tier of NASCAR betting championship futures odds is home to the longshots. Is winning a championship possible for any of these drivers? Absolutely. Is it likely? Absolutely not.
Among the “Longshots” tier are four drivers who qualified for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. At 35-1 odds, William Byron has the shortest odds of any driver in the tier. Cole Custer (65-1) and Austin Dillon (70-1) each qualified for last year’s postseason by virtue of winning races. Matt DiBenedetto (50-1) also qualified based on points. Of the four playoff drivers in this tier, only Dillon advanced beyond the Round of 16.
Tier 3 of the NASCAR betting futures odds also features numerous drivers who find themselves driving for new teams in 2021. Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. (55-1) is the most noteworthy as he pilots the No. 23 car in the debut season of Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing team. Erik Jones (70-1), Christopher Bell (45-1), and rookie Chase Briscoe (80-1) were all part of the NASCAR Cup Series offseason moves as well. Keep an eye on young Tyler Reddick (80-1) in the No. 8 car for Richard Childress Racing as well.
Longshot NASCAR Picks: Matt DiBenedetto (+5000), Tyler Reddick (+8000)
NASCAR Betting Odds Tier 4 | Hail Mary’s
It’s highly unlikely that any of these drivers will overcome their long odds and win a NASCAR betting championship. At 150-1 odds, hard-racing veteran Ryan Newman is probably the best bet of the bunch. Multiple drivers are on record as saying Newman is the toughest driver to pass in the entire NASCAR Cup Series field. Can he bring Roush-Fenway Racing to the promised land?
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. may have some sneaky value at 200-1 given his prowess at superspeedways. If he can pull out a win at Daytona or Talladega, he will automatically qualify for the playoffs.
Oh, and don’t you dare bet on John Hunter Nemechek. The 23-year-old is currently without a full-time Cup Series ride.
Hail Mary NASCAR Pick: Ryan Newman (+15000)