Can NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers make it three wins in a row on Sunday at Las Vegas?
After non-playoff drivers won each of the first four races of the postseason, Chase Elliott became the first playoff driver to get a win at Talladega. Christopher Bell then followed suit at the Charlotte Roval as he went from the brink of postseason elimination to advancing to the third round thanks to a late pit stop.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been hosting playoff races since 2018 and Sunday’s race (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC) is the first race at the track outside of the first round. The previous four playoff races at the track have all been among the first three races of the postseason and all four races have been won by a driver in the playoffs.
Playoff driver success at Vegas isn’t necessarily reflected in the odds for the race. And that makes sense given what happened in the first round. With drivers like Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson out of the playoff mix entering the third round along with a driver like Tyler Reddick who won at Texas, there are lots of drivers out of title contention who are near the top of the leaderboard.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of Sunday’s pivotal race. A win by a playoff driver at Vegas will guarantee a chance to race for the title at Phoenix on Nov. 6. All odds are from BetMGM.
Denny Hamlin (+550)
Chase Elliott (+800)
Christopher Bell (+800)
Kyle Larson (+800)
Tyler Reddick (+900)
Hamlin has one win in 21 starts at Vegas and has finished in the top 10 on 10 different occasions. Elliott is winless at the track and has five top-10s in 11 starts. Reddick and Bell each have two top 10s in five Vegas starts. Larson won the playoff race at the track a season ago and has nine top-10 finishes in 12 starts. He’s still racing for an owner’s title.
Good mid-tier value
Bubba Wallace (+1400)
Joey Logano (+1600)
Wallace’s stats aren’t great at Las Vegas but he won earlier this postseason at Kansas and has shown great intermediate track speed. Logano has the best average finish of any driver at Vegas at 8.9 and has two wins and 11 top-10 finishes in 18 starts.
Don’t bet this driver
Ross Chastain (+1000)
We’re still not bullish on Chastain’s title chances and would rank him eighth among the eight remaining playoff drivers because of the potential for payback from competitors he’s rubbed the wrong way.
Looking for a long shot?
Erik Jones (+8000)
The Darlington winner’s odds here are too low. Jones has three top-10 finishes at Las Vegas and his No. 43 car has shown speed lately at intermediate tracks. Jones shouldn’t be a favorite, but he his odds should be half of what they are.