Coca-Cola 600: Charlotte Picks, Odds & Race Preview

Charlotte Motor Speedway plays host to this weekend's NASCAR stop, and Kyle Larson once again finds himself atop the Coca-Cola 600 odds. See who else is part of a clearly-defined tier of favorites.

Last Updated: May 28, 2023 9:05 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Kyle Larson NASCAR
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Larson won yet another race last week, and while it didn't pay the points to help him extend his NASCAR Cup Series odds lead, it's yet another feather in the cap of a driver who appears to be regaining his dominant 2021 form. 

NASCAR now rolls into Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600, which Larson won in 2021. He'll have to fend off a crowded tier of contenders, with five drivers priced below +1,000.

We break down the field with our Coca-Cola 600 odds as well as provide our NASCAR betting picks!

Odds to win 2023 Coca-Cola 600

Driver Odds to win
Kyle Larson +450
William Byron +550
Denny Hamlin +650
Martin Truex Jr. +850
Chase Elliott +900
Ross Chastain +1,100
Kyle Busch +1,100
Christopher Bell +1,100
Tyler Reddick +1,600
Kevin Harvick +1,800
Bubba Wallace +1,800
Alex Bowman +1,800
Joey Logano +2,200
Ryan Blaney +2,200
Daniel Suarez +3,500
Brad Keselowski +4,000
Ty Gibbs +6,500
Chris Buescher +10,000
Chase Briscoe +10,000
Austin Dillon +10,000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +10,000

Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of May 23, 2023.

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Coca-Cola 600 field

Kyle Larson, as he's familiar with, is the favorite for this weekend's race, at some fairly short +450 odds that usually aren't seen outside of road courses. Larson won this race in 2021, and has bagged Top-2 finishes in half of the past six races this season — including two Victory Laps. 

Trailing Larson narrowly is his HMS teammate William Byron, who has three wins on the campaign and Top-7 finishes in the past four points-paying races. Byron was a disappointing 32nd here last year, but his fourth-place finish in 2021 shows potential on the Charlotte oval. 

Third, at the odds you'd typically find an oval favorite, is Denny Hamlin, defending champ of the Coca-Cola 600. Hamlin's started this season stronger than 2022, and while his results on the track are a mixed bag, he's in position to move into the Cup Series Top 3, so he'll be motivated for a strong showing. 

With a large segment of drivers priced as favorites, there's a very steep dropoff, with just two drivers separating Alex Bowman (+3,000) and Chris Buescher (+9,000), creating a very two-tiered dynamic for this race. 

Coca-Cola 600 picks and predictions

Coca-Cola 600 favorites

Kyle Larson (+650)

Larson dominated the 2021 race and has four Top 10 finishes in his last five Charlotte oval starts. 

Denny Hamlin (+600)

The defending race winner has 17 Top 10 finishes in his last 21 Charlotte oval starts dating back to the 2010 season. He was runner up in the 500-mile race in 2020, seventh in 2021, and won in 2022. His last seven 600 finishes have been: eighth, fourth, fifth, third, 29th, seventh, and first respectively. 

Martin Truex Jr. (+800)

Truex Jr. is tough read this weekend. At one time, Charlotte was a playground for Truex. He had eight Top 6 finishes in a nine-race span which included two wins, a runner-up, and a pair of third-place finishes. He led 1,050 laps in that time frame. Since? No laps led with finishes of ninth, 29th, and 12th respectively.

Coca-Cola 600 sleepers

Christopher Bell (+1,100)

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has a pair of Top 10 finishes in four career Charlotte oval starts, including ninth in 2020 and fifth a year ago. 

Kevin Harvick (+1,800)

Since 2013 (16 starts), Harvick has 14 Top 10 finishes including five straight. He's a three-time Charlotte oval winner including two of which came in the 600. His last 10 finishes in this prestigious race were first, second, ninth, second, eighth, 40th, 10th, fifth, 10th, and third respectively. 

Austin Dillon (+10,000)

A former winner who has two Top 8 finishes in his last three starts and was leading at the end of last year's race before crashing in the end. 

Coca-Cola 600 fades

Ross Chastain (+1,000)

Chastain looked good last year, leading 153 laps. However, he finished just 15th in the end, marking his best career Charlotte oval finish. 

Joey Logano (+2,200)

Logan has just one Top 5 finish in his last 10 Charlotte oval starts, including finishes of 21st, 22nd, second, 13th, 17th, and 20th in his last six Coke 600 tries. 

Ryan Blaney (+1,800)

Blaney was third in both races in 2020, but those are his only Top 5 finishes in 12 Charlotte oval starts. In the last two years, he was 13th and 29th respectively. Blaney has led eight total laps too, including two laps each in four of the last five oval races. 

Coca-Cola 600 prop pick

Christopher Bell (-105) vs. Ross Chastain (-125)

Chastain’s best Coca-Cola 600 finish is 15th, and he's been sat down and talked to about his aggressive driving style. Bell was fourth last year and honestly has had a faster car on 1.5-mile tracks this season. 

Pick: Christopher Bell (-105 at DraftKings)

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Charlotte Oval track analysis

Nothing has changed here since the last time out that witnessed the most lead changes (31) since 2014 (34) and also the most cautions (18) since 2005 (22). By comparison, there were only four cautions in 2021 and eight and seven respectively in the pair of races in 2020. There were almost as many cautions last year than the three combined races prior. 

That was a byproduct of this Next Gen and how much it improved the racing on this track. I expect similar results this time around again. 

The thing is, even if someone dominates, it’s not like they’re a shoo-in to win Three of the last six years have seen someone steal the win in the end. Austin Dillon only led two laps in 2017, Brad Keselowski led just 21 laps in 2020, and Denny Hamlin led 15 lap a year ago. That’s been a thing that’s occurred a lot with this Next Gen car even. 

Coca-Cola 600 trends

  • Three of the last five race winners have started on the pole in this race, including two straight. However, six of the last nine race winners on the oval have won from ninth or worse.
  •  In all six years of the stage era, the eventual winner scored stage points in the third stage (10th, first, first, seventh, first, 10th). 
  • In three of the last four years, the eventual winner failed to score points in the second stage. Out of the last five years, in the races that they did score points in the second stage, they won that second stage. They also won the first stage. 
  • In four of the six years of the opening stages, the eventual race winner scored stage points, including two wins (No points, first, ninth, no points, first, 10th). 

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