Cup Series Championship: Phoenix Picks, Odds & Race Preview

Kyle Larson's the favorite for the Cup Series Championship — but is he your best bet? Check out the latest odds and betting picks for Sunday's season finale at Phoenix Raceway.

Nov 5, 2023 • 12:17 ET • 4 min read
Ryan Blaney NASCAR
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Here we are. The season-long NASCAR Cup Series odds will be settled Sunday, as the Cup Series Championship runs at Phoenix Raceway, getting underway at 2 p.m. ET. 

Ryan Blaney won last week's Xfinity 500 to lock up a spot in the Championship 4, but it's former champ Kyle Larson ahead of the field as the Phoenix favorite, looking to double down on his 2021 title.

Will Larson make good and prevail after topping the Cup Series odds board for much of this season? Or are we about to crown a first-time champion on Sunday?

Get the inside track on the field with our Cup Series Championship odds, along with a full Phoenix Raceway analysis and betting picks for NASCAR's 2023 finale. 

Odds to win 2023 Cup Series Championship

Driver DraftKings BetMGM
Kyle Larson +300 +290
William Byron +380 +340
Ryan Blaney +380 +300
Christopher Bell +380 +450
Kevin Harvick +500 +700
Martin Truex Jr. +1600 +1,400
Denny Hamlin +1,600 +1,800
Chris Buescher +2,800 +3,000
Joey Logano  +3,000 +2,500
Tyler Reddick  +3,500 +3,500
Ross Chastain +3,500 +1,000
Kyle Busch  +4,000 +4,000
Chase Elliott  +4,500 +5,000
Chase Briscoe  +4,500 +6,000
Ty Gibbs +5,000 +2,000
Bubba Wallace +5,500 +6,000
Brad Keselowski  +5,500 +6,000
Aric Almirola +15,000 +8,000
Alex Bowman +15,000 +15,000
Erik Jones +20,000 +15,000

Odds as of November 5, 2023.

Best NASCAR bonuses

BetMGM New Users
Get up to $1,500 bonus bets back if your first bet doesn’t win! Claim Now

Caesars New Users
Get up to $1,000 in bonus bets if your first bet doesn't win! Claim Now

Caesars All Users
Kevin Harvick Top 3 finish BOOSTED to +350Claim Now

bet365 All Users
Christopher Bell to win
BOOSTED from +400 to +450! Claim Now

FanDuel All Users
Byron or Bell to win Cup Series race BOOSTED to +200 Claim Now

Eligible USA locations only. Also, see our full list of best sportsbook promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Cup Series Championship field

The odds are tilted heavily in favor of the Championship 4 in this winner-take-all format, as we see Larson, Blaney, Byron, and Bell all coming in below the typical favorite's price for a single race. The other drivers are mostly going to concede the right-of-way to these guys, making a chalk run increasingly likely. 

Larson has two wins this postseason, on top of being the only qualifying driver to have won a Cup Series championship (2021).

Blaney narrowly missed a win in this race last year, and will look to make good on a late hot run that's seen him bag two wins and a runner-up finish in the past five races.

Byron won a NASCAR-high six races this season, and has been one of the few drivers to challenge Larson as a Cup Series favorite all year. He was sixth here last season.

Bell won in Miami to secure his Championship 4 spot, but has four Top-4 finishes in these playoffs, and notched Top-10 finishes in this race each of the past two seasons. 

Cup Series Championship picks and predictions

Not intended for use in MA. Affiliate Disclosure: Covers may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook or betting site.

Odds listed below courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook, September 24, 2023.

Cup Series Championship pre-qualifying favorites

Ryan Blaney (+275)

This is arguably one of Blaney’s best tracks and one that he’s now being forced to make a statement on. Blaney has eight Top-10 finishes in his last nine starts at Phoenix, including a pair of third-place runs in 2019, 10th and sixth in 2020 and 10th (35 laps led) and fourth in 2021, fourth and second, respectively, last year and runner-up this past spring.

He led 143 laps and won Stage 2 in the spring race a year ago, but pit road problems on his final stop kept him from victory lane. Last fall, he led another 109 laps and was runner-up to teammate Joey Logano. 

Christopher Bell (+450)

He was ninth in both Phoenix races in 2021, 26th and 10th last season and sixth this past spring too giving him no Top-5 finishes in six Cup starts in the Arizona desert. Can he magically turn it on all of a sudden? He did at Homestead a few weeks ago. Bell went from one Top-5 finish in the last 20 races on the season to four in the last seven.

Kentucky: Mobile sports betting is live!

Check out the best Kentucky sportsbook promos, with a number of odds boosts and offers available!

Kentucky sports betting launched online wagering on September 28 — review our list of the best Kentucky sports betting apps for making your first online bets in the Bluegrass State!

21+ and present in KY. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER

Cup Series Championship sleepers

Denny Hamlin (+2,200)

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has 11 Top-10 finishes in his last 15 starts in the desert including five Top-5 finishes in his last nine Phoenix starts in general. He was 23rd this past spring but that was all predicated by a late-race incident with Ross Chastain. Hamlin was fourth in the opening stage and sixth in the second. 

Joey Logano (+2,200)

Was +400 last fall and now he’s nearly six times the odds this year. Logano didn’t used to be among the ones to beat at Phoenix, but over his last eight starts, he has seven Top-11 finishes including a win in the spring race in 2020, a third in that year’s playoff race as well as a runner-up in the 2021 spring race, in which he led the most laps (143).

Last year, he led four laps and finished eighth in the spring race but returned in the fall to not only win the pole, but lead 187 of 312 laps en route to the win and a championship. He was 11th this past March. 

Chase Briscoe (+5,000)

Led 101 laps and won last year’s spring race. Was eighth this past spring and fourth last Fall after leading 11 more laps.

Cup Series Championship fades

Kyle Larson (+165)

This didn’t use to be one of his better tracks. Now it’s become one. Larson has four Top-5 finishes in his last seven there, including seventh and first, respectively, in 2021, 34th and ninth last year, and fourth this past spring from the pole after leading a race-high 2021 laps. Also, that spring race finish last year isn’t indicative on how strong his car was because he was seventh and fifth in the first 2 stages. The thing is, while having eight Top-10 finishes in his last nine Phoenix tries, Larson also has just one career win in 18 Phoenix  Cup starts as well. He’s 0-for-1 in Trucks and 0-for-5 in the Xfinity Series. For these odds, maybe worth punting. 

William Byron (+320)

He won the spring race and has had five Top-10 finishes in his last seven starts at Phoenix. He’s hot on the season, too. Byron has nine Top-10 finishes and six Top 5s over the last 11 weeks. In the 10 weeks prior, he had three Top 10 s and just one Top 5. The only problem is, the driver to win the spring race in Phoenix has only gone on to win the series championship three times — Terry Labonte (1984), Dale Earnhardt (1990), and Jeff Gordon (1995). That may not bode well for Byron. The last time someone swept both Phoenix races? 2014. 

Kevin Harvick (+1,300)

The proverbial “King of the Desert” has been astounding in Phoenix. Since 2012, Harvick has seven wins alone to go along with 11 Top-2 finishes (23 tries). Furthermore, Harvick has finished worse than seventh in just three of those 23 starts too. He was sixth in last year’s spring race but restarted third in the end. He just didn’t have the launch to contend for the win and got eaten alive. He came back to finish fifth last Fall. This year, he was on target to win before a late race caution with 10 to go. He fell to fifth after the final round of stops. 

Now he can attempt to become just the sixth driver to win 10 or more races at a single track with a win this weekend:

In saying that, his only deterrent is that he hasn’t won with this new configuration.

Harvick hasn’t exactly been like the Harvick of old at Phoenix lately. While he does have seven wins to go along with nine Top-2 finishes in his last 23 starts, to go along with finishing worse than sixth just three times since 2012, he hasn’t won since the track was reconfigured. He’s 0-for-9.

This change has been his kryptonite you could say. Nine of his last 10 Phoenix results have seen him finish fifth or worse. Ten of his previous 13 on the old configuration saw him finish fourth or better.

Cup Series Championship prop pick

Chase Elliott Top-5 finish

Four Top-5 finishes in his last six at Phoenix. The car was in the Top 10 with Josh Berry this past spring. With nothing to lose and his teammates needing interference up front, not a bad wager to look into. 

Pick: Elliott Top-5 finish (+500 at DraftKings)

Cup Series Championship track analysis

Sunday will mark the 55th time that the NASCAR Cup Series has raced at the Phoenix Raceway. They first started coming to the Arizona desert in the fall of 1988. The spring race though wasn’t added until 2005. Nothing has changed in regards to this track this year in comparison to the last time out. 

Phoenix is the ultimate “team” track in the sense that you have to have a great setup on your car coming to the race. You also have to have a great qualifying effort to give you a good pit stall selection and in turn, the pit crew has to do their job on pit road to keep you up front. 

That’s why starting position matters so much in Phoenix. 11 of the last 12 Phoenix winners have come from a Top-10 starting spot. In fact, 15 of the last 18 have started in the first five rows, including nine of the last 10 from the Top 6.

Last year’s Championship Weekend saw all three pole sitters win all three season finales. For the Truck Series and Xfinity Series finales, the pole-sitter swept both stages as well. 

The Ford camp flat-out dominated Phoenix last year. Ford drivers led 89% (558-for-624 laps led) of the laps here in 2022, including 248 of the 312 in the spring race and 310 of the 312 in the Fall.

Hendrick Motorsports led 65 of the remaining 66 laps between the two races with the only other driver to lead a lap in Phoenix last year being AJ Allmendinger.

This past spring, Chevrolet flipped the script. They led 280 of the 317 laps. Larson led 201 laps and Byron 64. Ford led the remaining 37 laps with Toyota leading none. 

The favorites are all Championship 4 drivers. For good measure though. The sleepers are getting really good odds. Which side are you on?

In all eight years under this Championship 4 format, the champion had to win the season finale. In fact, more times than not, all four championship drivers have finished in the Top 4. They’ve done so in two of the last four years and have gone or better 1-2-3 in three of four. 

Prior to this format, the champion only won the final race once in the previous 10 years of the playoff format (2011 Tony Stewart). In fact, if you go back to the start of the Modern Era (1972) and go through the 2003 season on the traditional points format, the season champion won the season finale just twice in 42 years. 

They’re 8-for-8 since.

Phoenix Raceway trends

  • Eight of the last nine Phoenix races saw the eventual race winner get a Top 5 in the opening stage. Chase Briscoe finished second in Stage 1 back in last year’s spring race while Joey Logano won the opening stage in this race a year ago. William Byron won the opening stage this past spring.

  • Furthermore, eight of the last 10 race winners had a Top 2 in Stage 2. Briscoe was eighth in March 2022 but, but Logano was second in November last year, and Byron second this past March.

  • Another odd trend is that the eventual winner has won the opening stage just once. In fact, that’s the only Top 2 either. Furthermore, outside of Logano last year, Truex leading the first 12 laps of the 2017 Homestead race and Kyle Larson leading the opening lap last year are the only 13 laps that the eventual winner had even led in Stage 1.

  • The driver to win the spring race in Phoenix has only gone on to win the series championship three times — Terry Labonte (1984), Dale Earnhardt (1990) and Jeff Gordon (1995). That may not bode well for William Byron. 

Pages related to this topic

Popular Content

Legal Canadian sports betting

Best Canadian betting sites Ontario sports betting
Covers 25 Years Logo Established in 1995,
Covers is the world
leader in sports
betting information.
Covers is verified safe by: Evalon Logo GPWA Logo GDPR Logo GeoTrust Logo Evalon Logo