Xfinity 500: Martinsville Picks, Odds & Race Preview

Denny Hamlin is feeling the playoff pressure, but he's a huge favorite this weekend in Martinsville, where he's won five times. Check out the Xfinity 500 odds and our best betting picks as NASCAR gets set for its final postseason cut.

Oct 29, 2023 • 11:00 ET • 4 min read
Denny Hamlin NASCAR
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

We're getting down to the thick of it in the NASCAR playoffs, with Sunday's Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway serving as the penultimate race, and the final elimination round before the Championship 4. 

NASCAR odds are favoring Denny Hamlin — who's on the playoff bubble and has plenty of past Martinsville success to lean on. Can he get the job done when it matters the most and snag one of the two remaining Championship berths?

As the NASCAR Cup Series odds speed towards their final destination, let's break down the field for this crucial race with our Xfinity 500 odds, and serve up the best NASCAR betting picks for a profitable weekend.

Odds to win 2023 Xfinity 500

Driver DraftKings BetMGM Caesars
Martin Truex Jr. +330 +400 +400
Denny Hamlin +450 +450 +360
Ryan Blaney +600 +500 +650
Kyle Larson +750 +800 +750
William Byron +900 +1,300 <+1,000>>
Christopher Bell +1,100 +1,100 +1,200
Tyler Reddick +1,200 +1,300 +1,200
Kevin Harvick +1,700 +2,000 +1,800
Brad Keselowski +1,800 +1,600 +1,400
Ty Gibbs +1,800 +2,000 +1,400
Kyle Busch +2,500 +2,200 +3,000
Joey Logano +2,800 +2,500 +2,200
Chase Elliott +2,800 +2,500 +3,000
Chris Buescher +2,800 +4,000 +4,000
Aric Almirola +4,000 +4,500 +2,800
Chase Briscoe +2,800 +2,000 +2,200
Ross Chastain +5,000 +5,000 +4,500
Ryan Preece +4,000 +5,000 +4,500
Bubba Wallace +2,500 +3,000 +2,800
Alex Bowman +8,000 +8,000 +7,500

Odds as of October 29, 2023.

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Xfinity 500 field

The pre-qualifying odds board for the Xfinity 500 looks peculiarly lonely, with Denny Hamlin sitting at +275, over twice as short as the next driver, representing a huge odds edge by NASCAR standards, especially for what figures to be a competitive race. Hamlin's in a position of urgency on a track he's won at five times, but he has finishes of 27-10-30 in the playoffs' last three races after a dominant three-month run of results. 

Sitting a relatively distant second at +700 is Kyle Larson, who's already booked his ticket to the final, but has two playoff wins already and won at Martinsville earlier this year, so he'll be entering confident.

William Byron (+750) is in the same boat as Hamlin, looking to dodge the playoff chopping block, currently sitting third by virtue of points. He won the spring race here last season and has easily posted the most consistent results of any playoff driver, with a victory and Top-10 finishes in all but one race. 

This race departs slightly from the playoff-skewed odds distribution we've seen in most postseason races, with the contenders now making up such a small portion of the field. Still, opposing Hamlin's short odds, there's a steep dropoff at the back end of the pack, whose odds are considerably longer than the long shots in a regular-season race. 

Xfinity 500 picks and predictions

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

Xfinity 500 pre-qualifying favorites

Denny Hamlin (+275)

His back is against the wall. Four of his last seven Martinsville finishes have seen him come home 11th or worse. However, he now has two straight Top-5 finishes (fifth last fall, fourth this spring). He's also won here five times, swept both stages last year in the fall race, and led 203 laps in the process. Last year’s test here between the spring and fall races could have put him back on the right path. He has five straight Top-7 finishes on short track races on the season too, including a runner-up in Richmond and a win at Bristol in the last two. 

William Byron (+750)

Byron also has six Top 8s in his last eight Martinsville starts, including a runner-up in the playoff race in 2019, fourth and fifth, respectively, in 2021, and a win in the spring race a year ago after leading the final 212 laps. My only concern is that he finished 23rd this past spring and has finished 21st or worse in four of his last six short track starts on the season. Still, Byron has nine Top-10 finishes and six Top 5s over the last 10 weeks, compared to having scored just three Top 10s and only one Top 5 in the 10 weeks prior.  

Martin Truex Jr. (+900)

He’s won three of the last eight Martinsville races. The only ones that he didn’t win were the last three fall races, where he led 129 laps in the fall of 2020 and was fourth in 2021. He was third this past spring too. Truex has eight Top 5’s in his last 12 tries on the Virginia Paperclip, and on a track with a tight turning radius similar to Martinsville (LA Coliseum), he won. He also has two points-paying wins and four Top-7 finishes in his last five short track starts this season. 

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Xfinity 500 sleepers

Joey Logano (+1,400)

Logano scored a pair of Top-5 finishes at Martinsville in 2020, and again the last two springs (second in both) to go along with 10 Top 10s in his last 11 tries. He was sixth last October, too, and has finished 11th, seventh, second, 31st, second, fourth and 34th on short tracks this season.

Xfinity 500 fades

Tyler Reddick (+1,500)

Not one of his stronger tracks. Reddick has finished 16th or worse in six of his seven Martinsville starts with a best finish of eighth. On short tracks this season, he’s finished third (Phoenix), 16th, 22nd, seventh, sixth 16th, 15th. 

Kevin Harvick (+1,800)

He’s had just two Top 5s in his last 22 Martinsville starts, including 15th and 17th in 2020, ninth and 12th last year, 14th and 16th last year, and 20th this spring. 

Kyle Busch (+1,900)

Busch has 13 Top-10 finishes in his last 16 Martinsville starts, including a runner-up in the fall race of 2021. At the Coliseum, he and his RCR teammate Austin Dillon were 2-3. Dillon was in the Top 5 here a year ago too. However, Busch has maintained these are his worst tracks this season and he was 21st this past spring. Five of his last six short-track finishes have been 14th or worse.

Xfinity 500 prop pick

Brad Keselowski Top-5 finish 

Keselowski has six Top-5 finishes in his last 10 starts at Martinsville, including 10 in his last 15 overall. He also has four Top-3s in his last nine there. On short tracks this season, he’s finished 10th, 24th, eighth, fifth, sixth, and eighth in the last six. 

Pick: Keselowski Top 5 (+120 at DraftKings)

Martinsville Speedway track analysis

A unique track with long straights and tight corners. This is the second trip here of the season, but this one is 100 laps longer than the one this past spring. How much of a factor will that play?

I mean, you’re truly only talking about a 53-mile differential between the 500-lap and 400-lap events here. We’ve shortened races at other tracks by 100 miles. This is basically half of that. So, will it truly change the outcome?

It may.

Since the stage era began in 2017, we’ve had 12 Martinsville races. In them, the leader at Lap 400 failed to win the race in the end five times. 

The Martinsville Fall race winner has not been a part of the playoffs three times, and all three were Hendrick Motorsports drivers (2005 – Jeff Gordon, 2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2021 – Bowman). On top of that, a non-playoff driver won the ninth race of the postseason five times (2005 – Kyle Busch, 2011 – Kasey Kahne, 2015 – Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2017 – Matt Kenseth and 2021 – Alex Bowman) too.

There have also been eight straight different winners of this fall race (Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell). 

That’s an HMS win in five of the last nine fall races. They’ve also won 12 of the 19 years of this playoff race and a record-setting 28 times overall here. That’s double (14 wins) the next best by Joe Gibbs Racing. 

Joe Gibbs Racing, Team Penske, and Hendrick Motorsports have won 16 of the last 17 Martinsville races, with four of the last six belonging to HMS. Factor in the ninth playoff race and these three teams have combined to win each of the last eight.

Xfinity 500 trends

  • The front-row starters have failed to win each of the last 20 Martinsville races overall.

  • The last seven overall Martinsville races were won by a driver coming from fifth on back.

  • The eventual race winner had a Top5 finish in the first stage every year minus the last two fall races and this spring. 

  • If you want to win, you’d better find yourself in the Top 2 or 3 by the end of the second stage. Since we began stage racing in 2017, the eventual winner has finished either first (four times), second (three times), or third (twice) in nine of the 13 second stages. Bell was fifth last October.

  • Seven of the 13 races at Martinsville under the stage era here saw the driver to lead the most laps win the race in the end.

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