Thursday, September 1, 2022

Darlington NASCAR Betting Preview: 2022 Cook Out Southern 500

It’s going to be a hot and humid Sunday night at Darlington Raceway’s high banked 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. It’s time for the Cook Out Southern 500, one of the grandest traditions in NASCAR history running on Labor Day weekend almost every year since 1950. It’s 500 miles on The Lady in Black, and she’s angry all the time. But she’s been sweet to a few drivers over the years who understand her story and understand how to not wear out their tires too quickly.

It’s the perfect race to start the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs where 16 qualified drivers will be competing for the 2022 Championship. The Southern 500 begins the Round of 16 and four drivers will be eliminated after this three-race round. Win a race in this round and you move on to the next round regardless of points. After nine races and three stages, we’ll have the Championship 4 race at Phoenix on Nov. 3 and a Champion will be crowned.

I wrote earlier in the week about who I like to win it all.


Here’s a look at who I like this week using odds courtesy of BetMGM

Kyle Larson (6/1) - In nine Cup starts at Darlington he has an 8.9 average finish with five top-fives which includes three straight runner-ups before his 36th in the May race. He started second, led 30 laps, and the engine blew. The 2021 Champion likes the track a lot, but no wins.  The NextGen car has brought his party way down. Too much noise from 10 wins in 2021. Just two wins this season, each separated by a long gap. So why is he favored? Because it’s the playoffs and he gets his old car back? No. Because he’s due? No. It doesn’t matter because the sportsbooks all copied each other's lazy odds, likely using last fall’s odds grid, past experience on the track, and threw 2022 results out the window. I won’t be on Larson this week, but I’ve got a driver they fell asleep on with odds. 

"We had a really fast car last time before we had trouble,” Larson said of the May race. “The first round has a lot of really good tracks for us. Darlington, Kansas, and Bristol. Those are honestly three of my best racetracks. I really like that round and hopefully we can do well in it and get some wins and get some bonus points. I have always run really well at Darlington, but have not gotten a win there yet. I finished second three times in a row before this year, so would love to be one spot better there and finally get that Darlington win that I have been close to getting."

Denny Hamlin (7/1) - He’s still banged up from the late Daytona wreck and will not race in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. He has five Xfinity Series wins at Darlington and a series-leading four wins at Darlington. He won last year's Cup race there. He leads all active drivers with a 7.8 average finish and also has 11 top-fives and 786 laps led. The Lady in Black and Hamlin are good friends and send each other Christmas cards. But the new car has taken away all the edges he’s experienced at his favorite tracks like Darlington and Martinsville. And he had to scheme with differing pit strategies to win at Richmond. We’ll look to bet him next week at Kansas, but he’s saying all the right things this week. 


“I feel really good about where our team is at. We have as much potential as anybody in the field if we can just put it all together,” Hamlin said. “Darlington is obviously a great place to get that started with our history there. It would be nice to go in there Saturday, qualifying up front and be able to maintain that throughout the night Sunday. That’s easier said than done, but Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) and everyone on our 11 team is doing everything they can right now, so I’m excited to see it play out.”

Read More Here.....Top-5 Finish prediction on

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