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NASCAR Cup Series: Odds, Picks & Best Bets For The Xfinity 500 At Martinsville

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 20 mins

NASCAR Cup Series: Odds, Picks & Best Bets For The Xfinity 500 At Martinsville

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They entered the NASCAR Playoffs first and second in the standings, one the regular season champion and the other the circuit’s best driver without a title. 

Now it’s desperation time for Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin, who both essentially face a win-to-get-in scenario this weekend if they hope to advance to the sport’s championship race.

A blown engine for Truex and a busted steering part for Hamlin last week at Homestead left both drivers in critical situations this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, home to the season’s penultimate race. Betting apps are clearly full of emotion with these very rigid competitions.

NASCAR odds for both have plummeted as a result: Hamlin now stands at +1200 and Truex at +1600, well behind +150 favorite Kyle Larson, who’s already clinched his spot in the title race next week. The question now for sports bettors: can that desperation be turned into profit?

Should either Hamlin or Truex manage to advance, their title odds would be far less favorable in next week’s finale at Phoenix. Both have very good records on the half-mile short track at Martinsville, where Hamlin has won five times and Truex three. 

They finished fourth and third, respectively, at Martinsville this past spring. Hamlin in particular is such an ace at Martinsville that he opened as the race favorite at +300.

For sports bettors, it’s a risk-reward proposition, to be sure. Both Hamlin and Truex are 17 points below Ryan Blaney for the fourth and final championship spot, and will almost certainly enter Martinsville thinking that they need to win the race. 

If you’re a believer in either one of those drivers, better to capitalize on favorable championship odds now rather than salvage what you can next week.

Xfinity 500 Odds 

Odds via Bet365 and current as of publication. Check out our Bet365 Review

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Xfinity 500 Betting Tips

For Truex, honestly, chances of advancing seem slim: he’s been a mess the whole playoffs, with just one top-10 finish in eight starts, and has only gotten this far thanks to the bonus points he accrued in the regular season. 

Meanwhile, Hamlin after a four straight top-fives has failed to finish two of his last three starts, due to a crash at Charlotte and now a broken steering part at Homestead that sent him into the wall.

But goodness, that Hamlin track record at Martinsville is tough to ignore. His five wins there lead all active drivers, and his average finish of 10.3 ranks second. 

While he hasn’t won at Martinsville since 2015, he’s been top-five in six of his last 10 there, and has led 100 laps or more three times in his past five starts. 

Perhaps just as importantly: Hamlin has only two DNFs in 35 career starts at the Paper Clip, where he almost always runs up front and finishes the race.

Three times in the past four seasons, a driver needing to win to reach the Championship 4 has prevailed in the season’s penultimate race: Christopher Bell last season, Chase Elliott in 2020, and Hamlin in 2019 (when this event was in Phoenix). 

Hamlin and Truex fall into that category this time around, as does Tyler Reddick, who is 10 points back and has just one career top-10 in seven starts at Martinsville. Chris Buescher, 43 points back and with one Martinsville top-10 in 16 starts, needs a miracle.

Larson has been second and first in his last two Martinsville starts, and can race with the freedom of knowing his championship berth is secure. 

So can Homestead winner Bell, the defending champion in this event. William Byron, currently in the third championship position on points, has been top-10 in six of his last eight at Martinsville (including a victory in the spring of 2022), while fourth-place Blaney owns nine top-10s and a track-best career average finish of 9.5.

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Xfinity 500 3 Best Bets

Denny Hamlin To Win

Odds: +300 at Bet365

History indicates that this is a race where desperate drivers find a way. No one is more desperate than Hamlin, who at 42 needs to capitalize on every championship opportunity he has left. 

(The oldest drivers ever to win a title were Lee Petty and Bobby Allison at 45, followed by Dale Earnhardt at 43.) Hamlin’s track record at Martinsville is excellent, the chances of two consecutive mechanical failures seem very small, and we’d expect that No. 11 car to get out front early Sunday and make every effort to stay there. 

William Byron Top 3

Odds: +240 at Bet365

So if Larson and Bell are already in, and Hamlin wins to clinch a spot, who rounds out our Championship 4? Our bet is Byron, who’s been strong all season and particularly good over the latter stages of this playoff with six straight top-10 finishes entering Martinsville.

Byron’s also been a regular contender at the Paper Clip, finishing seventh or better in six of his last eight, with a victory there in the spring of last season. 

And with Larson’s title berth secure, expect the juggernaut that is Hendrick Motorsports to muster every resource possible to get a second car into the championship mix in Phoenix.

Ryan Blaney Top 5

Odds: +200 at Bet365

Blaney has finished first, sixth and second over the past four weeks to vault himself into the title picture, and he has an excellent Martinsville record that includes six top-five finishes in over his last 10 starts on the Virginia short track. 

He’s never won there, but he has finished second twice, most recently in 2020. But somebody has to get left out of the championship mix, and we’re betting that unfortunate mantel falls to Blaney, who despite all his good runs at Martinsville has led just five laps there over his past four starts.

Xfinity 500 Time, Date and TV

When: Sunday, 2: 00 p.m. EDT

Where: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway


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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.