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NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs: Odds, Picks & Best Bets for AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 19 mins

NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs: Odds, Picks & Best Bets for AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400

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Is it time to take Denny Hamlin seriously as a championship threat in NASCAR? Some sports betting apps certainly think so—because they’ve just elevated last weekend’s Bristol winner to the position of NASCAR futures odds favorite for the Cup Series title.

Easy to see why, given how well this current stretch favors the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. Sunday brings a race at Texas Motor Speedway, where Hamlin is a three-time winner, and opened as co-odds favorite to win along with Kyle Larson. 

After that, the best superspeedway driver of his generation takes on Talladega, where he’s won twice. At the very least, the table is set for Hamlin to advance into the Round of 8—where Martinsville, arguably his best track, awaits the week before the championship race.

No wonder, then, that DraftKings has bumped Hamlin to +400 championship favorite, just ahead of Larson at +425. Hamlin is a streaky driver, but his good runs are very, very good—over his past nine starts bookended by victories at Pocono and Bristol, he’s either finished top-three or back in the pack, with no in-between. 

For the past two weeks, he’s been second and first. Time to pay attention, indeed.

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AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 Betting Tips

Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with four career wins at Texas, the most recent coming in 2020. Yet he’s been a nonfactor in the championship conversation to this point, thanks to double-digit finishes in seven of his last 10 starts overall. 

Just behind with three career Texas wins, each are Hamlin and Kevin Harvick—the latter of whom is really limping to the finish in his final season and was eliminated from championship contention at Bristol.

Four active drivers own a single Texas victory, among them Larson, who led 256 laps to dominate the 2021 race in Fort Worth. The defending race champion is Tyler Reddick, who led 26 of the final 27 circuits to win a year ago and owns a series-best average finish at Texas of 6.8. 

Reddick has also been running very well this postseason, following a runner-up finish in the opener at Darlington with a victory at Kansas. 

The best driver without a victory at Texas is Martin Truex Jr., who barely avoided playoff elimination last week at Bristol, and owns three second-place finishes on the big 1.5-mile track.

Twenty-two active drivers have at least one top-10 finish at Texas, so there should be no shortage of potential value prospects for Sunday. The top options would include Chase Briscoe, who placed fifth in Fort Worth last year; Austin Dillon, who won there in 2020; Erik Jones, who owns seven top-10 finishes at Texas, including sixth in a Richard Petty car last year; and Justin Haley, who was a surprise third at Texas in 2022.

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Tyler Reddick To Win

Odds: +800 at DraftKings

It’s been a season of peaks and valleys for the 23XI Racing driver, who looked lost during a summer stretch defined by runs in the 20s and 30s. 

The No. 45 team has pulled it together at the right time, and the win at Kansas culminated a stretch of seven top-10s in nine starts. Texas is another fast intermediate track of the type that Reddick typically excels on, and his career results there clearly indicate a comfort level in Fort Worth. 

Denny Hamlin Top 3

Odds: +130 at DraftKings

The dude is clearly feeling it right now—Hamlin has finished second and first his past two weeks, he’s led laps in nine consecutive races, and he was bold enough to go right back at the fans who booed him after his Bristol victory. 

While Hamlin hasn’t finished better than ninth over his past five starts at Texas, he’s led laps in three of those, which hints that it’s a matter of making the right adjustments as the race goes on. For a notoriously inconsistent driver like Hamlin, you ride the waves when you can.

William Byron Top 5, -110

Odds: -110 at DraftKings

Remember this guy? While other drivers have grabbed the headlines, Byron has quietly moved to the top of the championship standings thanks to a fourth at Darlington and ninth at Bristol. 

And while the Hendrick driver has never won a Texas, he’s been second and seventh there the past two seasons, leading a total of 97 laps in the process. Byron has been top-10 in four of his past five starts overall, and he’s still lurking as a week-to-week threat.

AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 Time, Date and TV

When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. EDT

Where: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth


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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.