Cook Out 400 best bets: NASCAR Cup Series odds, picks for Martinsville

Cook Out 400 best bets: NASCAR Cup Series odds, picks for Martinsville

The NASCAR Cup Series visits Martinsville Speedway on Sunday for the Cook Out 400.

It’ll be the first of two Martinsville races in 2024, and you can watch the race on Fox Sports 1 at 3 p.m. ET.

Last week’s winner, Denny Hamlin, is the favorite to capture his third checkered flag of the season.

The favorites feature past Martinsville winners, including Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell.

Over the last two years, it’s been tough to pass at Martinsville, so a good starting position could make all the difference. Keep that in mind before placing your bets.

I’ve identified four drivers with a strong track history at the half-mile oval. 

Cook Out 400: Top outright winner odds

Driver Odds Driver Odds
Denny Hamlin +450 Joey Logano +1200
Martin Truex Jr. +650 William Byron +1200
Ryan Blaney +700 Ty Gibbs +1300
Kyle Larson +700 Chase Elliott +1600
Christopher Bell +750 Brad Keselowski +1600
Odds via FanDuel

Cook Out 400 best bets

To win: Ryan Blaney (+900, bet365)

It was a great start to the 2024 season for Blaney. The defending champ had three straight top-five finishes but followed that with three straight outside the top 10.

I expect a big bounce-back performance at Martinsville.

In the Next Gen era, Blaney has been the driver to beat at the short track. He ranks No. 1 in total speed, having a top-five car in three of the last four Martinsville races, including a victory in last year’s Fall race.

Over the last 10 Martinsville races, Blaney has seven top-five finishes. That stretch includes four races with 30-plus laps led.

He’s not the race favorite, but the path to victory lane goes through Blaney at Martinsville.

Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the Toyota Owners 400 in March. Getty Images

Denny Hamlin top-3 finish (+140, ESPN BET)

The hottest driver in NASCAR heads to Martinsville Speedway with a chance to capture his sixth victory at the track. There’s no way I’m keeping Hamlin off my betting card this week.

Hamlin captured his second victory of the season last week. Now, he heads to a track where he’s ranked first or second in total speed over the last three races.

He’s a major factor to lead laps and contend for the win on Sunday, as he’s led 100-plus laps in four of the last seven Martinsville races. If you include the exhibition race at the Coliseum, Hamlin has won every short-track race in 2024.

Blaney is still the driver to beat, but Hamlin will be right up front. He should keep up the success with a top-three finish.

Chase Elliott top-5 finish (+275, bet365)

Elliott continues to take steps forward to regain his championship form. Last week marked his first top-five of the season, and he has a strong chance to build momentum at Martinsville.

Elliott has had a ton of near misses in his Martinsville career. He crashed while leading in the Fall 2017 race, spun while running top-five in the Fall 2021 race and had an issue after winning the first two stages in the 2022 Spring race.

Overall, he has a win and five top-five finishes in 17 starts at Martinsville, and he has led 50-plus laps in five of his last seven starts at the track, including three races with 185-plus laps led.

Elliott continues to show flashes of his potential. I love the value of him scoring a top-five finish at one of his best tracks.

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Ryan Preece top-10 finish (+230, ESPN BET)

It’s not often you’ll see Preece among my favorite bets. He only has two top-10 finishes in 24 career short-track starts, but the underlying metrics show he’s had speed at Martinsville.

Last season, Preece scored his first career pole in the Martinsville Spring race.

He dominated the opening portion, leading 135 laps en route to winning Stage 1. Unfortunately for him, a speeding penalty derailed his day.

He only finished 20th in last year’s Fall race, but his average running position was 11th. Preece also qualified ninth, which is important for a track like Martinsville.

Stewart-Haas Racing showed a ton of speed last season at Martinsville. If that carries into 2024, Preece should contend for a top-10 finish.

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