NASCAR Food City 500 best bets: Bristol Cup Series odds, predictions

NASCAR Food City 500 best bets: Bristol Cup Series odds, predictions

The NASCAR Cup Series is at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday for the Food City 500.

It’ll be the first Spring race on the concrete surface since 2020, as NASCAR raced on the Bristol dirt in the last three seasons.

Caesars Sportsbook has Denny Hamlin (+400), Kyle Larson (+500) and Christopher Bell (+500) as the favorites. Larson and Hamlin are past winners at Bristol, while Bell has back-to-back top-five finishes at the track.

Bell led the final 41 laps in last week’s race in Phoenix to capture his first victory of 2024. He’ll be tough to beat on Sunday, but the competition is ready to roll at The Last Great Colosseum.

Check out my favorite bets for the Food City 500, including a pair of past champions.

Food City 500 odds to win

Driver FanDuel BetMGM Caesars BetRivers
Denny Hamlin +500 +525 +400 +500
Christopher Bell +500 +600 +500 +550
Kyle Larson +450 +550 +500 +550
William Byron +1200 +1400 +1200 +1500
Ryan Blaney +1200 +900 +1200 +1500
Kyle Busch +1200 +1200 +1300 +1800
Ty Gibbs +1300 +1100 +1200 +1100
Chris Buescher +1400 +1500 +1400 +1500
Tyler Reddick +1000 +1100 +1400 +1400
Chase Elliott +1400 +1700 +1200 +1600
Odds as of Friday, March 15

Food City 500 best bets

To win: Kyle Larson (+550, BetMGM)

Two weeks ago, Larson was the overwhelming favorite at Las Vegas, and he rewarded bettors with a dominant victory.

I wouldn’t let the odds scare you this week, as Larson is elite at Bristol.

In his last nine Bristol starts, he has one win, five top-five finishes and 780 laps led. If you take out an outlier performance in the Spring 2019 race, he has an average finish of 4.1 at Bristol in that stretch.

The transition to the Next-Gen car hasn’t affected his Bristol numbers. He’s finished top-five in both races at the track, including a runner-up finish in last year’s Summer race.

When you look at the numbers, it’s surprising he only has one Bristol victory. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see that number double on Sunday.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Valvoline Chevrolet, greets fans onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Shriners Children’s 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Getty Images

Christopher Bell top-3 finish (+180, BetMGM)

There was much criticism from fans last week for the lack of passing at Phoenix. One driver who had no issue passing was Bell, who came from 20th on the final restart to win the race by nearly 5.5 seconds.

That victory could signal a big season for the 29-year-old Toyota driver. That strong performance should carry over to Bristol Motor Speedway, where Bell is knocking on the door of his first win at the track.

Over the last two races at Bristol, he has led a combined 330 laps. That’s nearly double the amount of second-place Chris Buescher. He’s also one of three drivers to finish top five in both Bristol races with the Next-Gen car.

Even going back to the Xfinity Series, Bell has always been good at Bristol. He should be in contention for the win and score a top-three finish.

William Byron top-5 finish (+220, BetMGM)

William Byron has been surprisingly quiet since his Daytona 500 victory. Byron enters Sunday’s race with three straight finishes of 10th or worse. I expect that to change with a bounce-back performance at Thunder Valley.

Byron has finished ninth or better in four of his last five Bristol starts, including a pair of third-place finishes. His lone bad finish in that stretch came after a mid-race wreck ended his day. Byron had run in the top 15 all race before the crash.

I wouldn’t expect race-winning speed like his HMS teammate Larson, as Byron has never led a lap at Bristol. He should be able to lean on Larson’s expertise to help with the car setup and driving style.

Byron needs a strong performance to break out of his recent funk. There’s a good chance he will crack the top five on Sunday.

Get the lowdown on the Best USA Sports Betting Sites and Apps

Chase Elliott top-10 finish (+100, bet365)

I’m going heavy on Hendrick Motorsports this weekend with Larson to win, Byron T-5 and now Elliott to finish top 10.

A lot has been made about Elliott’s slow start to the season, but I have a hard time believing it’ll last.

Elliott had a six-race stretch from 2018 to 2021, leading 23-plus laps in every Bristol race. He only finished in the top 10 in half of those races, but they come with an asterisk.

Twice, Elliott hit the wall while battling for the lead. Without those crashes, he could’ve easily won both races.

He hasn’t been as dominant at Bristol in the Next-Gen car but still has a pair top-10 finishes.

He had a top-10 car last week at Phoenix, but the pit strategy didn’t fall his way.

There aren’t many drivers who need a better performance than Elliott. Let’s hope his luck finally turns with a top-10 finish at Bristol.

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