Kyle Larson favorite to win 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Kyle Larson favorite to win 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship

The NASCAR season finally comes to an end this weekend when the 2023 champion will be crowned at the end of the final race in Phoenix, Arizona.

Kyle Larson was the first of four drivers to clinch a spot in the Championship 4, winning the first race of the Round of 8 at Las Vegas. Christopher Bell clinched the second spot in the Championship 4, winning the second race of the Round of 8 at Homestead. Ryan Blaney clinched the third spot in the Championship 4, winning the second race of the Round of 8 at Martinsville before William Byron clinched the final spot in the Championship 4 based on points.

We'll take a look at the contenders to become the champion at the end of the race and break down their chances of success to see if we can earn you some extra cash with our best free NASCAR picks.

NASCAR Cup Series ChampionshipBetOnlineBetUSMyBookie
Kyle Larson+150+150+162
William Byron+250+250+265
Ryan Blaney+250+250+270
Christopher Bell+300+300+350

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NASCAR Cup Series Championship information

  • Sunday, 5th November 2023
  • Phoenix Raceway, Phoenix, Arizona
  • 15:00 ET start-time
  • 312 laps

NASCAR Cup Series Championship Contenders

Below you'll find a list of the four NASCAR Cup Series Championship contenders.

Kyle Larson - (+162)

The driver that qualifies for the championship first has an enormous edge, and that man this season was Larson. He has been focused on Phoenix for weeks and yet has still been performing well, with a sixth-placed finish at the Xfinity 500 last time out in preparation for this big race.

His engineers have been analyzing Phoenix for weeks. Homestead and Martinsville received some attention, but Phoenix has been at the top of their to-do list for two weeks. The other contenders did not have this luxury. Their resources were devoted to the race of the given week and while it may seem relatively minor, this is not a marginal advantage. An early championship qualification has proved to be significant in the past and Larson is not a driver that needs favors or advantages to succeed.

Winning at Phoenix is nothing new for Larson either. He won the 2021 Cup Series Championship at Phoenix and in this season’s spring race at Phoenix, he was the fastest in practice. He topped the speed charts in 5-lap, 10-lap, 15-lap, 20-lap and 25-lap speeds. He led 200 laps and ran the most fast laps in the race before a late-race caution cost him the race.

This is his second chance and a more significant chance to get a win at Phoenix. Larson was a championship contender before the season began and as mentioned, the extra weeks of preparation are significant, but this team was preparing for this moment before the first green flag of 2023 waved. He's the favorite but there's still great value in backing him to finish highest of the four drivers in contention, so back him to be the champion by the end of the race.

Kyle Larson to win NASCAR Cup Series Championship

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William Byron - (+265)

We mentioned that qualifying first is a huge advantage, which means qualifying last is a major disadvantage and that's where Byron falls into this category. But it can't be forgotten that the man to take advantage of that Larson caution in spring was Byron, meaning he knows what it takes to win in Phoenix.

There is a common perspective that Byron did not deserve the win and that Larson was much better. Larson led the laps in the spring race, but Byron was at his heels all race long. Larson turned 316 laps inside the top 5. Byron turned 314 laps. Larson’s average running position in that race was 1.4. Byron averaged a position of 2.5. These two drivers are closer than most think.

With so much riding on this and the fact Larson is favorite, all the pressure is on him to succeed. Byron is someone that nobody expected to be a contender in this race at the start of the season, and with the win earlier in the season plus the huge added value for him to be champion then this is a super tempting bet if you don't think Larson gets the job done.

William Byron to win NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Ryan Blaney - (+270)

Larson was a contender to be in this race at the start of the season, but none of the other contenders were and Blaney was probably the least expected to get here. But he did it with a great season and fully deserves his spot.

Larson is the favorite to win the NASCAR Cup Series Championship. But Blaney isn’t a long shot to knock him off. Blaney was the runner-up in the spring race, where Larson finished fourth. Blaney’s average running position was 7.5. He ran inside the top 10 for 312 of the 317 laps. Byron was closer, but Blaney was within striking distance.

He has led 90 laps or more in three of the last 10 Phoenix races. Over that span, he has eight top-10 finishes and six top-5 finishes. Currently, he’s riding a four-race top-5 streak at Phoenix and has been the runner-up in the last two Phoenix races. If he can do that again, then he will have a fantastic chance of causing a huge upset.

Ryan Blaney to win NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Christopher Bell - (+350)

Bell was the second man to qualify for this race and has been steady all season, but a win here would certainly be a surprise.

It will be his second consecutive appearance in the finale after he finished third last season. Bell is now a six-time winner in the NASCAR Cup Series, including a dominant victory in the fall race at Martinsville last season. He led 150 laps on his way to victory for his second career top-10 finish on the 0.526-mile oval.

He has four top-four finishes in his last seven races, and with that in mind, he's in fantastic form. The chances of all three of his rivals finishing behind him though are slim, and the value isn't the best considering the small chance he has of success here.

Christopher Bell to win NASCAR Cup Series Championship

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