NASCAR Cup Series Picks: Bojangles' Southern 500

NASCAR Cup Series Picks: Bojangles' Southern 500

Stretching The Betting Odds With Brad Keselowski As My Top Favorite To Win

The Cup Series comes off last week’s break for the first of two final regular-season events prior to the start of this season’s 10-race playoff. Going back two weeks to the Night Race at Bristol, I cashed in on Denny Hamlin’s +1320 betting odds as my top-valued contender to win.

Matt DiBenedetto took second in that race and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top three drivers.

Turning my attention to Sunday night’s race at Darlington, I have come up with the three drivers that offer the best value in their odds to win on the board at 5Dimes sportsbook.

Brad Keselowski +700

There are five other drivers on the board at lower odds led by Kyle Larson as a +500 favorite. While Larson does offer value in search of his first Cup Series victory this season, I am going with Keselowski as the top-valued favorite with a trio of wins already on the 2019 racing resume.

With the third-place finish at Bristol, the No. 2 Ford has posted a total of eight runs inside the top five this season. Firmly in the playoff field, this racing team is sixth in the current Cup Series standings with a total of 794 points.

While current form is a plus, the main reason I am going with Keselowski in this race is his recent success at Darlington. He came close to winning in 2015 as the eventual runner-up ahead of last season’s victory in this event.

Chase Elliott +1400

Elliott has been on a wild ride this season behind the wheel of the No. 9 Chevrolet. The highlights include a pair of victories at Talladega and on the road course at Watkins Glen. The lowlights include a string of six finishes outside the top 10 drivers ahead of that win at the Glen in early August.

Since then, this team finished ninth at Michigan and fifth at Bristol to return to form. The two wins have Elliott firmly in the field for the playoffs and he is seventh in the standings with a total of 757 points. Overall, he has eight runs inside the top five through the first 24 point races.

This will be Elliott’s fifth career trip around the oval at Darlington in a Cup Series event. He placed 10th in the 2016 racing season and he moved up to fifth place in last season’s race.

Clint Bowyer +4300

The big question with this pick is does the veteran Bowyer have any gas left in the tank to make a playoff run? His No. 14 Ford racing teams remains out of the top 16 spots at 17th in the standings with 589 total points.

A victory in one of the next two races is the only way to guarantee a spot in the 16-driver playoff field to add both pressure and value to Bowyer at long betting odds. He did come close to winning at Texas early in the season with a runner-up finish behind Hamlin. All told, he has posted five Top 5 finishes this season.

Bowyer’s track record at Darlington over the course of an extended Cup Series career is probably one of the biggest reasons his odds to win are so high. This pick is definitely a flyer with a woeful 22.8 average finishing position at this track, but I do know that Bowyer and his team will be highly motivated to win.