The field of 16 is set for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and the odds have shifted considerably on which driver is likely to win the Championship. Martin Truex Jr. was the top pick at 5/1 when the Westgate posted its opening odds on Nov. 19, 2019. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick were next at 6/1 each.

Of those three, only Harvick’s odds have gotten lower. He is now the 2/1 favorite, with Denny Hamlin, who opened at 8/1, right behind at 3/1. Truex went up to 10/1, while Busch is at 12/1.

Kevin Harvick NASCAR Cup Championship
Kevin Harvick is the favorite to win the NASCAR Cup Championship, which begins Sunday at the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. (Image: Getty)

Odds to Win NASCAR Cup Championship

Here’s a look at how the driver odds have shifted over the past season.

Odds Aug. 30, 2020
Odds Nov. 19, 2019
Kevin Harvick 2/1 6/1
Denny Hamlin 3/1 8/1
Martin Truex Jr. 10/1 5/1
Joey Logano 10/1 10/1
Chase Elliott 12/1 12/1
Brad Keselowski 12/1 12/1
Kyle Busch 12/1 6/1
Ryan Blaney 20/1 20/1
Aric Almirola 30/1 40/1
Alex Bowman 40/1 40/1
Kurt Busch 40/1 40/1
William Byron 60/1 20/1
Clint Bowyer 80/1 40/1
Matt DiBenedetto 100/1 40/1
Cole Custer 300/1 80/1
Austin Dillon 300/1 300/1

Source: Westgate

Truex fell off from his 2019 performance, where he won seven races. He’s only had one victory so far in 2020, but he’s finished in the top 5 10 times, including in the last eight races. He told reporters he feels he is ready for a run at the NASCAR Cup Championship.

“I love where we’re at right now,” Truex said. “I think we’re hitting on all eight cylinders, making good decisions. The pit crew is really doing a great job. We’re doing all the little things right and I think if we just keep carrying on this momentum, we’re going to be tough to handle. I think everybody has forgotten about us and that’s a cool spot to be in for us. We look forward to that.”

Can Kyle Busch Defend?

Busch won the Cup Championship last year, but struggled in 2020. He failed to win a race in the regular season for the first time in his career, though he was winless in six races in 2004, when he began his NASCAR Cup career. Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 was his last chance to win in the regular season, but he was hit by Tyler Reddick with nine laps remaining, and was knocked out of the race at Daytona.

“We put ourselves in a great spot again tonight and had a fast race car, a good driving race car and was just hoping we could maintain that position for the rest of the day and get a win, that’s what we’re trying to look for,” Busch told reporters after the contest. “Thought we had a shot to do that. Still 2020.”

Chase Elliott Hoping to Crash Party

Though Harvick and Hamlin are the favorites to win the NASCAR Cup Championship, there are 10 races in the playoffs, starting with Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, and plenty of time for another driver to win.

Chase Elliott, who is at 12/1 to win the Cup Championship, believes he’s in with a chance if he shows the form he had earlier in the year.

“I look back to how we started the season, and I thought we were running really competitively,” Elliott said. “I felt like we were really close to where we needed to be. After the break, I feel like we fired off good. Seems like we got behind a little bit. We just got to get that consistency we had at the beginning of the season and when the break was over. I think we could compete with really whoever.”

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