Southern 500 Betting Odds, Race Preview & Picks

by | Last updated Sep 1, 2023 | nascar

Race: Southern 500

Date: Sunday, September 3, 2023

Track: Darlington Raceway

Time: 6 pm ET

Channel: USA

And just like that, the regular NASCAR season has come to an end. There were some surprises and some normalcy. Perhaps the biggest surprise was seeing both Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott missing the playoffs for the first time in their Hendrick careers. For Elliott, 2023 was nothing short of an uphill battle after missing seven total races due to suspension or injury. Bowman had a similar situation, with an injury sidelining him for 3 points events. Neither driver had what it took to gain a win that would’ve locked them into the post-season playoffs. Honestly, it’s a little surprising and perhaps a testament to the strength of other manufacturers late in the season.

For Chris Buescher and Brad Keselowski, Ford really showed strength. Those guys locked together to come in a 1-2 finish for RFK. For Brad, it wasn’t without a little humor (after the fact). Chastain described Brad’s moves on the track like his dog when he has the zoomies. It made more sense when Brad explained he was trying to put out a fire in his car. Regardless, the 1-2 finish really sets these guys up for success and carries a tremendous amount of confidence and momentum heading into the first race of the post-season.

For Elliott, Bowman, and many others, the playoffs are business as usual. This will be an opportunity to work hard towards 2024 goals, try a few things out, and take some risks without the penalty of not making the playoffs. The playoffs are always an interesting series of races because we have the drivers that are racing for the championship and then the bigger group of guys just looking to win before the season is over. Those guys can sometimes interfere with the championship contenders, but generally, they’re pretty respectful of the field. It doesn’t mean the playoffs don’t come without their own risks.

For drivers like Ryan Preece, there’s hope that there won’t be as much craziness. If you missed the news, Preece did a pretty gnarly set of barrel rolls after his car launched after contact from Erik Jones. I found it pretty wild that people were all over the internet calling for a reevaluation of superspeedway racing because of the wreck. Y’all, he went to the hospital out of an abundance of caution, but he walked away and is already back home. If anything, this is a true testament to the safety of the cars and the changes that NASCAR has made over the years.

They won’t have to worry about superspeedway woes as they all head into the opening of the playoffs. Drivers and teams are headed to Darlington to open up the back half of the season. Darlington is generally a great race berthed in a mountain of history. The “Lady in Black,” or “track too tough to tame,” as it is affectionately known, is a 1.366-mile asphalt oval. It’s got 25 degrees of banking through turns 1 and 2, with 23 degrees in turns 3 and 4. The frontstretch and backstretch come in at a mile 3 and 2 degrees, respectively. If you know anything about this track, you know that tires are chewed up here.

The term “Darlington stripe” is a known souvenir for many drivers that have managed to grab a piece of the wall somewhere across the track. Generally, because of the configuration, it can be hard to cleanly come out of the turns. Even still, the right sides have gone down on quite a few occasions, leading to the cars being magnets for the outside wall. The drivers often battle the track here more than each other. If you’ve ever watched Darlington, you can speak to that truth.

Wager on who wins plus driver vs. driver matchup bets at Bovada!
oThe teams have already raced here once this year. The difference is that they raced on a Sunday afternoon. This weekend, they are racing on a Sunday night. This changes things simply because the track is going to come in differently. It won’t be nearly as hot, the tires will wear differently, and speeds will likely be higher than they were in the spring race. The drivers typically successful here tend to be our veterans or more experienced drivers. This year, we have a veteran for 2023. His name is William Byron, and Darlington is just one of his many wins this season. Will he win again under different circumstances? I’m not so sure, but it wouldn’t be surprising. Denny Hamlin has the best average finish overall at 7.7. In races since just 2020, he’s second in the best average finish, only beat by Kevin Harvick. I am not sure that Harvick will be much of a factor this weekend, though. Do you know who might just show up this weekend? Brad Keselowski. Since 2020, Keselowski has the 5th-best average finish. In all of his career races, he’s actually got the 3rd best finish. With the way that the team has put together races late this season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see either him or Chris Buescher throw something together to surprise us all. I will say this is not notoriously a great race for Buescher. He’s got an average finish of 18.9 at Darlington. But let’s be honest. He’s never had a great average finish anywhere until this year. He’s definitely stepped up to the plate and is looking to stay relevant heading into the playoffs. Let’s take a look at your potential winners this weekend:

  • Winner: William Byron
  • Mid-Range Pick: Chase Elliott
  • Dark Horse: Harrison Burton

Bet your NASCAR picks for FREE by scoring a 100% real cash bonus on your first deposit of $75 to $300 by entering bonus promo code PREDICT100 when you register for a NASCAR betting account at MyBookie Sportsbook through this special link!

Harrison Burton is one of the top 10 best-average finishers in his three starts. One of those finishes was a top 10. That’s not too bad for someone still learning the ropes. He’s looking to really add to his skill set this weekend and come away with a solid finish. He needs to keep the fenders clean and stay off the walls, and he will come away in good shape. Chase Elliott is someone who’s got a good attitude heading into the playoffs for the first time, not in championship contention, but I don’t believe he doesn’t have a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. I think that he’s got something up his sleeve with his team to really show some strength as we close out the 2023 season. To come out of the entire season without a win would be very surprising. I will say that Elliott is not the best on paper at Darlington, but his entire season has been a surprise, so what would a win at Darlington be? William Byron is the guy to beat, though. He’s had a stellar season and is heading into the playoffs in the best spot. Although his average finish is 14th, that doesn’t mean he won’t sweep this season. It just goes to show that an average finish isn’t a make-or-break deal. Let’s see where the field stands after the reset heading into the race for the championship.

  1. William Byron
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Chris Buescher
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Kyle Larson
  7. Christopher Bell
  8. Ross Chastain
  9. Brad Keselowski
  10. Tyler Reddick
  11. Joey Logano
  12. Ryan Blaney
  13. Michael McDowell
  14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  15. Kevin Harvick
  16. Bubba Wallace

The last four drivers are the cutoff drivers. After three rounds, four drivers will drop off and be out of contention. That means that McDowell, Stenhouse, Harvick, and Wallace are either going to race smart for points or race risky for a win that will automatically propel them into the next round. The round of 16 is the first battle. Darlington is the start. There will be drivers racing extremely hard, drivers just trying to stay safe and clean, and drivers that just don’t care. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out in the first race. Stay tuned for what’s sure to be an eventful race at Darlington this Sunday night!

Football season is upon us! Do you bet on games? If so, you’re probably aware that the bookies make you lay -110 odds on games. Are you aware that there’s an online sportsbook that only requires you to lay -105 odds on sides and totals? This awesome way of betting is referred to as “reduced juice” and is 100% FREE to partake in! You can find this cheaper way of betting at BetAnySports Sportsbook! We’ve advertised them for over 10 years with ZERO complaints!