Favorite Cup Series after 16 races

Kyle Larson remains the NASCAR Cup favorite but the title race is wide open.

Larson (+550) is one of eight drivers With chances of +900 or better in BetMGM to take the championship in the Winner Takes All Championship final in Phoenix. With the Cup series approaching its only week of the season over Father’s Day, now is the time to take a look at the possibilities after Daniel Suarez becomes the 12th driver to win a race over the first 16 races of the season.

Suarez triumphed at Sonoma on Sunday to score the first win of his career in the Cup Series. He joins teammate Ross Chastain as one of dozens of drivers provisionally qualified for the playoff matches with 10 races before the post-season start.

In case you’re not familiar with the way NASCAR defines the playoff field, here’s a quick reminder. Sixteen drivers make qualifying and the win is usually an automatic berth in the qualifying arena. Four drivers are disqualified from qualifying in each of the first three rounds of three races before four drivers fight straight in Phoenix for the title.

Kansas City, KS - May 15: Kyle Larson, #5 HendrickCars.com driver, Chevrolet, Kyle Larson, #18 Toyota M&A driver, Kyle Busch  M's Crunchy Cookie Toyota, and Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 Jordan, Toyota, race during the NASCAR AdventHealth 400 Cup Series at Kansas Speedway on May 15, 2022 in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Kyle Larson has the best odds of anyone winning the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series title, but Kyle Busch is right behind him on the board. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

We used the word “typical” in the paragraph above because there have been no more than 16 winners in the first 26 races of the season since NASCAR expanded its playoffs. There is a chance of a winner being disqualified from qualifying in 2022. It only needs five more drivers to win the next 10 races to have 17 winners. And drivers like Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick and Tyler Riddick haven’t gone into the victory lane yet this season.

Larsson’s status as a defending champion is also a big reason why he’s the title favorite. Larson is currently seventh in the points standings and has eight top ten places in 16 races. Five drivers have earned Larsson’s top 10 ranks so far this season.

Point leader Chase Elliott is tied for second favorite alongside Kyle Busch and Ross Chastain at +600. Elliott, Chastain and Bush are the top three drivers in the points standings and are only 23 points apart. Chastain is one of four drivers to have two wins so far this season while Busch has the best average finish in the Cup series at 11.8.

Denny Hamlin and William Byron at +800 to win the title. Byron also had two wins but only finished in the top 10 five times during his first 16 races. Hamlin is outside the top 20 in the rankings thanks to seven places outside the top 25 and has only three places out of the top ten. But he also won twice.

Blaney and Truex have the best title odds than any no-win drivers. Blaney is at +900 to win the title while Truex is at +1200. Blaney is fourth in the rankings and has five positions in the top spots. Truex is sixth in the ranking despite only taking the top five places.

If qualifying starts today, the four post-season non-winning drivers would be Blaney, Truex, Bell (+2200) and Eric Almerola (+12500). Almerola is 11th in the standings and seven points clear of teammate Stewart Haas Racing (+3300) in his final season in the Cup Series. Almerola announced before the season that 2022 would be his last full-time run at NASCAR, and for now, he’s been consistent enough to slip into the playoffs even if the odds-makers think he has no real chance of winning the title.

Here’s a look at the current top 20 contenders for the Cup Series title.

2022 World Cup title odds

  • (+550) Kyle Larson

  • Chase Elliot (+600)

  • Kyle Bush (+600)

  • Ross Chastain (+600)

  • Denny Hamlin (+800)

  • William Byron (+800)

  • Ryan Blaney (+900)

  • Joey Logano (+900)

  • (+1200) Martin Truex Jr.

  • (+1600) Alex Bowman

  • Kurt Busch (+2000)

  • Christopher Bell (+2200)

  • Tyler Riddick (+2200)

  • Chase Briscoe (+2200)

  • Kevin Harvick (+3300)

  • Daniel Suarez (+3300)

  • (+5000) Austin Cendrick

  • (+8000) Eric Jones

  • Brad Keselowski (+12500)

  • Eric Almerola (+12500)

  • Austin Dillon (+12500)