NASCAR Odds for Phoenix: Best Matchup Bet for Sunday’s Championship Race
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr.
The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series championship will be decided Sunday at Phoenix Raceway, with Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain and Joey Logano vying for the title.
However, Sunday's race will still have a full field of drivers with differing agendas.
For example, Kyle Larson is not eligible for the driver's championship, but his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team can still win the owner's title Sunday at Phoenix, so he'll still be very motivated to put together the best run possible.
On the other hand, some drivers will be leaving their current teams in the offseason, meaning there's theoretically very little to race for at Phoenix.
And this is exactly where I'm going in my favorite early driver matchup for Sunday's race.
NASCAR Pick for Phoenix
*Odds as of Wednesday afternoon
This bet is as simple as one team trying harder than another.
Now, to be fair, I could be putting way too much emphasis on what happened at Martinsville, but Kyle Busch was embarrassingly slow in that race.
The No. 18 car got lapped multiple times under green and was even in danger of not making minimum speed at one point in the race.
Busch will be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) at the end of the season for Richard Childress Racing, so the motivation to run well or frankly give him anything decent to drive is minimal with just one race remaining in the season.
On the other hand, Busch's teammate Martin Truex Jr. will be back in his familiar No. 19 Toyota next year, so there's no reason for JGR to pull any resources from that team.
With this in mind, I think Truex at -125 (DraftKings) to finish ahead of Busch is a fine price and my favorite early matchup for Sunday's race at Phoenix.
The bet: Truex (-125) over Busch