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Dale Tanhardt on The Daily Downforce

NASCAR Cup Series Futures: Best Bets Ahead of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Season

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Dale Tanhardt

Dale Tanhardt specializes in Creative NASCAR Content through Betting and Picks, iRacing, NASCAR Short Video’s, and more. If you’re seeking high-level entertainment in the motorsports realm, look no further!

Circle B Diecast Block

Welcome back, you beautiful SOB’s. It’s been way too long.

It’s awesome to be back writing again in 2023. All of my NASCAR betting written content will be featured on this exciting, new platform all season long—and the timing could not be better. NASCAR betting is in its most diversified state since its inception. We have never seen this much variety in betting lines in a NASCAR preseason.

Let me take a step back for a moment. Many of you may know absolutely nothing about me. I’m Dale, and I’m the greatest NASCAR bettor in the history of the universe. Unfortunately for other NASCAR bettors, this is simply not debatable. I’ve been handicapping NASCAR betting since 2019. I cover the NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. For perspective based on performance, I am +113.9 Units on NASCAR betting dating back to the start of 2021.

Essentially, if your average bet is $100, and you tailed every single one of my NASCAR bets dating back to 2021, you’d be up around $11,390 (I estimate a possible margin of error ranging from +/- 5  to 15 units because—to my current standards—my tracking was “amateur” at times in 2021). Now let’s be real: the likelihood of you taking all my bets with exact, recommended unit allocations is remarkably slim. Most bettors like to use their own intuition, statistics, and reasonings to place a bet, and that’s okay. However, I will always recommend to everybody: tail all my bets. I’m confident you’ll see a profit by the end of 2023.

What you are about to get into is my favorite preseason NASCAR bets, and I will provide you with specific details on where and how to find each of them. If you are new to this world of sports betting and/or NASCAR betting in particular, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via Twitter with questions. You are also more than welcome to join the Garage Guys Racing Discord—a community of over 1,000 members that consistently are talking everything sports betting in NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and much more.

Now that you have some solid background, a measure of my performance, and a gauge of my confidence level..

Let’s get right into it.

NASCAR Cup Series Futures: Best Bets

Christopher Bell: Over 1.5 Race Wins -139 (Barstool Sportsbook)

Barstool Sportsbook > Motorsports > NASCAR > Futures > More Bets > Driver Performance

*This line is also on Caesar’s Sportsbook but at pricier line at -160. Take the value at Barstool.* 

It’s been super tough for me to truly diagnose what my favorite bet of the NASCAR preseason is, but this one is easily at the top. Christopher “Hell’s Bell” has some serious potential to cement himself as the face of Joe Gibbs Racing from a pure performance perspective. Denny Hamlin is in a contract year. The status of Martin Truex Jr. is always up in the air. Ty Gibbs will likely be a work in progress over the next couple of season. Christopher Bell is locked in and carries the most stability and momentum in the JGR camp. In what was a super down year the JGR program, Bell and the #20 team still found a way to reach the Championship 4 in a season where they secured three wins at three very different racetracks—all of which came in the latter half of the 2022 season.

Two-time Cup Series champion crew chief Adam Stevens remains with Bell in 2023. His team has scored over 1.5 season wins in six of his eight fulltime seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series. Of course you’re going to say “well, most of those were with Kyle Busch”, and you’re absolutely right. But all indications through Christopher Bell’s progression of performance in all three NASCAR National Series tells me that he has the potential to be a Hall of Fame talent in this sport. 

Simply put, I don’t see Adam Stevens and Christopher Bell taking a step backwards in a strong 2022 season. Christopher Bell smashes this over and wins at least three races in 2023.

Chase Briscoe: Over 0.5 Race Wins -175 (Caesar’s Sportsbook)

Caesar’s Sportsbook > All Sports > Auto > NASCAR > NASCAR Cup Season Race Wins

This line just feels outrageous. Briscoe did only win one race in 2022, but when you consider the number of races in which he competed for wins outside of his Phoenix dub, you’ve got to hammer this over. It’s free money. 

Briscoe recorded six Top 5 finishes in 2022 and had legitimate opportunities to win at Charlotte 1, Gateway, COTA, Bristol Dirt, and Martinsville 2. He also recorded six of his ten Top 10 finishes in the final seven races of 2022.

While all the focus is on Kevin Harvick and his departure at the end of 2023, the new face of Stewart Haas Racing is Chase Briscoe. The confidence level, the acclimation to this Gen 7 racecar, and the pure physical ability to literally out-wheel his opponents has me extremely high on Chase in 2023. The craziest part about this bet is you only need one win. He’ll have 36 tries. Hammer this over. Briscoe has a breakout season and wins at least four races.

Joey Logano: Under 3.5 Race Wins -134 (Barstool Sportsbook)

This will likely be the most unpopular play I give, but it’s purely a statistics trend backed up by a remarkable trend dating back 14 years. You ready for this?

The last time a defending series champion replicated his season total wins from his championship season in the following year happened in 2009 with Jimmie Johnson (Seven wins in his championship season in 2008 and seven wins in his championship season in 2009)

How many races did Joey Logano win in 2022? Four. His total is set at O/U 3.5.

So, based on this rock-solid trend dating back nearly a decade and a half, defending series champion Joey Logano will not replicate his 2022 win total in 2023. The theme here is that Championship hangovers are so common in NASCAR. Teams adjust. The competition catches up. It is very difficult to replicate the highest level of success in this sport.

He is “Next-Gen Joe”. He is “Sliced Bread”. He does have a nice, full head of hair once again (could be scary for the competition). But I’m a big data guy; I will rock with the trends, and this one is about as rock-solid as you will find in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Brad Keselowski: Over .5 Race Wins -145 (Caesar’s Sportsbook)

Caesar’s Sportsbook > All Sports > Auto > NASCAR > NASCAR Cup Season Race Wins

This one is simple: Brad Keselowski is one of the best superspeedway racers of all time. He went winless in points-paying superspeedway events in 2022. There’s just no way Brad gets shut out again in 2023. Throw Atlanta into the equation now with its turbulent mini-drafting style of racing, and Brad has six attempts in which he should be a major factor in winning.

All he needs is one win. He could knock this out very early in the season with Daytona, Atlanta, and Talladega all taking place on the opening portion of the season. For added optimism, Roush Fenway Keselowski brought terrific speed to many races in the latter stages of the season, as noted by Chris Buescher’s breakthrough win at Bristol.

I think Brad K. has a solid comeback season and wins one race in 2023.

Erik Jones: To Win the Championship +10000 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

It is okay if you see this and do not view it as an appropriate “best bet”. In all likelihood, Erik Jones won’t win the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. But the point here is to recognize the value. Everybody is looking for that next “Ross Chastain” type of guy that came up a couple spots short of cashing a 100-1 championship ticket. I think we may have him right here.

Erik Jones won a race in 2022, and his Petty GMS organization (Now Legacy Motor Club) continues to grow through continuous commitments and investments. Jones competed for wins several times in 2022. Now that Jimmie Johnson has bought in and hotshot up-and-comer Noah Gragson joins the organization, this program will continue to trend up. If Erik Jones improves marginally from 2022, he could be an immediate playoff threat. And with this perilous playoff format that promotes underdog potential, +10000 seems too high for me. For comparison, Jones is priced at +7500 on Caesar’s and +6600 on Barstool.

If Erik Jones comes out and wins a race in the first half of the season, this price will get slashed in half—at least. This playoff format since its debut in 2014 has indicated that if you win a race in the regular season, you will make the playoffs. Even as crazy as last year’s regular season was, every full-time driver who captured a checkered flag in the regular season made the playoffs (Kurt Busch won a race but did not run the full season after suffering from a concussion before the playoffs started). Therefore, if Jones wins a race in the regular season, the books will assume he will qualify for the playoffs. They won’t leave a potential playoff driver at 100-1. It’s an underdog play. Put a penny on it. I think Jones wins multiple races this season and finishes Top 10 in the points standings.

Other NASCAR 2023 Best Bets

Christopher Bell: To Win the Championship +1200 (Barstool Sportsbook)

Barstool Sportsbook > Motorsports > NASCAR > Futures > NASCAR Cup Series Championship 2023

Chase Briscoe to Win the Championship +4000 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

DraftKings Sportsbook > Motorsports > NASCAR Cup Futures  > NASCAR Cup Series Championship 2023

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