The NASCAR championship odds for the 2020 Cup Series playoffs are relatively easy to construct, at least at the top of the board. Two drivers have dominated much of the season, so of course those two are the clear favorites to win this year’s title entering the 10-race playoff stretch.
Before William Byron won last week’s Daytona night race to clinch a playoff spot in the regular-season finale, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick won the pair of doubleheader races at Dover the weekend prior. Those results marked Harvick’s seventh and Hamlin’s sixth win of the season, easily the two most in the Cup Series.
MORE: Get the latest NASCAR odds from Sports Insider
The COVID-19 pandemic forced NASCAR into a two-month hiatus in the spring, but the Cup Series season resumed in mid-May with a pair of previously unscheduled races at Darlington Raceway. Because the NASCAR playoff schedule remains unchanged, that’s where the postseason will begin with the Cup Series’ annual throwback race on Labor Day weekend.
Oh, and the drivers who won those two races at Darlington in May? You guessed them — Harvick and Hamlin.
Below are the latest NASCAR championship odds for 2020 as the 10-race playoff schedule begins. The odds board starts with the two clear favorites.
NASCAR championship odds 2020
While Hamlin’s season has been impressive, Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing team clearly has been the best in the NASCAR Cup Series this year.
Harvick has earned 21 top-10 finishes in 26 starts this season with 15 top-five finishes and seven wins. He has led a series-high 1,117 laps and is the only full-time driver who has finished every race.
Courtesy of Sports Insider, below are the complete championship odds for the 16 drivers who qualified for the postseason.
|Driver||Odds to win NASCAR championship|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+700|
Of the 16 drivers in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoff field, only Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Matt DiBenedetto have failed to win a race this season. Long shots Cole Custer and Austin Dillon earned their postseason berths with wins at Kentucky and Texas, respectively, in July.
Kyle Busch, the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion, ranks tied for sixth on the odds board even though he is on a 26-race winless streak. He has the largest championship odds of the three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers (Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr.) who made the playoffs.
Because Byron earned his playoff spot with his win at Daytona in the regular-season finale, Jimmie Johnson is the only Hendrick Motorsports driver who did not make the postseason. This is the seven-time Cup Series champion’s last season as a full-time NASCAR driver.
NASCAR playoff schedule 2020
NASCAR miraculously got itself back on schedule for a complete, 36-race season despite the two-month interruption amid the coronavirus pandemic. It did so when it completed the pair of Dover races on Aug. 22-23, the third such Saturday-Sunday doubleheader (Pocono, Michigan) and the second (Michigan) that was not on the original Cup Series schedule for 2020.
The Cup Series’ regular season went through massive changes, including the addition of some mid-week events, but its playoff schedule remains unchanged.
Below is the complete schedule for NASCAR’s 10-race Cup Series playoffs. As originally scheduled, the season finale in 2020 will take place at Phoenix Raceway for the first time.
|Date||Track||TV channel||Start time|
|Sun., Sept. 6||Darlington||NBCSN||6 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Sept. 12||Richmond||NBCSN||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Sept. 19||Bristol||NBCSN||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun, Sept. 27||Las Vegas||NBCSN||7 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 4||Talladega||NBC||2 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 11||Charlotte (ROVAL)||NBC||2:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 18||Kansas||NBC||2:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 25||Texas||NBCSN||3 p.m. ET|
|Sun. Nov. 1||Martinsville||NBC||2 p.m. ET|
|Sun. Nov. 8||Phoenix Raceway||NBC||3 p.m. ET|
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