Can Kyle Larson make it a clean sweep of the third round?
Larson has won the first two races of the third round and can afford to go for the win or else on Sunday at Martinsville. The half-mile track isn’t one of his best, however, and Larson enters the race with astronomical odds. For him, anyway.
Larson is at +650 to win his 10th race of the season. He’s tied with Chase Elliott for the third-best odds on the board behind Martin Truex Jr. (+400) and Denny Hamlin (+600). And bettors at BetMGM are really liking Larson at that return.
Larson has gotten nearly 20% of bets at BetMGM but those bets make up a crazy 78% of the money wagered on the race so far. No other driver has gotten more than 4.5% of the money wagered on Sunday’s race. Truex Jr. has gotten over 8% of bets but those bets make up just 4.3% fo the handle. Elliott has gotten 9.2% of bets — he won this race a year ago — but those bets make up less than 3% of the handle.
If a playoff driver other than Larson wins on Sunday then he’ll earn himself a championship shot at Phoenix on Nov. 7. With Larson having won the first two races of the third round and already locked into the title race, there are three playoff spots up for grabs on Sunday.
Larson’s nine wins in 2021 are 60% of his career total. He entered the season with six wins in over 220 starts. But he’s established himself as the runaway title favorite in his first season at Hendrick Motorsports. And his current form is a big reason why bettors think he’s a good bet on Sunday despite his past Martinsville performance.
Larson has just three top-10 finishes at Martinsville in 13 career starts. But he was fifth at Martinsville in his first race there for Hendrick this spring and was ninth in the fall of 2019. He also has just 35 laps led out of 5,836 laps completed at the track, though that’s a total that could grow considerably early in the race. Larson starts first on Sunday and it won’t be much of a surprise if he doesn’t stray far from the front.