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Cook Out Southern 500 Odds, Picks & Predictions

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Racing

Updated Sep 1, 2023 · 6:19 AM PDT

Martin Truex Jr is favored to win the NASCAR Cook Out Southern 500
Aug 26, 2023; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) races during the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
  • NASCAR makes its traditional Labor Day weekend stop at Darlington Raceway for the Cook Out Southern 500, set to run 500 miles on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023
  • The contending favorites include Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain
  • Below are the Cook Out Southern 500 predictions, picks, and betting odds ahead of Sunday evening’s race

NASCAR coming to Darlington Raceway for the Cook Out Southern 500 is a Labor Day tradition. So, it could be argued, is Martin Truex Jr running up front in a NASCAR race.

Truex shows three wins, nine top-fives and 15 top-10s among his 26 starts this season. He and William Byron enter the postseason as co-leaders in the NASCAR playoff standings. However, it’s Truex and Kyle Larson who are the +500 co-favorites to win the Cook Out Southern 500.

The table below lists the complete slate of NASCAR Cup Series odds for the Cook Out Southern 500 from Darlington Raceway (win, podium finish, and top-five finish). Under the table, find the Cook Out Southern 500 predictions and best bets for this weekend’s NASCAR action.

Cook Out Southern 500 Odds

Driver Odds to Win Podium Finish Odds  Top Five Odds
Martin Truex Jr +500 +140 +150
Kyle Larson +500 +140 -150
William Byron +750 +210 -110
Denny Hamlin +800 +225 +100
Ross Chastain +1000 +285 +125
Kyle Busch +1100 +300 +135
Christopher Bell +1200 +340 +150
Tyler Reddick +1300 +350 +160
Chase Elliott +1600 +450 +200
Brad Keselowski +1600 +450 +200
Kevin Harvick +1800 +500 +200
Joey Logano +1800 +500 +225
Ryan Blaney +2200 +600 +275
Chris Buescher +2800 +600 +300
Bubba Wallace +3000 +850 +350
Ty Gibbs +4500 +900 +500
Erik Jones +5500 +900 +500
Daniel Suarez +5500 +1400 +650
Alex Bowman 5500 +1400 +650
Michael McDowell +8000 +2200 +1000

Chris Buescher, who won for the third time in five races last week at Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero Sugar 400, is set with a betting line of +2800 this week. Bettors can access odds of +5500 on defending Cook Out Southern 500 champion Erik Jones.

NASCAR drivers rumble around this 1.366 mile egg-shaped oval for 500 miles and 367 laps, with a 115-115-137 stage lap setup when the flag drops. This Sunday evening race under the lights begins at 6pm ET on USA.



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Odds as of August 31st at DraftKings Sportsbook. Claim the DraftKings promo code to bet on NASCAR Cook Out Southern 500 or DraftKings Kentucky if you are a resident of KY. 

Gibbs Drivers Love Darlington

History was made on this track a year ago. Jones was the first-ever non-playoff participant to finish as the winner of the first race of the NASCAR playoffs. He was the benefactor when Kyle Busch’s engine blew with 23 laps to go.

Cook Out Southern 500 Recent Winners

Year Race Winner Pole Position Most Laps Led
2022 Erik Jones – Petty GMS Motorsports Joey Logano – Team Penske Kyle Busch – Joe Gibbs Racing
2021 Denny Hamlin – Joe Gibbs Racing Ryan Blaney – Team Penske Kyle Larson – Hendrick Motorsports

Darlington has generally proven to be kind to Joe Gibbs Racing drivers, though. They’ve won the Cook Out Southern 500 five times since 2013. They’ve never gone more than two races without a win during that span of success.

Experienced Playoff Field

Darlington gets the 2023 NASCAR playoff race underway and it’s an experienced field pursuing the NASCAR Cup title. Bubba Wallace is the only first-time competitor among the 16 drivers.

There are six past champions in contention, including two-time winners Kyle Busch (2015, 2019) and Joey Logano (2018, 2022). Other former champs looking to add another crown are Brad Keselowski (2012), Kevin Harvick (2014), Truex (2017) and Larson (2021). Truex is the +400 favorite to win the title in the NASCAR Cup Series odds.

Buescher (second), Michael McDowell (second), Christopher Bell (third), Denny Hamlin (17th), Byron (fifth), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (second), Ryan Blaney (seventh), Tyler Reddick (third), and Ross Chastain (second) are all back for another shot at glory.

Cook Out Southern 500 Predictions & Picks

Good starts to the postseason are part of Truex’s playoff DNA. Three times he’s won the first race of the NASCAR playoffs. He ran well at Darlington in the spring race and won the Cook Out Southern 500 in 2016.

Larson (+500) has two seconds and three thirds at Darlington, but hasn’t cracked the top-30 in his last two starts here. He’s also run outside the top-20 in his last two starts of the 2023 campaign. But Larson was leading the spring race at Darlington when he was crashed by Ross Chastain.

Hamlin (+800) is the only active driver with three wins in this race.  Harvick (2014, 2020) and Jones (2019, 2022) are two-time winners, and Keselowski won the Cook Out Southern 500 in 2018.

Chastain (+1000) hasn’t run in the top-10 since his win at Nashville, but he’s at his best in races run in tight quarters with paint being traded. He could contend at Darlington. Harvick (+1800) has 14 top-10s in his last 15 starts on this track.

Here are our best bets:

  • Top Pick: Martin Truex Jr to Win (+500)
  • Other Contenders: Kyle Larson (+500), Denny Hamlin (+800), Ross Chastain (+1000), Kyle Busch (+1100)
  • Longshots: Brad Keselowski (+1600), Kevin Harvick (+1800)
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