NASCAR Cup Series 400 Predictions, Odds & Picks

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin

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Chase Elliott NASCAR Cup Series 400 Pocono 2023 odds predictions picks


Last year, Chase Elliott picked up a win at Pocono thanks to the top two finishers, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, being disqualified. With only six races remaining to secure a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series championship playoffs, Elliott would no doubt take a similar result in tomorrow’s 400 (2:30 pm ET, USA).

Since last year’s race at Pocono, Elliott is winless, and while he has a number of high finishes in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, he is 60 points out of the last playoff spot due to missing six races this season.

Will Elliott finally get the win he needs this weekend? My predictions and picks for the 400 are below, but first, let’s take a look at the starting lineup for Sunday’s race at Pocono. 400 Starting Lineup

  1. William Byron
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Christopher Bell
  6. Joey Logano
  7. Tyler Reddick
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Austin Cindric
  10. Bubba Wallace
  11. Ty Gibbs
  12. Corey LaJoie
  13. Brad Keselowski
  14. Ryan Blaney
  15. Michael McDowell
  16. A.J. Allmendinger
  17. Daniel Suarez
  18. Chris Buescher
  19. Justin Haley
  20. Alex Bowman
  21. Ross Chastain
  22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  23. Austin Dillon
  24. Erik Jones
  25. Kyle Busch
  26. Harrison Burton
  27. Aric Almirola
  28. J.J. Yeley
  29. Chase Briscoe
  30. B.J. McLeod
  31. Cole Custer
  32. Noah Gragson
  33. Ty Dillon
  34. Ryan Preece
  35. Chase Elliott
  36. Todd Gilliland 400 Predictions and Picks

Denny Hamlin NASCAR Cup Series 2023 400 predictions picks odds

Typically, this piece is done before qualifying, but I’m doing things a bit differently this week.

Are there any major differences between picks made with qualifying results in mind and picks made prior to qualifying?

Pre-qualifying, Elliott would have been one of my top favorites for the win. But after a spin in qualifying, the 2020 Cup Series champion will start 35th in the 36-car 400 field.

That doesn’t take him out of the running by any means, but it does put him at a disadvantage at the start. Earlier this season, Elliott finished second at the Pala Casino 400 at Fontana after starting 33rd, and he finished third in the Chicago street race after starting 26th.

Also, while he has finished 13th or better in 11 of his 14 races this season, Elliott has qualified 13th or better in only four races.

So, write off his chances to get a playoff-clinching win at your own peril.

Current NASCAR Cup Series Points Standings (Through 20 Races)

  • 1. Martin Truex Jr. – 667 points
  • 2. William Byron – 650
  • 3. Christopher Bell – 605
  • 4. Denny Hamlin – 601
  • 5. Kyle Busch – 593
  • 6. Ross Chastain – 589
  • 7. Ryan Blaney – 581
  • 8. Kyle Larson – 574
  • 9. Kevin Harvick – 568
  • 10. Joey Logano – 563
  • 11. Brad Keselowski – 539
  • 12. Chris Buescher – 528
  • 13. Tyler Reddick – 516
  • 14. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 464
  • 15. Bubba Wallace – 433
  • 16. Michael McDowell – 432

Drivers in bold have won at least one race this season.

While Elliott’s spot in the playoffs is still in doubt, Denny Hamlin’s is pretty safe at this point thanks to both his points total and his win in the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway in May.

So, unlike Elliott, Alex Bowman, and others, Hamlin won’t be in a position of need this week or in the coming weeks. But Hamlin is a four-time winner in this race (2006, 2009, 2019, 2020), a record he shares with Bill Elliott.

If you have a fixation with certain numbers, this little tidbit may be of interest: Hamlin has started eighth three other times this season. One of the three times was his win in Kansas, and another was his third-place finish at last month’s Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Those two finishes account for two of his three top-three finishes this season. Is that a good omen for the 400? You can mark me down for backing a top-three finish for Hamlin.

Were it not for his DQ, Kyle Busch would have joined Hamlin and Bill Elliott as four-time race winners last year. Can he rectify that this year?

As with Chase Elliott, he isn’t in a fantastic starting position. But he won at Fontana from 21st, and he won the GEICO 500 at Talladega in April after starting 17th.

For the most part this season, good qualifying has been key to success. But Elliott and Busch are two drivers who I trust to still find their way to or near the front of the field even if they didn’t start there.

Another such driver is Kyle Larson, who is starting near the front unlike Elliott and Busch. Larson has four top-five finishes in his last six races, and I’m on him to finish in the top three for a second week in a row after his third-place finish in the Crayon 301.

But are any of the drivers mentioned my pick for the 400 win?

As tempted as I am to focus squarely on the drivers at the very front of the field, who are also the top two in the standings and have seven wins between them this season, I’m drawn to Hamlin. He has an excellent history in this race, and though he doesn’t need the win, I feel he is a strong bet here.

Where to Bet on NASCAR

Many of the top sports betting sites offer a variety of NASCAR betting odds.

Along with being able to bet on the winner of each race, many online sportsbooks offer finishing position odds (top 3, top 5, and top 10).

Also, you can bet on who will finish atop the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series championship standings at all of the sports betting sites that we recommend.

Here are some of the sites that we recommend if you are interested in NASCAR betting:

Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade and has been with Betting News since 2021. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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