Latest Championship Predictions Heading Into Phoenix

The Round of 8 is one of the toughest moments in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series playoffs.

After all, only four drivers can make out of it.

This means that at least one or two strong title contenders will likely face a bitter elimination.

Of course, it’s no different in 2019.

Stage 1 at Texas could have potentially cost a shot at the title for two of the favorites heading into the race.

Heading into Phoenix, the top 4 in the standings looks set, which makes winning the final race before Homestead even more important.

How to Watch

What: Bluegreen Vacations 500

Where: ISM Raceway in Phoenix, AZ

When: Sunday, November 10th at 2:30 PM EST

How: NBC (TV) | Motor Racing Network (Web radio) | NBC Sports App

Is the Championship Over for Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott?

If you had either one, or both drivers, among your picks for the championship, Texas brought some terrible news.

Elliott arrived at Texas having endured a terrible weekend at Martinsville.

Struggling with reliability issues throughout the sessions, he finished down in 36th after suffering another problem during the race.

Things then went from bad to worse after he slid into the wall early on at Texas.

He now faces an unassailable 78 points gap to fourth place, meaning that he can only advance to the Final Four with a win.

While the Hendrick Motorsports driver looked like a very good pick heading into the Round of 8, that’s definitely not the case anymore.

For Hamlin, it looked like 2019 could finally be his year.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver won five races this season, his most since 2012.

A fourth place finish at Martinsville seemingly made him a lock for Homestead.

But trouble also struck early for him at Texas, as #11 slid into the grass not too long after Elliott’s crash.

The result dropped him down to fifth, but now 20 points behind the cutoff.

He could still advance without winning at Phoenix, but that would require a bad weekend for his closest rivals.

It looks like Hamlin’s first Cup Series championship will have to wait at least another year.

Kyle Busch, Joey Logano in a Very Good Position

On the other hand, Texas almost ensured a repeat of last year’s Big Four.

Relying on his usual consistency, the reigning champion scored another solid top 5 finish.

Logano now sits 20 points ahead of Hamlin, which leaves him in a very comfortable situation heading into this weekend.

The Team Penske driver hasn’t been as strong in 2019, with his most recent win coming at Michigan in June.

But he knows how to step up when it counts and could be a very good pick to defend the title.

Kyle Busch, meanwhile, led the race for a few laps but finished seventh.

His regular-season title, four race wins and 46 bonus points, however, gave him a good buffer.

Busch has seen a massive drop in his performance after getting off to a dominant run early in the season.

His most recent win came more than five months ago at Pocono, and he has only managed to finish inside the top 5 twice during the playoffs.

The 2015 champion has gone from title favorite to a dark horse.

His odds don’t offer a good enough payoff to compensate either, which makes him a marginal pick at best.

2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Championship Odds

These latest odds are provided by DraftKings.

Good luck!

Team DraftKings
Kevin Harvick +225
Martin Truex Jr +225
Kyle Busch +325
Joey Logano +550
Denny Hamlin +1100
Kyle Larson +2500
Ryan Blaney +3300
Chase Elliott +3300

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