Image for Reid Spencer Reid Spencer - November 7, 2022

NASCAR Cup Series Championship: Christopher Bell Looks to Catch Third Bolt of Lightning in a Bottle

  • Can lighting strike three times for quintessential survivor Christopher Bell?  
  • Chase Elliott is the oddsmakers top choice for the title—without momentum.
  • Non-Playoff driver Bubba Wallace could be a sleeper at Phoenix Raceway.

NASCAR Cup Series Championship Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.


Chase Elliott


Christopher Bell


Joey Logano



Ross Chastain



Kyle Larson



Denny Hamlin



Ryan Blaney



Kevin Harvick



William Byron



Martin Truex Jr.



Chase Briscoe



Our Picks for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Christopher Bell to win the race at +300

Christopher Bell to win the series championship at +260

Ross Chastain to beat Chase Elliott head-to-head at +135

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NASCAR Cup Series Championship

NASCAR Cup Series Championship Predictions

Christopher Bell Looks to Catch Third Bolt of Lightning in a Bottle

There’s one race left to decide the NASCAR Cup Series championship, with four Championship 4 drivers competing for the title—Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Ross Chastain and Joey Logano.

The driver finishing highest among the Championship 4 competitors will be crowned champion, regardless of actual finishing position.

Bell has survived two must-win scenarios to advance to the final four, and we expect him to walk off with the Cup trophy on Sunday.

Though he qualified fourth a Phoenix Raceway in March, a spin on the backstretch 119 laps into the race resulted in a 26th-place finish.

But Bell dominated on New Hampshire’s one-mile flat track where he picked up the first of three victories by a margin of more than five seconds. The way we see it, New Hampshire is the closest track to one-mile Phoenix.

Even with two-time champion crew chief Adam Stevens on his pit box, Bell feels he’s flying under the radar at Phoenix. We agree, but he won’t be there for long. He’ll win the race at +300 and the title at +260, both via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Chase Elliott Is the Oddsmakers’ Choice, But He Lacks Momentum

During the 26-race regular season, 2020 series champion Chase Elliott racked up enough Playoff points to sustain him through two disastrous races in the Playoffs.

But with points reset for Sunday’s championship race at Phoenix, none of the Championship 4 drivers will have a built-in advantage.

That’s bad new for Elliott, who won the Playoff race at Talladega but has posted just two other top 10s in nine Playoff races.

That being the case, we find it unusual that Elliott is the handicappers’ favorite to win the race and the series title on Sunday.

We disagree, even to the point of picking Ross Chastain to beat Elliott head-to-head at +135 via DraftKings. We made that same pick last Sunday at Martinsville, and it was a winner—thanks to Chastain’s last-lap heroics.

Non-Playoff Driver Bubba Wallace Could Be a Sleeper on Sunday

For eight straight seasons, the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series championship also has been the winner of the title race.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. And with the advent of the Next Gen Cup car this season, there’s a new wild card in the mix.

The oddsmakers’ picks for the championship event appear to reflect the belief that the champion also will be the race winner.

But we don’t think you should ignore strong candidates like Denny Hamlin (+1800 at DraftKings), who was eliminated from the Playoffs last Sunday at Martinsville, or Bubba Wallace at +5000 (DraftKings) who has shown improved speed throughout the season.

So take a shot on Denny or Bubba, if you’re so inclined. Sunday’s race could be a trend-breaker.

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How to Watch the NASCAR Cup Series Championship

  • Race: NASCAR Cup Series Championship
  • Location: Phoenix Raceway
  • Time: Sunday, November 6, 3 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: NBC
Image for Reid Spencer


Reid Spencer

193 Articles

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]

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