Goodyear 400 Predictions: Who Can Tame the Lady in Black?

Written by: Reid Spencer
Updated May 10, 2024
5 min read
  • Will Indy 500 obligations start to weigh on Darlington favorite Kyle Larson?

  • Ford drivers are snakebit this season, but they’ll win a race at some point.

  • Where 2020 champ Chase Elliott is concerned, a pattern is starting to emerge.

Goodyear 400 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Click odds in the table below and claim $200 in bonus bets when wagering at least $5 at DraftKings.

DriverOdds
Kyle Larson+380
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Denny Hamlin+450
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Martin Truex Jr.+700
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William Byron+750
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Tyler Reddick+900
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Christopher Bell+1200
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Ross Chastain+1300
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Chase Elliott+1300
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Kyle Busch+1400
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Brad Keselowski+1600
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Chris Buescher+1800
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Our Picks for the Goodyear 400

  • Chase Elliott to win the race at +1300 via DraftKings

  • Any Ford driver to win the race at +400 as a hedge via DraftKings

  • Denny Hamlin to beat Kyle Larson head-to-head at +100 via DraftKings

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Goodyear 400 Predictions

Goodyear 400 Predictions

Kyle Larson Is Fast Everywhere, But Will Indy 500 Be a Distraction

Last Sunday at Kansas Speedway, Kyle Larson picked up his second victory of the season—and the sixth in 12 races for Hendrick Motorsports—and he’s favored to win at Darlington on Sunday at +380 via DraftKings Sportsbook.

But Larson has other fish to fry. On Sunday, May 26, the driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on the same day.

Immediately after the May 12 Darlington Cup race, Larson will compete in High Limits Sprint Cars at Kokomo, Indiana, on May 13 before heading for Indianapolis Motor Speedway for practice sessions May 14-17.

On Saturday, May 18, Larson will compete in time trials for the Inday 500, while Kevin Harvick practices and qualifies his Cup car for the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro, where Larson is the defending champion.

We don’t think Larson—or any human being, for that matter—can avoid thinking about his first competition in an IndyCar as the moment nears. If Larson can maintain 100-percent focus on Darlington this weekend, then more power to him, but we’re not putting our money there.

In fact, we’re picking four-time Darlington winner Denny Hamlin to beat Larson head-to-head at +100 via DraftKings.

Close Again, But No Cigar for Hapless Ford Drivers in the Cup Series

Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway marks the halfway point in the Cup Series regular season, and Ford drivers have yet to win a race—in any of NASCAR’s top three divisions.

That’s not to say they haven’t been close. Fords have finished second in six of the 12 Cup races. At Atlanta, Ryan Blaney was 0.003 seconds behind winner Daniel Suarez in a Chevrolet.

Last Sunday at Kansas, Chris Buescher was runner-up to Kyle Larson by 0.001 seconds in the closest finish in Cup Series history—roughly one inch.

As usual, Ford drivers aren’t getting any respect from oddsmakers. Brad Keselowski, who has two second-place finishes, is the top choice in the Ford camp at +1600 (DraftKings).

We recommend hedging with a bet on all Ford drivers to win at +400 via DraftKings. As long as the payoff beats the numerical odds for 14 cars, we’re in.

There’s a Familiar Pattern Developing in Chase Elliott’s Statistics

It’s fair to say Chase Elliott is back. After a dismal 2023 campaign that saw the 2020 Cup champion miss six races due to injury and another under suspension, Elliott scored his first win since 2022 on April 14 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Before taking the checkered flag at Texas, Elliott had finished fifth and third in the previous two races, at Richmond and Martinsville.

After a 15th-place run in the typical crapshoot at Talladega on April 21, Elliott once again has finished fifth and third in subsequent events at Dover and Kansas. A victory this Sunday at Darlington would preserve the pattern.

There’s ample reason to consider Elliott a probable contender at the Track Too Tough to Tame. Though he has yet to win a race there, Elliott has scored four top fives and seven top 10s in 14 starts at the track.

In four races in the Next Gen car era (2022-2023), Elliott has notched a third, fifth and eighth.

Accordingly, we don’t understand why the driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports is so grossly undervalued at +1300 via DraftKings, and we’re picking him to win this week at those generous odds.

How to Watch the Goodyear 400

  • What: Goodyear 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race

  • Where: Darlington Raceway

  • When: Sunday, May 12, 3 p.m. ET

  • How to Watch: FS1

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Reid Spencer

NASCAR Betting Analyst

Expertise:
NASCAR
Betting Analyst
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.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor in Drama
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
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Experience:
48 years
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