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Image for Reid Spencer Reid Spencer - Updated October 27, 2022

South Point 400 Predictions: Ross Chastain is the Top Driver on 1.5-Milers

  • We have a good sleeper for you in the opening race in the Round of 8.  
  • There are excellent reasons to stay away from race favorite Denny Hamlin.
  • Chase Briscoe needs a great finish at Vegas—and just might get it.

South Point 400 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Denny Hamlin+550
Christopher Bell+800
Chase Elliott+800
Tyler Reddick+900
Ross Chastain+900
Kyle Larson+900
William Byron+1000
Ryan Blaney+1000
Martin Truex Jr.+1200
Kyle Busch+1200
Joey Logano+1500

Our Picks for the South Point 400

Ross Chastain to win the race at +900

Chase Briscoe to finish in the top three (+800) and top five (+400)

Christopher Bell to beat Denny Hamlin head-to-head at +130



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South Point 400 Predictions

South Point 400 Predictions

Why Ross Chastain? Because He’s the Top Driver on 1.5-Milers

Trackhouse Racing driver Ross Chastain must be licking his chops. The first two races in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8—starting with Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway—will take place on 1.5-mile intermediate tracks.

Who do you think might have the best record on 1.5-milers this season? Chastain, of course. In seven races on those tracks, the driver of the No. 1 Chevy has posted an average finish of 7.0, buoyed by a third-place run when the series visited Vegas in March.

In fact, Chastain has scored 60 more points than any other Cup driver in races at the mile-and-a-half venues.

Despite a brush with the wall at the Charlotte ROVAL, Chastain advanced to the Round of 8 and sits fourth in the Playoff standings. We think he’ll be the first driver to qualify for the Championship 4 with a win in Sin City on Sunday, at +900 via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Denny Hamlin Is a Shaky Favorite in NASCAR Cup Race at Las Vegas

Yes, Denny Hamlin led 31 laps and ran strong in the early going of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas in March—before drivetrain issues ruined his winning chances and dropped him to 32nd at the finish.

And, yes, the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas have been strong at the intermediate speedways this season.

Hamlin’s own record at the Sin City track, however, argues against his status as a pre-race favorite. In 21 starts at LVMS, the driver of the No. 11 JGR Camry has one victory and just five top-fives, for an average finish of 13.2.

Hamlin may run in the top five on Sunday, but we don’t think he’ll put forth a race-winning effort, and we certainly don’t like him as the race favorite at +550 via DraftKings.

Chase Briscoe Is an Excellent Long-Shot Pick Despite Spotty Record

Chase Briscoe has raced at Las Vegas in the NASCAR Cup Series exactly three times, with the best finish of 14th.

In the March race this season, he crashed out in 35th place. Nevertheless, we think he’s the best sleeper pick on the board.

Briscoe slipped into the Round of 8 by two points last Sunday when defending series champion Kyle Larson slapped the wall at the Charlotte ROVAL, damaged his car and bowed out of the Playoffs.

In effect, Briscoe is playing with house money, a good position to be in at Las Vegas.

It’s also noteworthy that the driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Ford is the only driver to sweep both races at Vegas in the Xfinity Series, a feat he accomplished in 2020.

That’s why we find the prospect of Briscoe finishing in the top three and top five so enticing, especially at +800 and +400, respectively.

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How to Watch the South Point 400

RaceSouth Point 400 NASCAR Cup Series race
LocationLas Vegas Motor Speedway
TimeSunday, October 16, 2:30 p.m. ET
How to WatchNBC

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Image for Reid Spencer


Reid Spencer

208 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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