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Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 Predictions: Two Races Left to Determine Playoff Grid

Written by: Reid Spencer
Updated August 31, 2023
11 min read
  • Key races remain at the bottom and top of the NASCAR Xfinity standings.
  • NASCAR Cup Series drivers dominate the betting board at Darlington.
  • Justin Allgaier is on a roll. Can he take it to the Cup guys at the Lady in Black?

Sport Clips 200 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.


Kyle Larson


Denny Hamlin


Kyle Busch


Justin Allgaier


John Hunter Nemechek


Josh Berry


Cole Custer


Austin Hill


Sam Mayer


Sheldon Creed


Brandon Jones


Our Picks for the Sport Clips 200

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Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 Predictions

Sport Clips 200 Predictions

Two Races Are Left to Determine Playoff Grid, Regular-Season Champ

For the record, the full name of this race is the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200. Now you know why we shortened it for the purposes of this discussion.

Saturday’s race is the next-to-last in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season, and there are still two important positions to be decided.

The first is the regular-season championship and the bonus of 15 Playoff points that goes with the title. Austin Hill is the current kingpin, leading last Saturday’s Daytona winner, Justin Allgaier, by 27 points and John Hunter Nemechek by 28.

Allgaier is the first choice among full-time Xfinity drivers (and fourth overall) at +650 via DraftKings Sportsbook. Nemechek is next at +900.

Hill, on the other hand, is a distant +1800 at DraftKings. But the driver of the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet has shown a remarkable capacity to overachieve on tracks that aren’t necessarily his best.

Accordingly, we like Hill to beat Josh Berry head-to-head at a generous +120 via DraftKings.

The second important race is for the final Playoff spot. Parker Kligerman currently leads Riley Herbst by 20 points, but neither driver figures in our recommendations this week.

This Is the Last Hurrah for Cup Drivers in the Xfinity Series This Year

After Saturday’s race, NASCAR Cup Series drivers aren’t allowed to compete in the Xfinity Series race for the rest of the year, so as not to muck up the cutoff event or the Playoffs races.

Hence, three major Cup stars are taking full advantage of their last opportunity in 2023—Kyle Larson (+190 DraftKings), Denny Hamlin (+225) and Kyle Busch (+550).

Larson won the spring race at Darlington and is making his final start of the season in the No. 17 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Hamlin has five Xfinity victories at the Lady in Black, the last coming in 2017.

But the short odds argue against both Larson and Hamlin. So why not go with the all-time Xfinity Series winner in Kyle Busch at the much more respectable +550?  

Can Justin Allgaier Carry His Momentum from Daytona to Darlington?

Last Saturday, Justin Allgaier won for the second time this season, picking up a breakthrough victory at Daytona International Speedway.

After a sluggish start to the season, the JR Motorsports Chevrolets have found their rhythm of late, scoring three wins in the last five races.

We’re tempted to go with Allgaier to win his second straight race in the Sport Clips 200, but at +650, his odds are simply too short, given the level of competition he faces.

Yes, Allgaier has two wins in his last five Darlington starts, and he finished second to Larson in the spring, but Kyle Busch offers the better chance of a return at only slightly inferior odds.

So we’re sticking with Busch this time.

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How to Watch the Sport Clips 200

  • Race: Sport Clips 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race
  • Location: Darlington Raceway
  • Time: Saturday, Sept. 2, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: USA
Image for Reid Spencer


Reid Spencer

218 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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