Coca-Cola 600 Odds & Predictions 2023 | NASCAR Best Bets

Last Updated: Feb 2, 2023

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600, with the green flag set to drop on Sunday, May 29 at 6 p.m. ET.

This is a festive event as one of three “Crown Jewel” races on the Cup Series schedule, along with the Daytona 500 and Southern 500. There will be significant salutes to the military and their families. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynrd are the pre-race headliners and Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore will be the honorary pace car driver.

Kevin Harvick is the only active driver to win all three “Crown Jewel” events on the Cup schedule, and he won the Coca-Cola 600 in 2011 and 2013. Denny Hamlin is looking for his first Coca-Cola 600 victory, and earning it this week would put him alongside Harvick as winners of all three of the Cup series’ pillar events on the schedule.

Hamlin, though, is in an unfamiliar spot at 20th in the Cup standings with just two top 10 finishes this season. Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. lead all active drivers with three wins at Charlotte. Harvick, however, is on a 56-race winless streak and Truex has not won in his last 21 starts.

Kyle Larson maintained steely focus when he won the Coca-Cola 600 from the pole in 2021. He is looking to become just the seventh driver and first active Cup competitor to win the event in consecutive seasons. Doing so would put him in company with legends such as Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and Jimmie Johnson.

The Coca-Cola 600 will also be the longest race of the season at 600 miles. This event has long been known as an “endurance” test for the drivers, and it will also be one for those who wager on the race. You must strap in and prepare for a long ride before heading to the pay window.

Here are our Coca-Cola 600 predictions and best bets.

Coca-Cola 600 Winner Odds

Coca-Cola odds and lines are current as of 11 pm ET on Saturday, May 28, and appear courtesy of BetMGM.

  • Kyle Larson (+600)
  • Kyle Busch (+600)
  • Martin Truex Jr. (+700)
  • Denny Hamlin (+700)
  • William Byron (+1000)
  • Ryan Blaney (+1000)
  • Chase Elliott (+1200)
  • Ross Chastain (+1200)
  • Alex Bowman (+1400)
  • Christopher Bell (+1400)
  • Kurt Busch (+1400)
  • Tyler Reddick (+1400)
  • Austin Cindric (+2500)
  • Daniel Suarez (+3300)
  • Bubba Wallace (+5000)

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Coca-Cola 600 Prediction

Picking a race winner will not be easy this week, as several factors come into play. Some primary ones include the ability for the teams to adapt to changing conditions throughout the race, dealing with continual tire concerns that have been an issue this season, plus recent momentum and some natural and fun unpredictability at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Ryan Blaney appears to have some strong momentum after winning the 2022 All-Star Race at Texas last weekend. He is aiming to become the third active driver to win the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same season. The last active driver to pull off the feat was Larson during his dominant 2021 run.

We could also see a surprise winner at CMS this week. The venue has produced the most first-time Cup winners at any 1.5-mile track in the series. A total of 10 drivers have scored their first-ever career victories at Charlotte. Austin Dillon was the most recent first-time winner at CMS in 2017.

Ultimately, though, it comes down to Larson, Hamlin, and Kyle Busch as our top selections to win the race. Larson is starting from the rear of the field but still has to be considered a top contender, as does Hamlin, who is starting to turn his season around.

Coca-Cola 600 Winner Pick: Denny Hamlin

Coca-Cola 600 Favorites

Denny Hamlin (+700) at BetMGM

WAGER: 1 Unit

It has been a very frustrating season for Denny Hamlin, but you should take a shot on him as he is showing renewed signs of life. Hamlin finished fourth at Kansas. He finished second in the 2021 Coca-Cola 600.

Hamlin’s 94.9 all-time DR is third-best among all active drivers, as is his Average Finish of 12.3. He is also third in all-time Quality Passes (Passes of Cars in the top 15 while under green flag conditions, 1,273) and fourth in Fastest Laps Run (414).

Hamlin took the pole for Sunday’s race and is going to be dialed in on finally taking the checkered flag at CMS to pull off the feat of winning in all three “Crown Jewel" events.

Kyle Larson (+600) at BetMGM

Larson finished second at Kansas, and also at Las Vegas earlier this season. Those two tracks are comparable 1.5 milers to CMS. In his last five starts this season, Larson has three top 4 finishes and a sixth-place showing.

In his first career win at Charlotte last year in the Coca-Cola 600, Larson owned the track, leading for 327 of the 400 laps. Dating back to 2019 at CMS, he is second in DR (109.7). Hendrick Motorsports easily leads in all-time team wins at Charlotte with 21, and Larson fully took on the look of a CMS king in his Hendrick debut at the site last season.

Larson will start 36th after hitting the wall in practice, but considering the length of this event, he will surely work his way back to the top of the field to contend for the win.

Kyle Busch (+600) at BetMGM

Kyle Busch finished in third place at Kansas and fourth at Las Vegas earlier in the season. He has placed in the top 4 in four of his last five CMS starts, including a win in 2018.

Since 2019 at Charlotte, Kyle Busch is third in Fastest Laps Run (101) and he is second in Quality Passes (267). You may also see him finish strong, as he is second among Closers during that span (2.3 average spots gained in the final 10 percent of races at CMS).

Kyle Busch has the most top 5 finishes of any active driver at the site (15) and he leads in several all-time Loop Data categories, including DR (106.1), Fastest Laps Run (861), and Quality Passes (1,527).

Coca-Cola 600 Contenders

Chase Elliott (+1200) at BetMGM

Before a pit road mishap in the most recent official race at Kansas doomed Elliott to a 29th-place finish, he was coming off a fifth-place showing at Darlington and a win at Dover. Elliott has finished in the top two in his last three Charlotte starts and placed fourth in 2019.

In the last four races at CMS dating back to 2019, Elliott leads all active drivers in Driver Rating (119.4) and Average Running Position (5.9), and he is second in Fastest Laps Run (126). He is also third in Quality Passes (260).

Elliott has an all-time Driver Rating of 99.0 at CMS, second-best among active drivers. His three runner-up finishes at the site are the second-most among active drivers. Elliott had the fourth-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in Saturday’s practice.

Alex Bowman (+1400) at BetMGM

We like the combination of odds and outlook for Alex Bowman here. He has four top 10 finishes in his last five starts and is capable of a better showing this week. Keep in mind that Bowman won at Las Vegas earlier this season.

Bowman finished fifth at Charlotte in the second race at the site last season. Dating back to 2019 at CMS, Bowman is third in DR (116.8), second in Laps Led (228), and fourth in Fastest Laps Run (96).

Bowman was second-fastest in practice on Saturday, further bolstering his outlook for Sunday’s race.

Christopher Bell (+1400) at BetMGM

Christopher Bell is surging coming into Charlotte, with three consecutive top 6 finishes. He led for 37 laps at Kansas and finished in fifth place. We are basing this selection on recent momentum, but it should also be noted that Bell has two top 4 finishes in three Xfinity starts at CMS. He is currently in 10th place in the Cup standings, 17 points behind Larson.

Bell qualified third and also had the third-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in practice.

Kurt Busch (+1400) at BetMGM

Kurt Busch boosted his outlook in Saturday’s pre-race events. He qualified second and he was also second-fastest in practice.

In the 2021 Coca-Cola 600, Kurt Busch finished fifth. He is fourth all-time in Quality Passes at CMS (1,220)

Martin Truex Jr. (+700) at BetMGM

Martin Truex Jr. finished sixth at Kansas, and Charlotte is one of his better tracks, so you can take the shot that he nabs his first win of the season this week. Dating back to 2019 at CMS, he is fourth in DR (103.8) and has the most Fastest Laps Run at the site (149). He is also third in Laps Led (203). He has the second-most Fastest Laps Run of all time at Charlotte (567).

Truex had the best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in Saturday’s practice session.

Tyler Reddick (+1400) at BetMGM

Tyler Reddick hit the wall at Kansas and finished 30th, but he delivered a second-place finish at Darlington in the previous race. He also has run well in his three Cup starts at CMS.

Reddick has finished eighth, ninth, and 14th in his three Cup starts at Charlotte. His DR of 91.6 is the fifth-best overall at the site, and Reddick’s Average Finish of 10.6 leads all active drivers. He is also second in DR in the Xfinity series at CMS dating back to 2019 (117.2).

Ross Chastain (+1200) at BetMGM

Ross Chastain is eyeing his third win of the season after finishing seventh at Kansas. He has two top 3 finishes in his last four 2021 starts. Chastain does not have a successful history at CMS, but he looks to be on the verge of blossoming into more of a standout this season.

Chastain was third-fastest in Saturday’s practice session.

William Byron (+1000) at BetMGM

William Byron finished fourth in the second Charlotte race last season. Dating back to 2019 at CMS, he is second in Average Running Position (8.5) and fourth in Quality Passes (244). Byron finished fifth at Las Vegas earlier this season. He has been inconsistent this season, but Byron is worth a look at this site as he starts from the fifth position.

Coca-Cola 600 Sleepers

Austin Cindric (+2500) at BetMGM

WAGER: 1 Unit

Austin Cindric elevated his appeal with his showings in Saturday’s pre-race events. He was fourth-fastest in practice and sixth in qualifying.

This will be Cindric’s Cup debut at CMS, but he has finished second and third in his last two Xfinity starts at the site.

Chris Buescher (+12,500) at BetMGM

Chris Buescher has three top 10 finishes in his last four starts at Charlotte. Look for him to make his bid to finish strong late in the race, as he ranks first among Closers dating back to 2019 at the site (average of 2.5 spots gained in the final 10 percent of races at CMS). He is also fourth in Green Flag Passes (419).

How to Bet on the Coca-Cola 600

Diversification is a key.

As in NASCAR DFS, spread out your wagers so you can have a better shot at heading to the pay window. The tire issues we have mentioned that have been prevalent this season could take out any driver you have wagered on at any time. In the longest event of the season, you also want to have a piece of the team and pit crew that best survives the night.

Dominance may not be possible.

Last season in the Coca-Cola 600, Larson led for 327 laps as we mentioned. But we should see more lead changes in the Next Gen Car in this season’s race. In the 2020 races at Charlotte, the winning drivers led for a combined 49 laps in two events.

You are going to see your invested wagers go on a constantly-changing ride throughout the 600 miles and 400 laps, Patience is essential and can pay off if you study the numbers, monitored results from pre-race events, and then lock your best picks in.

Practice and Qualifying sharpened the picture.

Eliott was our pick to win before Saturday’s pre-race events, but then we pivoted to Hamlin. But the odds also shifted on Elliott and he is now a better value play.

Kurt Busch and Cindric performed well in practice and qualifying and were added to our list of drivers to target. Blaney was removed. Truex ran well on Saturday and improved his chances of netting his first win of the year.


Scott Engel

Scott Engel is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously he was at and The Athletic. His work is also featured at RotoBaller and on Scott is a host on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 13-time finalist. He was an Associate Editor and featured writer at and his career began at CBS SportsLine, where he was a Senior Writer and Managing Editor. Scott was the Managing Director at RotoExperts.

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