The 2023 NASCAR season is here, and on Sunday it’s time for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. After what seems like an eternity since the end of the 2022 campaign, the drivers will be raring to go in Los Angeles this weekend. So let’s now take a look at the betting and see if we can choose the winner with our first NASCAR betting picks of the new season.
- What; Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum
- Where; LA Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
- When; Sunday, February 5th, 2023
- Green Flag; 8 pm ET
This race is the curtain raiser for the new season. There are no points available for winning at the LA Memorial Coliseum this Sunday. The action for real gets underway in two weeks time, when the drivers compete in the first points-paying race of the 2023 Cup Series season, the Daytona 500.
Here at the Coliseum, there will be 36 cars lining up at the start of the weekend-long event. After a series of elimination races, 27 cars will be at the start line for the race proper at 8pm on Sunday night.
Last season, Joey Logano triumphed here. This was the start of an extremely open and exciting year of NASCAR racing that also saw Logano win the Cup Series Championship.
The 22 in ’22 comes true!@joeylogano wins his second NASCAR Cup Series title! pic.twitter.com/38fGnbrZyp
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) November 6, 2022
Can Logano repeat his victory in the Clash at the Coliseum? And is he the favorite to win the race again with the best NASCAR betting sites? Let’s take a closer look.
Betting to win the 2023 Clash at the Coliseum
The Clash at the Coliseum may only be an exhibition race, but it is a race that really captures the imagination. It is not only the curtain-raiser to the new NASCAR season, but also a prestigious event, and as a result it is a competitive race. So don’t be put off by the ‘exhibition’ word.
A look at our NASCAR betting odds table below shows a familiar story to that of 2022 – the presence of two Hendrick Motorsports drivers at the top of the betting.
|2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Betting|
|Martin Truex Jr||+2200||+2000||+2200|
Yes, the betting is again led by Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, the respective 2020 and 2021 Cup Series champions. Elliott is +750, Larson is +800. Okay, so with BetOnline at least, the defending champ Joey Logano is also at +750. But so he should be!
Last season the Hendrick drivers always seemed to be at the top of the betting. In fairness, Chase Elliott did top the points table in the regular-season, and he did win the most races. But the point is that they always seem to be at the top of the betting, even though they don’t always offer the best value odds to win the race.
Also at the top of the betting is Christopher Bell (+800) and Kyle Busch (+850). Despite the skepticism about the presence of the Hendrick drivers at the top of the market, the odds do seem to suggest it is likely to be an open race.
Happy February! The track is set and our torch is lit today & on the first of every month in 2023 in honor of our centennial celebration 🔥 #ColiseumForever pic.twitter.com/Lz2RlOd5MD
— Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (@lacoliseum) February 1, 2023
The above odds are taken from BetOnline. Don’t forget to check out our BetOnline sportsbook review for details of their latest new customers offer.
Drivers to watch this weekend
We’ve already made it clear that we don’t expect to see either Chase Elliott or Kyle Larson standing on the winner’s podium on Sunday night. They are capable, of that there is little doubt. But all the evidence from last season suggests their cars don’t suit this, or similar, sized circuits.
So what drivers and cars do suit this type of circuit?
The first name to leap out from the page is that of Joey Logano. As the defending champion, it’s obvious that Logano has both the car and pedigree to win here.
He will now have a target on his back as the current Cup Series champion. But as a two-time winner here, he should be able to handle all the pressure and goings-on that come with being the man at the top of the pile.
As well as Logano having won twice here, so has Kyle Busch. After his 15-year stint at Joe Gibbs Racing, Busch has now joined Richard Childress Racing where he will be hoping to rekindle his form of old.
NEWS: Two-Time #NASCAR Cup Series Champion @KyleBusch joins @RCRracing. pic.twitter.com/4ePYCDPhjS
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 13, 2022
Busch led this race for 64 laps last season, but ultimately couldn’t catch Logano, and had to settle for second.
Winning twice here is an achievement, meaning winning here three times is exceptional. And that’s just what Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick have done in the past.
Hamlin will be disappointed at how last season ended, having promised so much. Getting a fourth win at the Coliseum would be a great way to start the new season. As for Kevin Harvick, he has already confirmed that this will be his final season in NASCAR, after the Stewart Haas Racing ex-champion announced his retirement plans in the off season.
What chance that Harvick can win this race for a fourth time in what will be his final season in NASCAR?
Our NASCAR Picks
Onto our first NASCAR picks of the new season, and as this is such an open race, we are in position to hedge our bets.
The first driver we’re choosing is Kyle Busch. We believe he will have a point to prove this season in more ways than one. He came close here last season, and at +850, Busch is well worth wagering on and is our opening NASCAR pick.
This may be a nostalgic pick, but what the hell. The guy has won here three times, has a proven track record, and will want to go out in style. At +2000, the retiring Kevin Harvick has to be worth a few dollars and is our second betting pick.