It feels as though the 2020 NASCAR season just ended, and while we are still a couple of months away from the start of the new season, the bookies have wasted no time in getting the odds out for 2021. Chase Elliott will head into the new season looking to defend his crown, although he will certainly be well aware that no driver has won the championship in consecutive years since Jimmie Johnson did it back in 2010. That may well be why Elliott is not in as the favorite, which is usually always a label reserved for the defending champion. Yes, it’s still early, but let’s take a look at the NASCAR odds for the 2021 season.
NASCAR Cup Series Early Odds for 2021 Season
Kevin Harvick (+500)
It’s still a little hard to believe that we are not talking about Harvick as the 2020 NASCAR champion. After all, he led the way for the majority of the season, picking up 9 wins over the course of the year. You have to go all the way back to 2007 to find the last time a driver won that many, with Jimmie Johnson winning 10 in that season. The bad news for Harvick is that his form took a downturn in the playoffs, which meant that he did not make it into the final four. He is sure to have a small chip on his shoulder in 2021.
Kyle Busch (+700)
If Chase Elliott needs any idea of how tough it is to defend a title, all he needs to do is look at Kyle Busch, who won it in 2019. Busch went into last season among the favorites to repeat, but he was never able to really get anything going, finishing 8th overall and managing just 1 win on the season. it is tough to imagine that he will struggle so much in back-to-back seasons, so look for a bounce back year from Busch.
Joey Logano (+700)
It was a case of close but no cigar for Logano last season, as he finished 3rd in the driver standings after still having a shot to win it all in the final race of the year. He landed in the top 10 no less than 21 times, so if he can maintain that level of consistency in 2021, he will certainly have a shot at winning again, as he did in 2018.
Chase Elliott (+700)
The fact that no one has been able to repeat as champion since 2010 shows you just how many good drivers there currently are in NASCAR. I would certainly expect Elliott to challenge again this coming season, but can he break the trend as win it for a second consecutive season? It might be worth taking a shot at such good odds.
Denny Hamlin (+700)
For much of last season, the race for the championship was a 2-horse race between Harvick and Denny Hamlin. It was Hamlin who ended up doing better, making it into the final four, but it was not to be. Still, with 7 wins on the year, 2020 was a good one for Hamlin and one that he may be able to build on in the 2021 season.