Kyle Busch NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono
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The new NASCAR Cup Series season officially commences at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, when the 2022 Daytona 500 takes place at 2:30 p.m. ET. Three-time winner Denny Hamlin hopes to make it three victories in four years and pull even with Cale Yarborough for second-most wins in "The Great American Race." Richard Petty took the checkered flag a record seven times. Michael McDowell won this event last year after failing to record a victory in his first 13 Cup Series seasons.

Caesars Sportsbook lists Denny Hamlin as the 9-1 favorite in the latest 2022 Daytona 500 odds. Other top Daytona 500 2022 contenders include Chase Elliott (10-1), Kyle Larson (10-1) and Joey Logano (11-1). Larson will start from the 2022 Daytona 500 pole, while Alex Bowman (18-1) will flank him on the first row. Before scouring the 2022 Daytona 500 starting lineup and making any 2022 NASCAR at Daytona predictions, be sure to see the latest 2022 Daytona 500 picks from SportsLine's proven projection model.

Developed by daily Fantasy pro and SportsLine predictive data engineer Mike McClure, this proprietary NASCAR prediction model simulates every race 10,000 times, taking into account factors such as track history and recent results.

In the 2021 season, McClure nailed Martin Truex Jr. to win at Martinsville for a strong 3-1 payout. The model also nailed Kyle Larson winning the NASCAR All-Star Race at 5-2 in Texas and hit Larson again at the Ally 400 for another 5-2 payout. Then, it called Chase Elliott to win at Road America for a 5-2 payout.

It also called Larson's win at Texas for an 11-4 payout and his win at Kansas for a 9-4 payout in back-to-back weeks before nailing Larson to win the season-finale in Phoenix to claim the NASCAR Cup Championship. In total, it called five of Larson's wins during a historic season. Anyone who followed its lead on those plays saw huge returns on its NASCAR picks.

Now, the model simulated the 2022 Daytona 500 10,000 times. Head to SportsLine to see the complete projected 2022 Daytona 500 leaderboard.

Top 2022 Daytona 500 predictions

One surprise: the model is high on William Byron, even though he's a 15-1 long shot in the latest NASCAR at Daytona odds. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. The 24-year-old has recorded only two victories in 144 series starts, but the first came on this track in the 2020 Coke Zero Sugar 400. Byron, who also won an Xfinity Series race at Daytona in 2017, kicked off the year with a sixth-place finish in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum exhibition earlier this month.

And a massive shocker: Hamlin, the top Vegas favorite at 9-1, stumbles big-time and barely cracks the top five. Hamlin finished third in last year's Cup Series, but that was due to a strong start to the season as he faltered down the stretch. After securing nine top-five finishes in his first 12 races, he had just 10 top-fives over his next 24 races. 

While Hamlin is a three-time Daytona 500 winner (2016, 2019, 2020), he hasn't thoroughly dominated the track as you would expect from someone with three wins there. Those are his only three wins on the track across 32 career Cup Series appearances and he finished a disappointing 13th in his last Daytona outing. Given his short odds, there are far better values in this open 2022 Daytona 500 field.

How to make 2022 NASCAR at Daytona picks

The model is also targeting four other drivers with 2022 NASCAR Daytona odds of 14-1 or longer to make a serious run at the checkered flag. Anyone who backs these drivers could hit it big. You can see all of the model's NASCAR picks over at SportsLine.

So who wins the 2022 Daytona 500? And which long shots do you need to back? Check out the latest 2022 NASCAR at Daytona odds below, then visit SportsLine now to see the full projected 2022 Daytona 500 leaderboard, all from the model that correctly predicted five of Kyle Larson's wins last season

2022 Daytona 500 odds

Denny Hamlin 9-1
Chase Elliott 10-1
Kyle Larson 10-1
Joey Logano 11-1
Ryan Blaney 12-1
Brad Keselowski 14-1
William Byron 15-1
Bubba Wallace 16-1
Kyle Busch 16-1
Kurt Busch 17-1
Alex Bowman 18-1
Kevin Harvick 20-1
Martin Truex Jr. 22-1
Aric Almirola 22-1
Tyler Reddick 25-1
Austin Dillon 25-1
Christopher Bell 28-1
Austin Cindric 30-1
Chris Buescher 30-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 33-1
Ross Chastain 40-1
Michael McDowell 40-1
Justin Haley 40-1
Daniel Hemric 50-1
Chase Briscoe 50-1
Daniel Suarez 60-1
Greg Biffle 60-1
Cole Custer 60-1
Erik Jones 75-1
Ty Dillon 75-1
Harrison Burton 75-1
David Ragan 75-1
Corey Lajoie 100-1
Noah Gragson 100-1
Landon Cassill 125-1
Kaz Grala 150-1
Todd Gilliland 200-1
Jacques Villeneuve 1000-1
B.J. McLeod 1000-1
Cody Ware 1000-1