The 2023 Cook Out Southern 500 will take place on Sunday at Darlington Raceway and for the fourth consecutive season, the historic race will mark the beginning of the NASCAR playoffs. The Southern 500 was first held in 1950 and is one of the crown jewels on the NASCAR schedule along with the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600 and the GEICO 500. Erik Jones is the defending champion of this iconic event and even though he missed out on the postseason this year, he'll be eager to play the role of spoiler again in 2023. Jones is listed at 30-1 in the 2023 Cook Out Southern 500 odds, while Martin Truex Jr. is the 5-1 NASCAR at Darlington favorite. 

The green flag drops at 6 p.m. ET. Before scouring the 2023 Cook Out Southern 500 starting lineup and making any 2023 NASCAR at Darlington predictions, be sure to see the latest 2023 NASCAR Darlington picks from SportsLine's proven NASCAR 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.

McClure's model is off to a red-hot start this season, already nailing Martin Truex Jr.'s Clash win (20-1) as well as his win in New Hampshire (11-2), Joey Logano's Duel win (8-1), Kyle Busch's Fontana victory (10-1), Denny Hamlin's triumph in Kansas (6-1) and Kyle Larson's wins at Martinsville (6-1) and the NASCAR All-Star Race (13-2). In Austin, it listed Tyler Reddick as one of its best values and he went on to win for a 10-1 payout. It also impressively nailed five of Larson's wins during his historic season in 2021. 

All told, the model has nailed a whopping 13 winners since 2021. Anyone who followed its lead on those NASCAR picks saw huge returns.

Now, the model simulated the 2023 Cook Out Southern 500 10,000 times. Head to SportsLine to see the complete projected NASCAR at Darlington leaderboard.

Top 2023 Cook Out Southern 500 predictions

For the 2023 Cook Out Southern 500, the model is high on Christopher Bell, even though he's a 12-1 longshot in the latest 2023 NASCAR at Darlington odds. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. A former dirt track champion, Bell has won at every stage of his career. He won the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, won 15 times in two full-time seasons in the Xfinity Series and has steadily built himself as one of the most exciting young racers in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Bell recorded seven top-10 finishes with Leavine Family Racing as a rookie and earned a ride with Joe Gibbs Racing the following year, capturing his first win and making his first postseason appearance. He followed that up with three wins and a third-place finish in the standings last season and enters Sunday's race sitting seventh. Bell has finished sixth, fifth and 14th in three races at Darlington Raceway since the launch of the Next-Gen car. See who else to back at SportsLine.

And a massive shocker: William Byron, one of the Vegas favorites at 15-2, stumbles big-time and fails to crack the top five. There are far better values in the 2023 Cook Out Southern 500 starting lineup. The 25-year-old is already in his sixth full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series and will make his fifth consecutive playoff appearance after winning a career-high five times during the regular season.

One of those wins came at Darlington and his fifth win of the season came two weeks ago at Watkins Glen. However, Byron hasn't been running well of late outside of that road-course win, finishing inside the top 10 just one other time in his last seven starts. He's also been outside the top 10 in six of his 10 career starts at Darlington. He doesn't have a single postseason victory to his name in his Cup career. See which other drivers to avoid at SportsLine.

How to make 2023 NASCAR at Darlington picks

The model is also targeting two other drivers with NASCAR Darlington odds 2023 of 12-1 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 Cook Out Southern 500 2023, and which longshots are a must-back? Check out the latest 2023 NASCAR at Darlington odds below, then visit SportsLine now to see the full projected 2023 NASCAR at Darlington leaderboard, all from the model that already nailed seven winners this season.

2023 Cook Out Southern 500 odds, drivers, lineup

See full NASCAR at Darlington picks at SportsLine

Martin Truex Jr. 5-1
Kyle Larson 6-1
Denny Hamlin 15-2
William Byron 15-2
Tyler Reddick 10-1
Ross Chastain 10-1
Kyle Busch 10-1
Christopher Bell 12-1
Kevin Harvick 16-1
Chase Elliott 16-1
Brad Keselowski 16-1
Chris Buescher 18-1
Joey Logano 18-1
Ryan Blaney 20-1
Erik Jones 30-1
Bubba Wallace 30-1
Ty Gibbs 30-1
Alex Bowman 50-1
Daniel Suarez 60-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 100-1
Michael McDowell 100-1
Carson Hocevar 200-1
Austin Dillon 200-1
Aric Almirola 250-1
AJ Allmendinger 300-1
Chase Briscoe 300-1
Austin Cindric 400-1
Ryan Preece 400-1
Ryan Newman 500-1
Corey Lajoie 500-1
Justin Haley 500-1
Harrison Burton 500-1
Todd Gilliland 1500-1
Ty Dillon 2500-1
JJ Yeley 2500-1
BJ McLeod 5000-1