Joey Logano won both last year's Clash at the Coliseum and, eventually the Cup Series crown, so it makes sense that he starts the new season back atop the odds board for this weekend's exhibition event. Get the full race breakdown here.
Rev up your NASCAR betting bankrolls.
The 2023 season is right around the corner, with this weekend's Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum the first preliminary race leading up to the official NASCAR Cup Series kick-off with the Daytona 500 on February 19.
This Sunday, February 5 exhibition takes center stage on the west coast, and sportsbooks are tabbing the new NASCAR season to begin in much the same way the last one ended.
Get the latest NASCAR odds, and a full race analysis with our Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum betting picks.
Odds to win 2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum
|Driver||Odds to win|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+2,500|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of February 1, 2023.
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Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum field
Sportsbooks are favoring Joey Logano to keep the heat on, both in terms of this race and the Cup Series in general, as the defending champ of both enters as this weekend's co-favorite at +750.
He shares the odds lead with Chase Elliots, who spent much of last season as the Cup Series odds leader, only to fall short down the stretch. 2021 Cup Series champ Kyle Larson and 2022 breakout start Christopher Bell sit just behind at +800, while Kyle Busch (+900), Ryan Blaney rounds out the drivers available under 10-to-1 odds.
But with 10 drivers available between +750 and +1,400, oddsmakers seem to have had trouble establishing a clear favorite among the top tier. Despite drivers having had a year to adapt to this new track, there isn't a huge sample size of results to glean info from.
Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum picks and predictions
Clash at the Coliseum favorites
Joey Logano (+750)
Why go against the defending race winner of the Clash? Logano dominated the second half of this event a year ago, and oh by the way, also won the last NASCAR race of the 2022 season at Phoenix, taking home the Cup Series title in the process. Until someone beats him, he’s the favorite, in my opinion. While there’s no other track to really compare this race to, Martinsville would be the closest example I guess, and Logano finished second and sixth, respectively, there in 2022. Good enough for me.
Christopher Bell (+800)
Worth a look. He was eighth in this race last year and won Martinsville last Fall. He also enters having scored a Top-5 finish in exactly half of the playoff races last season, including a pair of wins. On top of that, one of his other wins in 2022 was at Loudon, a flat track like Martinsville and the Coliseum.
Kyle Busch (+900)
A new face in a new place with something to prove. Busch inherits a car that looked strong here a year ago. Tyler Reddick qualified second in this very car, won a Heat Race, and if not for some bad luck, was going to be a contender to win in the end. In saying that, Busch was also good here in his old ride. He was fastest in qualifying, won his Heat race as well, and finished second in the main event to Logano. Both sides add up to a potential win by Busch on Sunday.
Clash at the Coliseum sleepers
Ryan Blaney (+1,000)
The Team Penske driver had a pair of Top-5 finishes at the Martinsville Speedway (fourth, third) last year and if not for contact with Erik Jones in this race a year ago, was destined for another Top-5 finish here in February. Blaney ended the 2022 season without a points-paying win with his last coming in August 2021. However, he did win last year’s All-Star race and it would be wild to begin 2023 off with another non points-paying win. He closed last season with four Top-4 finishes over the last seven weeks and the only reason it wasn’t 7-for-7 was due to unforced errors on his behalf.
Chase Briscoe (+3,000)
I feel like 2023 will be a breakout year for Briscoe. In 2022, he won his first Cup race, and while he had some down stats for the rest of the regular season after, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver really turned it on during the second round of the playoffs to which he finished 2022 with six Top-10 finishes over the final seven weeks including a fourth-place run in the season finale at Phoenix. He also was strong and showed a lot of speed in last year’s Clash too.
Austin Dillon (+7,500)
RCR had great cars here last year, not only with Tyler Reddick’s speed, but also the fact that Austin Dillon finished third in the main event too. I don’t expect them to just drop off this time around, either.
Clash at the Coliseum fades
Chase Elliott (+750)
The most popular driver struggled on these types of tracks last year. He only placed 15th after starting 11th. At Martinsville, he finished 10th in both races.
Denny Hamlin (+1,000)
Outside of Kyle Busch, Toyotas largely struggled on this track last year, and Hamlin struggled on these types of short tracks last season overall. He finished last in this race, and 28th and fifth respectively at Martinsville a year ago.
Tyler Reddick (+1,500)
Kurt Busch didn’t even make the main event in this car last year, and the teammate car of Bubba Wallace finished 18th. For his early odds, even with success a year ago, I’d fade him with this new team as they haven’t established chemistry to what Reddick needs in a car just yet.
Clash at the Coliseum prop pick
With the HMS cars struggling on these types of tracks last year, including this race, and RCR having the top performance here among the bow tie camp, this one is a no-brainer. Kyle Busch is one of my favorites for good reason, as he was the top dog in the Toyota camp last year and now takes over what was largely the top car in the Chevrolet camp on this track a year ago.
Pick:Top Chevrolet Car - Kyle Busch (+425 at DraftKings)
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LA Memorial Coliseum track analysis
Not much has changed with the actual track itself between last year and this time around in the LA Memorial Coliseum. Yes, the track from last year was broken up, sod put back down and the venue changed back to a multi-purpose sporting facility within a month from the checkered flag dropping on the inaugural Busch Light Clash a year ago. Now that football season has once again concluded, the track surface has been rebuilt to the exact configurations it was a year ago.
So, with just one year of this unique race format and the cars/venue being the same for the second go around, I don’t expect much difference in terms of how things will look in 2023, as it did in 2022 in regards to the track analysis.
Some places you’ll see an aged surface get a year older, or a change to the tire compound, or even a change to how the cars are set up on that specific venue, but for the Clash, it’s status quo from an exhilarating event in 2022.
The only thing I do think will look different is that these drivers are going to be more comfortable. Last year was the first year of this new Next Gen race car. It raced differently, but most notably, it shifted differently.
These cars used to be your typical H-pattern gear-shifting mechanisms; sort of like you’d see in a street car. Last year, it was a sequential shifter on top of a fifth gear being added. That threw the veterans for a loop because they had to retrain themselves on how to race these cars.
Plus, it was the first-ever race for all of these drivers and teams inside of a football stadium — no one knew entirely what to expect. Now, they do...
Clash at the Coliseum trends
Starting position mattered in the qualifying races last year:
- The Top-4 qualifiers from the night before started on the pole for each of the four heat races. Each of those four drivers led every single lap of their heat race to advance to the Top 4 starting positions for the main event. This is something to keep an eye on Saturday in terms of qualifying times and the final order as well as if you’re live betting on Sunday, for whom to wager on for the main event.
- The fifth-place starter in all four heats also finished fifth in those races.
- Two of the four heat races saw the entire Top 4 of the starting lineup take the four transfer spots to the main event.
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