2022 Cook Out Southern 500 Sleeper Picks

By Jeff Stinger

NASCAR’s season shifts into high gear and gets the playoff calendar rolling. This weekend’s race features a battle between the best at the Darlington Raceway. It is a flagship race that was once part of the unofficial NASCAR Grand Slam. Although the race no longer bears that identity, it is a night race that gets everyone at the edge of their seats. With the favorites locked in, Nitrobetting goes over the 2022 Cook Out Southern 500 sleeper picks.

Top Sleeper Picks for the 2022 Cook Out Southern 500

READ MORE: 2022 Cook Out Southern 500 NASCAR Odds, Preview, and Prediction

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

  • 2022 Cook Out Southern 500 Odds: +10000

The driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for JTG Daugherty Racing is a choice pick for bettors looking to venture into the sleeper category. Although it’s been a while since the 34-year-old found success, we’ve seen him produce successful results this season. Stenhouse Jr.’s best race of the season came at the Dover International Speedway where he started in 15th place and secured a podium finish at second place. This performance was followed by three consecutive finishes within the top ten. It’s worth noting that he did all three from 26th place or lower.

The 2017 Coke Zero 400 winner holds an average start of 25.0 and an average finish of 21.6. If he bounces back from a poor sequence of races and gets back into playoff form, there’s good reason to include him on our 2022 Cook Out Southern 500 sleeper picks.

Brad Keselowski

  • 2022 Cook Out Southern 500 Odds: +10000

It’s only been a year since Keselowski won the 2021 GEICO 500 at Talladega. He has a decorated career that highlights 35 wins and 230 top-ten finishes with 17 poles. Although he fell behind the pack at the recent Coke Zero Sugar 400, the 38-year-old veteran driver did produce a stellar performance at the Ambetter 301. His season-best number was a seventh-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway where he started ninth.

What makes him a solid sleeper pick is his experience. Despite racing close to 19th place, for the most part, this season, he still possesses that winning pedigree we witnessed last season.

Justin Haley

  • 2022 Cook Out Southern 500 Odds: +15000

It’s always exciting to see young talent lead the pack. Justin Haley, winner of the 2019 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona brings that atmosphere. The 23-year-old finished 12th place or better five times this season. This includes a third-place finish at the Goodyear 400 in Darlington Raceway. Even though Haley struggled in his last seven races, he did enough to qualify for the playoffs.

The Kaulig Racing driver records an average start of 22.0 and an improved average finish of 18.9. So far, he’s led 28 laps this season and ranks 25th in the driver standings. Ultimately, he is a definite presence in the sleeper talks for this weekend’s race.

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