Johnson Now the Sprint Cup Favorite as Chase Moves to Kansas
Is it all over but the shouting? Well, it certainly is for many of the drivers who are currently competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. However, that doesn’t mean that NASCAR bettors aren’t looking for a bit of an upset at this point. Or maybe it isn’t an upset at all. Jimmie Johnson is behind Matt Kenseth, who won the first two Chase events, but he is gaining ground after his victory at the AAA 400 in Dover, coupled with Kenseth’s seventh-place finish, and as a result we have essentially a three-way race to capture the title.
As the field heads to Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas for the Hollywood Casino 400, Kenseth leads Johnson by eight points, Kyle Busch by twelve points and Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon by 39 points apiece.
The odds to win the Sprint Cup title at Bovada.lv offer a clear indication that the true contenders are down to a few:
Jimmie Johnson +120
Matt Kenseth +175
Kyle Busch +220
Jeff Gordon +4000
Kevin Harvick +4000
Greg Biffle +5000
Clint Bowyer +6600
Dale Earnhardt Jr. +6600
Kurt Busch +8000
Joey Logano +10000
Carl Edwards +10000
Ryan Newman +10000
Kenseth comes into Kansas with two wins at the venue under his belt. One of those took place less than a year ago in this event. The previous year belonged to Johnson, who brought his Chevy home with an average speed of 137.181 miles per hour. When it comes to racing at Kansas, there really is no one better, but of course, that’s the way it is at many NASCAR venues. Johnson, the current Cup betting favorite at +120, has the highest Driver Rating at Kansas, not to mention the best average running position, greatest number of Fastest Laps Run and most Quality Passes of any driver who will be starting his or her engine in this field on Sunday.
This is a track where Kyle Busch could lose some ground to this field. It is not his best place to race; in fact, in the twelve starts he’s had in Kansas, he’s only scored two Top 10 finishes. His Driver Rating of 79.0 is only the 18th best in this field.
Kevin Harvick won the pole, his first in Kansas, and with a price of +4000 at Bet365 to win the Sprint Cup crown, he’s got to have a great result on Sunday to have any hope of staying in the hunt. He has started all fifteen NASCAR races that have been held at Kansas Speedway, and he only has one top five finish to show for it, so the qualifying result was naturally very encouraging. Call this his last best shot to be relevant.
Greg Biffle, who trails Harvick and Gordon in the standings and is priced at +5000 in NASCAR betting for the Cup championship, has the fastest race time ever at Kansas Speedway, which came when he captured the checkered flag in the Hollywood casino 400 in 2010. Ryan Newman (+10000 at Bet365) won this race in 2003, but has not been very productive at Kansas otherwise; in fact, his Driver Rating is only 25th best in the field. And Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was second at Dover, only has one top five in 14 Kansas starts.
So maybe it comes down to a Johnson-Kenseth duel, which won’t be such a bad thing for dramatic effect.
Can Matt Kenseth stay ahead of the in form Jimmie Johnson? Place your bets now at www.bovada.lv
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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