NASCAR Futures Betting Predictions
by Christopher G. Shepard - 2/9/2010
Sports investment powerhouse Bodog has hung lines for who will win the 2010 edition of the Chase for Sprint Cup which starts on Valentines Day at the Daytona 500 and goes for 36 races until Nov. 23, 2010 at Homestead, Florida.
If you are new to the sport or have just been living under a rock for the past four years then you will want to pay attention to the fact that ALL-NASCAR, ALL-THE-TIME, Jimmie Johnson has been set at 9/4 to win an unprecedented fifth consecutive Sprint Cup title. My gut tells me he won’t do it.
Gamblers investing in the outcome of the 2010 Sprint Cup should note that it only took four consecutive championships for the media to pick Johnson to win his fifth title. However, the last time the media picked Johnson to win the Sprint Cup (and I guess I don’t count as media since I went out on a limb and picked Johnson last year at 7/2) was in 2005. Johnson, of course, did not win and Tony “Smoke” Stewart was the last driver not in the No. 48 car to drink from the Sprint Cup.
Who will win the 2010 Sprint Cup?
Shortly after Denny Hamlin won Homestead in 2009 Johnson was presented a check from Sprint for $6,520,800 for winning his fourth Sprint Cup. If that isn’t motivation to win another Championship I don’t know what is. And as long as NASCAR doesn’t mess too much with the Johnson favorable 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup schedule and the points reset, it is likely that Johnson will keep winning championships (until officials finally decide Johnson’s advantage is too much and change the format or the races that comprise the Chase).
Here are the five drivers who I think have a legitimate shot to win the Sprint Cup this year. Conspicuously absent from this year’s list are the brother’s Busch and Jeff Gordon. Call me superstitious, but having your second child in the middle of the season will adversely effect how Gordon races (no matter how hard he protests that this is untrue). At the end of this overview I’ll tell you who will actually hoist the Sprint Cup after Homestead on Nov. 23.
Juan Pablo Montoya (12/1) – JPM had his best season to date in NASCAR last year and he’ll look to build upon the successes and avoid the brain farts that overshadowed a stellar 2009 season. The major lapse in attention I am referring to is the Brickyard 400. JPM had the race in the bag when he was busted for speeding down pit row and that cost him the win. Meanwhile, after finishing in the mid-20s in his first two seasons as a NASCAR driver he made the Chase and finished eighth last year. Montoya was a legitimate contender to beat Johnson as he was in the top-five for four the first four races but tanked in the last six races of the Chase. Can Montoya continue getting better this year? Most likely. But good enough to beat Johnson? Doubtful.
Denny Hamlin (10/1) – This year’s glam pick to unseat Johnson from his Sprint Cup throne is Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 11 FedEx Toyota. Despite tearing his ACL in a pick-up basketball game on Jan. 22, Hamlin says he’s going to postpone his surgery until the end of the season. However, there are questions on how much the hard miles week in and week out will wear on his leg and if the explosive Hamlin will be able to keep cool under pressure. When he does Hamlin’s been awesome and Denny will continue to be awesome if he can build on last year’s results. Hamlin finished fifth in the standings but won four races and posted 15 top-10 finishes. And Hamlin led in eight of 10 Chase races and won Homestead to close out the season. There is a lot of upside potential backing Hamlin, but then again last year Edwards was supposed to challenge Johnson for the Chase and he didn’t win a race the entire year.
Carl Edwards (10/1) – I assume Edwards didn’t play a lot of beach Frisbee in his offseason as he broke his foot doing just that before the Chase started in September. Even before he broke his foot his season was a huge disaster as his team, Rousch Fenway Racing, had a dismal year, winning only three races the entire season and none after March. Even so, Edwards managed to remain in the hunt and made the Chase despite winning no races in 2009. In fact, in 2008 Edwards had more wins than he had top-five finishes in 2009. This year the pressure and media expectations are off, which should give Edwards the opportunity to showcase his gymnastics talent and I expect to see at least a few back- flips this year. I expect Edwards to return to 2008 form with better backing from a much-improved RFR team. Consider that in 2008 Edwards won three of the 10 Chase races while last year he notched only three top-10 finishes in the Chase.
Tony Stewart (9/1) – Smoke entered the Chase No.2 in the standings last year and was considered a good bet to catch and perhaps surpass Johnson, but that never materialized and much like Kyle Busch the season before, he faded big time in the final 10 races and ended his season sixth. Stewart exceeded everyone’s expectations as a first time owner-driver for the minted Stewart-Haas Racing team. Stewart notched four wins and 15 top-fives last year. Keep in mind that the last time an owner/driver won was Alan Kulwicki in 1992. Stewart is the last driver not named Johnson to win a Sprint Cup championship, but that was five years ago so we’ll see if Stewart’s second year as a driver/owner produces an even better results than last year. Or will Stewart succumb to the sophomore slump? I am leaning toward the latter.
Jimmie Johnson (9/4) – JJ should be an automatic hedge, shouldn’t he? I mean there is no active driver better than Johnson. Johnson has won 24 races in the last three seasons! Johnson has also won at least three races a year for the last eight years. Perhaps more impressive than Johnson’s wins is the fact he has notched at least 20 top-10 finishes. It is his consistency that kills the competition and nobody is more consistent these days than Johnson. You can’t go wrong picking Johnson this year, can you?
Pick! Carl Edwards, No. 99, (10/1)
NASCAR Odds to Win 2010 Sprint Cup Championship
Homestead, FL, Nov. 21, 2010
A.J. Allmendinger 125/1
Brian Vickers 40/1
Carl Edwards 10/1
Clint Bowyer 30/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 25/1
David Ragan 125/1
David Reutimann 80/1
Denny Hamlin 10/1
Greg Biffle 16/1
Jamie McMurray 100/1
Jeff Burton 30/1
Jeff Gordon 8/1
Jimmie Johnson 9/4
Joey Logano 100/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 12/1
Kasey Kahne 30/1
Kevin Harvick 25/1
Kurt Busch 14/1
Kyle Busch 8/1
Marcos Ambrose 125/1
Mark Martin 7/1
Martin Truex Jr. 100/1
Matt Kenseth 18/1
Ryan Newman 40/1
Sam Hornish Jr 125/1
Tony Stewart 9/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 50/1
*Odds Courtesy of Bodog
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