NASCAR: AdvoCare 500 Odds and Betting Predictions
by Christopher G. Shepard - 9/3/2011
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who is trying to secure a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the first time in three years, inked a five-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports this week as NASCAR heads to Hampton, Georgia, for the AdvoCare 500 on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN) at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
If you are interested in making money off NASCAR on Sunday you should keep in mind that Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in poles won (seven) at AMS. The Wood Brothers have notched 12 victories at AMS, more than any other team, but have not won since 1993. Tony Stewart came from the fifth spot on the grid to win last September, and Kurt Busch won from the 11th-spot in March. Fourteen races at AMS have been won from pole position. However, the last driver to win from the pole was Kasey Kahne in 2006. While there have been seven season sweeps at AMS this hasn’t happened since Jimmie Johnson accomplished this feat in 2007. This is the first and only race at AMS this season.
Who will win the Advocare 500?
With only two races left until the points reset, Kyle Busch and Johnson are tied for first place, 32 points in front of last week’s upwardly mobile Matt Kenseth (up two-spots) and 35 points in front of Carl Edwards. Kevin Harvick rounds out the Top 5, but he lost two-spots last week and his team, Richard Childress Racing, has gone into a late-season swoon. Harvick’s double-digit finish last week at Bristol did not help him keep pace with pack as he dropped two spots and is now 48 points off the lead.
Harvick is not the only RCR driver that has hit the August doldrums. Both Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard had an awful race at Bristol, with Bowyer finishing 26th and off the pace. Menard finished 30th at Bristol, pushing him down to 20th in the standings while Bowyer is clinging to 12th place. Since both drivers are still within the Top 20 they do have a shot at a Wild Card berth, but they will have to win one of the two remaining races for that to happen. This seems unlikely at this point and I’d advise laying off all RCR drivers on Sunday night.
Edwards had owned the Sprint Cup lead throughout most of this season until the second week of August when things started to unravel slightly. Edwards has managed to stay in fourth place and keep pace thanks to a ninth-place finish last week at Bristol. Edwards has three wins at AMS (two in 2005, Oct. ’08) and has seven Top-5s and nine Top-10 finishes in 13 starts. Edwards finished second in this race last year but 11th in the spring race. I look to Edwards to contend for the lead the entire race.
While I think Edwards is a viable pick, I am really strong on Kyle Busch this week as two of his four wins this season have come on intermediate tracks. Joe Gibbs Racing has had a strong intermediate package, and to win the Chase you have to win on 1.5-mile tracks. Busch is still in first place, but this week he has to share the lead with Johnson (who is always a danger to win every time he gets behind the wheel – but he is super boring to write about). Busch gets the first place nod in the standings over Johnson due to his 4-1wins advantage this season. Ugh, let's make that five.
Pick! Kyle Busch, No. 18, (+800)
Long Odds Lucky Dog Pick!
How did that 25/1 winner at Bristol treat you last week? As it stands now, with three wins on the year, Brad Keselowski has the first Wild Card spot locked up, but at 11th in the standings he is only 20 points behind Stewart for the 10th and final spot in the Chase. Guess Keselowski isn’t creeping up on bookmakers this week as his odds have dropped all the way to +1200 to win at Atlanta. However, after riding Brad for three straight weeks I am going to lay off this week.
Meanwhile, one of the most under-covered contenders for this year’s Chase Cup title is Roush Fenway Racing’s Kenseth, who moved into third place in the Sprint Cup standings thanks to his sixth-place finish at Bristol. Kenseth has never won at AMS and finished 11th last year, but consider that he finished at AMS in second place in March, so if Kenseth has a good car then watch out. Despite never winning at AMS in 22 starts, Kenseth has recorded eight Top-5 and 12 Top-10 finishes. If you are looking for a hot driver with huge upside potential that the public is virtually ignoring, I’d throw this week’s dart at the Crown Royal Ford on Sunday night.
Pick! Matt Kenseth, No.17, (+1200)
Top Three finish at Advocare 500?
If Stewart, who is currently clinging to 10th place in the Sprint Cup standings, does poorly at Atlanta and Keselowski does well, then it’s possible Stewart (with no wins) could be on the outside looking in at the Chase. Twenty points separates 10th from 11th place, and this year with the change in the Chase format that makes all the difference between making the Chase and not making the Chase.
Stewart’s objective is rather clear and simple this week. Simply put, Smoke needs a win; not only to help build momentum going into the Chase but to solidify his 10th and final spot in the Chase. If Stewart is going to win this year I believe it will be at AMS. Stewart has three wins (Mar. ’02, Oct. ’06, Sept. ’10) at Atlanta and has 14 Top-10 finishes in 24 starts. However, Stewart's only Top-10 finish in the past three years was last year’s win. Stewart has been uncharacteristically quiet this summer; usually during summertime Stewart heats up and wins a few races, on Sunday night I wouldn’t be surprised to Smoke in the winner’s circle, but considering how this season has gone for Tony I am going to hedge and put him to finish in the Top 3.
Pick! Tony Stewart, No. 14, (+300)
Odds* to win the AdvoCare 500
Atlanta Motor Speedway – September 4, 2011
101 AJ Allmendinger +5000
102 Bobby Labonte +8000
103 Brad Keselowski +1200
104 Brian Vickers +4000
105 Carl Edwards +800
106 Clint Bowyer +3000
107 Dale Earnhardt Jr +3000
108 David Ragan +4000
109 David Reutimann +5000
110 Denny Hamlin +1200
111 Greg Biffle +2500
112 Jamie McMurray +5000
113 Jeff Burton +5000
114 Jeff Gordon +800
115 Jimmie Johnson +800
116 Joey Logano +4000
117 Juan Pablo Montoya +3000
118 Kasey Kahne +2000
119 Kevin Harvick +1200
120 Kurt Busch +1000
121 Kyle Busch +800
122 Marcos Ambrose +6000
123 Mark Martin +3000
124 Martin Truex Jr +5000
125 Matt Kenseth +1200
126 Paul Menard +5000
127 Regan Smith +8000
128 Ryan Newman +3000
129 Tony Stewart +1000
130 Field (Any Other Driver) +8000
Odds* for Top Three Finish the AdvoCare 500
Atlanta Motor Speedway – September 4, 2011
150 AJ Allmendinger +1500
151 Bobby Labonte +3000
152 Brad Keselowski +350
153 Brian Vickers +1200
154 Carl Edwards +250
155 Clint Bowyer +900
156 Dale Earnhardt Jr +900
157 David Ragan +1200
158 David Reutimann +1500
159 Denny Hamlin +350
160 Greg Biffle +750
161 Jamie McMurray +1500
162 Jeff Burton +1500
163 Jeff Gordon +250
164 Jimmie Johnson +250
165 Joey Logano +1200
166 Juan Pablo Montoya +900
167 Kasey Kahne +600
168 Kevin Harvick +350
169 Kurt Busch +300
170 Kyle Busch +250
171 Marcos Ambrose +1800
172 Mark Martin +900
173 Martin Truex Jr +1500
174 Matt Kenseth +350
175 Paul Menard +1500
176 Regan Smith +3000
177 Ryan Newman +900
178 Tony Stewart +300
179 Field (Any Other Driver) +3000
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