Odds for All the Top NASCAR Drivers to Win the 2013 Sprint Cup Title

Michael Guadalupe@The_GuadaFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2013

Odds for All the Top NASCAR Drivers to Win the 2013 Sprint Cup Title

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    With only four races left until the Chase, drivers are still pushing to make a spot in the postseason.

    But of the current top drivers in the sport, who has the best odds of winning the championship?

    We saw what can happen in the Chase last year, when a clear underdog, Brad Keselowski, went up against one of the top drivers to ever enter the sport and showed fans that there’s still room left for underdogs in NASCAR.

    Other drivers shined as well, as we saw Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne finish well when the season was over.

    This year has been slightly different, with drivers like Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth dominating throughout the year, but will they continue to be the top drivers when the Chase starts?

    Anything can happen when the postseason begins, so never count any driver outregardless of how good or bad their odds, via OddsShark, may be to win the title.

    Here are the odds for all the top NASCAR drivers to win the 2013 Sprint Cup title.

12. Ryan Newman

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    With Tony Stewart sidelined, it looks like Ryan Newman could be taking his spot in the Chase, if he can hold his wild-card spot through the rest of the regular season.

    Newman has been through a lot this year, from being dumped by Stewart-Haas Racing when next year starts, to being called an ogre by Kyle Busch.

    Now is the time, though, for Newman to prove he can still be relevant to NASCAR.

    Outside of his Indianapolis win, Newman has been rather unimpressive throughout the regular season.

    But as we get closer to the Chase, the Rocket has come alive and has managed to push himself up in the point standings and possibly into the Chase.

    If he ends up contending for the title, it will only help him even more when he looks for a ride next season.

    Odds of winning the championship: 20-1

11. Kasey Kahne

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    Kasey Kahne didn't finish the Watkins Glen race like he wanted to, but heading into the Chase, he has emerged as a top driver for Hendrick Motorsports.

    Besides Jimmie Johnson, Kahne is the only other Hendrick driver with wins this season. If he can keep his current spot in the standings, he should be able to start the Chase in a decent spot.

    The biggest problem with Kahne moving forward will be his inconsistency. He went from winning at Pocono to wrecking at Watkins Glen. Kahne isn't a bad road course driver, as he was able to finish sixth during the Sonoma race this year.

    The Chase might come down to consistency and being able to win races, which means Kahne will not only need to win, but make sure he can also finish each race with a decent finish.

    With Hendrick power behind him, Kahne could be a big contender in the Chase.    

    Odds of winning the championship: 6-1           

10. Martin Truex Jr.

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    Martin Truex Jr. has one win this season, and even though he might get into the Chase as a wild card, he's already better off this year than his attempt at the Chase last season.

    His one win will be somewhat helpful when the Chase starts, but Truex has the same issue other drivers on this list struggle from.

    He needs to win races.

    Truex seems to improve year after year, but his odds are low because he still has a lot to learn. If he can manage to win in the Chase, he could be a real contender for the Championship. The problem, though, is that's easier said than done.

    Odds of winning the championship: 16-1

9. Greg Biffle

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    Greg Biffle has one win this season, but he has otherwise been a non-factor during the regular season.

    There is no doubt that Ford drivers seem to be struggling, and Biffle has been an example of the struggles this season.

    Last year, he emerged quickly as a top driver in NASCAR, but now he struggles to hold onto his current position in points.

    His one advantage that he will have over other drivers is his one win. If he does manage to see the postseason, he will start with a slight advantage over some of the other drivers.

    Still, with the rough year Ford has been dealing with, it's hard to imagine Biffle being able to come alive during the Chase and turn Ford's horrible regular-season performance around.

    Odds to win the championship: 25-1

8. Brad Keselowski

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    Brad Keselowski has better odds of winning the championship this season than most experts and fans would have predicted last year.

    He might not be an underdog anymore, but Keselowski is still struggling to hold onto a spot in the Chase.

    He's had his share of struggles this season, and while he is in the top 10 in the standings, he still hasn't won a race, which will hurt him once the Chase starts.

    Ford as a manufacturer has also been struggling this year, with only two wins by Ford drivers so far in the regular season.

    While Keselowski does have challenges to overcome if he wants to win the championship for a second time in a row, he knows what it’s like to face adversity and shouldn't be counted out of the running until the last race at Homestead.

    Odds of winning the championship: 12-1

7. Matt Kenseth

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    If there's one driver who has been as good as Jimmie Johnson this year, it's Matt Kenseth.

    While he may not have the overall solid finishes that Johnson has had, Kenseth has won four races this year to help in the point standings once the Chase starts.

    What's even more important is how Kenseth has been a major factor on the 1.5-mile oval tracks this season, which make up a large part of the Chase.

    Kenseth made the major move to Joe Gibbs Racing this season, and it's paying off hugely.

    The biggest issue for the 20 team in the Chase will be to keep momentum. As we've seen in the regular season, Kenseth can win races, but as we get closer to the Chase, he seems to be struggling to get to the front and compete like he was earlier in the year.

    The Chase will more than likely come down to wins, and as long as Kenseth can continue excelling on oval tracks, he will have a solid shot at the title.

    Odds of winning the championship: 6-1

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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    Dale Earnhardt Jr. has one part of the Chase already figured out.

    There's no denying how consistent of a driver he is and how he can manage to finish in the top 10 or top five at almost any track NASCAR goes to.

    He can run into bad luck, as we saw at Watkins Glen, but Jr. has been able to stay a factor heading into the Chase over the past couple of years because of his overall consistency.

    What Jr. lacks, though, is the ability to win.

    He may make it into the Chase without wins, like several of the other drivers on this list, but he's failed to win races in the postseason. Unless he can figure out what's holding him back, he will more than likely fail to win races in the Chase this year as well.

    Odds of winning the championship: 25-1

5. Kyle Busch

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    With his recent win at Watkins Glen, Kyle Busch will be heading into the Chase with at least three wins. Busch is a driver who is hungry to prove himself, especially after barely missing the Chase last season.

    Busch has seen major success in the Nationwide Series, and he has run well throughout the regular season.

    With Toyota seemingly fixing its early season issues and emerging as a top competitor this year, Busch has the equipment and the team he needs to succeed in the Chase.

    This year might be Kyle's best chance to win the championship. If he can keep up his solid performances and manage to win in the Chase, he will be one of the best competitors in the postseason.

    Odds of winning the championship: 5-1

4. Kevin Harvick

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    Kevin Harvick is moving to Stewart-Haas Racing next year, but the Closer is still focused on winning a championship as the Chase gets closer.

    Of course that's what Harvick would like racing fans believe, but regardless of his two wins, something seems off with Harvick and Richard Childress Racing, which could have an impact moving into the postseason.

    The Closer started the season strong, but he has faded recently. His two wins and decent finishes have basically locked him into the postseason, but if he hopes to win the championship this year, he needs to keep focusing on his current team and try to win during the Chase.

    He might be switching organizations next year, but without a doubt, the Closer wants to win a championship.

    Now he just needs to prove it in the Chase.

    Odds of winning the championship: 14-1

3. Carl Edwards

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    Carl Edwards struggled last year. This season, however, he's managed to win a race and is a solid lock to see the postseason.

    The problem with Carl Edwards in the Chase, though, is the same issue that plagued him in 2011. Edwards needs to win to be able to be a real contender.

    His odds to win the Sprint Cup Championship are lower than most of the other drivers on this list, and for good reason.

    Carl will already be at a disadvantage compared to other drivers if he makes it into the Chase with only one win, and with drivers like Johnson and Kenseth, who both have four wins during the regular season, it will be hard for Edwards to keep up.

    Make no mistake about it, Carl Edwards is a fantastic driver, but the only real way he stands a chance to win the championship is if he can win races in the Chase.

    Odds of winning the championship: 15-1

2. Clint Bowyer

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    For a driver who hasn't won a race this season, Clint Bowyer is looking good heading into the Chase. While his odds sit at 15-1, it's important to remember that Bowyer really came alive at the end of last year's regular season and was a standout driver in the Chase.

    He could do the same thing this year, which would make him a major factor heading forward.

    However, if he can't manage to win one of the last four races of the regular season, Bowyer will be at a disadvantage when the Chase starts.

    And while he did do well in the Chase last year, this season he will need to perform even better with drivers like Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth already performing strong before the postseason even starts.

    Odds of winning the championship: 15-1

1. Jimmie Johnson

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    Without a doubt, Jimmie Johnson and the 48 team have the best odds of winning the championship.

    Not only has he won four races so far this season, Johnson has managed to finish well in almost every race this year and has a big lead in the point standings right now.

    Of course when the Chase starts that big lead will go away, but with his consistency, Johnson will more than likely hold onto the first-place spot for a majority of the Chase.

    He may stumble, as we've seen him go from dominating races to losing them over bad luck or mistakes, but with the Chase mainly made up of tracks where Johnson runs well, it should be no surprise to see him have the best odds to win the championship.

    Odds of winning the championship: 2-1


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