NASCAR Sprint Cup 2011: Las Vegas Odds on All Drivers To Win Sprint Cup Title

Todd JacobsCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2011

NASCAR Sprint Cup 2011: Las Vegas Odds on All Drivers To Win Sprint Cup Title

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    Who does Las Vegas favor to win the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup?
    Who does Las Vegas favor to win the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup?Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The Las Vegas Hilton Superbook posts the odds on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship before every season.  Every season, without fail, the odds on Jimmie Johnson continue to drop to near even money territory.

    Jimmie Johnson's odds to win the title are shorter than the New York Yankees and the New England Patriots in their respective fields.  It may not pay off, but it is always a smart bet to seek out a legitimate long shot instead of betting a heavy favorite like Johnson.  Of course, the last five seasons Johnson has been money in the bank.

500-1: Marcos Ambrose

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    Marcos Ambrose is back in a Ford for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
    Marcos Ambrose is back in a Ford for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Marcos Ambrose is back with a familiar brand as he joins Richard Petty Motorsports and the Ford contingent.  Ambrose is getting more comfortable driving in circles, and he is a driver to beat in the two road races every season. 

    Can Ambrose win a NASCAR title?  No, but he will be fun to watch in 2011.

300-1: Brad Keselowski

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    Brad Keselowski folded up a few Roger Penske owned Sprint CUp cars in 2010 but 2011 will be much better for him.
    Brad Keselowski folded up a few Roger Penske owned Sprint CUp cars in 2010 but 2011 will be much better for him.Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    300-1 to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup title may be much to ask, but any Brad Keselowski fan worth his salt will make this bet. 

    Keselowski may not win the title in 2011, but he will win races, and he will be competitive on a restructured two-car team.

100-1: David Ragan

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    2011 is a make it or break it season for David Ragan and his No. 6 tream.
    2011 is a make it or break it season for David Ragan and his No. 6 tream.Harry How/Getty Images

    David Ragan has been a disappointment since moving up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. 

    Ragan has been expected to break out before 2011, and if he has not captured one or two signature wins in 2011, Ragan may be on the outside looking in.

100-1: A.J. Allmendinger

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    AJ Allmendinger has earned respect in the last year among NASCAR veterans.
    AJ Allmendinger has earned respect in the last year among NASCAR veterans.Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    A.J. Allmendinger and the No. 43 made famous by Richard Petty will be much improved for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup series. 

    Allmendinger improved in all aspects of his game in 2010, and his intermediate resume will surprise some for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup series.  Don't be surprised if Allmendinger brings home the hardware at an intermediate track or possibly Pocono this season, but a title is many years away.

100-1: Martin Truex Jr.

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    Martin Truex Jr. may be a good bet at 100-1 to win a NASCAR Sprint Cupt title.
    Martin Truex Jr. may be a good bet at 100-1 to win a NASCAR Sprint Cupt title.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Martin Truex Jr. is not a bad gamble at 100-1 to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup title.  Truex is in his second year with Michael Waltrip Racing, and he was already making strides as the 2010 season came to a close.

    Truex only nabbed one top five in 2010 and seven top 10s, but he was in contention and up front on several occasions while sorting out his new team and manufacturer.  With a new season getting underway and optimism in the air, Truex is the best long shot at 100-1 or higher.

50-1: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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    Dale Earnhardt Jr's team is now combined with the five time champion No.48 team.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr's team is now combined with the five time champion No.48 team.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a 50-1 long shot to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup title.  Not bad odds for a team that will be racing the same equipment as the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champions. 

    This season the No. 48 and No. 88 teams will be combined in one garage as Jeff Gordon's team moves out.  This can only help Dale Earnhardt Jr. who will also have a new crew chief in Steve Latarte.  50-1 may be a good price on the underachieving Dale Jr.

    Expectations for Dale Earnahardt Jr?

    Three to four wins and a potential NASCAR Sprint Cup title run.  Sound impossible?  Don't be surprised if Dale Jr. is standing in Victory Lane at the Daytona 500 in a few weeks.

50-1: Brian Vickers

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    Brian Vickers (No. 83) and Kasey Kahne (No.4) have worked well toegether preparing for Daytona.
    Brian Vickers (No. 83) and Kasey Kahne (No.4) have worked well toegether preparing for Daytona.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Brian Vickers has recovered from his serious blood disorder and is back in style with an experienced teammate and a team that has weathered the storm of their first few tumultuous seasons. 

    The Red Bull Racing team looked good working together in the Daytona testing session, and it bodes well for the returning Brian Vickers.

    Vickers odds of 50-1 may come down as the season progresses, and he runs up front.  Vickers and his temporary teammate Kasey Kahne will make some noise this season, and they have the opportunity to combine for five to six wins this season.

50-1: David Reutimann

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    David Reutimann also has a great teammate this season with Martin Truex Jr.
    David Reutimann also has a great teammate this season with Martin Truex Jr.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    David Reutimann had a strong season in 2010, and there is no reason to think he will tail off in 2011.  On the contrary, Reutimann will improve in 2011 and win multiple races as the No. 1 driver in the Michael Waltrip Racing stable.

50-1: Ryan Newman

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    Ryan Newman's experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat at Daytona.
    Ryan Newman's experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat at Daytona.Robert Laberge/Getty Images

    Ryan Newman can get off to a strong start early in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season with Daytona, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Bristol as the first four races of the 2011 season.  Newman is a good restrictor plate racer, and he is also solid on the short tracks and intermediate tracks. 

    It may be asking too much for Newman to make the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase and contend, but Newman will win a few races in 2011.  Newman is a smart driver, and as an organization, the Stewart-Haas team will be focused on finishing races and bringing the team to the next level in 2011.

40-1: Jamie McMurray

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    Jamie McMurray won three races in 2011 with his new Bass Pro Shops team.
    Jamie McMurray won three races in 2011 with his new Bass Pro Shops team.Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

    Jamie McMurray had an impressive season in 2010.  He won three races including the Daytona 500.  The Earnhardt Ganassi Racing engine program has made enormous strides which will give McMurray an edge on restrictor plate tracks Daytona and Talladega.

    McMurray is a solid racer, and he will notch another victory in 2011 but do not expect a repeat of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.  McMurray and the EGR team did look impressive in their first test of 2011 at Daytona, but his season will result in a top 15 and one win.

40-1: Kasey Kahne

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    Kasey Kahne (No.4) has adapted quickly to his temporary team.
    Kasey Kahne (No.4) has adapted quickly to his temporary team.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Kasey Kahne as a 40-1 shot to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup may not be a bad gamble. 

    He is on the Red Bull team for one season, and the engine and body programs look very competitive.  Kahne looked comfortable in the two-car draft sessions with his new teammate Brian Vickers.

    Expect Kahne to give a run worthy of a small wager by winning three and possibly four races in the Red Bull Racing No. 4 Toyota.

30-1: Jeff Burton

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    Jeff Burton showed he still has the fire in his belly to win.
    Jeff Burton showed he still has the fire in his belly to win.Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Jeff Burton has struggled over the past few seasons, but his Richard Childress Racing equipment does not appear to be the problem.  Burton suffered several lapses in judgement last season and also blew his lid in several other instances. 

    The mayor of the NASCAR garage appeared to be letting the pressure get to him last season.  Burton will come back with a new attitude after relaxing over the winter, but it will not make much of an impact on his final standings in the point chase.  Burton may break his win drought this season at Loudon or Phoenix.

30-1: Juan Pablo Montoya

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    Juan Montoya is eager to get his 2011 season started.
    Juan Montoya is eager to get his 2011 season started.Jerry Markland/Getty Images

    Juan Pablo Montoya performs well at the long flat tracks.  Pocono, California and Indianapolis are all good tracks for the Formula One World Champ.  Montoya loves the tracks where the throttle hangs open, and he can drive the car in as deep as possible.

    Montoya will not win the NASCAR Sprint Cup title this season, but two wins will not be out of the question as he grows entrenched in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.

30-1: Joey Logano

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    Last year Joey Logano began his season with a pre season win in the Daytona 500 of Short Track Racing.  The Toyota All-Star Showdown.
    Last year Joey Logano began his season with a pre season win in the Daytona 500 of Short Track Racing. The Toyota All-Star Showdown.Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Joey Logano began his season last year with a win in the Daytona 500 of short track racing—the Toyota All-Star Showdown.  The event is now a tradition, and Logano brought home the hardware two years in a row.

    This year, Logano is focused on the actual Daytona 500, and he will not be visiting Irwindale Speedway this winter.  Logano has one career win in NASCAR Sprint Cup, and his Las Vegas odds tell the tale of his chances of advancing to his first title in 2011.

20-1: Mark Martin

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    Mark Martin ended his day on the hook many times in 2010.
    Mark Martin ended his day on the hook many times in 2010.John Harrelson/Getty Images

    Mark Martin had a horrible 2010 season by his standards, but the bar is raised high for the rapidly aging veteran. 

    Martin won five races in 2009 and was blanked in 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup competition.  The drop-off was stunning after Martin narrowly missed yet another NASCAR Sprint Cup title to his teammate Jimmie Johnson.

    This year is Martin's last opportunity for a NASCAR Sprint Cup title.  He will be in Hendrick Motorsports equipment and engine packages for the last time in his career.  There is a possibility Martin could be moving into a part time driving and mentoring role with Stewart-Haas.  The driver Martin could be mentoring...Danica Patrick.  Stewart did not dispel the rumor when asked by Speed during the media tour on Monday.

18-1 Clint Bowyer

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    Clint Bowyer is looking to upgrade his hardware in 2011.
    Clint Bowyer is looking to upgrade his hardware in 2011.Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

    Clint Bowyer made a great run to the NASCAR Chase and then won the first race of the Chase.  Then, the wheels came off the NASCAR Sprint Cup title run.  Bowyer was stripped of his 175 points for the win at Loudon and fined—effectively ending his run for a NASCAR title.

    Bowyer is not a bad bet at 18-1.  He will have the benefit of Richard Childress Racing power plants and the well engineered body work of the RCR organization.  Bowyer has clearly ascended to the No. 2 driver in RCR.

18-1: Kurt Busch

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    Kurt Busch is looking forward after a mediocre 2010.
    Kurt Busch is looking forward after a mediocre 2010.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    2010 had opportunities for Kurt Busch to seize the NASCAR Sprint Cup title, but he never put together a good five or six-race run in which he dominated.  Busch is easily frustrated, and his crew chief Steve Addington looks to be a good fit for the volatile older Busch brother.

    We also said this about Pat Tryson just over a year ago, and now, Tryson is long gone also.  Busch is a driver that is in tune with his car and knows how to communicate the subtle nuances of drag and geometry when it comes to the car. 

    In this regard, Busch and Steve Addington now have a year under their belt, and this season may be the best for both in their respective fields.  Busch should start well in 2011 with his first race at Daytona and then Phoenix and Las Vegas on successive weekends.  18-1 is not a bad price for a former champion and Penske Racing staple.

12-1: Matt Kenseth

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    Matt Kenseth may make it back to Las Vegas but a NASCAR SPrint Cup title may be asking much.
    Matt Kenseth may make it back to Las Vegas but a NASCAR SPrint Cup title may be asking much.Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Matt Kenseth will be in Las Vegas once again for the season-ending celebration, but another title may be more difficult.  Kenseth and the Roush Fenway teams will now have the new Ford power plants and improved aero packages for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

    Kenseth will improve in the win department in 2011.  Look for the No.17 crew to capture three wins and plenty of top five finishes.  Jimmy Fennig and Kenseth will form a good team this season and maybe this will be Kenseth's final crew chief change for a few seasons.

12-1: Tony Stewart

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    Tony Stewart
    Tony StewartJared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Tony Stewart's issues Down Under may help him to focus on only racing as the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship run gets underway.  Stewart still has the fire in his belly and his confrontation in Sydney with the Sydney track owner may serve to channel Smoke's fire in one direction.  His first NASCAR title as an owner.

    12-1 looks like a good cover bet on Stewart.  He has the power plants provided by Hendrick Motorsports, and he also has the bodies provided by Hendrick.  Stewart normally gets off to a slow start at the beginning of the season, and now, he may be able to push through his early season lethargy.

10-1: Greg Biffle

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    Greg Biffle is getting major respect from Las Vegas with low odds of 10-1 to win NASCAR Sprint Cup title.
    Greg Biffle is getting major respect from Las Vegas with low odds of 10-1 to win NASCAR Sprint Cup title.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Greg Biffle at 10-1?  What does the Las Vegas Hilton Superbook know that we don't know? 

    Biffle won two races in 2010, and with a more reliable power plant in his Roush Fenway Ford, Biffle may have won several more races.

    Biffle is a grassroots driver that used to build his own race cars so he knows where to tweak and manipulate his car to find a few extra miles per hour.  Look for Biffle to win four races in 2011 but do not expect him to bring home the NASCAR Sprint Cup title this season.

10-1: Jeff Gordon

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    Jeff GOrdon is working with you crew chief phenom Alan Gustafson in 2011.
    Jeff GOrdon is working with you crew chief phenom Alan Gustafson in 2011.Jerry Markland/Getty Images

    Jeff Gordon's productive days behind him?  It is definitely a possibility.  One thing is definite.  Gordon still has fire in his belly to succeed. 

    With the new crew chief switch Gordon is now teamed with the youngest crew chief in the Hendrick Motorsports stable—Alan Gustafson.

    The combination of Gustafson and Gordon is a curious combination, but it could lead to positive developments for both crew chief and driver.  Gustafson is working with a living legend of the sport, and Gordon is working with a crew chief that may be young but is very capable and willing to try any new idea to get his driver to the winner's circle.

    Final conclusion:  Jeff Gordon will win a few races including a restrictor plate race and the Brickyard 400, but he will fall short of the title.

8-1: Kevin Harvick

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    Kevin Harvick receives little respect from Las Vegas after his NASCAR title run in 2010.
    Kevin Harvick receives little respect from Las Vegas after his NASCAR title run in 2010.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Kevin Harvick had an impressive season in 2010, and now, he switches sponsors. 

    Harvick will be racing for Budweiser in 2011.  Harvick will also be holding onto his pit crew which he commandeered from teammate Clint Bowyer last season.

    This season Harvick will run up front, but a NASCAR Sprint Cup title in 2011? 

    Not this season but Harvick will once again make a deep run into the NASCAR Chase final standings, and he will make it up onto the final table at the year-end NASCAR Champions Week in Las Vegas.

8-1: Kyle Busch

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    Kyle Busch can make any car go fast and at Tony Stewart's Prelude to the Dream NASCAR All Star race, Busch was on of the better drivers.
    Kyle Busch can make any car go fast and at Tony Stewart's Prelude to the Dream NASCAR All Star race, Busch was on of the better drivers.John Harrelson/Getty Images

    Kyle Busch is one of the best drivers in all of NASCAR.  He can win in any division, and he can drive any car under any conditions. He may whine and complain about how poorly it handles, but he will bring home the hardware or the steering wheel.

    Busch and his win-at-all-cost mindset may be the reason he will never win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. Busch can win a truck title and NASCAR Nationwide title, but like it or not, the Sprint Cup title is about consistency not winning. 

    Busch is several years away from winning a Sprint Cup title.

6-1: Carl Edwards

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    Carl Edwards finished the 2010 NASCAR season in style with a two race win streak.
    Carl Edwards finished the 2010 NASCAR season in style with a two race win streak.Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

    Carl Edwards is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver on a win streak as the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season begins in a few short weeks. 

    With his engines lasting in the last two races and Edwards winning both, it sets the stage for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup title run of Carl Edwards. 

    At 6-1, to win the NASCAR championship Carl Edwards will be the winner of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup title.  Edwards has a NASCAR Nationwide title to his name, and he has been involved in NASCAR Sprint Cup title runs in the past. 

    This season is a season of redemption for Carl Edwards, and he will win his first title.

6-1: Denny Hamlin

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    Denny Hamlin was disappointed at the end of his NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
    Denny Hamlin was disappointed at the end of his NASCAR Sprint Cup season.Jason Smith/Getty Images

    Denny Hamlin was devastated after his disappointing finish in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup title.  It was obvious when we saw him in Las Vegas weeks later, he was still deeply bothered by his team's collapse at the end of the season.

    2011 will be a tough season for Denny Hamlin.  He will win three to four races, and he will make the NASCAR Chase in 2011 once again. 

    Hamlin's final finish in the Chase will be a disappointing eighth place.

5-2: Jimmie Johnson

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    Jimmie Johnson will work with DAle Earnhardt Jr. this season.
    Jimmie Johnson will work with DAle Earnhardt Jr. this season.Jerry Markland/Getty Images

    Jimmie Johnson is the favorite to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup? 

    Obviously, Las Vegas is growing tired of booking bets from Jimmie Johnson fans and being forced to pay them every season.  Jimmie Johnson is more heavily favored to win the championship than the New York Yankees in baseball, The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat in basketball and the New England Patriots in football.

    Las Vegas sportsbooks make it a point to invite action on all teams, golfers or drivers when it comes to future bets.  With Jimmie Johnson, they have posted a number that will make it prohibitive to place a bet that will not be cashed for nine months.  5-2 is not worth placing a bet even if it is Jimmie Johnson.

    This season, Johnson will not make it a six pack.  There will be a concerted effort among drivers not to cut the No. 48 team as much slack as the first five title runs.  If Jimmie Johnson can win the NASCAR Sprint Cup this season, it will be the single greatest accomplishment ever achieved in NASCAR history. 

    In other words it will not happen.

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