With 15 of the 36 point race events on the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup series schedule in the books, we have a good idea of the top players in this year’s Chase to a Sprint Cup title.
Sportsbooks have recently updated its NASCAR futures to win the 2016 Sprint Cup title and with a break in the action this week it is a good time to look for the best value in the odds. The following is a look at my top valued picks, contender and longshot to win this season's racing championship based on updated future odds as provided by TopBet.
Top Valued Favorite
Jimmie Johnson won his last Sprint Cup title in 2013 to raise his career total to six, but ever since NASCAR changed the rules in the 10-race Chase to the title, he faded to 11th in 2014 and 10th in last season's final standings. The key to winning a title these days is winning races and the No. 48 Chevrolet is one of four teams with multiple victories on the year. All that Johnson needs to do is win a few more when they count the most. The biggest value in his +500 odds to claim the 2016 title is the motivation that still burns in Johnson to be the best driver on the track when all the smoke clears in that final championship race.
Top Valued Contender
Another driver with multiple checkered flags this season is Brad Keselowski behind the wheel of the No. 2 Ford. He won a Sprint Cup title in 2012 under the old rules, but his all or nothing style of racing as led to some bad racing decisions in the last two Chases to knock him out final championship round. He has been listed at +1000 betting odds to keep his cool down the stretch and win it all this time around. With two wins under his belt you know that Keselowski will be in the 2016 Chase, so I am betting that he now understands what it takes to actually win.
Top Valued Longshot
When it comes to betting odds for NASCAR's Rookie of the Year, Chase Elliott would undoubtedly be a prohibitive favorite. Through his first 15 point race events as the new driver of the No. 24 Chevrolet, he is holding down the sixth spot in the current standings with 453 points on the strength of six finishes inside the Top 5. He will still need a victory somewhere down the line to officially lock-up a spot in the Chase, but to me that is only a matter of time. His odds to stun the field with a Sprint Cup title are set at +2000 and I believe there is some solid value in that number. How he handles the added pressure of the Chase remains to be seen, but he has already proven he can race at a very high level.
Futures Odds for other Notable Drivers
Kevin Harvick won the Sprint Cup title in 2014 and he is also listed as a +500 favorite to win again this year. Kyle Busch is the defending champ and his betting odds to repeat are set at +600. Next on the list is Joey Logano at +750 and both Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth are set at +800. Joining Keselowski at +1000 is Martin Truex Jr. with Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin listed at +1200. Rounding-out this group of notables is Dale Earnhardt Jr. at +1500 to win his first career Sprint Cup title.