NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series Chase to the 2016 title is down to just three more races starting this Sunday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway with the running of the AAA Texas 500. Here's the best picks on the NASCAR odds
Eyeing a seventh career Sprint Cup title, Jimmie Johnson took a big step towards getting it done as my top favorite last week with a victory at Martinsville to automatically advance to the championship race. Brad Keselowski took second in that race and Denny Hamlin helped his title chances by finishing third.
The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win this Sunday afternoon at Texas based on betting odds as provided by 5Dimes. When it comes to odds for any NASCAR racing event, 5Dimes is the top online sportsbook for all your betting action.
Top Valued Favorite
The defending 2015 Sprint Cup Champion is still looking for his first victory in this year's Chase, but this could be the week to go with Kyle Busch as one of four +500 favorites to get that first win given what is on the line. The No. 18 Toyota has shown some solid form through the first seven Chase events with four Top 5 finishes including a fifth-place run at Martinsville last Sunday, but Busch knows from experience that winning a title still comes down to winning races. The main reason that I like his chances to make that first trip to the Winner's Circle in these playoffs is a victory earlier this season at Texas as part of his four point race victories on the year.
Top Valued Contender
There are some longer odds for a few drivers left in the Chase, but I am going with Denny Hamlin at +1500 as my top value pick. The No. 11 Toyota is another team that has been shutout so far in this year's Chase, but it came into this 10-race competition hot with a victory at Richmond. I also like the fact that it is moving in the right direction with back-to-back third-place finishes in the last two Chase events. The main reason for Hamlin's longer odds this week is a less than stellar performance at Texas the past few seasons, but the veteran driver does have two career Sprint Cup victories at this track.
Top Valued Longshot
Picking longshots at this point of the season is a crapshoot at best, but there is one driver that is still in the Chase that would qualify for this category. Kurt Busch made it into the Round of 8 with some solid form and consistency so there has to be some value in his +3000 odds to finally win a Chase event. I like the fact that the No. 41 Chevrolet has finished in the Top 10 in every other race since fading to 13th in Chicago to start these playoffs. Last week's 22nd run at Martinsville could set the stage for a big day at Texas this Sunday. Busch has made his way into the Top 10 in three of his last four races at Texas.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
Joining Kyle Busch at +500 odds to win this week are Kevin Harvick and last week's winner Jimmie Johnson as two drivers still in the Chase along with Martin Truex Jr. as the ninth-best driver in the current Sprint Cup point standings. From there the odds fall off rather quickly with the trio of Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski listed at +1000. Carl Edwards is eighth in the current standings and his odds to win are set at +1200 along with Chase Elliott.