NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series has a break in the schedule this week following the first six point races of the new season. This makes it a perfect time to take a look at Sportsbook.ag’s recently updated futures odds to win this year’s Sprint Cup title.
Denny Hamlin added is name to the list of top contenders to make this season’s 16-driver field for the 10-race Chase to the Sprint Cup title by winning last week’s race at Martinsville. So far we have seen five different winners in six races with last season’s Sprint Cup champ Kevin Harvick claiming back-to-back victories at Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Heading into next Saturday night’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, the following is a look at the top five contenders to win this year’s Sprint Cup title, including the betting odds.
Kevin Harvick +360
It would be really hard not to bet on Harvick to repeat as champion this season after the No. 4 car has blistered the field in his first six point races. Not only has he already one twice this year to assure himself a solid spot in the Chase, he has also posted three additional second-place finishes. His streak of eight-straight finishes in the top two of a Sprint Cup point race dating back to last season’s run to the title came to an end this past Sunday with an eight-place finish at Martinsville after starting 17th.
Jimmie Johnson +600
Johnson wasted little time posting his first Sprint Cup victory of the new season with a first-place finish at Atlanta on March 1. This followed a fifth-place finish at Daytona and the No. 48 car was also in the mix at Fontana before finishing ninth. It has been an up and down run for Johnson this season with three other finishes outside the top 10, but all this team needs to do is find its form at the right time of the year to make a run at Johnson’s seventh career Sprint Cup title.
Jeff Gordon +700
This season was supposed to be Gordon’s final grand tour around the Sprint Cup circuit after deciding to retire from full time racing at the end of the year. So far it has been one frustration after another with six-straight finishes outside the top five. His best run in the No. 24 car so far came at Phoenix with a ninth-place finish after starting 10th. It is still way too early to rule him out of another strong run at the Sprint Cup title after finishing sixth in last season’s final standings. Gordon posted four point-race victories in 2014 while adding another 10 top-five finishes to the resume.
Brad Keselowski +800
Keselowski already has one career Sprint Cup title to his credit after winning it all in 2012 and he is in good shape to make the Chase again this year with a victory at Fontana a few weeks back. He made a solid run at last year’s crown by finishing fifth in the standings and the No. 2 car led the way with wins in 2014 with six checkered flags. Keselowski came extremely close to adding a second victory this season with a second-place finish last week at Martinsville. While his driving tactics often times come into question, it is hard to not see him right in the mix for this year’s title.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. +800
Dale Jr. is coming off one of best seasons in the Sprint Cup series in years with four trips to the Winner’s Circle and eight additional top-five finishes, but he is still looking for his first checkered flag of the 2015 season. He has been in the hunt a few times through the first six events with three top-five finishes including a third-place finish at Daytona, but the No. 88 car has also had its issues including a 36th-place finish in last week’s race. The biggest question mark for Junior’s titles chances is how will this team hold up in this year’s Chase after fading to eighth in last year’s final standings?