Matt Kenseth moved one step close to capturing this year’s title by following up a victory at Chicago in the first race of the Chase with a win last week at New Hampshire. For the second week in a row Kyle Busch finished second and Greg Biffle took third. Our value pick for last week’s race was Kevin Harvick at +1200, but he faded all the way to 20th after starting eighth.
The following is a look at a few of the top favorites for this Sunday’s race along with our top value pick based on their current odds to win provided by Sportsbook.
If Jimmie Johnson has any hope of regaining the Sprint Cup title after winning the championship five straight times from 2006 to 2010, he knows that he is going to have to start winning some of these races in the Chase. He has a good chance to start this week as a +350 favorite to win on Sunday. After a fifth-place finish at Chicago and a fourth-place finish last week at New Hampshire, the No. 48 car is in third place in the current Sprint Cup Standings with 2093 points which is 18 points out of the lead. Johnson finished 17th in the first race at Dover this season, but he has won seven Sprint Cup races at this track and he has an average finishing position of 9.0.
The current leader in the standings is one of two drivers opened at +450 to sweep the first three races of the Chase. Matt Kenseth and the No. 20 car may appear to be peaking at just the right time, but this team has been no stranger to the Winner’s Circle this season with a total of seven point race victories while leading a total of 1,344 laps. Engine problems ended his day in his last visit to the Monster Mile and he finished 35th in last year’s race here, but the value in Kenseth’s odds remains with 10 top-five finishes in his 13 previous races at this track.
Kyle Busch’s past track record in the Chase was nothing to write home about, but this year could be a different story. He has the No. 18 car in second place in the standings and just 14 points out of the lead. This team has won four point races this season including two in the last seven races on the schedule, which adds a ton of value to its +450 odds. Busch posted a fourth-place finish in the first race at Dover this year and he ended-up seventh in last year’s race. He has two career Sprint Cup victories at this track with the last one coming in 2010.
Top Value Pick
The odds to win this race really fall off after the top three favorites so there are plenty of quality drivers to choose from as our top value pick to win this week. We decided to go with Kyle’s older brother Kurt Busch as our value NASCAR pick to win at +1800. He has raced the No. 78 car to seventh place in the standings and at 40 points back he still has a shot at making a run at the title if he can string together some wins. The value in these odds comes from current form, with five top-five finishes in his last eight Sprint Cup races. The other plus is the fact that Busch won this race in 2011.