Sprint Cup Series
Last week the Sprint Cup series took a break in the point race schedule with the running of the All-Star Race and Jamie McMurray hung on to claim the million dollar first-place prize. Kevin Harvick finished second and Matt Kenseth took third. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was my value pick for this race at 10/1 and he came close to cashing-in with a fourth-place finish in last Saturday night’s race.
The following is a look at a few of the top favorites to win this Sunday’s race along with my top value pick based on odds provided by Bovada.
Almost every week when you pull up the odds to win for these races you will find Jimmie Johnson's name at the top of the list and this week is no exception as a 6/1 favorite. The problem is that his current form does not really support these lofty odds, with three finishes outside the top 20 in his last five Sprint Cup point races. The No. 48 car still remains a legitimate threat to win anytime it can stay on the lead lap and it does have three previous top-five finishes this season. Johnson dominated at Charlotte from 2003 to 2005 with five titles in six races, but he has just one victory at this track since then. He finished 11th in this race in 2012 and 22nd in last year’s Coca-Cola 600.
Kevin Harvick has also been listed as a 6/1 favorite to win this Coca-Cola 600 race and there is some solid value in those odds. He almost won the All-Star Race at Charlotte last Saturday night and he already has two Sprint Cup point race victories on his 2014 resume. The No. 4 car is currently sitting in 15th place in the Sprint Cup standings with 302 total points, but this year’s Race to the Chase is based on wins first then points, so he is really in second place after Joey Logano. Adding even more value to Harvick’s odds to win, is the fact that he comes into this race as the defending champion. He also won this race in 2011 and he has finished inside the top 10 in six of his last seven trips around this track.
The next driver on the list at 8/1 is Kyle Busch. He is one of the more streaky drivers in the Sprint Cup series, but he is more than capable of winning any race he runs in. The No. 18 car is currently third in the standings with 373 total points and it has already claimed the checkered flag at Fontana earlier in the year. It has finished outside the top 10 in its last two point races after posting a third-place finish at Richmond. Busch had to deal with engine issues that dropped him to 38th in last year’s race, but he bounced back with a fifth-place finish in the fall race at Charlotte. He is still searching for his first Sprint Cup victory at this track.
Top Value Pick
As mentioned above, I went with Dale Earnhardt Jr. as my value NASCAR pick for last week’s All Star Race and I am going with him again at the same track at 12/1 odds to win this race. The No. 88 car has been in the mix in almost every race it has run this season and the proof is in the five additional top-five finishes that go along with the victory at Daytona. This team is currently in fourth place in the standings with 368 points. Charlotte has not been one of Junior’s favorite tracks in recent memory with a 39th-place finish in last year’s Coca-Cola 600 followed by a 15th-place finish in the second race here in 2013, but I am weighing most of this pick on his current racing form.