Betting on The Race to NASCAR’s 2019 Cup Series Title
NASCAR’s Cup Series has the week off but the race to this season’s Cup Series racing title should be a good one with the start of the 10-race playoff in a couple of weeks. Regular season races at Darlington and the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will set the final 16-driver field that will compete for the title over a series of elimination rounds.
The top four drivers in the standings will then compete for the racing title in the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 17. Using NASCAR futures odds posted at 5Dimes online sportsbook, here is a look at my top five drivers on the list.
Kyle Busch +350
Kyle Busch has been a dominant force in the Cup Series this season with four victories and 932 total points in the current standings. Even more impressive is the overall consistency of the No. 18 Toyota racing team with 20 runs inside the Top 10 through the first 24 point races of the year.
Busch won his first Cup Series racing title in 2015 and he has been in the thick of the competition for another title the past few seasons. With a second-place finish in 2017 and a fourth-place finish last season, he still offers the best value on the board as the top favorite.
Kevin Harvick +450
Harvick posted his first career racing title in 2014, which was also the first year NASCAR switched up its 10-race playoff to include elimination rounds. With the exception of the 2016 season, he has guided his No. 4 race team to the championship round every year including a third-place finish in 2018.
He has fought off a slower than expected start to win a pair of point races in his last five events to seal up a spot in the playoff field. Harvick is currently sixth in the standings with 830 total points. I also like the value in his odds to win the racing title, but he would not be my top choice.
Martin Truex Jr. +450
This long-time Cup Series veteran has really come into his own the past few seasons after winning the racing title in 2017 when he won eight races that year. While his total victories got cut in half last season, he still managed to qualify for the championship race where he finished second.
This season, Truex has already matched that 2018 win total to tie Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin at the top of the list with four wins. His No. 19 Toyota has placed inside the Top 5 in a total of 10 races and this team is fourth in the standings with a total of 838 points. I really like his chances to race in this year’s championship which automatically adds value to his title odds.
Denny Hamlin +650
Hamlin is the only driver on my Top 5 list still looking for his first career racing title and that alone adds quite a bit of value to his odds to win. Since Harvick won the title in 2014, there has been a different winner each season under the elimination round format. Hamlin faded to 11th in last season’s final standings after placing sixth the season before.
In the midst of one of his best racing seasons ever with four wins and nine other runs inside the top five drivers, I would make Hamlin my top-valued pick on the board.
Joey Logano +850
As the defending Cup Series Champion, Logano has already sealed his chance repeat with two victories and 893 points to remain in second place in the current standings. Driving the No. 22 Ford, he has already proven that this team has what it takes to advance through the elimination rounds with last season’s title run.
The big question is can Logano put together another championship run in 2019? There have been some gaps in consistency and current form is a lingering concern heading into the playoff. He heads into next week’s race at Darlington with five runs outside the Top 10 over his previous seven Cup Series events.