NASCAR Sprint Cup Betting Preview- Quicken Loans 400
Sunday’s race is set to get underway at 10:15 a.m. (PT) and it will be broadcast nationally on Fox.
Jimmie Johnson remained on a tear in pursuit of his sixth career Sprint Cup title with a win last Sunday in Pocono. Greg Biffle finished second and Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted a solid performance by taking third. Our value pick to win this race at +1500 was Kevin Harvick, but he could only manage ninth after starting fifth.
As the old saying goes, “if it is not broke then don’t try and fix it”, which is why Jimmie Johnson is the odds-on-favorite to win against this week at +400. Last week’s victory was the No.48 car’s third of the season in a point race and fourth if you count the win in this year’s All-Star Race. The team continues to lead in the Sprint Cup point standings with a total of 521 points. The one drain on these betting odds is the fact that Johnson has never won a Sprint Cup race at this track. He came close to winning in 2011 with a second-place finish in the second race here that season, but his average finishing position at Michigan is a very pedestrian 15.2.
There are a pair of second-favorites to win this week at +700 starting with Matt Kenseth. Along with Johnson he is the only three-time winner this season with victories at Las Vegas, Kansas and Darlington. The No.20 car is currently in sixth-place in the standings with 418 points, but reeling a bit with three-straight finishes outside the top 10. Kenseth has two career Sprint Cup victories at this track and he finished second in this race in 2011 and third in last year’s race. His average finishing position here is a respectable 9.6 which adds even more value to his odds.
The other driver at +700 to win on Sunday is Kasey Kahne. He come into this race searching for his second checkered flag of the season after winning at Bristol and he has raced well enough to hold down eighth-place in the standings with 400 points. The No.5 car has had its chances for multiple wins this year with three second-place finishes. Kahne’s past track record at Michigan has been a mixed bag over his nine seasons in Sprint Cup racing with a victory in 2006 to go along with six additional top-five finishes. His average finishing position here is still just 15.7.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has only made his way to victory lane once in his last five seasons in the Sprint Cup series, but it just so happened to be in last year’s Quicken Loans 400. He has been opened at +800 to successfully defend his title this week. The No.88 car has been shutout through the first 14 races of this season as well, but it has raced its way to fourth-place in the standings with 439 points on the strength of nine top-10 finishes. Junior followed-up his win last year with a fourth-place finish in the second race here but he still only has three top-five finishes in his last nine trips around this track in a Sprint Cup race.
Top Value Pick
It has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for Kyle Busch this season with two victories in three races earlier in the season followed by four finishes outside the top 20 in the five point races following that run. The No.18 car appears to have returned to form with a fourth-place finish at Dover followed by a sixth-place finish last week. The team is now in seventh-place in the standings with 412 points. We are going with Busch as our value pick to win this week at +1000 in hopes he recaptures the magic of 2011 when he finished third in this race and first in the second race at Michigan.