NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series rolls into Indianapolis this week in preparation for the running of this Sunday’s Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard presented by Crown Royal. All the action is scheduled to start at 12:30 a.m. (PT) and the race will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network.
Kyle Busch followed-up his Sprint Cup victory at Kentucky two weeks ago by taking the checkered flag again this past Sunday at New Hampshire. My top favorite for that race Brad Keselowski came close to paying-off with a second-place finish and Kevin Harvick ended-up third.
The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win this Sunday’s race based on betting odds provided by 5Dimes.
Top Valued Favorite
Jimmie Johnson is once again listed as a second-favorite to Kevin Harvick (+400) to win on Sunday at +700 betting odds, but he is clearly my top favorite on the board. He has already guided the No. 48 car to twice as many victories (4) as Harvick while adding another six Top 5 finishes in the first 19 Sprint Cup point races on the schedule. This team is currently ranked fourth in the standings with a total of 646 points. Johnson also has a far better track record at Indianapolis with four Brickyard 400 titles on his resume with the last one coming in 2012.
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Top Valued Contender
I have used Jeff Gordon as my top contender a few times this season, but he has been a tough bet in his final season of Sprint Cup racing with just two Top 5 finishes to his credit. The No. 24 car appears to be moving in the right direction with three-straight finishes in the Top 10 and its odds to cross the finish line first this Sunday have been set at +1200. I actually find quite a bit of value in those odds given where this race is being held. Gordon comes into this event as the defending champion and over the course of his storied NASCAR career, he has taken the checkered flag in the Brickyard 400 five different times, so he is a reasonable sports pick.
Top Valued Longshot
The race at the Brickyard is one of NASCAR’s higher profile events of the season so I am opting for experience over form with Tony Stewart as my top valued longshot this week at +6000 betting odds. It has been a rough go of things for Stewart over the past few seasons following his run to a Sprint Cup title in 2011, but he still remains one of the top faces in the sport. His form this season driving the No. 14 car has left much to be desired with just one Top 10 finish in 19 races, but there is something about him racing at Indianapolis that has me excited about his chances this week. Stewart has won the Brickyard 400 twice in his career (2005 and 2007) and he has placed in the Top 10 in nine of his last 11 trips around this track to lower his average finishing position to 8.5.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
Following Harvick and Johnson there is a bit of a surprise this week at third with Martin Truex Jr.’s odds to win set at +800. There are a group of four drivers with +1000 odds to win led by Dale Earnhardt Jr, who is sitting in third place in the current Sprint Cup standings. This wave of drivers also includes both Kyle and Kurt Busch along with Matt Kenseth. Joining Gordon at +1200 odds are Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.