Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has worked his way into second place in the Chase standings and has the momentum heading into this weekend’s Showtime Southern 500 at the Darlington Raceway.
Johnson is +600 (6/1 odds) at Sportsbook.ag along with Kyle Busch, who currently sits in third place in the standings - trailing leader Carl Edwards. Busch also took this race in 2008 and knows the track well. He and Johnson are also winners of the last two races on the NASCAR circuit.
Busch and Kevin Harvick (+1000) are the only drivers with two wins on the season and could be good picks on the NASCAR betting lines for the Showtime Southern 500.
Denny Hamlin has been disappointing this season with only a pair of Top-10 finishes. Hamlin is +700 (7/1 odds) at Sportsbook.ag as the defending-champion of the Showtime Southern 500 and that could help his confidence with a repeat performance.
Sprint Cup standings leader Edwards trails the others this weekend at +800 (8/1 odds) along with 2007 and six-time champion Jeff Gordon.
A good longshot on the Showtime Southern 500 betting lines is 2009 champion Mark Martin (+2500). If you are hoping to lay your wager with a dark horse, then last year’s runner-up Jamie McMurray could be the driver at +3000 (30/1 odds) to win.
Busch and Johnson are the epitome of consistency and they are both overwhelming favorites at +180 to finish inside the Top 3 this weekend in South Carolina. Hamlin is at +200, while Gordon and Edwards are close behind in the oddsmakers' eyes at +250 in Top 3 betting action.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is fourth in this year’s driver standings and could be a good middle-of-the-pack driver at +450 to finish in the Top 3. Greg Biffle won back-to-back in 2005-06 and at +600 in Top 3 betting could be worth the wager for the value on the Showtime Southern 500 odds.
Interesting driver matchup betting odds have Busch at EVEN odds to finish ahead of Edwards (-130). Hamlin could be a nice payout at +130 against Edwards in driver matchup betting lines.
Harvick has had a better season than Gordon, but he is at +135 against the veteran driver of the Darlington Raceway. Gordon knows this track inside and out, but Harvick should by all accounts be ahead of Gordon in this driver matchup.