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NASCAR: Kyle Busch favorite to win Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

NASCAR Odds to Win 2018 Monster Energy Cup Series

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has eliminated four drivers from championship contention as the Round of 12 begins this Sunday. For the majority of the season, it has been Kevin Harvick with the best odds to lift the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup at the end of the year, but he has been eclipsed by Kyle Busch at +250 following the Round of 16.

BetOnline has Busch at +250 followed by Harvick at +275, Martin Truex Jr. at +300, Brad Keselowski at +600 and Kyle Larson at +1000 to round out the top five.

Harvick has a favorable schedule in The Round of 12

To win the championship you have to get to Homestead-Miami Speedway at the end of the year and Kevin Harvick has a good shot at winning one of the upcoming three races in the Round of 12 to advance to the Round of 8. The three races in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs are Dover, Talladega and Kansas. This is the second race of the season at each of those tracks and Harvick won the earlier races at two of those three courses and finished fourth at the other.

The California native drove to victory lane seven times during the regular season but hasn’t seen a checkered flag since mid-August. With three winnable tracks ahead, look for Harvick to punch his ticket into the Round of 8 and his chances of winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup will drastically increase.

Truex Peaking in the playoffs

Last season, Martin Truex Jr. dominated down the stretch of the NASCAR schedule, winning four of the last 10 races and picking up nine top-five finishes over that span en route to a championship. In the Round of 16, the New Jersey native had two third-place finishes and had three stage wins that secured his spot in the Round of 12 before the final race in the first round. Truex has won two of the last three races at Kansas and a win there would secure his spot in the Round of 8, moving him closer to a second straight championship, and at +300 I think he provides the best value right now.

Keep an eye on Chase Elliott

Although Chase Elliott only has one win in his young career, he’s been fairly consistent over the last 10 races, having eight top-10 finishes over that span. In the Round of 16, the Georgia native had his back up against the wall after crashing in the opening race at Las Vegas, finishing 36th. Elliott rebounded nicely, though, finishing fourth at Richmond and sixth at the Charlotte Road Course. If the 22-year-old can remain consistent in these upcoming races, he doesn’t need a win to advance into the later rounds and at +2000, he isn’t a bad play.

Here’s a look at the rest of the odds to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup:

ODDS TO WIN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP

Odds as of October 3 at BetOnline

  • Kyle Busch +250
  • Kevin Harvick +275
  • Martin Truex Jr. +300
  • Brad Keselowski +600
  • Kyle Larson +1000
  • Kurt Busch +1800
  • Chase Elliott +2000
  • Clint Bowyer +2000
  • Joey Logano +2000
  • Ryan Blaney +2800
  • Aric Almirola +4000
  • Alex Bowman +10000

Archived Articles

The regular season is over and there are now 16 drivers locked in for their opportunity to win the 2018 championship. As it has been for much of the season, Kevin Harvick has the best odds at +250 to earn his second career title.

Bovada has Harvick at +250 topping regular-season champion Kyle Busch at +300, followed by Martin Truex Jr. at +450 and Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson both at +800 to round out the top five.

Harvick, Busch have equal points heading into the opening race of playoffs

All season it has been a battle between former champions Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. Harvick has been a rocket all season, landing inside the top five in 19 of the 26 races, including seven wins and 12 stage wins. However, the California native was edged in the regular-season standings by Nevada native Kyle Busch. The 2015 champion had 17 top-five finishes, including six wins, and was crowned the regular-season champion but the two drivers are tied with 2,050 points going into the first race of the playoffs.

It is a little surprising that the two competitors don’t have equal odds heading into the first race of the playoffs. Since 2013, Busch has had an average finishing position in the standings of fourth place, including winning the 2015 championship and finishing second last year. Meanwhile, over the same span, Harvick has had an average finishing spot of 3.4, including winning the 2014 title. Expect these two drivers to duke it out all the way to Homestead-Miami in November.

Can Truex Jr. Return to the top?

Trailing Harvick and Busch for top odds to win the 2018 championship is reigning champ Martin Truex Jr. at +450. The New Jersey native had a remarkable season last year, finishing outside of the top 10 in just 10 of the races all season while capturing eight checkered flags. Truex Jr. has had a strong year thus far, having 15 top-five finishes and four victories, and heads into the first race of the playoffs 15 points behind Busch and Harvick. Of the 10 races in the playoffs last year, the 38-year-old finished in the top five in all but one, including four victories. If Truex Jr. can be a playoff performer again this year, at +450 there could be value for the reigning champ.

Brad Keselowski is peaking at the right time

There is no driver hotter than Brad Keselowski (+800) heading into the playoffs as the Michigan native found himself in victory lane in the last two races of the regular season. The 2012 champion is 31 points behind Busch and Harvick heading into Las Vegas this weekend. Much like Truex Jr. last year, Keselowski was strong down the stretch, earning one win and four top-five finishes in the playoffs for a fourth-place finish in the standings. The 34-year-old won the championship in 2012, but has only finished in the top five in the standings twice since then and hasn’t yet been back on the podium.

Here’s a look at the championship odds for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup:

ODDS TO WIN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP

Odds as of September 12 at Bovada

  • Kevin Harvick +250
  • Kyle Busch +300
  • Martin Truex Jr. +450
  • Kyle Larson +800
  • Brad Keselowski +800
  • Chase Elliott +2000
  • Clint Bowyer +2000
  • Denny Hamlin +2000
  • Ryan Blaney +2000
  • Joey Logano +2000
  • Erik Jones +2500
  • Kurt Busch +2500
  • Jimmie Johnson +5000
  • Aric Almirola +7500
  • Daniel Suarez +100000
  • William Byron +100000
  • Alex Bowman +100000
  • Ryan Newman +100000
  • Jamie McMurray +100000

Archived Articles

There are just four races remaining before we enter the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, and as it has been most of the season, Kevin Harvick has the best odds at +200 to win the championship.

BetOnline has Harvick at +200 is slightly better than current point leader Kyle Busch at +250 followed by Martin Truex Jr. at +300, Kyle Larson +1000 and Chase Elliott at +1200 to round out the top five.

Should Busch have the top odds?

Kyle Busch (+250) is the current point leader, having a 70-point lead over Kevin Harvick and has a two-point edge in the all-important playoff points. Of 22 races this season, Busch has found himself finishing in the top five 16 times, including six wins. The Nevada native in on the cusp of setting new career highs, as he is one top five shy of his personal best of 17 in a season, two wins off his best-ever of eight and seven more top 10s would tie his record of 25.

The 2015 champion has an average finish position of 7.2, smashing his previous career high of 10.8 per race. Of the remaining races left in the schedule, Busch has earned 29 victories, including at least one win at each track, except for Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course as this is the first running at that track. Additionally, he has finished in the top 10 an average of 53.7 percent of the time over those tracks.

Harvick is having a better year than his championship season

Kevin Harvick (+200) earned his first and only Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title in 2014 when he picked up five wins and had 20 top 10s. Compare that to this year, when he has six wins already and 18 top 10s, that win total has surpassed his career high while he is 10 top 10s away from his personal best of 28. This is the third time in the past four seasons that Harvick has an average finishing position better than 10th place, with an average landing spot this year of 8.4.

Much like Busch, Harvick has a total of 27 career victories among the remaining tracks on the schedule, including nine wins at Phoenix which is the second-last race of the season. In addition, at Homestead Miami in the final race of the season, the California native has finished in the top 10 in 15 of his 17 races there, including nine top-five finishes.

Can Elliott throw his name in the mix?

Riding high off of his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, Chase Elliott has the fifth-best odds to win the championship at +1200. The 22-year-old is starting behind the 8-ball when the playoffs begin in a few weeks as he has racked up just eight playoff points compared to the 35 points that Kyle Busch has thus far.

Elliott is having an impressive season, finishing six times in the top five and 11 times in the top 10. He is currently, riding a hot streak finishing seventh or better over his last three races, leading 89 laps and racking up 150 points, while he hadn’t earned more than 50 points in a single race prior to this streak. The Georgia native has also earned three stage wins throughout the season. If Elliott can continue this hot streak right into the playoffs he could put the pressure on Busch and Harvick and at +1200, he could be the best bang for your buck.

ODDS TO WIN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP

Odds as of August 8 at BetOnline

  • Kevin Harvick +200
  • Kyle Busch +250
  • Martin Truex Jr. +300
  • Kyle Larson +1000
  • Chase Elliott +1200
  • Brad Keselowski +1600
  • Clint Bowyer +2000
  • Denny Hamlin +2000
  • Erik Jones +2000
  • Joey Logano +2000
  • Ryan Blaney +2000
  • Kurt Busch +2800
  • Jimmie Johnson +3300
  • Aric Almirola +6600
  • Austin Dillon +10000
  • Daniel Suarez +10000
  • Alex Bowman +15000
  • William Byron +20000
  • Jamie McMurray +25000
  • Ryan Newman +25000
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +50000

Archived Articles

As we near the midway point of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Kevin Harvick remains the +175 favorite to earn his second career championship.

Harvick has the edge on current points leader Kyle Busch at +265, Martin Truex Jr. at +450, Kyle Larson at +650 and Joey Logano at +1600 to close out the top five.

Harvick and Busch the Drivers to Beat this Season

All season Harvick and Busch have been leading laps and swapping wins. The two drivers combined have led 1,979 laps while no other driver has led more than 500. Also, the two competitors each have five wins on the year. However, Busch does have the 62-point lead over Harvick and three more playoff points.

In the second half of last season, Busch had the edge over Harvick in terms of wins. Harvick was only able to top the field once in the back half of 2017, while Busch carried the checkered flag five times. There hasn’t been much of a change in the schedule from last year to this, so it can be expected that Busch should continue his strong push for his second championship.

Truex Vying for Back-to-Back Titles

Behind Harvick and Busch this season has been reigning champion Martin Truex Jr. The New Jersey native has collected three wins on the year, including victories in two of the last four races. In the back half of last season, the No. 78 car found itself in victory lane six times, including the final race of the year to clinch the 2017 championship.

Truex finds himself fourth in the Monster Energy Cup standings but already has one more win at this point in the year than he had in 2017. He does have some work to do if he wants to become the first driver since Jimmie Johnson to win consecutive titles as he trails Busch by 12 playoff points. At +450 Truex could offer some good value heading into the second half of this season.

ODDS TO WIN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP

Odds as of July 3 at 5Dimes

  • Kevin Harvick +175
  • Kyle Busch +265
  • Martin Truex Jr. +450
  • Kyle Larson +650
  • Joey Logano +1600
  • Brad Keselowski +1600
  • Clint Bowyer +1650
  • Chase Elliott +1900
  • Kurt Busch +2200
  • Denny Hamlin +2300
  • Ryan Blaney +3200
  • Jimmie Johnson +3300
  • Erik Jones +5000
  • Aric Almirola +6500
  • Austin Dillon +9250
  • Daniel Suarez +18000
  • Paul Menard +19500
  • Alex Bowman +22500
  • William Byron +22500
  • Ryan Newman +22500
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +40000
  • Jamie McMurray +42500
  • Kasey Kahne +150000
  • Darrell Wallace Jr. +400000
  • AJ Allmendinger +450000
  • Ty Dillon +450000

Archived Articles

After a third of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup racing season, Kevin Harvick remains the odds-on favorite at +175 to win his second championship.

Harvick is trailed by points leader Kyle Busch at +350, Kyle Larson at +550, Martin Truex Jr. at +600 and Joey Logano at +1150 to round out the top five.

Busch has been the dominant force this season

Although Busch is leading the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup standings and has taken four checkered flags, he is not the favorite to win his third championship. No. 18 has been nothing short of electric through a third of the season, topping the podium in four of his last seven races while finishing in the top three in eight of 13 races this season.

The main knock on Busch’s chances is his historical numbers at the next three tracks as he has never finished first at the Pocono 400, the FireKeepers Casino 400 or the Toyota/Save Mart 350, which means oddsmakers don’t believe he will keep up this point-snatching pace. At +350, his odds aren’t the best value but when you consider that Rowdy and Kevin Harvick have won nine of 13 races this season, it’s hard to consider anyone else a true contender except for one driver.

Logano Could ‘slingshot’ into the top of the standings

Joey Logano only has one win this season but currently sits comfortably in second in the standings behind Kyle Busch. While Busch and Harvick have gotten most of the headlines, Logano has quietly been the most consistent driver on the circuit, finishing in the top 10 in 10 of the 13 races this season, and has yet to wreck, which is something that has plagued Harvick and Busch this season.

Logano (+1150) is just fine with their “first or last mentality” and when you consider he missed the championship trophy by three points in 2016, he may be the best value going into the heart of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup season.

ODDS TO WIN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP

Odds as of May 30 at 5Dimes

  • Kevin Harvick +175
  • Kyle Busch +350
  • Kyle Larson +550
  • Martin Truex Jr. +600
  • Joey Logano +1150
  • Brad Keselowski +1350
  • Jimmie Johnson +1650
  • Chase Elliott +1650
  • Denny Hamlin +2250
  • Ryan Blaney +2250
  • Clint Bowyer +2750
  • Kurt Busch +2750
  • Erik Jones +4400
  • Aric Almirola +5500
  • Austin Dillon +9000
  • Daniel Suarez +11500
  • Ryan Newman +18500
  • Alex Bowman +22500
  • William Byron +22500
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +25000
  • Jamie McMurray +33000
  • Paul Menard +33000
  • Chris Buescher +45000
  • Darrell Wallace Jr. +75000
  • AJ Allmendinger +85000
  • Kasey Kahne +90000
  • Ty Dillon +90000
  • Trevor Bayne +999999

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