Friday, December 18, 2009

Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook Releases First Odds to Win 2010 Daytona & Sprint Cup Title

by Micah Roberts

The Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook became the first Sports Book to open odds for the 2010 Daytona 500 and Sprint Cup Championship.

Over the last four seasons there has been little drama in the Chase for the Championship that has seen Jimmie Johnson win an unprecedented four straight titles. Despite the streak, the Las Vegas Hilton haven’t over-adjusted on what seems to be as sure of a sure thing there is in NASCAR by opening Johnson as the 5 to 2 favorite, a price that has been on par with Johnson at the beginning of each of his last three seasons.

For whatever reason, the public -- knowing that Johnson is going to be tough to beat, would rather bet a little amount to win big which takes Johnson completely out of many betting equations, that is until Johnson wins and you lose. But that’s where the fun of wagering this early in the season comes into play.

People want to root for an underdog. Some folks bet a new driver to win the title every year when they visit Vegas giving them action and someone new to root for throughout the season.

The real value, or at least appearance of the value, lies within the drivers who be looking to stop Johnsons’ reign. Mark Martin (7/1), Kyle Busch (8/1), and Jeff Gordon (8/1) round out the top four favorites to win the Championship.

Should you want to go deeper with a long-shot possibility, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, and Carl Edwards are 10 to 1 and Juan Pablo Montoya is 12 to 1.

The interesting drivers to keep an eye on in the Championship Chase in 2010 will be the Childress drivers led by Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton who are both listed at 30 to 1. Even though neither made the Chase last season, they both came on strong during the Chase races closing out the season on a positive note for what had been an exhausting year for both.

Dale Earnhardt Jr’s third season with Rick Hendrick has him starting the season with his highest odds ever to win a Championship at 30 to 1. Junior always fell into the supply and demand category in Las Vegas betting which always made his odds lower. The Bookmakers used to set his odds lower just because the majority of the public would bet Junior weighing out the scales of risk on him for a race or Championship.

This time around, the Junior Nation has seen enough and don‘t believe in him anymore. Last season he barely got a blip of attention from NASCAR bettors who saw that things weren’t right in the No. 88 camp.

But it may be a little early to jump off the bandwagon. Junior will be coming into a full season with Hendrick Motorsports cars made and set up the Hendrick way. The last two seasons Tony Eury Jr had tinkered with his own set-up on the Hendrick cars counteracting the edge that had seen teammates Johnson, Gordon, and Martin excel with.

According to the odds, the Daytona 500 should be wide open. Only one driver, Kyle Busch at 8 to 1, is listed at odds lower than 12 to 1. After Busch, there are seven drivers listed at 12 to 1.

Busch has been the most consistently dominant restrictor-plate driver over the last two seasons, but we‘ve seen a transformation in plate racing that has brought so many more teams to an equal level. Who can forget the decade long Chevy reign that saw DEI or Hendrick win just about every plate race where it was almost a foregone conclusion that Ford or Dodge had no chance.

Now it’s quite the opposite. Last season we saw Jack Roush win his first Daytona 500 with Matt Kenseth and then go to Talladega and win with Jamie McMurray in the fall. In the first Talladega race, a rookie, Brad Keselowski, won the race with a team that was a part time operation.

2010 should be no different and beginning with Daytona your guess is as good as anyone to who will win kicking off the season. Pretty cool that you can almost smell the high octane fuel, burnt tires, and asphalt before Christmas.

Odds to Win 2010 Daytona 500 (courtesy of Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook)
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Kyle Busch 8/1
Jimmie Johnson 12/1
Mark Martin 12/1
Jeff Gordon 12/1
Denny Hamlin 12/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 12/1
Tony Stewart 12/1
Kurt Busch 12/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 15/1
Carl Edwards 15/1
Kevin Harvick 20/1
Matt Kenseth 25/1
Clint Bowyer 25/1
Ryan Newman 25/1
Jamie McMurray 25/1
David Ragan 25/1
Kasey Kahne 30/1
Jeff Burton 30/1
Brian Vickers 30/1
Joey Logano 30/1
Martin Truex Jr 30/1
David Reutimann 30/1
Greg Biffle 40/1
Brad Keselowski 40/1
Marcos Ambrose 50/1
Sam Hornish Jr 50/1
AJ Allmenindinger 50/1
Michael Waltrip 50/1
Casey Mears 60/1
Elliott Sadler 60/1
Bobby Labonte 60/1
Paul Menard 60/1
Scott Speed 100/1
Field (All Others ) 25/1

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Patrick's Best Assets Just Might Be Her New Boss

by David Caraviello

They met, oddly enough, in Monte Carlo, and oddly enough, on the set of a music video. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick, the most popular and marketable drivers in their respective racing disciplines, had never laid eyes on one another until hip-hop star Jay-Z brought them together in 2006 for the opening sequence of his Show Me What You Got video, a James Bond homage that features Earnhardt and Patrick racing sports cars in and around the Mediterranean principality.

"We hit it off really well," Patrick remembered. "He's a really, really nice guy. I have a lot of respect for him, a lot to learn from him. But we get along great."

And now, three years later, just look at what that unusual introduction may have wrought. Patrick announced Tuesday that she will drive a No. 7 JR Motorsports entry in a limited number of Nationwide Series events for the 2010 season, most of them on either side of a 17-race IndyCar slate that opens March 14 in Brazil and ends Oct. 2 at Homestead, Fla. Next week's ARCA test at Daytona International Speedway -- in preparation for her debut in that series Feb. 6 -- will be her first time in a stock car since a test at Greenville-Pickens Speedway almost a decade ago.

"I remember thinking, compared to my open-wheel car, this thing doesn't stop very well," she said of that experience. "I was like, are these brakes working?"

By now, the steepness of Patrick's on-track learning curve has been well-documented. To her credit, she's taking it relatively slow, starting out with the partial Nationwide schedule -- how many races that exactly entails, we still don't know -- and not leaping directly into Sprint Cup. And yet, some have questioned whether her plan to race in two series at one time will allow her to succeed in either one. And then there's the matter of her rather scant resume in open-wheel cars, and how that compares to some series champions and Indianapolis 500 winners who took years to adjust to stock cars, if they ever made it at all.

Read More here....