Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2014 NASCAR Sprint Unlimited Odds: How does 3-time winner Tony Stewart look at 12/1

Tony Stewart's only 2013 win was at Dover
LAS VEGAS -- It's hard to believe we'll be seeing actual NASCAR racing at Daytona within two weeks. Okay, so it's only the non-points Sprint Unlimited consisting of a 75-lap dash with only half the drivers that will be running a week later in the Daytona 500, but for some, it's one of those defining moments in a calendar year like Punxsutawney Phil taking a peak on Groundhog Day or Opening Day in baseball.

The Sprint Unlimited, formerly known as the Bud Shootout, is the race that gets everyone acclimated back into the sights and sounds (and sometimes smells, if going to Daytona) of stock car racing after a few long months off. This is where most get updated of changes and refreshed on some of the storylines and rivalries left off from 2013.

And of course here in Las Vegas, NASCAR fans have the opportunity to walk into a sports book and wager on a few drivers to help make their viewing experience more enjoyable. The only thing more thrilling than seeing your favorite driver win is when the driver you bet on wins.

The LVH Super Book posted odds Tuesday on the Sprint Unlimited and listed Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as 7-to-1 co-favorites to win -- deservedly so considering they have combined to win five of the past six events. Harvick's win in the Unlimited last season was his third in five years, but all those wins came with Richard Childress Racing. How will he perform driving Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 4 Chevy? Earnhardt Jr. is a two-time winner, and Kyle Busch won in 2012.

Jimmie Johnson last won the Unlimited in 2005 and comes in at 8-to-1 odds, but he did sweep the two points races at Daytona last season -- the races that really matter. Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch (2011 winner), Denny Hamlin (2006 winner) and two-time winner Jeff Gordon all come in at 10-to-1 odds.

The real interesting look here is three-time winner Tony Stewart at 12-to-1. Stewart is coming back after breaking his leg racing in a non-NASCAR event, which caused him to miss the final 15 races of the 2013 season. Stewart had an awful first third of the season and didn't gain a top-five finish until winning at Dover in June. He wouldn't win again, but he did get top-five finishes in four of his final eight races before his accident. Is the Stewart-Haas organization ready to get back into the swing of things with Kurt Busch and Harvick joining the fray, or will the SHR team struggles continue?

Daytona probably won't answer any of those questions for Stewart or his new drivers, but in a favorable format with Stewart likely eager to show his stuff after a long layoff, 12-to-1 looks like a nice price.

Read More Here.........LVH Sprint Unlimited Odds

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