|Brad Keselowski have some value at 10-to-1?|
Beginning with a critical test session Thursday that could help define who will be the best on the 11 1.5-mile tracks this season and ending with Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400, there's more than enough to quench the NASCAR thirst for every West Coast NASCAR fan. But in addition to the great racing environment the Las Vegas Motor Speedway provides, such as the Neon Garage experience that lets fans be under the hoods with the crews atop the stalls, there is also everything else the city has to offer.
What other NASCAR city offers as many amenities as Las Vegas? Between five-star hotels, high-end dining with a mix of plenty of places to eat and drink on the cheap, and just about any type of show you can ask for, Las Vegas gives NASCAR fans the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: The family gets a vacation while Daddy gets to watch NASCAR.
Oh, and did we mention gambling?
Yes, that’s another nice attribute Las Vegas has to offer that nowhere else can. Native American casinos have opened up all over the country, but ask anyone who visits those places and they’ll tell you nothing is a substitute for the vibe Vegas offers. They can have the same cards, odds, chips and dealers, but no one has our lights and glitz. And no one has sports betting like Vegas, where you can wager on just about anything that happens on a final NASCAR results sheet.
The combination of visitors flowing in from all corners of the country and the locals that support the race because it is our only pro sports franchise make the event bigger than any other in town. Since the race first started coming to Las Vegas in 1998, the economic impact to the city has been worth over $1 billion in non-gaming revenue. For sports betting, it is the highest handled race of the season -- over two times as much as is handled for the Daytona 500. That says a lot because Daytona odds are posted in December with two months of action piled on.
Most sports books posted their Las Vegas odds on Monday, with the exception of the Golden Nugget and Aliante, which has had them up for over a month. William Hill sports books posted its odds to win and 40 Super Bowl-style propositions on Monday, as well as odds to win Friday’s pole position.
Four-time Vegas winner Jimmie Johnson is the 7-to-1 favorite to win on Sunday, followed by Kevin Harvick and last year's winner Matt Kenseth at 15-to-2. But the biggest buzz of all is Dale Earnhardt Jr., coming off a win at Daytona and runner-up at Phoenix. He’ll be looking for his first Vegas win and comes in at 8-to-1 odds.
For the past six years while with Hendrick Motorsports, the normally boisterous Junior fans have had to simmer their enthusiasm because the scoreboard read only two wins. But now his success has opened the floodgates. Junior matters once again, and the fans aren’t going waste this opportunity to let everyone know the No. 88 is a major player.
The sports books almost always shade Junior down a notch -- maybe about 30 percent of where he should be -- because they know bettors will wager on him regardless of what the number is. The books’ philosophy: “Why give them appropriate odds at 20-to-1 when they’ll bet him at 10-to-1?”
And that philosophy has always been correct. But now Junior is a major player in the game, and because of his success thus far, he will be the most heavily bet driver of the weekend.
You can’t argue with the fans, either, because he showed the signs of being a major contender in the final two 1.5-mile tracks last season at Texas and Homestead by finishing second and third, respectively. There's still a lot to learn through the testing and practices this weekend that will give more insight into whether last year's data is still relevant with some of the aero changes, but you can’t argue with momentum -- and no one is rolling stronger than Junior.
The driver we think presents the most value is Brad Keselowski at 10-to-1. After winning the 2012 Sprint Cup Championship, Keselowski missed the Chase last year and didn’t win his first race of the season until October at Charlotte. He would also finish sixth in the final two 1.5-mile tracks of the season, giving an indication that he, too, like Junior, should have some 1.5-mile mojo in his favor. For whatever it’s worth, Keselowski also finished a career-best third at Las Vegas last March.
We’ll have updates on some prop advice throughout the week, as well as what Thursday’s testing meant in the broad scheme of things.
Read More Here..........William Hill Vegas odds
LVH Kobalt Tools 500 odds/props