Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Michigan Preview: 2014 Quicken Loans 400

Dale Earnhardt Jr is 10/1 to win Sunday at Michigan
Dale Earnhardt Jr. became the fourth driver to win two races this season with his first career win at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. In the eight seasons from 2005-13, Junior never had more than one win in a season and took the checkers only four times. Now he’s got some rhythm going, a great car weekly, a great crew chief in his final year, and Las Vegas sportsbooks are taking notice.

When Earnhardt Jr. first came onto the Cup scene in 2000, I was positive that he would win a championship. He won at least two races a season during his first five years and won six times in 2004, but the closest he got to winning a championship was third in 2003. Because he was so popular among the fans and bettors, his odds to win the title were always low in the 6/1 (Bet $100 to win $600) range.

But after signing with Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, a move that was supposed to enhance his career, he did just the opposite. He floundered and got a reputation in Las Vegas sportsbooks as being a driver that didn’t have what it takes to be a champion. He let other drivers bully him and whenever he had a chance to win a race, he seemed soft. His odds to win the title were still low at 15/1, but that was only because of supply and demand from the public, who were still betting him regardless.

But now after his Pocono win, sportsbooks like the LVH are starting to believe in Junior a little more. Last week Junior had 12/1 odds to win the title. After his win Sunday, he’s now 8/1. Two wins in the first 14 races is good reason to believe that Junior has a shot this year.

This week’s Cup race takes us to Michigan International Speedway, a place where Junior got his only two wins for Hendrick Motorsports until this season. He won there in 2008 and again in 2012, and despite finishing 37th and 36th in the two races there last season, he should be expected to be competing for the win this week.

Read More Here...Top-5 Finish Prediction

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