Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Johnson large 4-to-1 favorite to win first race at Michigan

Despite winning at Michigan, Johnson still a giant favorite 
LAS VEGAS -- The LVH SuperBook had to consider more variables than usual when making its odds to win Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Rather than focusing solely on track history and how a driver and crew have fared in recent weeks, the main component going into this week's numbers was Toyota horsepower, or lack thereof.

Toyota Racing Development announced last week that they would be scaling down the horsepower produced from their engines supplied to Joe Gibbs and Michael Waltrip Racing for races at Pocono and Michigan. Gibbs drivers Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth have combined to win five times this season on tracks that require the most horsepower, but the bigger picture is here was each team finding a solution to the recurring problem of expiring engines -- an inevitable outcome when pushing them to the limit like they have in past races.

Last week at Pocono, there was a noticeable change in all the Gibbs and Waltrip cars. Their edge was gone, and Jimmie Johnson ran away with the win, leading 128 of the 160 laps.

This week, Johnson is all alone at the top of the odds list, and has been opened as an overwhelming 4-to-1 favorite. Last week at Pocono, it was Denny Hamlin, Kenseth and Johnson as 5-to-1 co-favorites. With the Gibbs drivers appearing to be a little light on power for this week, Johnson was upgraded and the others were downgraded.

Kenseth, a two-time winner at Michigan, has been set at 7-to-1 odds. Kyle Busch, who won at Michigan in 2011 and at its sister track at Fontana in March, has been bumped up to opening odds of 10-to-1. Denny Hamlin, who has won twice at Michigan, is also 10-to-1.

Despite his status as the heavy favorite, Johnson has a never won a race on the 2-mile D-shaped oval. This is a driver that has dominated Fontana over his career, but has found new ways every year to come up empty at Michigan. Over the last eight seasons, no one has led more laps at Michigan than Johnson. He's led over 15 percent of all laps run over that span, but still can't claim that one of his 63 career wins comes from from this track.

The driver that surged the most in this week's odds from what we've seen week after week is Dale Earnhardt Jr., who has been posted at 8-to-1. He showed a lot of power last week at Pocono -- during practice and the race -- and took home a third-place finish. Michigan is the site of Earnhardt Jr.'s most recent two wins -- last season, which ended a four-year winless drought; and in 2008, as he crossed the finish line on fumes.

Read More Here....LVH Michigan Odds

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