Thursday, November 7, 2013

Johnson and Kenseth favored to win 2013 Advocare 500 at Phoenix

Carl Edwards visited Victory Lane at Phoenix in March
LAS VEGAS - With two races to go before a champion is crowned, the LVH SuperBook has moved Jimmie Johnson to a 1-to-5 favorite to win the Sprint Cup. For those that think Johnson's 7-point lead in the Chase going into Phoenix this week is an insurmountable advantage, you'll have to lay $5 to win $1, the type of odds in Las Vegas reserved for the propositions most likely to occur.

To give an example of how high 1-to-5 odds are, we'll compare it to other sports. When the Red Sox took a 3-2 lead in the World Series with the final two games in Boston, the adjusted price for Boston to win it all was -440, just under 1-to-5. Alabama is as high as a 12.5-point favorite at home this week to beat LSU, and if choosing to play the money-line on the Tide to win without laying points, the odds are right about 1-to-5.

In other words, some crazy stuff is going to have to happen for Johnson to finish this season without winning his sixth championship. If you still think that Matt Kenseth can come back and win it all, the LVH will give you 5-to-2 odds.

The big variable with Johnson's high odds is this week's Advocare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, where no one has been better. In 20 career starts, Johnson has a 6.5 average finish with four wins. Kenseth, on the other hand, hasn't won there since 2002 and hasn't had a top-5 finish there since 2007. Yet, despite Kenseth's recent run of mediocrity there, both he and Johnson are listed as 4-to-1 co-favorites to win this week.

The reason for Kenseth's odds being so low this week is simply because of desperation. We saw a similar situation two weeks ago at Martinsville, a place where Johnson had similar dominating numbers and where Kenseth had struggled, only to see Kenseth come up a with a career-best second-place finish which outpaced Johnson's fifth-place finish.

Another reason Kenseth is given a lot of respect this week is because of what he's done on similar tracks. Thanks Phoenix's 1-mile flat layout, we can group it together with New Hampshire and Richmond, and Kenseth has been stout on all three this season and has even outperformed Johnson. He's finished ninth or better in the five races run on the similar tracks, including a win at New Hampshire on Sept. 22.

Kyle Busch hasn't won at Phoenix since 2005, but he's been very good there over his career which is why he's listed at 5-to-1 to win this week. Like his teammate Kenseth, Busch has also fared very well on the similar flat tracks, capturing second-place finishes in both New Hampshire races.

Carl Edwards won the spring Phoenix race and also at Richmond on Sept. 9. His 15-to-1 odds may be the most attractive number on the LVH board. In 18 career Phoenix starts, Edwards has an 11.8 average finish with two wins.

The best long-shot this week that may offer some value is Jeff Burton at 100-to-1 odds. Burton has two wins at Phoenix, the last coming in 2001. But over his past 20 starts since last winning, he has maintained a solid 12.6 average finish there. Only five drivers have been better over that span. Between the five races run at New Hampshire, Richmond and Phoenix this season, Burton has finished 10th or better in four of them, including third-place at New Hampshire in July.

Read More Here.....LVH Phoenix and updated Sprint Cup odds

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