Friday, January 31, 2014

Minor changes to Vegas odds under new Chase rules

Who has edge in new Chase format?
While the Super Bowl line movement around town has been rather boring, Salmons got a boost of excitement thrown his way as the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase rules were announced on Thursday. The new format emphasizes wins and has a bracket-type tournament for the final 10 races, with a championship game of sorts between four drivers in the final race at Homestead.

"I like the changes. It just makes sense," said Salmons, who sets the NASCAR odds for the LVH and has a great passion for the sport. "This is like a true playoffs now. There isn't really anything I don't like about the moves other than not including a road course in the final 10 races. Road course racing is the absolute best type of racing there is in NASCAR."

At first glance, it may appear that some of six-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson’s advantage may have been mitigated with the new rules. But Johnson's odds to win his seventh title were not adjusted too much.

"We moved him from 2-to-1 up to 5-to-2, but really, because he gets so much write to win anyway, there is not much reason to adjust. I think the key in this format, the real wild card, is that second stretch of races at Kansas, Talladega and Charlotte. That's going to be the key, and if Johnson is one of the eight drivers then, that next stretch features tracks such as Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix, where no one is better than Johnson."

If he makes the final race, Johnson will be forced to go for the win for the first time at Homestead, a track he's only had to coast at over the years because he’s entered the race with a substantial lead in the points race.

The LVH didn't adjust any other divers, but will do its standard weekly updating on Monday morning. With wins being the focal point now, the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers appear to have an edge. Kyle Busch may be in a great spot to use his talents to the fullest and win a championship. Denny Hamlin should benefit, too.

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