Monday, March 2, 2015

Massive changes to 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup odds board in Las Vegas following Atlanta

Racing at Atlanta very telling for rest of 2015 season
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook did some major shuffling of its odds to win the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup title following the Atlanta race on Sunday, the first of 11 on 1.5-mile tracks this season. Because 1.5-mile tracks dominate the series, coupled with NASCAR's new rules package, Atlanta gave the SuperBook a glimpse of what to expect the rest of the season. Recent history shows drivers who perform well on the 1.5s have a huge edge in winning the season championship.

"It's just one race, but we were able to get a better feel for how drivers might perform because of the testing Thursday, then the practices and race itself," said SuperBook manager Ed Salmons.

Jimmie Johnson remains the 9-to-2 favorite in his quest to win a record-tying seventh Sprint Cup title. After his Atlanta win on Sunday, Johnson is one of four drivers to finish in the top-5 of the first two races this season.

"I was kind of surprised Johnson won because he wasn't particularly great in Atlanta testing or practice," said Salmons.

Johnson was one of the few drivers whose Sprint Cup odds did not change since last week. Of the 28 options available, 17 drivers had their odds adjusted and only four had numbers reduced. Thirteen drivers had their odds raised, including all three Roush Fenway Racing drivers.

"I don't know what Roush did over the winter, but they got worse than last year, and 2014 was an absolute train wreck," said Salmons, who moved RFR's top driver, Greg Biffle, from 50-to-1 to 100-to-1.

Salmons was readying himself for the unexpected -- with up to five dozen changes to the 2015 rules package -- but after watching Atlanta, he didn't notice much change from 2014.

"I'm amazed that NASCAR could have all these new rules geared to slowing the cars down and then watch the cars actually run faster than the previous year," he said.

The pole-winning speed last season at Atlanta was 190 mph by Kevin Harvick. On Friday, Joey Logano's pole-winning speed came in at 194 mph. Horsepower in the cars was reduced from 850 to 725, and the shorter spoilers produce less downforce, but the speed entering the corners is far greater than last year and perhaps more than NASCAR had anticipated.

Another driver who moved down the odds board is Tony Stewart, who finished 30th on Sunday, six laps behind. Stewart was raised from 25-to-1 to 40-to-1.

"I don't understand how Harvick can run so well within the Stewart-Haas team and Stewart can look so bad within same organization," said Salmons. "There shouldn't be that large of a drop-off between the two cars."

What’s most head-scratching about Stewart is that as part owner of the team, he should have the best equipment at his disposal. In fact, he should just jump into one of Harvick's cars, paint a No. 14 on it and see how he does. It's been a rough past year for Stewart, and some may be inclined to believe his struggles go beyond equipment.

Jeff Gordon has started the season with wrecks in the first two races and sits 36th in points. Salmons raised his odds from 6-to-1 to 7-to-1 but isn't worried about the No. 24.

"He'll be fine,” Salmons said. “It's just some bad luck. I have him rated as the third best driver for Las Vegas and wouldn't be surprised if he won."

Salmons was in the process of posting odds for Sunday's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and is also working on Super Bowl-style propositions to have them ready for release on Tuesday.

Of course, check back regularly for odds updates.

Read More Here......Updated Sprint Cup odds from Westgate

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