2011 SPRINT CUP ODDS

The media tour is over. The testing will ratchet up. It’s finally time to turn the page on 2010 and focus on 2011.

Surprisingly enough, every driver will win the 2011 Sprint Cup. Think I’m wrong? Just ask the drivers and reporters from the media tour. They’re all excited. They’ve either filled the holes that plagued their 2010 or solidified the points that made their 2010. Everything is perfect. Everyone is a winner.

But unlike my nephew’s baseball league where they all get trophies, juice boxes and an apple for attending, fans see 2011 a little bit differently. So too does Vegas, which has 2011 title odds out for entertainment purposes only. Here are some early trends.

The King is wielding a Kobalt sword of destruction:

Vegas is begging you to bet on anyone not named Jimmie Johnson. 5/2 for the whole season is twice the number of any other driver on tour. I’m actually surprised Captain Lowe’s isn’t 3/2 after what he’s done. You can change the points system, resurface the track and punch his uncle in the face before a race; Jimmie Johnson is the man to beat, even though he barely beat Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick to win the 2010 Sprint Cup.

Is Joey Logano’s dad making the odds?
The new points system would have rewarded Harvick. Yet he’s behind Denny Hamlin? OK. That’s debatable. But to be behind Carl Edwards shows me some really smart people see Childress dipping a bit in 2011. Clint Bowyer is 18/1. Jeff Burton is 30/1. As for Paul Menard, sit down for this one. Stunningly enough, he’s 100/1. I know. The shock remains on my face as you read this

Youth isn’t served:

Joey Logano is the popular pick to make a leap this year. Vegas doesn’t like his vertical that much; Logano is 30/1.

Brad Keselowski is the Nationwide Series Champion; his reward is 200/1 odds. 200/1 for an aggressive driver who races to win and has good equipment. Even Rodney Dangerfield gets more respect.

Those drivers won as many races in 2010 and Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Gordon is 10/1. Martin is 20/1. And while Dale Jr. has a new garage buddy and genuine optimism, Vegas odds makers see disappointment. Again.

Lost in the shuffle:
The new points system left most fans focusing on points at the top of the standings. The real impact isn’t if you win. It’s if some dope crashes into you, causing you to finish 42nd and pick up a whopping two points for your day.
Feast or famine won’t win you a title. Paging Kyle Busch. It will reward drivers who can stay close to the lead pack. Paging Tony Stewart.

Here’s what The Spread thinks about the 2011 season. Enjoy the math and the anticipation of actual action on an actual track. Now insert random catchphrase here.

Jimmie Johnson 5/2
Denny Hamlin 6/1
Carl Edwards 6/1
Kevin Harvick 8/1
Kyle Busch 8/1
Jeff Gordon 10/1
Greg Biffle 10/1
Tony Stewart 12/1
Matt Kenseth 12/1
Clint Bowyer 18/1
Kurt Busch 18/1
Mark Martin 20/1
Joey Logano 30/1
Jeff Burton 30/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 30/1
Kasey Kahne 40/1
Jamie McMurray 40/1
Ryan Newman 50/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 50/1
David Reutimann 50/1
Brian Vickers 50/1
AJ Allmendinger 100/1
Martin Truex Jr 100/1
Paul Menard 100/1
David Ragan 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 100/1
Marcos Ambrose 200/1
Brad Keselowski 200/1