It’s official. Nobody knows who’s winning the 2011 Sprint Cup, or the race this weekend.
Why is it official? Look at the numbers for this week’s race in Atlanta. We’ve looked at the numbers for every single race the entire 2011 Sprint Cup schedule. There's been nothing like this:
- The superspeedways always tighten the numbers up because oddsmakers assume a big wreck will happen. But certain drivers excel in those courses and get a bump.
- The road courses are always odd. But again, it’s common for specialists like Marcos Ambrose and Juan Montoya to get a bump.
- Short tracks always favor Kyle Busch or Denny Hamlin because they’ve owned the places.
Atlanta Motor Speedway is a conventional track. The odds are anything but conventional. Normally favorites are anywhere from 5/1 to 7/1. Then drivers hit 10/1 and you see a gradual numerical increase.
At the AdvoCare 500, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson have identical 8/1 odds. Never saw this all year.
Ditto with seven more drivers better than 12/1. That’s 10 of 43 drivers of 12/1 or better. And with 30 drivers max having a chance to win, throwing a dart is more precise.
So if odds makers don’t know who is going to win, how am I? Down a fake 210 dollars after Brad Keselowski proved ankles are overrated, I actually see value and opportunity. This means I will probably lose…painfully. Alas:
15 fake dollars on Jimmie Johnson at 8/1
Better numbers than the other two favorites, plus two wins in the last five years. Why not?
15 fake dollars on Jeff Gordon at 9/1
Gordon has a better average finish than Johnson here, even though he hasn’t won. That’s why not.
10 fake dollars on Kurt Busch at 10/1
Nobody has led more laps here the last five years. Plus, at what point does Busch get a little fussy with all the attention Keselowski is receiving? He’s not Cal Naughton Jr.
10 fake dollars on Matt Kenseth at 12/1
Kenseth has the best average finish of any active driver over the last five years at Atlanta. Plus he’s been in contention to win the last month. Seems like a fair wager, which means it’s probably an unfair wager.
Here’s what The Spread thinks. Enjoy the long weekend, and insert random catchphrase here.
Carl Edwards 8/1
Kyle Busch 8/1
Jimmie Johnson 8/1
Jeff Gordon 9/1
Kurt Busch 10/1
Kevin Harvick 10/1
Tony Stewart 12/1
Brad Keselowski 12/1
Matt Kenseth 12/1
Denny Hamlin 12/1
Kasey Kahne 20/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 25/1
Greg Biffle 25/1
Juan Montoya 30/1
Ryan Newman 35/1
Clint Bowyer 35/1
Joey Logano 35/1
Mark Martin 35/1
David Ragan 35/1
Martin Truex Jr 40/1
David Reutimann 40/1
Jeff Burton 40/1
Paul Menard 50/1