It’s one of the more overused words in the language, abused by countless dopes who think they’ve earned more than they really have.

Certain people talk about respect. Others sing about it. Odds makers document respect, along with a lack of it.

Down a mere ten fake dollars after Kyle Busch’s win, their numbers for this week sure made me blink.

Carl Edwards is for real:

Last year, Vegas was slow to the plate on Denny Hamlin. It was only the back half of the season when Hamlin dipped into the territory Edwards is in now. But, if Captain Backflip is as good as experts seem to believe, these numbers may shrink to Jimmie Johnson territory before too long. Ditto for Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch.

Paul Menard is getting for real:

We’ve had ample fun at this man’s expense. But Menard was always a 100/1 target. Now, Menard is 75/1. Amazing what a Childress engine can do. Plus, I can’t believe I’m typing this, maybe Menard turned a corner. A superspeedway could create one great payoff someday.  Ditto for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex.

Trevor Bayne is far from real:

It’s a great story about a great kid. But your Daytona 500 champion is 300/1 this week. Vegas  may build facilities that look like a fairy tale; they just don’t believe in them. Ditto for David Ragan and Brad Keselowski.

Now that smart people have spoken, it’s time for me to show some repsect.

30 fake dollars on Jimmie Johnson at 7/2:
Jimmie Johnson is to Auto Club Speedway what Kyle Busch is to Bristol. Plus, he showed speed at Bristol. The train is starting to roll again.

20 fake dollars on Carl Edwards at 6/1:
Roush Fenway racing won here five of the last six years. Their only whiff was last season. But Carl Edwards is nearing a place where I met bet on him every week. Plus he’s not afraid to wreck someone to win a race.

Some of you may not respect these picks. Others may respect that I used the word respect 234 times in a 500 word column. Respect what The Spread thinks, and insert random catchphrase here, respectively of course.

 Jimmie Johnson 7/2
Carl Edwards 6/1
Kyle Busch 8/1
Jeff Gordon 8/1
Denny Hamlin 10/1
Tony Stewart 10/1
Kevin Harvick 12/1
Kurt Busch 15/1
Clint Bowyer 20/1
Matt Kenseth 20/1
Greg Biffle 20/1
Ryan Newman 30/1
Joey Logano 30/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 30/1
Kasey Kahne 30/1
Jeff Burton 30/1
Mark Martin 30/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 30/1
Jamie McMurray 30/1
Brian Vickers 40/1
David Reutimann 40/1
Martin Truex Jr 50/1
Paul Menard 75/1
AJ Allmendinger 75/1
David Ragan 100/1
Regan Smith 200/1
Marcos Ambrose 200/1
Brad Keselowski 200/1
Trevor Bayne 300/1
David Gilliland 300/1
Bobby Labonte 300/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 200/1

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