KOBALT TOOLS 500 ODDS

Three races. Three losses. Bad math for me.

The only time I bet on Jimmie Johnson, he lost. The two times I didn’t bet on Jimmie Johnson, he won. As a result, I’m down $150 and am glad I don’t live anywhere near a place of gaming.

At this point, you might think I’m ready to abandon this concept of losing fake money on race picks for the sake of entertaining you while you should be working on that Excel sheet minimized on your screen (spooky, eh?)  But like Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind,” I am sticking to the formula. I’m also playing shuffleboard with my imaginary friend and yearning to make out with Jennifer Connelly. Here’s why:

Jimmie Johnson’s math can’t hold up.

The new king has been around 9/2 or 4/1 since I started this column last year. If JJ stays 9/2, that means he would have to win eight races to just break even. Captain Lowe’s has done a ton in his career, but he’s never won nine races in one season. I’ll lose plenty, especially early in the season, but it’s not easy to plunk down fake coin on him every week.

That’s why I am not picking Johnson this week in Atlanta, even though he has one of the best average finishes on the track. Jeff Gordon tempts me because he ran so well, but he just hasn’t finished since 2007. And aren’t you worried about Mark Martin’s uneventful start? Me too.

This leaves me torn. Jack Roush cars are made for tracks like this. Richard Childress cars are running well but have a bad track record at Atlanta. Toyota is in a funk, but at least its Prius is stable. The math doesn’t add up. And since Jennifer Connelly can’t offer me insight with the benefits of a warm snuggle, I’m splitting my picks and anticipating tears when a Hendrick guy wins while Connelly goes to the Oscars with some piece of man meat. Algebra, I blame you.



$10 on Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer at 12/1:
Team Childress is back. They just have to win. Atlanta is a horsepower track, and RCR has plenty of ponies. Why not Sunday?

$10 on Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle at 15/1:
They’re the best running Ford entries who just happen to run best at Atlanta. And if Matt Kenseth wins at 18/1, I might wet myself in anger and punt my calculator.

Here are the odds for the Kobalt Tools 500 from www.thespread.com . Enjoy the race, and insert random catchphrase here.

Jimmie Johnson 9/2    
Mark Martin 8/1    
Jeff Gordon 8/1    
Kyle Busch 10/1    
Jeff Burton 12/1    
Kevin Harvick 12/1    
Clint Bowyer 12/1    
Kurt Busch 12/1    
Greg Biffle 15/1    
Carl Edwards 15/1    
Tony Stewart 15/1    
Juan Pablo Montoya 15/1    
Denny Hamlin 15/1    
Matt Kenseth 18/1    
Kasey Kahne 18/1    
Brian Vickers 30/1    
Dale Earnhardt Jr 30/1    
Joey Logano 30/1    
Ryan Newman 40/1    
David Reutimann 60/1    
Martin Truex Jr 60/1    
Jamie McMurray 75/1    
AJ Allmendinger 100/1    
Elliott Sadler 100/1    
Paul Menard 100/1    
Bobby Labonte 100/1    
Regan Smith 100/1    
Scott Speed 100/1    
Travis Kvapil 100/1      
Marcos Ambrose 100/1    
Brad Keselowski 100/1    
David Ragan 100/1     
Sam Hornish Jr 100/1 
Field (Any Other Driver) 100/1