Nascar Odds: Geico 500

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The Nascar oddsmakers for this week’s Geico 500 have officially lost their minds.

The combination of a new Chase format, desperate drivers and Talladega created on of the strangest overall boards I’ve seen in five years. Here’s what it means for your favorite driver Sunday:

The Favorites:

Three drivers who need to win are in the top tier of drivers for Sunday. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 10/1, his best number in nearly a month. Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski are both 12/1 in a pool with five other drivers. Compare this to last week when the favorites were 9/2 and 5/1. There’s little to no confidence in these picks.

The No. 88 is the favorite because of name recognition only; the team hasn’t won at Talladega in the last five years. Keselowsi almost killed Carl Edwards in winning for a mom and pop team years back.  Jimmie Johnson has been feast or famine at Talladega.

The Middle:

This is where the Nascar odds start to go haywire.  For reasons that truly make no sense to me, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray are 20/1. Then 10 other drivers are at 25/1. There’s no real data that supports why McMurray or Busch are any better than names like Edwards, Stewart, Bowyer or Kahne. It’s also odd to see Paul Menard and Brian Vickers join this pack of Chase drivers and guys make late great runs (mandatory Kyle Larson reference.)

Everyone Else:

For those wondering how messed up the Talladega odds are, consider everyone else. Normally, the back end of the field features 300/1 names. This week, the longest odds are Casey Mears and Justin Allgaier at 100/1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is somehow 30/1 with Ryan Blaney and Ryan Newman. Danica Patrick is 50/1 with Marcos Ambrose. Those are  two or three times better numbers for these names compared to the last month.

Nobody knows what is going to happen at Talladega. Not the fans. Not the drivers. Not the Nascar oddsmakers. These Nascar odds for Sunday’s Geico 500 certainly put the “wild” in wild card. Here’s how your favorite drivers stacks up for Sunday.