It’s amazing what one week can do to the 2012 Sprint Cup season.

Jeff Gordon went from sleeper contender to no chance after a mechanical problem. Brad Keselowski went from cute story to points leader. And Denny Hamlin went from calm and confident to must win in the span of a week.

Oddsmakers certainly reacted. There is a massive chasm now between contender and afterthought. In three years of writing this column, I’ve never see the divide that exists this week. From 25/1 to 60/1? There are 43 drivers who will start; oddsmakers only see 11 with a chance. Sorry Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth.

Those at the cool kids table have ice cold numbers. Kasey Kahne hasn’t sniffed 8/1 odds all year. Hamlin, Keselowski, Bowyer and Truex Jr. are also at or near lowest numbers of the year. The house is undergoing renovations, and those making wagers, fake or otherwise, may feel the brunt of these changes.

Thank goodness my losing streak continued and fake profits were reduced to 302 fake dollars. With the numbers tighter than ever, here are my picks for entertainment and entertainment alone.

20 fake dollars on Jimmie Johnson at 5/1
The last time Denny Hamlin put this much pressure on himself, Homestead happened.

15 fake dollars on Tony Stewart at 7/1
There is a “Wash, rinse, repeat” element to Stewart, who struggled at the end of the regular season than bounced back in the Chase. I know short tracks have been Toyota focused this year, but I’m going Lee Greenwood here.

10 fake dollars on Jeff Gordon at 10/1
Because this is a must win race for Gordon, and he got rid of the mustache.

5 fake dollars on Ryan Newman at 25/1
Newman isn’t in the Chase. He’s won here three times. I have 5 fake bucks…

Michael Waltrip Racing freaks me out right now, especially after picking them all season and ditching them at a smaller track. Alas. Here’s what The Spread thinks; enjoy the changing landscape, and insert random catchphrase here.

Denny Hamlin 5/1
Jimmie Johnson 5/1
Brad Keselowski 7/1
Tony Stewart 7/1
Kasey Kahne 8/1
Jeff Gordon 10/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 10/1
Kyle Busch 10/1
Clint Bowyer 12/1
Martin Truex Jr 15/1
Kevin Harvick 15/1
Carl Edwards 25/1
Ryan Newman 25/1
Matt Kenseth 25/1
Greg Biffle 25/1
Joey Logano 60/1
Brian Vickers 75/1
David Gilliland 100/1
Jeff Burton 100/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 100/1
Paul Menard 100/1
Jamie McMurray 100/1
David Ragan 100/1
Marcos Ambrose 100/1
Sam Hornish Jr 100/1
Aric Almirola 100/1
Regan Smith 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
Kurt Busch 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 50/1


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