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Kevin Harvick favored to win NASCAR Cup Series championship

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

May 12th, 2020

Sitting on the board at +450, Kevin Harvick is the betting favorite to win his second career NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2020. When he and his opponents resume the season on Sunday at Darlington, Harvick will try to protect a slim one-point lead over Joey Logano in the standings. Let’s dive into the statistics and see if Harvick is the best bet in this market or if others offer better value.

Odds to win the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship

DriverNASCAR Cup Series Odds
Kevin Harvick
+450
Kyle Busch
+550
Joey Logano
+600
Martin Truex Jr.
+700
Chase Elliott
+800

Harvick has been steady in 2020

Harvick is winless through four races in the 2020 season, but he placed in the Top 10 in each instance. The No. 4 Ford driver was fifth in the Daytona 500, eighth at Las Vegas, ninth at Auto Club Speedway (California), and, perhaps most importantly, second at Phoenix International Raceway.

NASCAR’s championship finale will be held at Phoenix this year, marking the first time since 2001 that the season’s last race was held somewhere other than Homestead-Miami. Phoenix is among Harvick’s favorite tracks – he is NASCAR’s all-time wins leader at the one-mile tri-oval (9) – giving him a decisive edge should he make the Championship 4 in 2020. "The Closer" has been in the Championship 4 five times, including his 2014 series-winning campaign.

In short, Harvick’s credentials are solid, but the odds are not appealing for a wager that will take months to pay off. They’re also low when one considers how different this season will be compared to ones from the recent past. The upcoming four-race schedule over a 10-day span is something these drivers have never experienced, offering just another reason to look for value in this market.

Elliott offers enormous value

Chase Elliott (+800) sits in an enviable spot through four races – third while just 20 points from the front-running Harvick. No one led more than the No. 9 Chevrolet driver’s 186 laps through four races this year. Elliott stands to benefit from a second race being added at Charlotte later this month – he has two Top 5 finishes there in his last three starts. He’s never competed in the Championship 4, but Elliott is giving indications that this could be a breakthrough year.


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