Looking for value in NASCAR Championship odds
Kevin Harvick, the current +500 favorite to win this year’s NASCAR Cup Series Championship, has sandwiched a win at Atlanta on June 7 with four mediocre performances (average finishing position of 15.5 at Charlotte, Bristol, Martinsville and Homestead-Miami). Kyle Busch, the second-choice at +550, is winless in 11 starts with an average finishing position of 14.2. There appear to be some live longshots behind those two – let’s highlight a trio of them.
Nascar Cup Series Championship 2020 - Winner
Sun, June 21 2020, 7:15 PM
Martin Truex Jr.
Denny Hamlin (+800)
Despite winning at Homestead-Miami on Sunday, his series-leading third victory of the season (Daytona and Darlington being the other two), Denny Hamlin is holding firm at +800. His odds haven’t budged in nearly two weeks. It’s possible that bettors and oddsmakers are hung up on the fact that Hamlin has never won a Cup Series title, but four of the last six Championship winners took home the title for the first time in their careers (Harvick in 2014, Kyle Busch in 2015, Martin Truex Jr. in 2017 and Joey Logano in 2018).
NASCAR heads to Talladega next Sunday, where Hamlin has a win and has led the fourth-most laps (302) among active drivers. Then there’s a weekend double-header at Pocono, and Hamlin has five prior victories there, the most among active drivers. It might be wise to get in on Hamlin at +800 before oddsmakers catch on.
Ryan Blaney (+1800)
Ryan Blaney may not have a win to show for it, but he’s been hot since the Coca-Cola 600, posting five Top 5s over his last six races. The one exception was the race at Bristol on May 31 in which he spun out and was driven into by accident. But he might have had a race-winning car that day. Despite his hot streak, Blaney’s odds have actually gone up from +1600 last week to +1800 this week. The No. 12 Ford driver has already won at Talladega and Pocono, NASCAR’s next two venues.
Tyler Reddick (+12500)
It might be crazy to think a rookie driver that has one career NASCAR Cup Series Top 5 finish – earned on Sunday at Homestead-Miami – could win the championship, but these odds (unchanged since last week) are awfully enticing.
Reddick, the two-time reigning Xfinity Series champ, placed Top 10 at both Talladega and Pocono in each of his last two visits there. That includes his victory at Talladega last year.
Per The Baltimore Sun, Reddick owns the ninth-best average finish at the three daytime races at high tire-wear tracks (Auto Club Speedway, Darlington Raceway, and Atlanta Motor Speedway), and most of the playoff races are conducted during the day. He’s currently just two points behind teammate Austin Dillon for the 16th and final playoff position.