Brickyard 400 Odds: Can Jeff Gordon’s Return Steal the Show?
Nascar is back at the Brickyard 400 this week, when the Crown Royal 400 touches down at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jeff Gordon Returns
Running since 1994, one of Nascar’s most popular events welcomes back the legendary Jeff Gordon, who will be filling in for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. for at least the next two races.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) July 20, 2016
Gordon returns to an event he found a good amount of success in, as he took first at the Brickyard 400 five times, including the inaugural 1994 race. Gordon had recent success at the Brickyard 400 before retiring last year, too, as he took first in 2014.
Chase Heating Up
Gordon isn’t the only reason to tune into the 2016 Crown Royal 400, of course, as a slew of elite drivers continue to make the Sprint Cup Chase plenty interesting.
Brad Keselowski has dominated on the year, leading the way with an impressive four wins. Kyle Busch is close behind with three wins, while Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson are the only other drivers with at least two victories.
Gordon will fill in for #88, who had yet to polish off a win during 2016. It’s probably doubtful that Jeff Gordon shocks the Nascar world in his first race back, but crazier things have happened.
Let’s take a look at how Vegas is looking at this weekend’s race and see if we can’t come away with a prediction of our own:
Brickyard 400 Favorites
- Kyle Busch +550
- Kevin Harvick +600
- Joey Logano +700
- Martin Truex Jr. +700
- Jimmie Johnson +700
- Carl Edwards +800
- Brad Keselowski +900
- Matt Kenseth +900
- Jeff Gordon +900
It’s very interesting that Gordon finishes the best options with +900 odds or better, seeing as he won the first ever Brickyard 400, as well as recently in 2014. He’s won here five times in all and returns in a Chevy with a pretty good shot at pulling off a sixth win.
He’s certainly not the favorite, though, as Kyle Busch won here in 2015 and has been among the hottest drivers this year (3 wins and 10 top-5 finishes).
Harvick is the Chase points leader, though, so he leads the way with the best Brickyard 400 odds. He has won here, too (2003) and has been ultra competitive in just about every race (15 runs inside the top-10 out of 19 starts).
We can’t forget how deep the top half of Nascar is, though, as the likes of Logano, Truex Jr., Edwards, Kenseth and Keselowski can all give this thing a serious go.
Of the top group, though, it may be Jimmie Johnson that could be ready to jump up. He’s been great on the year (2 wins and six top-5 runs), but his killer success at Indy Motor Speedway is tough to ignore (four wins).
- Kurt Busch +1600
- Kasey Kahne +6600
- Ryan Newman +6600
- Greg Biffle +10000
- Clint Bowyer +15000
If there is a true sleeper going into Sunday, it’s probably Jeff Gordon. However, Bovada and other sportsbooks are actually liking his odds to be in the thick of this one, so we may have to look elsewhere for a truly sneaky play.
As far as odds go, the first guy that should catch your eye is Kurt Busch. Busch has so-so +1600 odds, which suggest he can still be competitive, but he probably won’t win. I don’t hate his chances, though, seeing as he’s been in pretty much every race in 2015 (15 top-10 finishes) and he does have a win under his belt. He’s never won the Brickyard 400, but now could be a good time to lock it down.
Few other drivers really pop off the board, but don’t completely sleep on the likes of Kahne, Newman or Biffle. All three are inside the top-22 in the Chase, while Newman actually won not too long ago (2013) here.
Bowyer is probably the biggest long shot of this sleeper group, but with +15000 odds, he also is the best bet in terms of massive payout potential. He probably won’t win, but he deserves a cursory glance if you have some money to toss in on a whim.
Brickyard 400 Prediction
This has been Chevy’s track to lose and we can’t ignore that. Chevrolet cars have won 12 of the last races at Indy Motor Speedway, so the odds look good for that run to continue. At least, that’d be the logical way to bet.
There is also the notion that Jeff Gordon could have a real shot at earning his sixth career win at a track he’s flat out dominated in his career. There’s also an argument for Kyle Busch to repeat or another Chevy driver to pull out the win.
Gordon feels like a fun pick, though. His odds (+900) aren’t bad, yet they’re rewarding enough to hand out a solid payout if he does make it happen. We touched on his chances of winning in his return earlier this week, too, and like him as this year’s Brickyard 400.
*Photo credit – El Biffster at flikr
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