Kevin Harvick Is the Odds on Favorite to Win the NASCAR Championship
With two races left to determine the 2018 NASCAR Champion for the Monster Energy Cup Series, Kevin Harvick leads the pack as the odds on favorite to capture the title. In racing terms, Harvick would be in the pole position for this bet while Kyle Busch is on the outside of Row 1. Keep in mind, there’s still one race left in the 3rd Round of the NASCAR Playoffs to determine which drivers will advance to the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami on November 18th. As of now, 6 drivers will be competing for the final two spots of the race.
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NASCAR Championship Betting Odds
The following NASCAR championship betting odds are courteous of MyBookie:
- Kevin Harvick (+200)
- Kyle Busch (+250)
- Martin Truex Jr. (+300)
- Joey Logano (+400)
- Chase Elliott (+1500)
- Clint Bowyer (+3000)
- Kurt Busch (+4000)
- Aric Almirola (+6000)
According to the odds above, the following drivers are considered odds on favorites to win the 2018 NASCAR Championship:
Kevin Harvick (+200)
Harvick just won at Texas last weekend, which locks him into the Championship race at Homestead-Miami on Nov. 18th. That means, as long as Harvick doesn’t sustain a serious injury in Phoenix this weekend then he will be racing for the championship two Sundays from now. You have to believe that Harvick is the top driver to beat at Homestead-Miami because he has been one of the best all year long.
Kevin already has 8 wins on the season. Furthermore, he has 1 victory and four straight Top 4 finishes in Homestead-Miami. Last year, he finished 4th. This year, you have to believe that Harvick is the man to come away as the champion.
Kyle Busch (+250)
Like I said last weekend in my AAA Texas 500 Betting Preview, it’s practically a coin flip between Harvick and Busch as to who will win each and every race. So, the same thing can be said about the Championship in Homestead-Miami. Well, that’s provided that Busch actually makes it to the race. Currently, Busch is only 28 points ahead of the cutoff line and needs a Top 5 showing or a win at Phoenix this Sunday to get into the Championship race. Busch has 1 win at Homestead-Miami and three straight Top 6 finishes. He was runner-up to Martin Truex Jr. last year in this race.
Martin Truex Jr. (+300)
Speaking of Truex, he is 3 points behind Busch in the playoff standings and only 25 points above the cutoff line. Last year, Truex won this race and the 2017 Championship. He is looking to win the title for a second straight year despite all of the distractions of his current race team folding. For that to happen, Truex is going to need a strong showing in Phoenix this weekend which might require a Top 3 finish to ensure advancement. If he does make it to Homestead-Miami then you have to like his chances at winning the race. Martin has 8 Top 10 finishes in 13 career starts, which includes 1 win and 4 Top 5’s.
Joey Logano (+400)
Like Havick, Logano has already punched his ticket into the championship race. Logano won at Martinsville two Sundays ago and just needs to not get seriously injured at Phoenix this weekend to have a shot at winning the 2018 title.
Unlike the three other favorites, also known as NASCAR’s Big 3, Logano doesn’t have a win at Homestead. Additionally, he has a 14.9 average finish, which is the worst among the favorites. Joey will need a strong run at Homestead-Miami and some luck to outclass Harvick or Busch.
Best Betting Value
Chase Elliott at +1500 provides the best betting value of the 8 remaining playoff drivers. However, Elliott needs to win at Phoenix or finish high and get a lot of help. Currently, he’s 6th in the playoff standings at 39 points below the cutoff line. Elliott is fortunate that he’s going to a track this weekend where he’s been great at. In 5 career starts, Elliott has 2 Top 5’s and 4 Top 10’s. He also has an average finish of 6.8, which is best among active drivers. In the spring race at this track, Elliott finished 3rd. Chase has won 2 of the last 5 overall races and is looking for his 4th win on the season to ensure advancement.
If Chase can make it to Homestead-Miami then he will need to call on his 2017 experience when he finished 5th overall in only his second career start at this track.
I’ve said since the beginning of the 2018 NASCAR season to watch out for Kurt Busch. I picked him as a darkhorse and a driver that offered excellent betting value for winning the title. Furthermore, I usually have him in the betting value section for my weekly NASCAR race betting previews. Currently, Kurt’s +4000 odds make him the best choice for longshots to win the championship.
For Kurt to even have a shot at the title, he needs to win or finish in the Top 3 at Phoenix on Sunday unless the rest of the playoff drivers he’s competing with crash out. Fortunately, Phoenix is a track where he has done well at. Kurt has 1 win and 18 Top 10’s in 31 starts at that track. If he can squeak into the playoffs, it will come at the expense of either his brother or Truex.
At Homestead-Miami, Kurt has 1 win, 4 Top 5’s, and 6 Top 10’s in 17 career starts. So, he would be a credible threat at this track if he can advance to the championship round.
Who Will Win the Championship?
You can count out Bowyer and Almirola for winning the title. Both would need a win this Sunday and neither have fared well at Miami in recent years. Personally, I would like to see Truex Jr. win the title for a second straight year. Unfortunately, I think the odds are against him and he might not even make the championship race.
Right now, the smart money has to be on Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. These two drivers have combined to win 15 of the 34 races this season and their numbers are almost identical in regards to finishes:
- Harvick: 8 wins, 21 Top 5’s, 27 Top 10’s, and an average finish of 9.1.
- Busch: 7 wins, 20 Top 5’s, 26 Top 10’s, and an average finish of 8.6.
I expect Kyle Busch to advance to Homestead-Miami where he will be a legit threat to win the title. However, Kyle still has to advance. And, crazier things have happened on the track. With that in mind, for this bet, I have to go with Kevin Harvick. He’s already advanced, been too consistent and too good all year long not to perform well at Homestead-Miami. He’s also run better there over the last few years than any of the other legitimate contenders.