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Categorized | NASCAR

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Picks & Predictions: Best Championship Bets and Favorites to Avoid

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Picks and Predictions – Best Championship Bets and Favorites to Avoid: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads into its first off weekend of the 2018 season season, and while there is no race to bet on this Sunday, it’s not a bad time to take another look at the current championship odds.

We are now six races into the year, and while the sample size still isn’t huge, we do have enough data to start to establish a pecking order. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite championship bets and some of the favorites that I’m staying away from.

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Picks and Predictions: Best Championship Bets and Favorites to Avoid

Top Bets

Kyle Busch (11/2)

He doesn’t have a win yet, but Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are clearly the class of the field right now in the Cup Series. Since Busch is getting the longest odds of the three to win the title, he is my favorite bet of the bunch. He has led laps in every race since Daytona, picking up three second-place finishes and a third-place run in the last four races. Busch also ranks second in just about every scoring loop category. If I’m betting one of the championship favorites, I’m betting on the guy that can make me the most money.

Brad Keselowski (9/1)

He is one of the most consistent, well-rounded drivers year in and year out, and Keselowski is up to his old tricks in 2018. He currently sits in the top five in green flag speed, average running position, driver rating and fastest laps run, and there isn’t a type of track on the schedule where he can’t run in the top five. Keselowski is a little more proven and a lot more consistent than the drivers getting similar odds to win it all. He’s a little undervalued currently.

Ryan Blaney (30/1)

Everyone knew that his offseason move to Team Penske could vault Blaney to another level, but he has taken ten steps forward. He currently ranks second in laps led, fourth in driver and sixth in average green flag speed, making the leap from weekly top-10 contender to a consistent threat to win races. You find another driver showing top-five upside on a regular basis that is getting longer odds. If you want to take a chance on a surprise title winner, Blaney is my favorite bet.

Clint Bowyer (45/1)

Bowyer just locked himself into the playoffs with a win at Martinsville, and you might want to jump on these odds while you can. His odds of winning it all are only going to improve if he adds any more victories and playoff points, and with the speed that Bowyer and Stewart-Haas Racing have shown in 2018, there is a good chance that is going to happen. He ranks eighth or better in driver rating, green flag speed and fastest laps run, so a deep playoff run is very possible. Meanwhile, a return trip to Martinsville is on tap during the round of the playoffs that help determine the Championship 4. After Bowyer, I don’t see a driver with longer odds that is even worth throwing money at.

Bad Bets

Jimmie Johnson (12/1)

I know he is a seven-time champion and arguably the best to ever drive a stock car, but Johnson and the No. 48 bunch just don’t have it right now. He is coming off the worst year of his career, and he doesn’t look any closer to figuring things out in 2018. Johnson’s best finish so far is ninth, and he can’t blame anything other than a lack of speed. He ranks 19th in both average running position and green flag speed and 18th in driver rating. These odds are ridiculous for a driver who is struggling to sniff the top 10. Don’t waste your money.

Kurt Busch (18/1)

Yes, Busch is having a solid year, ranking inside the top 10 in most scoring loop categories. However, he’s essentially having the same season as his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola, but those two are listed at 45/1 and 70/1, respectively, to win the title. Heck, Busch isn’t even locked into the playoffs yet and Bowyer is after his win at Martinsville. If you want to give Busch a slight edge over those two because he is more experienced, that’s fine, but he is way overvalued at these odds.

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