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November 21, 2014

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Kobalt Tools 400 betting odds: Favorites have burned the field in Las Vegas

Looking back over past results from the speedway while looking ahead to Sunday’s props

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Tom Donoghue / DonoghuePhotography.com

The 2014 NASCAR Hauler Parade on the Strip on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Odds to win Kobalt Tools 400

  • Jimmie Johnson 5-to-1
  • Matt Kenseth 7-to-1
  • Kyle Busch 7-to-1
  • Kasey Kahne 8-to-1
  • Kevin Harvick 10-to-1
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10-to-1
  • Brad Keselowski 10-to-1
  • Denny Hamlin 10-to-1
  • Tony Stewart 12-to-1
  • Joey Logano 12-to-1
  • Jeff Gordon 15-to-1
  • Kurt Busch 15-to-1
  • Carl Edwards 15-to-1
  • Clint Bowyer 30-to-1
  • Ryan Newman 30-to-1
  • Greg Biffle 30-to-1
  • Martin Truex Jr. 50-to-1
  • Brian Vickers 60-to-1
  • Austin Dillon 75-to-1
  • Jamie McMurray 75-to-1
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 100-to-1
  • Paul Menard 100-to-1
  • Kyle Larson 100-to-1
  • Trevor Bayne 300-to-1
  • Jeff Burton 300-to-1
  • Aric Almirola 300-to-1
  • Marcos Ambrose 300-to-1
  • AJ Allmendinger 500-to-1
  • Casey Mears 500-to-1
  • Danica Patrick 500-to-1
  • David Gilliland 1000-to-1
  • David Ragan 1000-to-1
  • Justin Allgaier 1000-to-1
  • Field 500-to-1
  • Numbers from LVH Superbook

Note: Full list of props available at the bottom of the page.

The gaggle of tourists that arrive in town annually in early March for NASCAR weekend have hopefully hit their share of jackpots at slot machines or keno parlors.

They haven’t found big payouts in the sports books on the weekend’s main attraction. Las Vegas’ annual Sprint Cup race has been chalkier than a hard-writing math teacher’s fingers for more than a decade.

Four of the past five Kobalt Tools 400 winners were listed as the driver with either the lowest or second-lowest odds. Jimmie Johnson was 9-to-2 at the LVH Superbook when he last prevailed four years ago, while Tony Stewart was the 7-to-1 favorite in 2012.

Matt Kenseth last year and Kyle Busch in 2009 were both 8-to-1, tied for second. The longest shot? Carl Edwards at 10-to-1 in 2011. He was the fourth-lowest three years after winning for the first time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, when he was 8-to-1.

There’s no documentation of odds from before that, but it’s a fair assumption that the favorite had also won in the five previous years. Johnson prevailed three straight years from 2005 to 2007 at the beginning of his stretch of dominance in winning five straight Cup championships.

Kenseth took the two before that when he was a popular choice as the best driver in the world after a 2003 Cup victory. It would likely take looking all the way back to 2002, when 44-year old Sterling Marlin had his second-to-last NASCAR victory, for the last time a relative long shot cashed a ticket.

The predictably of a race that stimulates three times more betting action than any other on the schedule is about as fun as one with 25 cautions.

Lo and behold, the betting board looks identical again in 2014. Johnson and Kenseth, who have now combined to win nearly half of the Cup races in the Speedway’s 16 years of hosting an event, are entrenched at the top along with local product Kyle Busch.

Five drivers who have yet to win here are next highlighted by Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski sharing a 10-to-1 tag. They ran first, second and third, respectively, in last Sunday’s race.

But Las Vegas Motor Speedway is much different from the short, fast track at Phoenix International Raceway. It’s usually the first stop that’s more representative of the majority of courses on the NASCAR schedule for which most teams tailor their cars.

That’s one potential theory for why the favored drivers cruise past the competition in Las Vegas.

It’s crazy to think Earnhardt could become the most improbable champion of the past decade as he’s annually one of the most bet-on drivers in the Kobalt Tools 400. Expect the ticket count on him to increase an extra nudge this year after he started the season with a win at Daytona and a second-place finish in Phoenix.

I’m more prone to look at a different racer showing early promise if forced to go against history and pick someone from the middle of the pack. Joey Logano, sixth in the Cup standings after two stops, is 12-to-1.

He set a track record in qualifying Friday to earn the pole position, which is generally an overrated advantage for betting purposes but shows how on top of his game Logano is at the moment.

Of course, there are several other ways to bet Sunday’s race. Find the full LVH Superbook menu below, where I’ve bolded a favorite wager in every section.

Matchups (better finish wins)

Jimmie Johnson minus-135 vs. Matt Kenseth plus-115

Jimmie Johnson minus-155 vs. Kyle Busch plus-135

Jimmie Johnson minus-175 vs. Denny Hamlin plus-155

Jimmie Johnson minus-175 vs. Kasey Kahne plus-155

Matt Kenseth minus-125 vs. Kyle Busch plus-105

Matt Kenseth minus-150 vs. Denny Hamlin plus-130

Matt Kenseth minus-150 vs. Kasey Kahne plus-130

Kyle Busch minus-130 vs. Denny Hamlin plus-110

Kyle Busch minus-130 vs. Kasey Kahne plus-110

Denny Hamlin minus-110 vs. Kasey Kahne minus-110

Brad Keselowski minus-120 vs. Kevin Harvick Even

Brad Keselowski minus-155 vs. Joey Logano plus-135

Dale Earnhardt Jr. minus-120 vs. Kevin Harvick Even

Dale Earnhardt Jr. minus-120 vs. Jeff Gordon plus-135

Dale Earnhardt Jr. minus-155 vs. Joey Logano plus-135

Kevin Harvick minus-130 vs. Jeff Gordon plus-110

Kevin Harvick minus-130 vs. Joey Logano plus-110

Jeff Gordon minus-110 vs. Joey Logano minus-110

Tony Stewart minus-130 vs. Carl Edwards plus-110

Tony Stewart minus-160 vs. Kurt Busch plus-140

Carl Edwards minus-160 vs. Kurt Busch plus-140

Ryan Newman minus-120 vs. Greg Biffle Even

Ryan Newman minus-120 vs. Clint Bowyer Even

Clint Bowyer minus-110 vs. Greg Biffle minus-110

Jamie McMurray minus-120 vs. Martin Truex Jr. Even

Martin Truex Jr. minus-135 vs. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. plus-115

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. minus-110 vs. Austin Dillon minus-110

Austin Dillon minus-110 vs. Brian Vickers minus-110

Austin Dillon minus-125 vs. Kyle Larson plus-105

Kyle Larson minus-110 vs. Paul Menard minus-110

Marcus Ambrose minus-110 vs. Aric Almirola minus-110

Danica Patrick minus-120 vs. David Gilliland Even

Finish positions

Jimmie Johnson: over/under 5.5

Matt Kenseth: over/under 6.5

Kyle Busch: over/under 7.5

Denny Hamlin: over/under 8.5

Kasey Kahne: over/under 8.5

Brad Keselowski: over/under 8.5

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: over/under 8.5

Kevin Harvick: over/under 8.5

Jeff Gordon: over/under 9.5

Joey Logano: over/under 9.5

Tony Stewart: over/under 9.5

Carl Edwards: over/under 9.5

Kurt Busch: over/under 11.5

Ryan Newman: over/under 12.5

Clint Bowyer: over/under 12.5

Greg Biffle: over/under 12.5

Jamie McMurray: over/under 16.5

Danica Patrick: over/under 26.5

Props

Winning car number will be: 1-23 (minus-150) vs. 24-99 (plus-130)

Winning car number will be: Odd (plus-300) vs. Even (minus-360)

Total Cautions: over/under 6.5

Total cars on lead lap: over/under 20.5

Total numbers of different drivers to lead at least one lap: over/under 8.5

Winning manufacturer: Chevy (minus-140), Toyota (plus-225) or Ford (plus-350)

Matchups (pick who will finish best out of group)

Group 1: Jimmie Johnson plus-205, Matt Kenseth plus-225, Kyle Busch plus-240, Kasey Kahne plus-250

Group 2: Brad Keselowski plus-225, Dale Earnhardt Jr. plus-225, Kevin Harvick plus-225, Joey Logano plus-245

Group 3: Jeff Gordon plus-215, Tony Stewart plus-215, Carl Edwards plus-240, Kurt Busch plus-250

Group 4: Ryan Newman plus-220, Clint Bowyer plus-220, Greg Biffle plus-220, Jamie McMurray plus-265

Group 5: Martin Truex Jr. plus-215, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. plus-235, Austin Dillon plus-235, Brian Vickers plus-235

Group 6: Kyle Larson plus-225, Paul Menard plus-225, Marcos Ambrose plus-235, Aric Almirola plus-235

Group 7: Jeff Burton plus-215, Trevor Bayne plus-225, AJ Allmendinger plus-230, Danica Patrick plus-250

Group 8: David Gilliland plus-215, David Ragan plus-215, Justin Allgaier plus-240, Cole Whitt plus-255

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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