With the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season completed only two weeks ago just prior to the drivers and teams leaving NASCAR Champions Week in Las Vegas last week, the Aliante sports book has released a whole slew of odds for 2013.
Included is not only the Chase Championship, but Daytona 500 odds to win with matchups. They even included odds for the Las Vegas Cup race to be held in March.
The mastermind behind all the odds is Aliante book manager Fred Crespi, who used to do all the same type of things while running books for the Palms and Station Casinos. From the moment the season ended, Crespi was already gathering information on everything that will be new for the season, such as personnel changes, new cars that all the teams that will be running, beginning with Daytona.
“Looking at the Daytona 500 with the changes to the 2013 cars, I still see the same type of racing that we have been used to,” Crespi said. “More pack racing during the bulk of the race with cars ‘hooking up’ late in the race to make their push to the front.”
No driver has been posted at lower than 10-to-1 odds, giving bettors a great chance at securing nice prices on anyone if willing to put up their money a little earlier than usual. Crespi listed Dale Earnhardt Jr as the 10-1 favorite.
“With so few changes from 2012 to 2013 team and driver wise, Daytona was pretty easy to break down in terms of the odds offers,” he said. “In no other race besides Talladega, will you see the favorite be 10-1 or higher. And Dale Jr. is 10-1 only because he is Dale Jr. and will attract a lot of action. There are three organizations that I will closely keep my eye on during Preseason Thunder and into the first few races of 2013. They include Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing.”
The driver Crespi had the toughest time making odds for was two-time and defending Daytona 500 champ Matt Kenseth, who will be driving for Joe Gibbs in the No. 20 car vacated by Joey Logano.
“Moving over from the Roush-Fenway car to Joe Gibbs will surely be an adjustment,” Crespi said. “When Tony Stewart left JGR and was replaced by Logano, that team wasn’t the same performance wise. While I believe Joey is a huge talent – and will surprise many behind the wheel of the No. 22 car, Kenseth will re-elevate that team as early as the Daytona 500.
“That car with Logano would have been at least 30-1 at Daytona. With Matt, I debated the 15-1 or 18-1 range, but I believe his talent for this type of racing deserved the 12-1 opening number.”
One of the best values on the board may be 2010 Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray at 50-1. Both McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya will be using Hendrick Motorsports engines next year, which doesn’t mean they’ll be much better than last year, but they surely won’t be as bad. McMurray can wheel a plate race with the best of them.
One driver who will get plenty of wagers at 125-1 for souvenirs is Danica Patrick who will be driving full time in the Cup series next season. She made great strides last season, but still looks a long ways for being able to win a race. However, stranger things have happened in plate racing...Actually, I take that back. It would be the strangest thing.
In addition to 49 drivers listed to win the Daytona 500, Crespi has also offered 24 matchups. This is by far the earliest Daytona 500 odds have ever been offered. I’ll back with updates in late January on pre-season testing and who looks fast. Until then, you have three books now with Championship odds – Aliante, Wynn and LVH. The Aliante with Daytona odds will satisfy your need for speed until February.
Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Contact Micah at [email protected].