When looking up and down the schedule of the 10-race NASCAR Cup Playoffs, there is lots of variety mixed in with the four 1.5-mile tracks. But the key component on the schedule to me is the race packages being used: five using the package with aero ducts and engines producing 550 horsepower (includes Talladega with a few differences) and five using the package with no aero ducts and engines producing 750 horsepower.
Martin Truex Jr. has won three of the nine races using 750 horsepower package while also winning at Charlotte using the other package. Denny Hamlin has one win with the 750 horsepower package at Bristol and has eight top-fives with it in nine races. Hamlin has also pulled off wins on diverse tracks using the 550 horsepower package at Texas and Pocono and won the season-opening Daytona 500 using the old restrictor-plate package.
Hamlin is tied for the series-lead with 13 top-fives and four wins. He is the most diverse driver coming with tracks and packages coming into the playoffs and comes in hot, finishing sixth or better in seven of his last races overall. He started the season with odds at 25-1 to win his first Cup Championship and is now being offered at 10-1 odds at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook despite all his credentials and accomplishments this season.
With Kyle Busch last winning a race June 2 at Pocono, it’s a bit surprising he’s such an overwhelming 7-2 favorite. Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have been in a win drought as well with Team Penske’s last win coming June 10 at Michigan. The only driver running as well as Hamlin right now with all packages is last week’s winner Kevin Harvick.
Five drivers all have lower odds than Hamlin and none have done better than him, but the things they all have over him is past championships and that is the angle the Superbook is rolling with here in there adjusted odds. Still, Hamlin has huge value here during his career year. Take a shot for him to win the title for a few bucks.