Sprint Unlimited Betting News and Notes

Sprint Unlimited Betting News and Notes

LVH releases odds for the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited in Daytona
By: Micah Roberts
Sportingnews.com

LAS VEGAS -- It's hard to believe we'll be seeing actual NASCAR racing at Daytona within two weeks. Okay, so it's only the non-points Sprint Unlimited consisting of a 75-lap dash with only half the drivers that will be running a week later in the Daytona 500, but for some, it's one of those defining moments in a calendar year like Punxsutawney Phil taking a peak on Groundhog Day or Opening Day in baseball.

The Sprint Unlimited, formerly known as the Bud Shootout, is the race that gets everyone acclimated back into the sights and sounds (and sometimes smells, if going to Daytona) of stock car racing after a few long months off. This is where most get updated of changes and refreshed on some of the storylines and rivalries left off from 2013.

And of course here in Las Vegas, NASCAR fans have the opportunity to walk into a sports book and wager on a few drivers to help make their viewing experience more enjoyable. The only thing more thrilling than seeing your favorite driver win is when the driver you bet on wins.

The LVH Super Book posted odds Tuesday on the Sprint Unlimited and listed Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as 7-to-1 co-favorites to win -- deservedly so considering they have combined to win five of the past six events. Harvick's win in the Unlimited last season was his third in five years, but all those wins came with Richard Childress Racing. How will he perform driving Stewart-Haas Racing's No. 4 Chevy? Earnhardt Jr. is a two-time winner, and Kyle Busch won in 2012.

Jimmie Johnson last won the Unlimited in 2005 and comes in at 8-to-1 odds, but he did sweep the two points races at Daytona last season -- the races that really matter. Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch (2011 winner), Denny Hamlin (2006 winner) and two-time winner Jeff Gordon all come in at 10-to-1 odds.

The real interesting look here is three-time winner Tony Stewart at 12-to-1. Stewart is coming back after breaking his leg racing in a non-NASCAR event, which caused him to miss the final 15 races of the 2013 season. Stewart had an awful first third of the season and didn't gain a top-five finish until winning at Dover in June. He wouldn't win again, but he did get top-five finishes in four of his final eight races before his accident. Is the Stewart-Haas organization ready to get back into the swing of things with Kurt Busch and Harvick joining the fray, or will the SHR team struggles continue?

Daytona probably won't answer any of those questions for Stewart or his new drivers, but in a favorable format with Stewart likely eager to show his stuff after a long layoff, 12-to-1 looks like a nice price.

Here's a look at the complete list of LVH's odds:

KYLE BUSCH 7
MATT KENSETH 7
KEVIN HARVICK 7
DALE EARNHARDT JR 7
JIMMIE JOHNSON 8
BRAD KESELOWSKI 10
KURT BUSCH 10
DENNY HAMLIN 10
JEFF GORDON 10
TONY STEWART 12
JOEY LOGANO 15
CARL EDWARDS 15
JAMIE McMURRAY 15
RYAN NEWMAN 20
DANICA PATRICK 20
RICKY STENHOUSE JR 30
MARCOS AMBROSE 50

SPRINT UNLIMITED RACE MATCHUPS

KYLE BUSCH -110 vs. KEVIN HARVICK -110

MATT KENSETH -110 vs. DALE EARNHARDT JR -110

JIMMIE JOHNSON -110 vs. BRAD KESELOWSKI -110

KURT BUSCH -110 vs. JEFF GORDON -110

DENNY HAMLIN -110 vs. JOEY LOGANO -110

CARL EDWARDS -110 vs. JAMIE McMURRAY -110

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Re: Sprint Unlimited Betting News and Notes

Sprint Unlimited Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

We only have two more weekends to patiently wait before the green flag officially drops for the Daytona 500, but for all those thirsty high-octane fans that have the need for speed, there is a little appetizer on Saturday night as the Sprint Unlimited will be run at Daytona. The 75-lap non-points race with only 20 drivers participating that either won a pole during the 2013 season or won a previous Sprint Unlimited, formerly known as the Bud Shootout.

To win a pole, the driver has to be pretty good, and most of the 20 drivers participating are the biggest names in the sport such as Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon. This leaves out a lot of the riff-raff, such as lower funded teams or younger inexperienced drivers, and allows the big boys to go head-to-head in a short Saturday Night Special type of format.

On Friday night, we’ll have our first chance to see these cars in action during two practice sessions, and while those sessions may provide some insight to who might be fast during the race, this event has usually been about who can make that winning move within the last two laps, and it’s amazing that a few drivers continually seem to find themselves in those situations no matter the changes in cars design or team structure, which is a great sign that the driver still matters perhaps more than the car itself in restrictor-plate races.

Take Kevin Harvick for example. Here’s a driver that has switched teams, moving from Richard Childress Racing to Stewart-Haas Racing, but he’s won three of the past five Sprint Unlimited events. That’s two differing type of cars -- the COT and Gen-6, and yet he seems to see the air better than most down the stretch when it counts, and finding that little edge to help propel him through the draft and cross the finish line first.

Harvick’s car will look similar to the past few seasons because he brought the Budweiser sponsorship with him, and he’ll again be driving a Chevy, but it may take some time to get used to the No. 4 painted on his car. For 13 years he drove the No. 29 for RCR, and he had a huge following right out of the gate just because he took over the famed No. 3 team following the passing of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt at Daytona in 2001. It’s debatable how well his entire season will go in 2014, but when the plates are on, not many -- if any -- are better than Harvick.

The same goes for his new boss, Tony Stewart, who missed the final 13 races last season due to breaking his leg after crashing during a race, a non-NASCAR event. Stewart won only one race last season and was pitiful in the first half of the season, but turned things around just before getting injured. Will the surge continue into 2014 or will some of the same issues that plagued him early on continue? We’ll have to wait and see, but the one thing that should be certain is that Stewart is eager to get back to racing, and more importantly, tasting success at Daytona’s appetizer, the Sprint Unlimited.

Stewart has won the non-points race to kickoff a season three times (2001, 2002, 2007) and if we rank two-time Daytona 500 winner Harvick as the best plate racer, Stewart might come in at No. 2. He has yet to win a Daytona 500 himself, but does have four other wins on the 2.5-mile high banked track during the summer. Of all the drivers participating in this event, Stewart may present the best value at the LVH Super Book with 12-to-1 odds.

Another driver that should be considered Saturday night is Jamie McMurray at 15-to-1 odds. He has two wins at Daytona and two others at Talladega, the only other restrictor-plate track. McMurray has a knack for feeling when the appropriate time to jump out of the draft and make a winning pass, as well as how to prevent other drivers from making the pass on him while leading.

Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t tasted a restrictor-plate victory too much in the past nine seasons, let alone any track, but he’s still a driver to be respected greatly which is why he is considered one of the favorites to win Saturday, right up there with Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch at 7-to-1 odds. While he hasn’t won a plate points race since 2004 at Daytona, his 12.9 average finish in the past 20 Daytona races -- spring and summer -- is the best among all drivers. Junior also has two Sprint Unlimited wins (2003, 2008).

I’m going to side with Stewart to win in a race he should be pumped up to be in, and of course, the odds make him very attractive as well. The best long shot of the bunch is Ryan Newman at 20-to-1 only because the top-3 speeds during a January 10 test session at Daytona all came from the RCR stables. Newman, the 2008 Daytona winner, is driving the No. 31 RCR Chevy this season, and is the only RCR driver participating.

Top-5 Finish Prediction

1) #14 Tony Stewart (12/1)
2) #20 Matt Kenseth (7/1)
3) #29 Kevin Harvick (7/1)
4) #31 Ryan Newman (20/1)
5) #1 Jamie McMurray (15/1)

Daytona 500 odds

While I have been critical of a few books' Daytona 500 odds offerings, I think it's also appropriate to apologize for painting an unfair picture of a property. I had been so infuriated with Harrah's numbers that chopped the odds of 15 drivers considerably lower from what they opened with while raising only two drivers odds, that I failed to recognize their current odds were still considerably better than several local chain of sports books. While Harrah's looks bad for their chopping methods, they still only have one driver, Earnhardt Jr, at odds (7/1) less than double-digits. Now the next hurdle at Harrah's is getting a wager accepted where the risk is more than $500.

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Re: Sprint Unlimited Betting News and Notes

Sprint Unlimited Preview
By Sportsbook.ag

The NASCAR season begins Saturday night in Daytona Beach with The Sprint Unlimited. This 75-lap race (187.5 miles) formerly known as the Budweiser Shootout will consist of only 20 drivers and does not count in the points standings.

The race is divided into three parts of 30 laps, 25 laps and 20 laps. Daytona International Speedway, completed in 1959, is a 2.5-mile, tri-oval track with huge bankings (31-degree turns, 18-degree tri-oval banking). The frontstrech measures 3,800 feet with the backstretch coming in at 3,400 feet.

Kevin Harvick is the defending champion of this event, placing among the top-7 in this event in five of the past six years.

Drivers to Watch

Tony Stewart (12/1) -
Stewart will certainly be one to watch after missing the final 13 races of the 2013 season after breaking his leg during a crash in a non-NASCAR race. He has won this season-opening race three times in his career (2001, 2002, 2007), joining Kevin Harvick as the only active three-time winners of this event.

Kevin Harvick (7/1) - Harvick is always located near the front of the pack in restrictor-plate races, and he has thrived in this format with three Sprint Unlimited wins in the past five years. He has also had plenty of success at this track in the regular season, placing 7th or better in five of the past six races he's finished at Daytona International Speedway, including a win in 2010.

Ryan Newman (20/1) – He didn't participate in this event last year, but placed 7th in 2012 and 3rd in 2011. He also has raced well in the past three races that counted at this track, coming in 5th place in the 2012 Coke Zero 400, 5th place in last year's Daytona 500 and then 10th place in the 2013 Coke Zero 400.

Brad Keselowski (10/1) - Keselowski placed 4th the only time he raced in this event in 2012, and has started to figure out how to maneuver Daytona International Speedway. After crashing three times in a four-race span at this track from 2010 to 2012, he has placed 8th, 4th and 21st in the past three NASCAR races in Daytona.


Check out more NASCAR Odds and Props at Sportsbook.ag!

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Re: Sprint Unlimited Betting News and Notes

Sprint Unlimited Preview
By: Brian Graham
Statfox.com

The NASCAR season begins Saturday night in Daytona Beach with The Sprint Unlimited. This 75-lap race (187.5 miles) formerly known as the Budweiser Shootout will consist of only 20 drivers and does not count in the points standings. The race is divided into three parts of 30 laps, 25 laps and 20 laps. Daytona International Speedway, completed in 1959, is a 2.5-mile, tri-oval track with huge bankings (31-degree turns, 18-degree tri-oval banking). The frontstrech measures 3,800 feet with the backstretch coming in at 3,400 feet. Kevin Harvick is the defending champion of this event, placing among the top-7 in this event in five of the past six years.

Drivers to Watch

Tony Stewart (12/1) -
Stewart will certainly be one to watch after missing the final 13 races of the 2013 season after breaking his leg during a crash in a non-NASCAR race. He has won this season-opening race three times in his career (2001, 2002, 2007), joining Kevin Harvick as the only active three-time winners of this event. With this past history to fall back on plus a 4th-place showing last year, Stewart represents the best value wager for this event with his double-digit odds.

Kevin Harvick (7/1) - Harvick is always located near the front of the pack in restrictor-plate races, and he has thrived in this format with three Sprint Unlimited wins in the past five years. He has also had plenty of success at this track in the regular season, placing 7th or better in five of the past six races he's finished at Daytona International Speedway, including a win in 2010. With all the similarly valued chalk on the board, Harvick is the most sure thing to bring home another victory.

Ryan Newman (20/1) - If you're looking for the big payout this weekend, throw down a small wager on Newman. He didn't participate in this event last year, but placed 7th in 2012 and 3rd in 2011. He also has raced well in the past three races that counted at this track, coming in 5th place in the 2012 Coke Zero 400, 5th place in last year's Daytona 500 and then 10th place in the 2013 Coke Zero 400. At 20-to-1 odds, don't forget about Newman for Saturday night.

Brad Keselowski (10/1) - Keselowski placed 4th the only time he raced in this event in 2012, and has started to figure out how to maneuver Daytona International Speedway. After crashing three times in a four-race span at this track from 2010 to 2012, he has placed 8th, 4th and 21st in the past three NASCAR races in Daytona. With nobody really talking about him after a disappointing 14th-place finish in the 2013 points standings, there is great betting value in Keselowski on Saturday night as a 10-to-1 wager.

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