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Phoenix Odds - Busch steals spotlight from Johnson, Martin at Phoenix

Posted by Lee-Roy Buckles on 11/12/2009 2:19:01 PM
NASCAR racing oddsLast week at Texas shook up the sportsbook rankings for the Chase, as Jimmie Johnson’s second-lap crash opened the door wide for Mark Martin - who then cut into Johnson’s lead down by a significant amount. The Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 in Phoenix this week will surely be a duel between these two, but it’s a non-Chase driver that will grab the spotlight on Sunday.

  • WHAT: NASCAR betting
  • WHEN: Sunday, November 15, 3:15 PM ET
  • WHERE: Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, AZ
  • KEY STATS: Jimmie Johnson’s 5.4 average at Phoenix is the best among current drivers
  • PICK: Kyle Busch +1200

Johnson is the favorite at +400, and two of his three Phoenix wins have come in the fall race, including last year dominating win from the pole in which he led 217 laps to complete the sweep at the one-mile track. Johnson’s 5.4 average in12 Phoenix races is easily tops among active drivers, and it gets even better in the fall with a 4.9 average in seven races. He’ll also be up on the wheel after last week’s early wreck at Texas.

But Mark Martin isn’t far behind in the standings, trailing by only 73 points, and he’s also close in the online betting odds at +500. Martin’s victory in April halted Johnson’s three-race winning streak at Phoenix, and his finishing averages in the fall race and at Phoenix overall is second only to Johnson. After last week’s fourth-place run at Texas, Martin has to be boosted by closing the gap on the No.48.

Former JGR teammates Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin are rated at +800 by NASCAR betting odds after top-10 finishes at Texas, although Stewart’s 1999 fall race win is the only time either has visited Victory Lane at Phoenix. Stewart is third in finishing average, while Hamlin is fourth, but the edge here goes to Stewart due to his consistency, even though he hasn’t contended for wins during the Chase. Hamlin won at Martinsville and was second at Texas, but he also has four finishes of 22nd or worse in his last seven races.

Last week’s winner, Kurt Busch, is listed at +900, and he has a respectable 12.5 average in 13 Phoenix races, raising it to 11.6 in the fall race. He won the 2005 spring race, and his brother Kyle made it a Busch sweep that year in the fall. The younger Busch may be your best NASCAR betting option at +1200 for some value, as he has six top-10s in nine trips to Phoenix, and he’s coming off a phenomenal weekend in which he almost became the first driver to win all three NASCAR races in a weekend, but fell just two laps short on gas to hand his older brother the win.

EE-ROY’S PICK: It’s shaping up to be quite a battle at Phoenix between Johnson and Martin, and last week’s wreck by Johnson injected some much-needed suspense into the Chase. However, Johnson is more consistent, and last week is a rarity, especially in the last four years for Johnson. However, look for Kyle Busch in Victory Lane this week. Busch has a new crew chief, Dave Rogers, with whom he’s had great success with in the Nationwide series, and even though they came up short with their fuel gamble at Texas, they showed they have potential for next year. Take Kyle Busch for some good NASCAR betting value.

For more sports betting analysis for next week’s season finale at Homestead-Miami, check out Lee-Roy’s picks in the Betting Edge at



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