NASCAR Odds: Edwards favored at Michigan

By: Matty Simo | Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jeff Gordon has enjoyed a lot of past success at Michigan International Speedway during his NASCAR racing career, but his most recent success might actually have hurt his odds to win to the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 this Sunday.

Gordon is 11/1 to win at MIS off his victory in the 5-Hour Energy 500 a week ago at Pocono.  The green flag will start this week’s race at 10:16 a.m. (PT) with television coverage provided by TNT.

With two Sprint Cup Series wins already under his belt heading into this weekend’s action, Gordon does not face the same type of pressure to finish first at a racetrack where he has won four times and finished second twice just last year.

Instead, points leader Carl Edwards is the 5/1 favorite to win the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 while five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson is the 15/2 second choice.  Edwards leads Johnson by 40 points in the chase for Sprint Cup and is 3/1 to win it compared to +450 for Johnson.

Like Gordon, Edwards also has two wins this year, with his last victory coming in the All-Star race on May 21.  Winning consecutive races has proven to be a difficult feat though, as only Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick have been able to pull that off so far this season.

Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are both 10/1 behind Johnson to win at Michigan while Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. join Gordon at 11/1.  Kurt Busch is 16/1 following the trio of Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart at 12/1.

Hamlin is the defending champion of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400, and Harvick beat Gordon in the Carfax 400 at MIS last August 15.  Hamlin is a 125 favorite in a head-to-head matchup with Harvick (-105).

Gordon has finished second at this track eight times in 34 career starts as part of 17 top-five finishes.  That is a sharp contrast to Johnson, who is a 135 favorite in a head-to-head matchup with Gordon (+105) and seems to be a bit overpriced because he has never won here.  Johnson has just two top-five and six top-10 finishes at Michigan.

He led the most laps in both races last year but ran out of gas each time.

Edwards has earned more points at MIS in his 11 races there than any other driver, justifying his spot as the favorite.  Of those 11 races, he has six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s – including six straight – with an average finish of 6.1.

Edwards is a heavy 150 favorite against Kenseth (+120) and +150 to finish in the Top 3 for the fourth year in a row.

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