Kyle Busch the New Favorite in the Playoffs?
Ask any NASCAR fan and they will tell you that anything can happen during the playoffs. Look at the historical records and you will also find this to be true. Now that we’re down to the Round of 12, there are fewer racers who are in true title contention, but for any of them, winning the final race has to be something that they believe in. For fans and anyone who bets on the sport, choosing a title favorite can be difficult, and opinions can change from week to week.When we came into the playoffs, Martin Truex Jr. was the clear favorite. Although he still leads in the eyes of the bookmakers, Kyle Busch has now emerged as a true alternative. Should he be the NASCAR betting pick that you put your money behind in 2017?
What Got Martin Truex Jr. to Top of the NASCAR Odds?
Any prediction method relies heavily on past data, as well as current potential. The reason that Martin Truex Jr. has been a favorite all throughout the year, is that he has consistently performed. Whereas some other drivers have had ups and downs in their performance, Truex Jr. has remained a threat for the whole season. Just take a look at the race wins that he’s had, and it’s clear to see that he has been the most successful driver in 2017.He won in the first race of the season at the Kobalt 400, and led the most laps.
He won again in Race 11 at the Go Bowling 400, then again at Race 18 at the Quaker State 400. In Race 22 at the I Love New York 355 at the Glen, he led the most laps and won again. In the playoffs, he won the first race at the Tales of the Turtles 400, and took pole position at the Apache Warrior 400 in Dover. It’s not just about the races that he has won, but the points positions that he has finished in. It’s very rare for him to finish outside of the Top 10, and he has been in the mix for most races, often in the Top 5.
There’s nothing like your first 🏁.
— #NASCARPlayoffs (@NASCAR) September 30, 2017
Throughout the playoffs, he hasn’t finished a race outside of 5th position.This consistency is unmatched by any other driver, and most will be quietly envious of his record. Although Kyle Busch has now won more races in the post season, Martin Truex Jr. remains at the top of the points table. At this stage he is virtually guaranteed to make it through to the Round of 8, and that’s quite a comfortable position to be in. Truex Jr. wasn’t able to win either of the last two races, but is still in good spirits regarding the championship.
He said to the media that “When you run fourth and you’re disappointed it shows what your team is made of. [I am] Proud of everyone, they did a good job all weekend. I am looking forward to the next round and feel good about where this Furniture Row Racing team is at right now.”His closest competitor is Kyle Busch, a driver who had a less consistent regular season, but who is starting to shine in the post season.
Kyle Busch a Promising Alternative
There’s a lot of weight placed on favorites in sport, but NASCAR is a competition where the results are never certain, and they’re more unpredictable when compared to most other popular sports. Being what is essentially a spec-series, much like Indy Car, NASCAR often comes down to some luck, and a whole lot of driver skill and experience. At 32 years of age, Kyle Busch has plenty of experience, and it was that experience that allowed him to pass Chase Elliott during the final laps of the most recent race at Dover International Speedway. Kyle is second place in the playoffs standings, but for some he will now be a clear favorite for the overall series win.Busch not being as consistent in the regular season is not such a big deal.
— #NASCARPlayoffs (@NASCAR) October 1, 2017
After all, in the post season, it is race wins that matter. After the Round of 12, Busch has won two races, compared to one for Truex Jr. Busch has made sure that he is always in contention, and he jumps on an opportunity when he sees one. However, Busch is humble in his outlook for the season, and he still doesn’t consider himself as a favorite, even if many fans and a growing number of analysts do. When being interviewed about the Dover race, Busch was asked if he considered himself to be a clear-cut championship contender. His answer was a simple “no.”
He said that “There’s a lot of racing to go. You know, I think week to week, you can probably change your favorite. Early in the first third of the season, I probably would have said [Kyle] Larson is your new championship favorite, but you’ve got to let these things play out. I don’t know that there’s necessarily a favorite. Maybe it [the race win] closes our gap that the 78 [Martin Truex Jr.] had on us a little bit.” He continued later, being somewhat philosophical, saying that “It’s all about getting the stars to align and doing your job and having everything go your way.” It’s not a surprise to see that Busch is acutely aware of just how quickly the situation can change. There are plenty of threats in the 12 remaining drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, the most successful driver who is currently driving in NASCAR.
Should You Bet on Kyle Busch?
Kyle is fast becoming the title favorite, and he’s currently the favorite for the upcoming race in North Carolina. However, just as the man said himself, “you’ve got to let these things play out.”The fact is that every driver in the playoffs has earned their place, and each is capable of winning races. Both Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are smart bets, but drivers like Jimmie Johnson and even Chase Elliott also make sense. There’s no predicting the outcome for sure, but Kyle Busch does have good momentum behind him, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him winning more races in the post season, and possibly even the final race and championship title.
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