Don't bet on it? Vegas has spoken, and JJ will be your champion
Jimmie Johnson is the Sprint Cup champion. OK, it hasn't actually happened yet, but Las Vegas oddsmakers are so confident, they've taken the championship proposition off the board, writes David Newton.
LAS VEGAS -- Casinos along the Las Vegas strip are full of people putting hard-earned dollars on the NFL, the NBA and college football. You can bet on what the halftime score will be in Sunday's NFL game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. Or how many first downs No. 1 Alabama will have against No. 16 LSU in Saturday's Southeastern Conference showdown.NASCAR?As far as Vegas is concerned, go ahead and crown Jimmie Johnson for the third straight year. Oddsmakers have taken the championship chase off the board, saying the odds of anyone other than the driver of the No. 48 winning are too astronomical. They did this even though Carl Edwards trimmed Johnson's lead from 183 to 106 with his victory Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway to remain mathematically within striking distance with two races remaining.But the only math that matters here is statistics, and they show this race is over."There's not that much interest when somebody checks out like that," says Fred Crespi, who sets the odds for The Palm. "There's more interest for the first 26 races than the last 10."In other words, Johnson has taken the fun out of gambling on NASCAR. "For the Sprint Cup, he has," says Jay Rood, who sets the odds for properties of The Mirage. "We're not offering anything on the championship. I would rather have it [off the board] than have it up there where you have to lay 10 dollars down to make a dollar on Johnson and you're giving crazy odds on drivers that have no shot at winning it."You're not giving the public a fair shake by doing that."This isn't right. Just like gamblers treat the Super Bowl, the Final Four or any other sports finale like it is Christmas, this should be a time those who like to toss money around on NASCAR relish.Perhaps that was what Dale Earnhardt Jr. was alluding to this past weekend when he talked about how much better the NFL is at creating drama."I hate to keep using them as examples, but they do the best job," NASCAR's most popular driver says. "They give you just enough to keep wanting more. The season ends before you want it to. You get just enough to keep you excited, then it's all over."
What Were The Odds?
These are the odds the MGM Mirage posted for the 2008 Sprint Cup championship when they opened betting (Dec. 4, 2007) and and again before the Chase began (Sept. 14, 2008). All bets on the championship are now off the board.
|Driver||Opening odds||Chase odds|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||7/1||5/1|
|Martin Truex Jr.||20/1||Off|
|Juan Pablo Montoya||28/1||Off|
|Field (All others)||30/1||Off|
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