With the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season right around the corner there is no doubt that sports betting players have already had a look at who they think will win it all this coming year and placed their futures bets. Jimmie Johnson is once again expected to be the overwhelming draw in terms of the driver players are most willing to wager their money on to win this coming year, and he is undoubtedly the top pick in any NASCAR fantasy draft. As for who should be taken next, Brad Keselowski could be an obvious two as the defending champion, while Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, and Clint Bowyer could all be in the mix. The problem is that beyond Johnson, there really is no clear-cut choice for No. 2, which leaves us somewhat puzzled when it comes to finding the driver most likely to take down Johnson this year.
Keselowski stole the title late last online betting season, and Stewart won the year before, but the online betting odds that one of those two drivers will beat out Johnson for the title once again aren’t very high. After all, Johnson’s biggest problems were self-created as the No. 48 team dealt with several car problems throughout the year, including major issues down the stretch in the Chase that prevented Johnson from winning it all once again. Rick Hendrick gave Johnson’s team his full support as they look to climb back to the top of the NASCAR pyramid following a two-year hiatus, and perhaps even if it’s not the No. 48 car another Hendrick Motor Sports driver will come through.
There is a very good chance that Kasey Kahne will be in the mix for a title after making the Chase in his first year with the HMS team a year ago, an effort he will look to build on this coming 5Dimes season. Kahne finished fourth in 2012 with an average finish of 10.1 despite struggling out of the gate, and there is no doubt that he is considered the No. 2 guy at HMS behind Johnson. Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. snapped a winless drought last season and qualified for the Chase, but he hasn’t shown any consistency since 2004 and could be in tough just to make the Chase. Jeff Gordon will be among the veteran drivers that appreciate the transition to the new cars after struggling the past couple of seasons, and he could surprise if he can start fast and build some confidence early on.
There is no doubt that Bowyer, Hamlin, and even Kyle Busch can do damage in a sportsbook sleeper role if they can build on their performances from a year ago, but consistency will be the key. Johnson will be as motivated as ever to get back on top after the way he ended last year, and it’s still very difficult to pick a No. 2 behind him when you consider who should be the next pick in any NASCAR fantasy draft. For all of the latest NASCAR news and betting odds, be sure to check out the best online betting sites.