May 1, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT
With 36 races on the schedule, let’s face it: odds on who is going to win a particular race are pretty much the same from race to race.
(And it’s usually Jimmie Johnson – or it just seems that way.)
But every so often, the oddsmakers and their predictions catch our eye for big races like the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and the spring race at Talladega.
Well, it’s spring and this weekend is the Aaron’s 499 at NASCAR’s largest high-speed oval (2.66 miles), and one of the biggest oddsmakers – Linemakers.com – is picking Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the 10-1 favorite in Sunday’s race.
No surprise, Junior won NASCAR’s last restrictor plate race, the season-opening Daytona 500.
But what is surprising is that Junior is the odds-on pick to win even though he hasn’t reached victory lane at ‘Dega in nearly 10 years!
(It sure doesn’t seem that long – unless you’re a long-suffering Junior fan, and then it probably seems like 10 decades, not years.)
Despite his nearly decade-long winless streak at ‘Dega, Earnhardt has a career-best five wins in 28 starts at Talladega (coming in his first 10 starts there), along with four runner-up finishes, including last fall’s race there.
Linemakers.com isn’t the only big oddsmaker picking Earnhardt to win. So, too, are three of the other biggest: TheSpread.com, Bovada.lv and the Glantz-Culver Line, all who also have Junior at 10-1 odds.
Before we get to some of the key picks for Sunday’s race, let’s not forget that Talladega can produce some real longshots taking the checkered flag, like David Ragan in last spring’s race there (he was a 75-to-1 shot), and Jamie McMurray at 20-1 in last fall’s Chase race there.
Here’s Linemakers.com’s driver odds for winning Sunday’s Aaron’s 499:
10-1: Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10-1
25-1: Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray
30-1: Brian Vickers
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