As Homestead draws nearer and the storylines pile higher, momentum seesaws back and forth between Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and — oh, lest we forget — Kevin Harvick faster than lead changes at Talladega. At the moment, you'd pick Johnson and even Harvick over Hamlin, who happens to be the points leader.
And if you did, you'd be missing out on the guy who's the odds-on favorite. Oddsmakers have installed Hamlin as a 5/12 favorite to win the Cup, which means you'd have to invest $12 just to win back $5 -- in other words, Hamlin is a solid favorite to win. Not far behind him is Johnson, who's a 3/2 favorite to win the Cup. Harvick is a relative longshot at 7/1.
Hamlin is also the favorite to win the race itself, at 3/1 odds. Johnson is 5/1 and Harvick is again at 7/1. Who's the top non-contender? Both Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle are 8/1 favorites, and Mark Martin is the top non-Chaser at 18/1.
What does this tell us? Eh, nothing that we didn't already know. Perhaps there's an overvaluing of Hamlin or an undervaluing of Johnson; perhaps there's not. Harvick, for the record, seems pegged exactly where he ought to be.
Will this race hurry up and get here already?