Odds say Kyle Busch the driver to beat

September, 12, 2011
09/12/11
4:28
PM ET

The odds are in and the favorite to win the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship is ...

Kyle Busch.

Hot off the press from sports publicist Jimmy Shapiro are the odds for the 10-race Chase that begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway. Busch, who begins this quest tied for the points lead with Kevin Harvick based on four regular-season wins each, is a 3-to-1 favorite.

Following closely is Jimmie Johnson at 7-2, which puts him five spots ahead of the driver (Kurt Busch) who thinks he is in the five-time defending champion's head.

But that's another story.

The rest of the 12-driver odds: Jeff Gordon, 5-1; Carl Edwards, 13-2; Harvick, 13-2; Matt Kenseth, 10-1; Kurt Busch, 11-1; Brad Keselowski, 12-1; Denny Hamlin, 16-1; Tony Stewart, 16-1; Dale Earnhardt Jr., 20-1; Ryan Newman, 25-1.

There were no odds given on how many bad questions Stewart would field from the media or how many transcripts Kurt Busch would tear up. There also were no odds on whether Earnhardt would win the most popular driver award again, but I can tell you that's where my money would be if I were a betting man.

I agree with the odds for the most part, although it seems Keselowski should be much higher with the momentum he has.

As for my overall pick, for consistency I'll stick with the driver I chose before the season: Kyle Busch. But I like the way Gordon is running and it wouldn't surprise me if he won his fifth title.

Let me know who you'd pick to win it.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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