NASCAR: 2018 Monster Energy Cup Standings

Six races for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup are in the books. Already, two of the top drivers in last seasons Chase, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., have solidified their positions as two of the top in this year’s NASCAR Cup Series.

Kyle Busch is in first place after six races while Matrin Truex Jr. is in second place. Check out more info on where those two guys stand along with info on the other Top 10 drivers as we head into April.

NASCAR: Monster Energy Cup Standings March 2018

Odds listed below are before drivers head to Texas Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, April 8. Also, there are huge discrepancies between where some drivers are in the standings and a driver’s odds.  The reason is because right now drivers are positioning for the the NASCAR Cup Chase, which happens in the final 10 races of the year.

That’s why a driver like Kurt Busch, Kyle’s brother, is at +7500 even though he’s in the Top 10. Ryan Blaney is at +2500 even though only Kyle Busch at +400 and Martin Truex Jr. at +600 are ahead of him in the standings. Most NASCAR futures bettors feel that both Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch drop out of the Top 10 as NASCAR runs more Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races.

1. Kyle Busch +400

Bush has been en fuego since the 25th place finish at the Daytona 500. Kyle, it makes sense to use Kurt’s and Kyle’s first names since both are two of the most popular drivers at NASCAR, only picked up 18 points at the Daytona 500.

After the Daytona 500, he finished 7th at Atlanta after winning the pole. Then, he finished 2nd at Las Vegas after starting 13th. Kyle followed up the Las Vegas run with a 2nd place finish at Phoenix after starting 7th. A 3rd place finish at California and then another 2nd place finish at Martinsville is what’s propelled Kyle to 1st place.

Yes, the odds are low because there’s so much racing left. It’s hard to see how Kyle doesn’t keep it going, though. He’s been one of the top drivers at NASCAR for years.

2. Martin Truex Jr. +600

Like Kyle Busch, 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner Martin Truex Jr. didn’t have a great day at Daytona to start the NASCAR Season. Truex Jr. finished 18th after starting in 24th position. He didn’t do enough for a Top 10 finish.

Just like Kyle, though, Truex Jr. managed to put it all together the following week. Although he started in 35th position, he did enough to finish 5th. Truex Jr. also won at California after leading 125 laps. Is he worth a few bucks at 6 to 1? Maybe. He did beat Kyle for the NASCAR Cup last season.

3. Ryan Blaney +2500

Ryan Blaney has 4 Top 10 finishes in the first 6 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He won the pole at Las Vegas. Then, he finished 5th. He finished 8th at California after starting 8th. He finished 3rd at Martinsville after starting 5th. Although for the most part Blaney has driven well, he did finish 12th at Atlanta and 16th at Phoenix. That might be the reason he’s offering +2500 odds to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup.

4. Joey Logano +900

Logano offers great odds based on how he’s been driving. The only non-Top 10 finish on Logano’s resume is a 19th at Phoenix on March 11. He also has two Top 5 finishes already. He finished 4th in the Daytona 500. He finished 5th at California on March 18. Joey Logano sure looks like he’s going to remain in the Top 5, at least for the time being. If he gets hot, puts together a month of Top 5 finishes, his odds are going to be Kyle Busch-like. So, if you think he’s got a real shot, the 9 to 1 odds make sense.

5. Brad Keselowski +1000

I’m actually a Brad Keselowski fan. Like so many on this list, Brad-K had a tough time at the Daytona 500. He started 31st and ended up finishing 32nd. It wasn’t a great, awe-inspiring, run by Brad Keselowski. Then, like so many others on this list, Brad-K came through with excellent performances.

He drove well enough at Atlanta for a 2nd place finish after starting 5th. He finished 6th at Las Vegas after starting 8th. He finished 4th at California after starting 11th. I see Keselowski getting better as the season wears on. I’m particularly bullish on his runs in April and May.

Right now, he’s my pick because I love the double-digit odds and I’m not sold on Denny Hamlin at 12 to 1.

6. Denny Hamlin +1200

Could Hamlin prove me wrong? He remains one of the most popular drivers at NASCAR, and he has driven well this year. Hamlin’s 3rd in the Daytona 500, and a couple of 4th place finishes, one at Atlanta and one at Phoenix, signal how well he’s driving.

But, Hamlin’s best finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has been a 2nd. He did that in 2010. That’s almost a decade ago. I don’t feel Denny’s worth backing at 12 to 1 odds.

7. Kevin Harvick +600

I’m surprised Harvick is at 6 to 1 based on what he’s done so far this NASCAR  Season. Granted, Kevin did finish 31st in the Daytona 500. He also finished 35th at California. But, he won at Atlanta, at Las Vegas, and at Phoenix. That’s 3 straight NASCAR Cup wins. Then, he followed up the 35th at California with a 5th at Martinsville. The fact that Harvick’s been a force in the Cup Chase the past few years means that there’s a good likelihood he keeps it up.

I don’t know. I believe 6 to 1 odds on KH make him an overlay if you believe he’ll be a force again once The Chase rolls around.

8. Clint Bowyer +4000

Bowyer’s 15th place finish in the Daytona 500 wasn’t terrible. He followed that up with a 3rd at Atlanta, an 18th at Las Vegas, a 6th at Phoenix, and an 11th at California. Outside of the 18th at Atlanta, Bowyer’s done well in most every Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this year.

Why? Because Clint won at Martinsville on March 25. He led 215 of the 500 laps. Definitely watch how Bowyer does in the next few weeks. But, if you like his chances to pull off the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Chase win, don’t wait too long before putting a few bucks on him. The 40 to 1 odds are fantastic.

9. Kyle Larson +600

Since the Daytona 500 where he’s started 38th, Kyle Larson has started in the Top 10 in every NASCAR Cup Series race this year. He started 8th at Atlanta. He started 5th at Las Vegas. He started 2nd at Phoenix. He started 3rd at California and 7th at Martinsville.

Larson also has Top 10 finishes at Atlanta, Las Vegas, and California. That must be why Larson is such a short price at 6 to 1. He finsihed 18th at Phoenix and 16th at Martinsville. I’m not sure he’s worth backing at 6 to 1 although I’m keeping an eye on how well he drives in April.

10. Kurt Busch +7500

Kyle’s older brother Kurt has gotten no love to win The Chase this year even though he’s currently in the Top 10. I believe one of the reasons why is because Kurt’s only won a single NASCAR Cup, in 2004. It’s difficult for most NASCAR bettors to see how Busch beats the other 9 drivers on this list, not to mention drivers that could easily leapfrog Busch and get into the Top 10.

Busch has only two Top 10 finishes this NASCAR Season. He finished 8th after starting 7th at Atlanta. He finished 10th after starting 23rd at Phoenix. There’s definitely reason to believe Kurt Busch falls out of the Top 10. But, he is in the Top 10 for now.

I’ve seen worse 75 to 1 shots, that’s for sure.

What do you think?

Written by D.S. Williamson