Johnson sits as Charlotte race favorite

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Jimmie Johnson is listed as the favorite on a pair of NASCAR odds boards heading into this Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series event, the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (7:30pm ET, ABC).

Johnson picked up the checkered flag at Kansas Speedway over the weekend, which vaulted him into third place in the Sprint Cup Series driver standings. That was enough to put the defending champion on top of the Oddsmaker Sprint Cup Championship betting board at +150 to win yet another title at the end of this season.

Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick are separated by a single point atop the Cup series standings heading into Charlotte this weekend, with Johnson just four points back in third place, Brad Keselowski 11 points back in fourth place, and Matt Kenseth 12 points back in fifth place. On the odds board Harvick sits at +300 to win the title, with Edwards at +350, Keselowski at +400, and Kenseth at +1200.

Kyle Busch (+600), Tony Stewart (+1000), Kurt Busch (+1200), Jeff Gordon (+3000), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (+7500), Ryan Newman (+10000), and Denny Hamlin (+30000) round out the NASCAR series title board at Oddsmaker. Here’s where they sit in the standings after the fourth race of the 2011 Chase . . .

01 Carl Edwards 2161
02 Kevin Harvick 2160 (-1)
03 Jimmie Johnson 2157 (-4)
04 Brad Keselowski 2150 (-11)
05 Matt Kenseth 2149 (-12)
06 Kurt Busch 2145 (-16)
07 Tony Stewart 2142 (-19)
08 Kyle Busch 2141 (-20)
09 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2118 (-43)
10 Jeff Gordon 2114 (-47)
11 Ryan Newman 2107 (-54)
12 Denny Hamlin 2082 (-79)

Johnson also sits as the +450 favorite at Oddsmaker to win the Bank of America 500 on Saturday night; he most recently picked up a win at Charlotte in this event back in 2009, and he also visited Victory Lane at the track five times from 2003 through 2005.

Edwards and Kyle Busch, who have never picked up Cup wins at Charlotte, are next at +700 to win on Saturday, with Gordon at +800, Stewart at +1000, and each of Kurt Busch, Kenseth, and Harvick at +1200. Harvick has had the most recent success at the track, winning the Coca-Cola 600 in May. Kurt Busch won the Coca-Cola 600 in 2010, while Jamie McMurray (+6000) is the defending Bank of America 500 champ.

Keselowski (+1500), Greg Biffle (+1800), Hamlin (+1800), and Kasey Kahne (+2000) round out the top tier of contenders for Saturday’s race; Kahne has taken the checkered flag at Cup events at Charlotte three times since 2006. Check out Oddsmaker’s NASCAR betting board for complete race odds for this week’s event.

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