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NASCAR betting: GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono preview

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the “Tricky Triangle” for the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway. The unique 2.5-mile tri-oval track at Long Pond, PA is unlike any other course on the Sprint Cup calendar, presenting some betting value for racing fans.

Favorite: Jimmy Johnson (+325)

Even if you take away Johnson’s success at Pocono, it’s nearly impossible not to have him at the top of the NASCAR odds board this season. The No. 48 car is running away with the points lead and is coming off a runner-up finish at Indianapolis last weekend. Add to that, Johnson’s average finish of 9.0, two wins (one in this year’s June race) and 15 Top 10 finishes in 22 races at Long Pond, and you’re paying a premium for J.J. this Sunday.

Live dog: Jeff Gordon (+1,150)

Gordon is getting great odds at Pocono, where he sits only second to his teammate Johnson in terms of success. The No. 24 team has rolled into Victory Lane six times at the “Tricky Triangle” – including last August’s race - and boasts an average finish of 10.2. Gordon is picking up momentum in recent races, finishing inside the Top 10 in four of his last five starts and cracked the Top 10 in the points thanks to a seventh-place showing at the Brickyard last weekend.

Long shot: Ryan Newman (+1,950)

“The Rocket Man” posted a statement win at Indianapolis, just two weeks removed from losing his ride for the 2014 season. Newman caught the attention of many teams but may need to continue his winning ways to land a new team. He’s come to the right place. Pocono has been kind to Newman, who owns an average finish of 12.4 and a victory there in 2003. Stewart-Haas racing did plenty of testing at the tri-oval, which runs very similar to Indianapolis, and the motivation of finding a new job and a wild card spot in the Chase is reason enough to like Newman at these odds.

Key stat: Jimmie Johnson won the Party in the Poconos 400 back in June. Only six drivers have swept both races at Pocono and Johnson is one of them, winning both events at Long Pond in 2004.

Notable quotable:

"Pocono is fun, you just get up on the wheel there because all three corners are different and they change throughout the race. I’ve had success at Pocono in the past and I think we did really well there the last time (early June). Qualifying got rained out and we started 20th and then raced straight up to seventh immediately. Then we hit a brick wall and were stuck in seventh all race long and even finished in seventh.” – Kyle Busch told MotorSport.com.

Odds to win the GoBowling.com 400 (Courtesy of 5Dimes.eu)

Jimmie Johnson 13-4
Denny Hamlin 13-2
Tony Stewart 15-2
Kasey Kahne 17-2
Jeff Gordon 23-2
Kyle Busch 23-2
Matt Kenseth 23-2
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 33-2
Kurt Busch 33-2
Brad Keselowski 18-1
Ryan Newman 39-2
Kevin Harvick 39-2
Carl Edwards 20-1
Greg Biffle 23-1
Joey Logano 23-1
Clint Bowyer 55-2
Juan Montoya 33-1
Martin Truex Jr. 33-1
Jamie McMurray 44-1

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