Bets during Baseball Season 

Kevin Harvick takes second straight win at Richmond and shakes up standings

Kevin Harvick spent the large majority of this season without a win, up until last weekend, nabbing his first of the year at Michigan and grabbing one of the final 2 remaining playoff spots at the time. Now, he has even furthered his chances at a deep playoff run with a second win back to back at Richmond Raceway this weekend.

This heavily impacted the playoff standings, as well as the odds for the championship this year. In this article, I will be covering how Kevin Harvick won this race, and then how it impacts the remaining drivers’ odds for the last playoff spot and the championship.

Breakdown of Kevin Harvick’s win at Richmond

The betting odds entering this race weekend had Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin tied for best odds to win the race early in the week at +600. However, Truex was involved in a small collision on lap 159 where Ricky Stenhouse Jr. missed the pit entry, tried to pull back up onto the track, and clipped the left rear of Truex which took time off his lap and likely aero.

Truex also got caught in the wreck on lap 241 partially, with drivers scrambling to avoid a spinning Kyle Busch, Truex got caught at the top of the track and got clipped a bit then as well. Denny Hamlin on the other hand ran top 5 most of the race but never seemed to have a shot to take the win later on.

Kevin Harvick would go on to take the lead from Joey Logano, who was easily the car to beat on the day and then went on to hold off a late surge from Christopher Bell who closed a 1.6-second gap down to 0.5 seconds in the last 3 laps. Kevin Harvick sat around 5th most of the first ¾ of the race biding his time, and then was able to strike against Logano and set the pace for the remaining ¼.

Kevin Harvick has pulled off two betting odds upsets in the last two weeks as well, entering Michigan at +2000, and Richmond at +1500, the 10th and 9th best odds respectively. This was extremely impressive, as Martin Truex Jr. is extremely dominant at these short track races, especially Richmond where he has won 3 times to date.

How does this win affect the standings?

This win by Harvick heavily impacted how the standings shape up compared to the end of last week. This second win jumped Harvick up from 10th in the playoff standings to 5th and shows that he is ready to compete with the other 2+ win drivers, which there are only 6 of other than himself.

This is extremely important for Kevin Harvick in the long run as well. This allows him to have an extra playoff point boost entering the playoffs in two weeks, so he is not stuck behind trying to catch up, but rather in the mix of points.

Of the 2 win drivers on the season, Kevin Harvick places 3rd in total points right now, behind Ross Chastain and Joey Logano. However, he sits within striking distance of William Byron who is only 16 points behind at the moment and could take the #5 playoff spot entering the playoffs with some good performances.

Considering how strong Byron has been at Daytona the last year or two, I would expect him to catch Kevin Harvick potentially before the playoffs begin.

In terms of the last remaining 0-win playoff spot, Ryan Blaney currently holds that, with a total of 766 points to Truex’s 740. This will be the matchup to watch for the next 2 weeks, as it will be an all-out war for sure.

How does the win affect the betting odds for the championship?

This win by Harvick moved him up the NASCAR Championship betting odds as well. He was initially tied for the 10th best odds after last weekend with MTJ and Joey Logano. Now, he sits 7th in the odds at 12-1.

In terms of Truex, he dropped from T-10 to 12th in the odds after this, which reflects his loss and the fact that this was likely his best chance at a win if history has any relevancy.

In terms of the opening odds for Watkins Glen, Ryan Blaney has the best odds of these 3 drivers to win at 7th (12-1), with Truex at 11th (20-1), and Harvick at 16th (28-1). Obviously,
Harvick does not necessarily need to win, but if he can that would put him even closer to current Championship leader Chase Elliott.

Elliott opens with the #1 odds to win at the Glen with 5-1, and Tyler Reddick a close 2nd at 6-1. We will see if Truex or Blaney can pull off a win and lock their playoff spot in, or if not if either can pull away with a gap in the next 2 weeks.

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