Kyle Busch Not Relying on Cushion

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 12: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, speaks with members of the media during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Media Day at the South Point Hotel & Casino on September 12, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS – Kyle Busch looked simultaneously relaxed in his hometown of Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon and ready to get after it. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs begin with Sunday’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and as the regular-season champion, Busch starts the 10-race championship push as the top-seed among the 16 Playoff drivers. On-track action begins Friday with opening Cup practice.

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Which Cup Driver will Step Up to Second Title?

With seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson not a part of this season’s Playoff picture, there is a good chance that NASCAR could crown its first multi-time champion since Johnson earned his seventh title in 2016. He is the only active driver with more than one championship.

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NASCAR Cup Series Championship Favorite?

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LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 12: A general view of the start/finish line of Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the upcoming South Point 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Playoff race on September 12, 2019, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sportsbooks in Las Vegas have decided one of the city’s native – Kyle Busch – is the odds on favorite to win both this weekend’s South Point 400 as well as the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup championship.

Busch, the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, is the regular-season champ and a four-race winner in 2019. The casino’s sportsbook puts him as a 9-2 favorite to win Sunday’s Playoff opener and a 7-2 favorite to win the Cup championship. Defending race winner Brad Keselowski has the next most favorable odds to win again at Vegas.

Reigning series champion, Team Penske’s Joey Logano has the second-best odds 5-1 to repeat as champion, followed by Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Martin Truex Jr.