FireKeepers Casino 400 Odds & Picks For NASCAR At Michigan
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The last time NASCAR’s top series visited Michigan International Speedway, Kevin Harvick owned the place so completely he might as well have held the deed. The Stewart-Haas driver swept two events in as many days on a doubleheader weekend, leading 182 combined laps and looking every bit the best driver on the circuit.
A year later, things have certainly changed. The same driver who won a series-best nine times last season remains winless in 2021, and truthfully he hasn’t looked much like a race contender all summer. But Harvick has five career victories at Michigan, including the past three straight and four of the last five there, making it natural for NASCAR betting fans to wonder if this is finally the time where the former champion breaks through.
But it’s tough to be bullish on Harvick given his recent results. Indeed, he keeps pumping out top-10s on oval courses, but since Darlington in May he has led just 66 laps – all of those July 18 at New Hampshire. You have to go back to Kansas in May to find the last time he was a serious threat at the end of a race.
Could Harvick recapture his Michigan magic? Certainly. But maybe it's better to take him top-3 at +200 at most sportsbooks and betting sites, given that he has finished in that range at the 2-mile oval 10 times in 16 races since 2013.
FireKeepers Casino 400 Odds
|Driver||Win||Top 3||Top 10|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+700||+180||-500|
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FireKeepers Casino 400 Expert Pick
Kyle Busch to Win
Odds: +700 at BetMGM
Two-mile Michigan is a horsepower track, and who’s been best in the most recent events that have demanded performance under the hood? That would be Busch, who finished second and first in the two races on the Pocono doubleheader weekend, and then ran second in an Atlanta start he might have won had he not been blocked late.
Harvick and Larson have combined to win seven of the last nine at Michigan, though Larson’s most recent triumph there came in 2017. The Hendrick Motorsports pace-setter has been very good at high-HP tracks this season as well, with wins at Las Vegas and Charlotte, and would be the natural bet if only his NASCAR odds offered a tad more value.
Bettors can instead find that with Busch, who hasn’t won at Michigan since 2011, but has an average finish of 4.5 there over his last six starts.
FireKeepers Casino 400 Betting Tips
Just seven active drivers have race wins at Michigan, indicative of how the track weeds out those who simply can’t keep pace. Of those who haven’t visited Victory Lane in Brooklyn, the best option is easily Chase Elliott, who has finished second three times, placed worse than ninth just once in 10 career starts and owns the best average finish (7.7) of any active driver at Michigan.
Brad Keselowski has been close there a number of times, but the Michigan native seems something of a stretch as a bet this week given he has just two single-digit finishes in his last 13 starts this season.
Joey Logano owns three Michigan wins, but like his Penske teammate Keselowski he has just been too erratic lately to have much confidence in. Denny Hamlin, who was in position to end his season-long winless streak before he was wrecked heading to the checkers last weekend at Indianapolis, has run second at Michigan twice in the last three races.
Martin Truex Jr. hasn’t won at Michigan, but he has been very good there (four straight in the top four) even if his recent results this season might give a bettor some pause. And barring some crazy, fuel-mileage finish, this isn’t really a track known for surprises. The most recent unlikely winner was Brian Vickers in 2009, though he did win from the pole.
In a season with so many long-odds winners, this is a week to stick to the favorites. Our three best bets on betting apps this weekend: Busch to win at +700, Elliot top-3 at +180, and Harvick top Ford driver at +185.
FireKeepers Casino 400 Date, Time and TV
When: Sunday, 3 p.m.
Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.
TV: NBC Sports Network