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NASCAR at Michigan Odds, Expert Picks & Best Bets For Firekeepers Casino 400

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 18 mins

NASCAR at Michigan Odds, Expert Picks & Best Bets For Firekeepers Casino 400

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Last weekend delivered the biggest upset of the NASCAR season so far, as +6000-to-win Chris Buescher led 53 of the final 54 laps to win at Richmond. Buescher was a far bigger longshot than even Chicago winner Shane van Gisbergen, the New Zealand road racing ace who closed at +600 after leading practice and qualifying third.

We’ve seen lots of recent potential from the other Roush-Fenway-Keseloswki Racing driver, Brad Keselowski, only adding to the surprise that it was his teammate Buescher who broke into Victory Lane first. 

Keselowski has been top-10 in half of his last 12 starts, while prior to Richmond, Buescher hadn’t scored a top-10 on an oval track since the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend. Buescher may have the victory, but we still believe that Keselowski is the better NASCAR pick out of the RFK camp long-term.

So with Buescher now locked into the postseason, the focus turns from .75-mile Richmond to big, fast, 2-mile Michigan International Speedway, where Kyle Larson opened as the +600 betting apps favorite. 

Just six active drivers have won at Michigan, led by Kevin Harvick, who’s claimed a ridiculous five of his last seven starts there, and six times overall. But as was the case with another good Harvick track last week at Richmond, we’re not sure his No. 4 car has quite enough to win at this point in his swan song season.

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Harvick leads all active drivers with six career victories at Michigan, among them last season when he led the final 38 laps and won by nearly 3 seconds. In the victory column, he’s followed by Larson and Joey Logano with three apiece, Denny Hamlin with two, and Ryan Blaney with one. 

Chase Elliott owns the best average finish among active drivers at Michigan, with an 8.0 built-on top-10s in 10 of his 12 career starts at the track.

But Elliott, who still needs a victory to avoid missing the postseason (that snowboarding accident, remember?) has been idling over the past month with four consecutive finishes in double-digits. Running best among the NASCAR odds favorites right now is Hamlin, who followed up his victory at Pocono with a runner-up result at Richmond. 

Odds favorite Larson has finished deep in the pack in three straight events, although a run-in with Hamlin at Pocono certainly contributed to one of those results. And then there’s our man Martin Truex Jr., the current championship favorite at +400, who just keeps cooking with top-10s in three straight and nine of his last 12.

While Blaney won at Michigan in 2021 and has been top-10 in six of his past eight there, the Penske Racing driver has fallen into a late-summer slide with just one top-10 in his past seven starts overall. 

Potential long-shot selections include +1600-to-win Bubba Wallace, who won the pole and finished second at Michigan last season; Austin Dillon, with five Michigan top-10s including a best career finish of fourth; and Erik Jones, who was eighth last year in a Richard Petty car.

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Denny Hamlin to Win

Odds: +700 at Bet365

Yeah, he may have used the fender (or the air around it) to nudge Larson out of the way at Pocono. But Hamlin is at his best when he’s loaded with swagger and moxie, and we’re seeing that right now in his 1-2 finishes over the past couple of weeks. 

As is always the case with Hamlin, the key is consistency; the good runs have always been there, just not strung together. In this post-Chicago stretch of ovals, that’s finally beginning to change.

Martin Truex Jr. Top 5

Odds: +140 at Bet365

Richmond was a rare non-payout weekend for Truex, who slid to seventh after leading 18 laps late in the race. But the confidence remains in a driver who’s been on a rail since May on nearly every track not named Chicago. 

Truex may not have a victory at Michigan, but he’s been top-10 there in six straight and has cracked the top five seven times since 2015. The guy is solid everywhere right now, and we’re riding this Truex wave for as long as it lasts.

Kevin Harvick Top 10

Odds: -250 at Bet365

Is Harvick capable of winning a race before he trades his helmet for a TV headset at the end of this season? We’re honestly not sure. But the No. 4 team has righted the ship a bit after an awful early summer, notching three straight top-10s including a 10th at Richmond. 

Harvick’s awesome Michigan record speaks for itself, and we’ll try to take advantage of his current form before we get to a pair of road courses and the no-holds-barred regular-season finale at Daytona.

FireKeepers Casino 400 Date, Time and TV

When: Sunday, 2:30 p.m. EDT

Where: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.


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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.