The NASCAR Cup Series kicks off the final month of the regular season with a stop at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway in this afternoon's FireKeepers Casino 400. For some drivers on the playoff bubble, this could be their last chance to win their way in on a "normal" track as back-to-back road courses follow this race before the madness that is Daytona concludes the 26-race regular-season stretch.
Martin Truex Jr. remains favored in the NASCAR Cup Series odds, but he's slightly behind betting favorite Christopher Bell (+700) on the board at Michigan. It could be a hotly-contested race, though, as seven drivers have odds at 10/1 or shorter.
Keep reading for our NASCAR betting picks for this major event at Michigan.
Odds to win 2023 FireKeepers Casino 400
|Martin Truex Jr.||+750|
Odds as of August 6, 2023.
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FireKeepers Casino 400 field
After winning at Pocono in controversial fashion two weeks ago and nearly winning again at Richmond, Denny Hamlin is among the early favorites at Michigan. Hot on his heels is Kyle Larson, who was a solid fifth last week after getting shuffled back to 20th two races ago.
Kyle Busch, who bounced back with a third-place effort at Richmond after finishing outside the Top 20 in two straight races, holds third-choice status, just ahead of a trio of drivers at +800. Martin Truex Jr. is one of those drivers, and the points leader picked up yet another Top 10 last Sunday, his 12th of the campaign.
William Byron and Kevin Harvick are the other two participants at +800.
Byron has been no better than 14th since winning at Atlanta on July 9, but no one has led more laps than the No. 24 Chevrolet driver this year (811). Harvick is still in search of his first win in his swan-song season, but he's been knocking on the door with three straight Top 10s heading into the FireKeepers Casino 400.
FireKeepers Casino 400 picks and predictions
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FireKeepers Casino 400 favorites
Denny Hamlin (+700)
Hamlin has six Top-8 finishes in his last seven Michigan tries, with two of the last five being runner-up finishes. He was third a year ago after being second and first in the two stages, and sixth this past year in Fontana (another two-mile oval). Hamlin also led 38 laps here last season. The JGR driver has finished in the Top 7 in each of the last three weeks, including a win two weeks ago in Pocono and runner-up last Sunday in Richmond.
Kyle Larson (+700)
We know what he can do at Michigan’s sister track in Fontana, but he’s also had three wins at Michigan, and was third and seventh the last two years at that. He won the race at Fontana last year as well.
Kyle Busch (+750)
He may be 1-for-34 at Michigan, but prior to last year’s early race crash, he also had nine consecutive Top-10 finishes there too. Busch won this past February in Fontana, and is coming off of a third place result last Sunday.
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Kevin Harvick (+900)
The defending race winner has five wins in his last seven Michigan tries, including six Top 2s in his last eight starts on the two-mile oval. He had a Top-5 finish in Fontana this season as well. Harvick enters having scored three consecutive Top-10 finishes on the season as well.
Bubba Wallace (+1,400)
He was runner-up a year ago after leading 22 laps. He just led 80 more laps this past Sunday in Richmond, and now has three straight Top-12 finishes on the season.
Joey Logano (+1,500)
He has six Top-10 finishes in his last eight Michigan tries, including a win in 2019, a fifth in 2020, and a fourth last year. Logano has two Top-4 finishes in the last three weeks too.
Erik Jones (+10,000)
Jones was eighth last year and is worth looking at here. He also has four Top-11 finishes in the last six weeks.
FireKeepers Casino 400 fades
William Byron (+800)
He was runner-up in 2021 but 12th last year and 25th this year at Fontana. He has only one Top-5 finish in eight Michigan starts, and just one Top-5 result in the last eight races on the season.
Christopher Bell (+1,000)
Not a good start at Michigan for Bell. He’s been 13th, 17th, 13th, and 26th, respectively. He finished 32nd this February in Fontana. He’s also not had a Top-5 finish since his Bristol win on Easter Night (14 races ago). His last six finishes on the season are 18th, 23rd, 29th, eighth, and 20th.
Chase Elliott (+1,500)
Elliott is a great fantasy play with 10 Top-10 finishes in 12 Michigan starts, but after three straight runner-ups to start his Cup career at Michigan, he’s not had a Top-5 since. He was 11th last year but also runner-up in Fontana this year, which leads me to believe he can achieve a win on Sunday for these odds. However, he’s only finished 13th, 12th, 10th, and 13th over the last four weeks.
FireKeepers Casino 400 prop pick: Martin Truex Jr. vs. William Byron
William Byron has struggled at Michigan (one Top-5 finish in last eight starts) as well as on the season (one Top-5 finish in last eight races). Meanwhile, Martin Truex Jr. may be 0-for-32 here but does have seven Top-6 finishes in his last 10 Michigan tries. He also enters having scored five Top-7 finishes in the last seven weeks.
I’m not saying he’ll win this race outright, but Truex can absolutely beat Byron to the finish line.
Pick: Truex Jr. (-105 at DraftKings)
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Michigan track analysis
Not much has changed at Michigan between last year and this year, and that’s including the car and racing package that they’ll show up with.
That’s why my eyes are peeled to Ford this weekend. This could be their race to lose.
Toyota hasn’t won at Michigan since 2015, as that’s their lone MIS win in their last 20 tries. Chevrolet has been in a similar boat. That’s all because Ford (+255) has dominated on this track in their own backyard. The blue ovals are a perfect 8-0 at this track since 2018, with four different drivers reaching victory lane in those eight races.
Can they pick up another victory on Sunday?
The thing is, they’ve also won just three times all season, and one of those was a superspeedway. Those are the tracks that they do their best. While Michigan is a high-speed track, it’s also not a drafting package either. That could, in theory, open the door for someone else.
However, Hendrick Motorsports hasn’t won a race at Michigan since 2014 either, so maybe it’s not as open as we’d like to think that it is.
Ford is a great play if you want to broaden your horizon and take the entire camp for a win instead of just one driver.
FireKeepers Casino 400 trends
- Five of the last seven Michigan winners have come from the Top 3 starting spots. Furthermore, 11 of the last 13 have come from the Top 12.
- Since the stage era began in 2017, nine of the 10 Michigan races were won by a driver getting stage points in the first stage. Half of the opening stages saw the eventual race winner come home in the Top 3.