After Tyler Reddick stood atop the podium last weekend, NASCAR heads to Michigan this weekend for the FireKeeps Casino 400, at Michigan International Speedway.
Despite Reddick winning last week, Chase Elliott is the FireKeepers Casino 400 odds favorite, followed closely by Kyle Busch.
Here are our best FireKeepers Casino 400 picks and predictions for Sunday afternoon in Michigan.
FireKeepers Casino 400 best bets
Picks made on 8/2/22 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick above to jump to the full analysis.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
FireKeepers Casino 400 favorites
Chase Elliott (+600)
He’s a great fantasy play, with ten Top 10s in 11 Michigan starts, but after three straight runners-up to start his Cup career at Michigan, he’s not had a Top 5 since. With how well he’s fared over the last six races (five Top 2s) and favorable odds, I’d snag him.
Kyle Larson (+700)
We know what he can do at Michigan’s sister track in Fontana (he won back in February), but he’s also had three wins at Michigan too and a third last year.
Denny Hamlin (+750)
Hamlin has five Top 8 finishes in his last six Michigan tries, including two of the last four being runners-up, at that.
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FireKeepers Casino 400 longshot picks
Martin Truex Jr. (+1,500)
He has four Top 5 finishes in his last five tries, and six Top 6 finishes in his last nine Michigan starts at that. These are great odds for a driver like that.
Ford has seven straight Michigan wins. Ryan Blaney (+1,200) is great odds for a driver with five Top 10 finishes in his last seven Michigan tries, including a win a year ago. In fact, he had a shot to win Race 2 of 2020 before a late race crash.
His teammate Austin Cindric (+5,000) comes in as my top sleeper with these odds. He is coming off a runner-up finish at Indy last Sunday for his fifth Top 7 result in the last seven races run.
Joey Logano (+2,000) is quiet on the season (four finishes of 20th or worse in his last five starts) but he also has five Top 10s in his last seven Michigan tries, including a win in 2019 and fifth in 2020. For +2,000, it’s worth sprinkling a little money his way.
Kevin Harvick (+2,500)
He swept Michigan in 2020 and won the August race the year prior. Harvick has four wins in his last six Michigan tries, including five Top 2s in his last seven in the Irish Hills overall.
Chase Briscoe (+5,000)
He was 11th last year as a rookie and driving a Ford.
FireKeepers Casino 400 fades
Kyle Busch (+650)
Nine straight Top 10 finishes at Michigan, including all but one in the Top 7 at that. However, this contract discussion has provided an unwanted distraction that he’s admitted is costing him sleep and focus. For these types of odds, and seven straight races without a Top 10, I’d fade him.
Tyler Reddick (+1,200)
He’s coming off of a win and having three Top 2 finishes in five starts during the month of July, but 18th, 24th, and 29th are his Michigan finishes in Cup.
William Byron (+1,200)
He was runner-up last year but has had no Top 10 finishes in his last six starts on the season and only one in the Top 13. His last Top 5 came in his Martinsville win way back in mid-April.
Christopher Bell (+1,500)
Not a good start at Michigan for him. He was 13th, 17th, and 13th respectively.
Alex Bowman (+2,500)
No Top 5s with HMS at Michigan, including his last three finishes being 21st, 36th, and 16th, respectively. He’s not had a Top 10 in any of his last eight races on the season, with four of his last six being 32nd or worse.
FireKeepers Casino 400 matchup pick
Kyle Busch (-120) vs Denny Hamlin (+100)
Busch is strong at Michigan. I get that. So is Hamlin, and you’re giving me plus money on a guy with five Top 8 finishes in his last six Michigan tries vs. a guy going through a tense contract fight that hasn’t had a Top 10 in his last seven starts on the season?
PICK: Denny Hamlin (+100)
FireKeepers Casino 400 preview
The Fords have won each of the last seven Cup races at Michigan but you’re getting great odds for them this week. Why?
Well, they’re struggling on the year now. A Ford driver hasn’t won since the first week of June, as that and a win on Mother’s Day are their only victories in the last 18 races.
Joey Logano wouldn’t normally be a wise play for him backing his way into the weekend, but he’s been strong at Michigan, as has Ford, and you get him at an opening of +2,000. He and Team Penske are phenomenal sleeper plays this week with Austin Cindric and Ryan Blaney all having some head-scratching odds. However, Vegas feels like maybe the Ford reign ends though too. Who can blame them?
RFK Racing hasn’t won a race since 2017 and that was on a superspeedway at that. Stewart-Haas Racing has two wins in the last 65 starts overall.
Does that open the door for the Chevy or Toyota camps, if Penske doesn’t win? It’s a risky proposition, as Hendrick Motorsports hasn’t won a race at Michigan since 2014. Toyota hasn’t won at Michigan since 2015, as that’s their lone MIS win in their last 19 tries.
HMS has shown speed this year and Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott look primed for victory here. They may be the only Chevy drivers though. This race may be stolen from the outside manufacturer in Toyota.
This is Ford and Chevy’s backyard, but Toyota has the better drivers at Michigan now. Can they capitalize?
FireKeepers Casino 400 key stat
Five of the last six Michigan winners have come from the Top 3 starting spots. Furthermore, 11 of the last 12 have come from the Top 12. Each of the last 12 winners on the season has come from a Top 8 starting spot, including 10 from the Top 5 (six straight).
Live in-race betting trends to watch
- Since the stage era began in 2017, eight of the nine Michigan races were won by a driver getting stage points in the first stage. Five of the nine opening stages saw the eventual race winner come home in the Top 3. In three of the last four races, the eventual winner finished in the Top 6 of the opening stage.
- In 16 of the last 19 races on the season, the eventual race winner scored stage points in the second stage, including six of the last seven. However, the Stage 2 winner has just two wins all season.
- Six of the last eight race winners on the season didn’t lead a single lap in the first two stages.
- Two of the last eight races have seen the driver leads the most laps failed to win in the end.