FireKeepers Casino 400 Betting Preview
Last week, I was able to cash Brad Keselowski at 12 to 1 odds following a dominating performance at New Hampshire in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. I made specific note that oddsmakers were disrespecting Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr, and both drivers finished in the top 3 positions. This week, NASCAR bettors will get an action-packed weekend with four races over a three day period, including back to back Cup Series events. The opening act will take place on Saturday when the Cup Series waves the green flag for the FireKeepers Casino 312 at Michigan International Speedway. As a result, let’s initiate the discussion towards the drivers bettors should have on their radar for back to back races at Michigan!
Despite the decrease in overall horsepower, Michigan International Speedway remains one of the fastest tracks on the Cup Series schedule. Located in the Irish Hills, Michigan International Speedway is a 2.0 mile oval with 18-degree banking in both turns. From a racing standpoint, Michigan International Speedway yields an abundance of raw speed due to the size and layout. Unlike last week’s event at New Hampshire, where our handicapping angles were focused on driver history, this week’s handicapping will be focused on the teams/drivers that have shown the most speed at the bigger tracks via performance trends. Ultimately, Michigan is the epicenter of aerodynamic speed, and we will have to put our focus towards the teams that have shown the most speed under the 550 horsepower rules package.
In terms of performance trends involving raw aerodynamic speed, Kevin Harvick enters Saturday’s race as the deserving favorite. Harvick’s wins at Pocono and Indianapolis a few weeks ago were perfect examples of the raw speed this No. 4 team has shown this season. Now Harvick will take that speed to Michigan, where he has won two of the last three races. At less than 5 to 1 odds, Harvick’s value to win the FireKeepers Casino 312 remains limited. However, I do believe you can target Harvick against other favorites like Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Chase Elliott with complete confidence.
If Harvick cannot get the job done, I expect the winner will likely come from the Team Penske stable. Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney have posted really strong stats at Michigan in recent races. Logano is the defending winner of the FireKeepers Casino 312 and deserves major respect at a track where he has won 3 times in just 22 starts. Meanwhile, Ryan Blaney has been the fastest car from Team Penske under the 550 horsepower package this season despite only one victory at Talladega. Blaney has shown the speed to yield several victories this season, but the #12 team simply has not put an entire race together. I expect Blaney to be among the frontrunners this week with another excellent opportunity to visit victory lane.
Currently betting odds are relatively saturated with seven drivers listed at 10 to 1 odds are less. I expect betting odds will get much better as we move closer to race time, and I am strategically waiting for better value. However, I will give bettors an excellent long shot pick to consider with Tyler Reddick listed at 66 to 1 odds at Bet365. Reddick has finished inside the top-10 in four of the last five races, which includes a runner-up finish at Texas. The rookie has established himself as the best of a rookie class that may just be among the greatest of the modern era. More importantly, Reddick’s driving style is perfect for Michigan. He has been great at the fast tracks where you have to run cars setups on the “loose” side to make speed. The rookie won last year’s Xfinity Series event at Michigan and with the speed shown in recent weeks in the Cup Series; he is a live dark horse with outstanding ROI!
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