2018 FOOD CITY 500 ODDS, PICK: MODEL SAYS RYAN BLANEY SURPRISES IN NASCAR AT BRISTOL

The 2018 NASCAR season rolls on at 2 p.m. ET Sunday with the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Kyle Busch is the Vegas favorite at 7-2 odds, followed closely by Kevin Harvick at 9-2 and Martin Truex Jr. at 6-1.

Before you make any bets or enter a daily fantasy NASCAR tournament on sites like DraftKings, you’ll want to hear what the team at SportsLine has to say.

SportsLine’s prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has a proven track record in multiple sports. It also powers McClure’s DFS projections, which have led him to over $1 million in career winnings.

McClure, who has a mechanical engineering degree, grew up around race tracks. Big racing events like this are in his blood, and his model completely nailed the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 last week, correctly calling Kyle Busch’s win and Kevin Harvick’s second-place finish. Anybody who followed those picks cashed in huge.

Now that the field for the 2018 Food City 500 is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times and the results were surprising.

One driver the model absolutely loves for NASCAR at Bristol: Ryan Blaney, who is going off at 18-1.

Blaney has been a breakthrough driver on the Monster Energy Cup Series this year with five top-10 and three top-five finishes in seven events.

He turned the corner at Bristol in the fall race in 2017, recording his first career top-10 finish on this steeply banked, half-mile short track. He’s a target for anybody looking for a big NASCAR at Bristol payday.

Another curveball: Chase Elliott, whom Vegas considers a top contender on Sunday, doesn’t sniff the top 10.

¬†Elliott has struggled to contend this year, recording just one top-five finish in seven races. He has had some success in his young career at Bristol with a pair of top-10 finishes in four races, but Elliott isn’t worth the 12-1 odds this week in a loaded field.

Also, a driver getting even longer odds than Blaney is primed to make a serious run at the checkered flag. Anybody who bets on this long shot could hit it big.

So who wins the 2018 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway? And which long shot stuns NASCAR? Check out the odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full projected leaderboard from the model that nailed the top two finishers in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 last week.

Kyle Busch 7-2
Kevin Harvick 9-2
Martin Truex Jr. 6-1
Kyle Larson 7-1
Erik Jones 12-1
Denny Hamlin 12-1
Joey Logano 12-1
Brad Keselowski 12-1
Chase Elliott 12-1
Jimmie Johnson 15-1
Ryan Blaney 18-1
Kurt Busch 20-1
Clint Bowyer 20-1

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