The 2018 NASCAR schedule rolls on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET with the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Kevin Harvick is the Vegas favorite for NASCAR at Phoenix at 9/4, followed closely by Kyle Busch at 5/1, Kyle Larson at 6/1 and Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski at 8/1.
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 crushed its picks in golf majors last year and has produced profitable picks in MLB, the NFL and other 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 last week’s Pennzoil 400 — correctly calling seven of the top 10 finishers and placing both winner Kevin Harvick and runner-up Kyle Busch in the top four. Anybody who followed those picks cashed in huge.
Now that the field for the 2018 TicketGuardian 500 is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times and the results were surprising.
One big surprise the model is calling for: Ryan Blaney, despite having 20/1 odds, finishes in the top five and makes a serious run at the title.
Blaney won a K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix in 2011 and is coming off a top-five finish at the Pennzoil 400 last week. That was his third strong showing in a row after he recorded a seventh-place finish at Daytona and a 12th place at Atlanta.
Even though Vegas gives him just the 10th-best overall odds for NASCAR at Phoenix, the model is much higher on his chances. Lock him in as a major value pick.
Another curveball: Kyle Larson, one of the Vegas favorites 6/1, barely finishes inside the top 10.
Larson has struggled at Phoenix during his career. In eight races at this track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, he has recorded just three top-10 finishes and has only led a total of 15 laps. He’s a driver to steer completely clear of this weekend.
Also, a driver that oddsmakers view as an extreme long shot 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 TicketGuardian 500 in Phoenix? 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 seven of the top 10 finishers in the Pennzoil 400 last week.