FireKeepers Casino 400 ODDS, PICKS 2019: NASCAR MODEL SAYS RYAN BLANEY SURPRISES AT MICHIGAN

The NASCAR season rolls on with the 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The green flag goes down at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. After hitting a midseason slump, Kyle Busch comes in red hot after finishing third at Charlotte and then winning at Pocono last week, marking his fourth win of the year and helping him build on his lead in the Monster Energy Cup standings. He’s the favorite in the 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400 odds at 11-4, followed by a familiar board that includes regular contenders such as Kevin Harvick (5-1), Martin Truex Jr. (6-1) and Brad Keselowski (8-1), who are all receiving single-digit odds. But before locking in any 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400 picks of your own, or entering a NASCAR DFS contest on FanDuel or DraftKings, first be sure to see the NASCAR at Michigan predictions from the proven projection model at SportsLine.

Developed by DFS pro and SportsLine predictive data engineer Mike McClure, this proprietary NASCAR prediction model simulates every race 10,000 times, taking factors such as track history and recent results into account.

The model is off to a strong start in NASCAR this year, calling Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin a top-four contender from the start. It nailed eight of the top 10 drivers at the Pennzoil 400, which included putting winner Joey Logano in its projected top five. It also called Kyle Busch’s huge win at Bristol last month. Additionally, it had Coca-Cola 600 winner Martin Truex Jr. in its top two and then nailed Kyle Busch’s win at Pocono last week.

It also made some huge calls last year, including correctly projecting wins for Kyle Busch at Chicago and Martin Truex Jr. at Sonoma. It also nailed three of the top four finishers at Michigan and two of the top four at the Daytona 500. Anybody who has followed its picks is way up.

McClure, who has a mechanical engineering degree, grew up around race tracks. Big events at iconic venues like Michigan International Speedway are in his blood. Now, his model simulated the 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400 10,000 times and the results were surprising.

For NASCAR at Michigan 2019, we can tell you the model is high on Ryan Blaney, who makes a strong run at taking the checkered flag despite going off at 20-1 NASCAR at Michigan odds.

Blaney has been impressive in his short career at Michigan. He’s finished in the top 10 three times since 2015, including finishing no worse than No. 8 overall in the two races at Michigan in 2018.

He’s still looking for his first NASCAR win of 2019, but he does have four top-five performances, and his Penske teammates have three wins already this year, showing that he should have the tools needed to climb the NASCAR at Michigan leaderboard on Sunday and be in contention at the end. He’s a value pick you should be all over.

And a massive shocker: Kevin Harvick, one of the top Vegas favorites at 5-1, doesn’t even crack the top 5. Oddsmakers may be overvaluing Harvick after he won eight races last year. He’s yet to win in 2019, and has just one top-10 finish in his last five events coming into Michigan. He settled for a disappointing 22nd-place performance at Pocono last week, and the model indicates that there are far better values to win it all in a loaded NASCAR at Michigan field this weekend.

The model is also targeting three other drivers with 2019 NASCAR at Michigan odds of 20-1 or longer to make a serious run at winning it all. Anyone who backs these long shots could hit it big.

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