2018 Auto Club 400 odds, picks: Model says Ryan Blaney surprises NASCAR

The 2018 NASCAR schedule rolls on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET with the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Kevin Harvick, going for his fourth straight win, is the Vegas favorite for NASCAR at Fontana at 9/4. He's followed closely by Kyle Busch at 11/4. Busch opened at 4/1 before strong practice runs moved him up the odds board, and he'll start in second on Sunday.

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 last week's TicketGuardian 500 -- correctly calling five of the top 10 finishers in Phoenix and placing both winner Kevin Harvick and runner-up Kyle Busch in the top three. Anybody who followed those picks cashed in huge.

Now that the field for the 2018 Auto Club 400 is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times and the results were surprising.

One big surprise the model is calling for: Harvick, the Vegas favorite, falls short of his bid for four straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins.

Harvick comes into the Auto Club 400 looking to become the first driver in 11 years to win four in a row. He's led an astonishing 433 of the 904 total laps run this season, but SportsLine's model says he'll fall short of accomplishing that historical feat.

Harvick is coming off a disappointing 13th place finish at last year's Auto Club 400. He's not worth 9/4 odds in a loaded field.

Another curveball: Ryan Blaney, a 25/1 long shot, makes a serious run at the title. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.

This is Blaney's first start at Fontana under Team Penske after he took ninth last year. He won a Can-Am Duel at Daytona already this season and was fifth in Las Vegas after capturing on the pole. He'll start in eighth at the 2018 Auto Club 400.

Also, three other drivers with odds of 20/1 or longer are primed to make a serious run at winning it all on Sunday. Anybody who bets on these long shots could hit it big.

So who wins the 2018 Auto Club 400 in Fontana? And which long shots stun NASCAR? Check out the odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full projected leaderboard from the model that nailed five of the top 10 finishers in the TicketGuardian 500 last week.

Kevin Harvick 9/4
Kyle Busch 11/4 
Kyle Larson 9/2
Martin Truex Jr. 9/2
Denny Hamlin 8/1 
Erik Jones 12/1
Brad Keselowski 20/1
Ryan Blaney 25/1
Chase Elliott 30/1
Joey Logano 30/1 
Clint Bowyer 40/1 
Jimmie Johnson 50/1
Kurt Busch 50/1

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