2018 TicketGuardian 500 odds, picks: Model says Brad Keselowski surprises NASCAR at Phoenix

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, going for his third straight win, is the Vegas favorite for NASCAR at Phoenix at 7/4 after opening at 9/4. He's followed closely by Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Chase Elliott, who are all going off 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 crushed its picks in golf majors last year and has produced profitable picks in MLB, 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: Brad Keselowski, going off at 20/1, makes a serious run at the title. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.

In 17 career Cup starts in Phoenix, Keselowski has five top-five finishes and also won an Xfinity Series race at this track in 2014. He's been on fire this year with top-10 finishes in Atlanta (second) and Las Vegas (sixth). He also took the checkered flag at the Clash at Daytona.

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.

In the second Phoenix race last year, Larson finished 40th after an engine issue despite starting in third. McClure says he's a driver to avoid on Sunday.

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.

Kevin Harvick 7/4
Kyle Busch 6/1
Kyle Larson 6/1
Chase Elliott 6/1   
Martin Truex Jr. 7/1
Denny Hamlin 8/1
Joey Logano 15/1 
Brad Keselowski 20/1
Jimmie Johnson 20/1 
Erik Jones 30/1
Ryan Blaney 40/1
Alex Bowman 40/1
Clint Bowyer 50/1
Kurt Busch 50/1
Aric Almirola 50/1

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