Food City 500 Vegas picks and predictions 2018: Fade Chase Elliott, back Clint Bowyer at Bristol

The 2018 NASCAR season rolls on Sunday with the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Kyle Busch is the Vegas favorite at 9-4, followed by Kyle Larson at 5-1. Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott are all getting 10-1. Before you make any kind of bet on the NASCAR at Bristol spring race, you need to see what Micah Roberts has to say.

As a Vegas bookmaker, Roberts was the first to offer expanded NASCAR betting. Now he hands out NASCAR winners to his followers.

In the 2017 NASCAR playoffs, Roberts picked nine of the 10 winners. That wasn't a fluke, either. In 2016, he told readers to back Denny Hamlin at 15-1 in the Daytona 500. The result: Hamlin edged Truex Jr. for the checkered flag. Roberts also nailed Hamlin at 40-1 to win at Watkins Glen later that year.

Earlier this season, Roberts was all-in on Harvick at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 despite two other drivers having the same field-leading odds. The result: Harvick dominated, leading for 181 of 325 laps and cruising to victory by 2.69 seconds.

Also this season, Roberts was very high on Clint Bowyer, who snapped his 190-race winless streak in the STP 500.

Now, he has analyzed NASCAR at Bristol 2018 from every possible angle and locked in his picks. You can see his entire projected leaderboard at SportsLine.

One huge surprise: Chase Elliott, one of the Vegas favorites at 10-1, falls flat and finishes well short of the top 10.

"Elliott has four Cup Series starts at Bristol and has averaged an 11th-place finish," Roberts said. "He looks to have the best equipment among all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers, but that isn't saying much because they're struggling with the new Camaro."

Another shocker: Clint Bowyer, going off at 20-1, makes a serious run at the checkered flag.

"Bowyer won at Martinsville a few weeks ago, his first win anywhere since 2012," Roberts said. "Both Martinsville and Bristol are half-mile tracks, but the Bristol variable, banking up to 30 degrees, requires a completely different setup than the flat Martinsville layout. Still, this type of close bumper-to-bumper racing is ideal for his style."

Roberts also loves a major sleeper, who has a strong history in Bristol, to make a serious run. Anyone who backs this long shot could hit it big.

So who wins the 2018 Food City 500? And which long shots stun the racing world? Visit SportsLine now see the full projected leaderboard from the nation's premier NASCAR handicapper, and find out.

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