Toyota Owners 400 Vegas picks 2018: Fade Martin Truex Jr., back Denny Hamlin at Richmond

The 2018 NASCAR season rolls on Saturday night with the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway at 6:30 p.m. ET. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are the Vegas co-favorites at 3-1. Martin Truex Jr. (5-1), Chase Elliott (7-1), and Kyle Larson (7-1) are right behind. Before you make any kind of bet on NASCAR at Richmond, 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.

Then, Roberts was very high on Clint Bowyer, who snapped his 190-race winless streak in the STP 500. And last week, he called Kyle Busch's come-from-behind victory at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 500. Anyone who has followed his picks is way, way up.

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

One surprise: Truex Jr., one of the Vegas favorites, doesn't sniff the top 10. He's a driver to avoid at the Toyota Owners 400.

"Last fall, Truex Jr. led a race-high 198 laps at Richmond, but got in an accident and finished a lap down in 20th place," Roberts told SportsLine.

Truex Jr. has just two career top-five finishes at Richmond and has stumbled through the past two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, finishing 37th at Texas and 30th at Bristol.

Another surprise: Denny Hamlin, going off at 10-1, makes a strong run at the checkered flag.

"Hamlin grew up in Chesterfield, Va., which is 20 minutes from the track," Roberts told SportsLine. "He knows this track better than anyone because he's been racing on it his entire life. In 23 starts, he has a 9.5 average finish and three wins, the last coming in the fall of 2016 when he started from the pole. He leads all active drivers with 1,653 laps led at Richmond."

Hamlin excelled on these tracks last season -- winning at New Hampshire and finishing in the top five at both Richmond races. He also was fourth at Phoenix in March.

Roberts loves a major sleeper who's tailor-made for this 3/4-mile flat layout. Anyone who bets on this underdog could hit it big.

So who wins NASCAR at Richmond? 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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