2019 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Vegas picks and NASCAR predictions: Fade Kyle Busch, back Alex Bowman at Daytona

For the final time, the NASCAR Cup circuit visits its flagship track on the biggest holiday of the summer season. The 2019 Coke Zero Sugar 400, the longtime Fourth of July week tradition formerly known as the Firecracker 400, ends a 40-year run as the second Daytona race moves to August starting in 2020. The green flag drops at 7:30 p.m. ET for under-the-lights racing from Daytona International Speedway. Only five drivers have won the Daytona 500 and then gone on to win this race the same year. Denny Hamlin will look to buck the trend, having won this season's Daytona 500 in February. With new engine packages in place for 2019, Saturday's race has nine drivers at 14-1 or lower 2019 NASCAR at Daytona odds. The latest from Vegas has Joey Logano, the NASCAR Cup points leader, and Brad Keselowski, the 2016 winner of this race, leading the field at 8-1 Coke Zero Sugar 400 odds. Four more drivers are right behind them at 10-1, including Kyle Busch, who is No. 2 in the NASCAR Cup standings and tied for most victories with four. With so many variables in play, you'll want to see the latest NASCAR predictions from handicapper Micah Roberts, the legendary Vegas bookmaker who pioneered wagering on racing, before laying any Coke Zero Sugar 400 picks of your own.

Those who have wagered $100 on Roberts' picks for each of the 22 NASCAR races in 2019 are already up $1,500. It started with the very first race, as Roberts went with Jimmie Johnson as a hefty 25-1 longshot at the season-opening Advance Auto Parts Clash. The result: Johnson survived a huge crash and went on to win the rain-shortened race as Roberts' followers raked it in. At the TicketGuardian 500, Roberts nailed Busch at 4-1 odds over the heavily favored Harvick, and at Dover he got Truex at 8-1 odds. Truex won the race despite starting at the back of the field.

Roberts' top 20 NASCAR leaderboard has been on top of it, too. For the TicketGuardian 500 he nailed an eye-popping eight of the top 10. At the Auto Club 400, he got nine of the top 10 correct.

Roberts entered the 2019 NASCAR season after finishing big-time in the black in 2018, with $1,750 in profit for $100 players. His biggest wins came when he went against the grain, taking Keselowski at 12-1 to win the South Point 400 at Las Vegas in the opening race of the NASCAR playoffs and going with Logano, also 12-1, to take the First Data 500 at Martinsville. He also nailed four of Harvick's nine series victories and three of Busch's nine wins. Anyone who's following his picks is up huge year after year. 

Now, Roberts has analyzed Saturday's 2019 Coke Zero Sugar 400 field at Daytona. His winning pick and leaderboard are available exclusively at SportsLine.

One shocker: Roberts is fading Kyle Busch, who's second in the Cup points standings, tied for most victories with four, and one of the top Vegas favorites on Saturday. In fact, Roberts says Busch doesn't even crack the top 10.

"Busch led three times for four laps at Talladega, a similar track, but seemed to get left in the dust against the Chevys teaming against him. His 10th place finish was the best among Toyota drivers," Roberts told SportsLine. "He was runner-up in the Daytona 500 and his lone win there came in the 2008 July race."

Another surprise: Roberts is all over Alex Bowman, a long shot at 18-1 NASCAR at Daytona odds. Bowman is coming off an impressive victory last week at Chicagoland Speedway as a 30-1 underdog. Even though his NASCAR odds to win this week have fallen, Roberts believes there's still strong value in Bowman, a real contender to win back-to-back races. 

"He looked amazing at Talladega and finished second. He was up front all race long, finishing second in the first two stages," Roberts told SportsLine. "Chevrolet has something cooking with this package that had six of the top eight finishers at Talladega. Bowman is legit." In April and May, Bowman had a streak of finishing in the top 10 in six straight races, leading laps in all but one of them.

For the win, Roberts is high on a huge longshot who has run well at tracks similar to Daytona International Speedway. He's also high on an underdog with astronomical odds to make a strong run at the checkered flag. Anyone who backs these drivers could hit it big.

Which driver brings home the checkered flag at Daytona? And which long shots are must-backs? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard for the 2019 Coke Zero Sugar 400 from the nation's premier NASCAR handicapper, and find out.

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