Last year, Kyle Busch motored to victory in the Food City 500, edging out Kyle Larson. Busch started on the pole, led 117 laps, and jump-started his dominant season that saw him record eight victories. The 2019 Food City 500 runs Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, with the green flag dropping at 2 p.m. ET. The latest Bristol weather is calling for temperatures in the 70s and a 15 percent chance of rain, increasing to 40-plus percent by 4 p.m. ET. Busch enters Sunday's NASCAR at Bristol race as the favorite at 5-2 in the latest 2019 Food City 500 odds. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and Joey Logano are all going off at 8-1 NASCAR at Bristol odds. This year's edition of the Food City 500 has an extremely talented lineup, so before you make any 2019 Food City 500 picks or enter a daily Fantasy NASCAR tournament on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, listen to the 2019 NASCAR at Bristol predictions from legendary handicapper Micah Roberts, the man who pioneered wagering on NASCAR.
Roberts went with Jimmie Johnson as a hefty 25-1 long shot 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 in Phoenix, Roberts nailed Busch at 4-1 odds over the heavily favored Harvick and got an eye-popping eight of the top 10 right. At the Auto Club 400, he had nine of the top 10 correct.
Roberts entered the 2019 NASCAR season after finishing big-time in the black in 2018. Those who wagered $100 on each of his picks last year have $1,750 in profit to show for it. 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. And last year he took Busch at 7-2 odds for this race -- Busch won the pole and cruised to a victory. Anyone who's following his picks is up huge year after year.
Now, he has analyzed Sunday's 2019 Food City 500 lineup from every possible angle and locked in his NASCAR at Bristol picks. They're available at SportsLine.
We can tell you he's not going with Larson, one of the top race favorites at 8-1. Larson won the Xfinity Series race at Bristol last fall, but his car this season hasn't been up to par with his Ganassi teammate, Busch. This may be a race in which Larson falls back in the crowded banked oval. In fact, Roberts says Larson doesn't even crack the top 10. He's not worth the 8-1 premium you'll need to pay for him.
Another shocker: Roberts is backing Ricky Stenhouse Jr., a long shot at 25-1 Food City 500 odds. Stenhouse is getting plenty of value at a track where he's had success in recent years. In fact, Stenhouse has finished in the top 10 in two consecutive April races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
"He didn't show as well with this package as he did with the 550-horsepower package on the bigger tracks," Roberts told SportsLine. "However, Stenhouse loves Bristol and he's had some amazing finishes in the Cup Series there. He was fourth in this race last season, runner-up in 2016 and 2014, and fourth in 2015. His 11th-place average finish in 12 Cup starts at Bristol is the best among all active drivers. His odds tell the story because he's usually around 60-1."
For the win, Roberts is eyeing an underdog with double-digit odds to shock the field and take the 2019 Food City 500. His picks and leaderboard will surprise many, but anyone who backs them could end up with a massive payday, just like in the season-opener.
So which drivers are must-backs in the 2019 Food City 500? And which underdog shocks NASCAR with the checkered flag at Bristol? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard for the 2019 Food City 500 from the nation's premier NASCAR handicapper, and find out.