2019 NASCAR at Martinsville expert picks, Playoffs predictions, odds: Fade Martin Truex Jr. in First Data 500

The field for the 2019 NASCAR Playoffs has been reduced from 12 to eight, and on Sunday the Round of 8 gets underway with the 2019 First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Va. Three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers currently lead the championship chase: Kyle Busch (46 points), Martin Truex Jr. (42) and Denny Hamlin (37). After the next three races, the championship contenders will be trimmed to four. Sportsbooks list Busch as the 5-2 favorite in the 2019 First Data 500 odds, followed by Hamlin (9-2) and Truex (6-1). Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott are the co-fourth choices, at 7-1. The green flag drops at 3 p.m. ET. With so much at stake and so many drivers capable of winning, check out the 2019 First Data 500 picks and NASCAR predictions from Micah Roberts, the legendary Vegas bookmaker who pioneered wagering on racing, before locking in any First Data 500 picks of your own.

Those who have wagered $100 on Roberts' winning pick for each of the NASCAR races in 2019 are up $1,300. In fact, those who put down $50 on Roberts' top-four leaderboard picks are up $2,700 on the year, buoyed by Alex Bowman's big win at Chicago at 30-1 odds -- Roberts had the huge underdog in his top four. One of his top four picks has won six of the last 10 races, including Hamlin (12-1) at Bristol, Erik Jones (16-1) at Darlington and Elliott (8-1) at Charlotte Motor Speedway's Roval road course.

Roberts got 2019 off to a blazing start, calling 25-1 longshot Jimmie Johnson's win in the Advance Auto Parts Clash. At the TicketGuardian 500, Roberts nailed Busch at 4-1 over the heavily favored Kevin Harvick, and at Dover he won with Truex at 8-1. Truex won despite starting at the back of the field.

Roberts' top 20 leaderboard has been on top of it, too. At 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. Those who wagered $100 on each of his picks last year saw $1,750 in profit. Anyone who's following his picks is up huge year after year.

Now Roberts has analyzed the field and the odds for Sunday's First Data 500 at Martinsville. He's sharing his winner and top 20 leaderboard only at SportsLine.

We can tell you Roberts is fading Truex, the third choice in the First Data 500 odds, at 6-1. Roberts has Truex ranked 10th on his leaderboard.

"[Truex] struggled at Martinsville for most of his first 18 starts with just two top-fives, but in his last nine starts he's been eighth or better in seven of them," Roberts told SportsLine. "He was third in this race last season." There are far better values than Truex on the First Data 500 odds board.

However, Roberts is high on a double-digit long shot who has been solid with this week's race package. Anyone who backs this driver could hit it big.

So who wins the 2019 First Data 500? And which long shot stuns NASCAR? Visit SportsLine now to see the NASCAR at Martinsville leaderboard from the nation's premier NASCAR handicapper, and find out.

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