2019 Pocono 400: Vegas picks and top NASCAR predictions: Fade Kevin Harvick, back Denny Hamlin
Micah Roberts pioneered wagering on NASCAR races and just locked in his 2019 Pocono 400 picks
Sunday's Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway is a test of skill and unlike any other race on the series. The 2.5-mile triangle features three turns, each different from the last, and the longest straightaway on the NASCAR series. The 2019 Pocono 400 begins at 2 p.m. ET and will feature the 550-horsepower car package with aero ducts, which means no shifting gears, and bump and side drafting could be in abundance. There is much uncertainty about the race, which means higher NASCAR at Pocono odds than usual -- and that means great betting opportunities. Kyle Busch, the Cup Series points leader who has never won at Pocono, is the 3-1 favorite, with Kevin Harvick, who has yet to earn his first victory of the season, next at 7-2. Martin Truex Jr. comes in hot after winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte last week. He's also won twice at Pocono and is at 6-1 odds, while Brad Keselowski, who is tied with Busch with three wins on the year, is 7-1. Joey Logano, who won here in 2012, and Chase Elliott are each at 10-1. With so many variables in play at one of the most unique tracks of the tour, you'll want to see the latest NASCAR at Pocono predictions from handicapper Micah Roberts, the legendary Vegas bookmaker who pioneered wagering on racing.
Those who have wagered $100 on Roberts' picks for each of the 18 NASCAR races in 2019 are already up $1,900. 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 in Phoenix in March, Roberts nailed Busch at 4-1 odds over the heavily favored Harvick, and at Dover he got Truex Jr. at 8-1 odds. Truex won the race despite starting at the back of the field.
Roberts' top 20 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. 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. Anyone who's following his picks is up huge year after year.
Now Roberts has analyzed the field for Sunday's Pocono 400 2019 at Pocono Raceway.
One driver Roberts likes in Pocono is Denny Hamlin, a big 12-1 darkhorse who Roberts says offers a ton of value Sunday. Roberts says Hamlin has four victories on this track but none since 2010 "due to several race package changes." But Hamlin's team has enjoyed the 550-hp package in place for Sunday, and Roberts says he's a great play at double-digit odds.
"Maybe this new rule package is just what he needs to get back to his winning ways on the tricky triangle," Roberts told SportsLine. "He'll be a contender on Sunday."
One driver Roberts won't be including in his bets Sunday is Harvick, one of the strong favorites at 9-2 NASCAR at Pocono odds. Harvick has 12 top-five finishes at the track in 36 starts, including taking fourth or better in his last five, but zero wins to show for it.
That's been the trend this season as well for Harvick, who ranks second in NASCAR with nine top-10 finishes, but he has yet to secure a checkered flag. Roberts' leaderboard has Harvick finishing just inside the top 10 -- at his odds, there are better places for your money.
"His car has been fast the past two races using this package but the team simply hasn't been able to close out a race strong," Roberts said.
For the win, Roberts is high on a big longshot with double-digit odds who is in a good spot at the Pocono 400, unearthing critical reasons to choose him over the other contenders. His top five and the entire leaderboard will shock many, but anyone who backs them could hit it with a massive payday.
So which drivers are must-backs in the 2019 Pocono 400? And who brings home the checkered flag at Long Pond? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard for the 2019 Pocono 400 from the nation's premier NASCAR handicapper, and find out.
Here's a complete rundown of all the races on tap for this year's NASCAR Cup Series
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