The field of the 2018 NASCAR Playoffs was cut from 12 drivers to eight as the series hits Martinsville Speedway for the First Data 500 on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. Standings leader Kyle Busch is the 7-2 favorite in the latest 2018 NASCAR at Martinsville odds, followed by Kevin Harvick at 5-1. Fellow contenders Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr., as well as the eliminated Denny Hamlin, are each posted at 8-1. It's a critical race for everyone in the final eight as well as others looking to make a statement as the season winds down, so before booking you own 2018 NASCAR at Martinsville picks, you'll want to see what former Vegas bookmaker and NASCAR handicapper Micah Roberts is saying about the race.
Roberts has nailed two races of the 2018 NASCAR playoffs. He called for Brad Keselowski to win at Vegas at 12-1 odds. The following week at Richmond, Roberts said Busch was due for his seventh win of the season, and Busch did just that, taking the checkered flag after starting from the 11th spot. At Charlotte, Roberts also picked Truex Jr., who was in line to win before Jimmie Johnson wiped him out on the final lap.
In the 2017 playoffs, Roberts picked nine of 10 winners. That was no fluke: In 2016, he told readers to back Hamlin at 15-1 in the Daytona 500. The result: Hamlin edged Truex for the checkered flag. Roberts also nailed Hamlin at 40-1 to win at Watkins Glen later that year.
Now, he has analyzed the 2018 NASCAR at Martinsville field from every possible angle and locked in his First Data 500 picks. You can see his entire projected leaderboard only at SportsLine.
We can tell you he's not picking Harvick, who in 34 career Cup starts at the track has just one win and an average finish of 15.5.
"Short track racing is Harvick's roots, but this hasn't been his best track," Roberts told SportsLine.
Instead, one of the 2018 First Data 500 picks he likes to finish close to the front: Keselowski, a 10-1 darkhorse who's found success at Martinsville. "He's led laps in his last three Martinsville starts, winning last spring," Roberts said. "He was 10th in the March race and fourth last fall. He's been runner-up twice in his last seven starts."
For the win, Roberts is backing a driver with double-digit odds in the thick of the playoff race to get back on track by winning the First Data 500. He also has two other drivers with double-digit odds finishing in the top five. Anyone who backs them could hit it big.
So who wins NASCAR at Martinsville? And which long shots stun NASCAR? Visit SportsLine now to see the full projected leaderboard from the nation's premier NASCAR handicapper and find out.