NASCAR at Martinsville odds, picks 2019: Model says Jimmie Johnson surprises at STP 500

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is off to a riveting start with a wild finish at the Daytona 500 and new aerodynamics rules designed to place an emphasis on drafting and passing having a profound impact. As we head toward the 2019 STP 500 at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, it's Kyle Busch who has the hot hand, winning the last two weeks and turning in top-10 finishes in every race since the Daytona 500. Because of that, he's listed as the 8-5 favorite in the latest 2019 STP 500 odds, with Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. just behind him at 5-1. This week, NASCAR shifts gears to the tightly-cornered half-mile oval at Martinsville Speedway, which features a track with two different surfaces. Short-track racing is a different beast, and this is the first race like it this season. So before you make your 2019 STP 500 picks, see the NASCAR at Martinsville predictions from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.

Developed by DFS pro and SportsLine predictive data engineer Mike McClure, this proprietary NASCAR prediction computer model simulates every race 10,000 times, taking factors such as track history and recent results into account. 

The model is off to a strong start in NASCAR this year, calling Daytona 500 champion Denny Hamlin a top-four contender from the start. It nailed eight of the top 10 drivers at the Pennzoil 400, which included putting winner Joey Logano in its projected top five. It was also all over Kyle Busch as a top contender at the TicketGuardian 500, and four of the drivers in McClure's projected top five went on to top-five finishes at last week's Auto Club 400. Anybody who has followed its picks is way up. 

McClure, who has a mechanical engineering degree, grew up around race tracks. Big events at iconic venues like Martinsville Speedway are in his blood. His model simulated the 2019 STP 500 10,000 times and the results were surprising. 

For the 2019 STP 500, we can tell you the model is high on Jimmie Johnson, who makes a strong run at the checkered flag despite going off as a long shot at 40-1 NASCAR at Martinsville odds.

The seven-time NASCAR Cup champion and 83-race winner on NASCAR's top circuit has a storied history at Martinsville. He's won nine times at Martinsville Speedway and has 19 top-five finishes in 34 career starts there.

Using the same package as he'll have on Sunday in the 2019 NASCAR at Martinsville spring race, Johnson drove to a strong eighth-place finish at Phoenix two weeks ago. He has started the current season off hot too, winning the Advance Auto Parts Clash at 25-1 and picking up top-10 finishes in the Daytona 500 and TicketGuardian 500. He'll start 12th on Sunday in the 2019 STP 500 grid and is a target for anyone looking for a big payday.

And a massive shocker: Martin Truex Jr., one of the top Vegas favorites at 5-1, doesn't even crack the top five. Truex has become a trendy because he's picked up 16 of his 19 career victories in the last three seasons. 

However, he's never won at Martinsville on NASCAR's top circuit and only has five top-five finishes in 26 career starts. Because of that, the model predicts that Truex will struggle to get to the front of pack. There are far better values than the 5-1 premium you'll need to pay for him.

The model is also targeting four other drivers with 2019 STP 500 odds longer than 10-1 or longer to make a serious run at winning it all, including a monster underdog. Anyone who backs these long shots could hit it big. 

So who wins the 2019 STP 500? And which long shots stun NASCAR? Check out the latest NASCAR at Martinsville odds below and then visit SportsLine now to see the full projected leaderboard for the 2019 STP 500, all from the model that has crushed its NASCAR picks.

Kyle Busch 8-5
Martin Truex Jr. 5-1
Brad Keselowski 5-1
Joey Logano 7-1
Denny Hamlin 10-1
Clint Bowyer 10-1
Kevin Harvick 15-1
Ryan Blaney 20-1
Chase Elliott 20-1
Kurt Busch 25-1
Aric Almirola 25-1
Jimmie Johnson 30-1
Kyle Larson 50-1
Erik Jones 60-1
Ryan Newman 80-1
Daniel Suarez 80-1

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