NASCAR Cup Series cars hit the pavement on Monday afternoon for the 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400, running from Michigan International Raceway. The track had to wait an extra day to host its 100th Cup race due to rain. Now, the green flag drops at 5 p.m. ET. Michigan International consistently puts up the fastest times in NASCAR, just ahead of Talladega, and it should be another fast one on Monday with a cool and cloudy forecast. Through 14 races of the 2019 NASCAR schedule, only six drivers have captured a checkered flag. Kyle Busch, who sits atop the series standings and has a season-best four victories, is the 2019 NASCAR at Michigan favorite at 3-1. Kevin Harvick, a 2018 winner on this track, is at 5-1 NASCAR at Michigan odds, while Martin Truex Jr., who has three victories in the last six events, is 6-1. Kyle Larson, who's won three of the last six races at Michigan, is at 14-1 FireKeepers Casino 400 odds. You need to see the latest NASCAR predictions from handicapper Micah Roberts, the legendary Vegas bookmaker who pioneered wagering on racing, before locking in any 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400 picks of your own for Monday.
Roberts' top 20 leaderboard has been on fire. 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 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400 field at Michigan International Raceway. Last year at Michigan, he picked Harvick, who led the most laps en route to the win at 11-5 odds.
One shocker: Roberts is high on Denny Hamlin, a big 16-1 longshot. Hamlin has two wins this season, including at Texas on March 31, using the same car package in place for Monday. He's also won twice at Michigan.
"Hamlin got over a May slump with sixth-place at Pocono last week, giving him nine top-10 finishes in 14 starts," Roberts told SportsLine. "He looks to be a good value if these odds hold up." Hamlin earned the pole last week at Pocono and finished sixth. Between March 10 at Phoenix and April 13 at Richmond, a span of six races, he cracked the top five all but once.
Another surprise: Roberts wants no part of Truex, one of the top favorites at 6-1 NASCAR at Michigan odds 2019. Truex is owning the Cup circuit, winning three of the last six races, but he has precisely zero career wins in 26 starts at Michigan. "He was eighth at Michigan's sister track at Fontana in March," Roberts said. "He has low odds for a reason, but I'll find better value elsewhere in the 2019 NASCAR at Michigan grid."
For the win, Roberts is high on a huge longshot with double-digit odds to take down the FireKeepers Casino 400. 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 FireKeepers Casino 400? And which driver takes the checkered flag at Michigan? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard for the 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400 from the nation's premier NASCAR handicapper, and find out.