Restrictor plates even the playing field, but they also add uncertainty to the 2018 NASCAR Playoffs as the 1000Bulbs.com 500 takes place Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway at 2 p.m. ET, the fifth race of the postseason. A whopping seven racers have 2018 NASCAR at Talladega odds of 12-1 or lower, including favorites Brad Keselowski at 6-1 and Joey Logano at 7-1. Chase Elliott is at 10-1, while Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin are all listed at 12-1.
With so much on the line and so many legitimate contenders in the field of this restrictor plate showdown, you'll want to check out what former Vegas bookmaker and NASCAR handicapper Micah Roberts has to say before making your own 2018 NASCAR at Talladega picks.
Roberts has nailed two races of the NASCAR Playoffs 2018 so far. He called for Keselowski to win at Vegas at 12-1 odds, then three weeks ago at Richmond said Kyle 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. Roberts also picked Martin Truex Jr. two weeks ago at Charlotte, 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 NASCAR at Talladega 2018 from every possible angle and locked in his 1000Bulbs.com 500 picks. You can see his entire projected leaderboard only at SportsLine.
We can tell you he's not going with Kyle Busch, a 2018 NASCAR Playoff favorite who hasn't had much success at the Alabama track.
"He has lots of Playoff points stockpiled away, which should help him get to the next round, but this is a place that can wreck him quickly and make him very uncomfortable next week at Kansas," Roberts told SportsLine. "His only Talladega win in 26 starts came in 2008."
Instead, one of the 2018 1000Bulbs.com 500 picks he likes to finish close to the front: Ricky Stenhouse, a 15-1 darkhorse who has two career Cup wins -- both restrictor plate races.
"Stenhouse's Roush Fenway Racing Ford is dialed in for these races and he was fifth in the April Talladega race," Roberts said. "This is his Super Bowl, his last legitimate chance to get a win in 2018."
For the win, Roberts is backing a driver in the thick of the playoff race to get back on track by winning the 1000Bulbs.com 500. Roberts also has two drivers with double-digit odds making strong runs at the checkered flag. Anyone who backs them could hit it big.
So who wins NASCAR at Talladega? And which longshot stuns NASCAR? Visit SportsLine now to see the full projected leaderboard from the nation's premier NASCAR handicapper, and find out.