The countdown to NASCAR’s Chase to the 2016 Sprint Cup title continues this Sunday with the Pure Michigan 400. Our expert capper provides his views on the race and his very own free pick.
Kevin Harvick finally joined the list of multiple point-race winners this season with his victory at Bristol this past Saturday night. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. turned in one of his better runs of the season by taking second and Denny Hamlin was also in the mix at third.
The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win this Sunday afternoon at Michigan based on betting odds as provided by TopBet as one of the top online sportsbooks in the game when it comes to betting on NASCAR.
Top Valued Favorite
I have to go chalk this week with Kevin Harvick as a +600 NASCAR Odds favorite to make a second straight trip to Victory Lane. The No. 4 Chevrolet has been quietly building some momentum for this year's Chase to a Sprint Cup title with a fourth-place finish or better in three of the last five point races on the schedule. This team is back on top in the Sprint Cup standings with 762 total points and it is tied for second for the most Top 5 runs this year with 10. The main reason why I am going with Harvick in this race is because I cannot help but think he is due. Going back to a second-place finish in the first race at Michigan in 2013, he has been a runner-up five times in seven races at this track. He is the smart pick for this race
Top Valued Contender
One of NASCAR's most successful drivers over the past decade has been Jimmie Johnson, but he has been flying well under the radar this season with just one victory at Atlanta in the second race of the season. The No. 48 Chevrolet has only posted one finish inside the top five in its last 10 point-race events, but it is coming off an encouraging seventh-place run last week at Bristol. Johnson has been listed at +1200 to end this current slide with a win on Sunday and I think there is quite a bit of value in those betting odds. He lone career Sprint Cup victory at Michigan was in the first race here in 2014.
Top Valued Longshot
Time is quickly running out for a few drivers on the bubble to make it into this year's Chase. Desperation can lead to wrecks and it can also lead to victory so that is why I am going with Chase Elliott at +2000 as my top-valued longshot this week. The rookie driver of the famed No. 24 Chevrolet is holding down the 12th spot in the current standings with 588 points, but a win in the next three weeks would seal his spot in the 16-driver field for 2016 Chase. Elliott led last week's race at Bristol for 14 laps before fading to 15th in the final finishing order and earlier this season he posted one of his best runs of his young Sprint Cup career with a second-place finish at Michigan.
Betting Odds for other Notable Drivers
Joey Logano won the first race at Michigan this year and he has been opened as a +700 second-favorite to pull off the sweep. There is a logjam of five different drivers listed as +800 third-favorites to win this week including Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski as the only two drivers with four checkered flags on this year's resume. Also in that group are Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. Joining Johnson at +1200 betting odds is Denny Hamlin and both Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson have been listed at +1500 odds to win.