NASCAR’s Cup Series continues its countdown to this season’s 10-race playoff with the first of four remaining events in the regular season. The action at Michigan should be fast and hot on Sunday with more than a few drivers looking for a playoff-clinching win. Chase Elliott fought off last Sunday’s top-valued favorite, Martin Truex Jr., to take first place on the road course at Watkins Glen. Denny Hamlin stayed hot by rounding out the top three. Turning to this week’s odds to win at 5Dimes online sportsbook, the following three drivers offer the best value in their current numbers.
Joey Logano +770
Logano is the fourth-favorite to win on Sunday behind the familiar trio of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. This week’s race seems like a great opportunity to stretch the value in this category. The No. 22 Ford has been an afterthought the past few races with five-straight runs outside the top five. The team is still in second place in the current Cup Series standings with 838 total points. It is also just one of six teams with multiple victories on the year. Logano still has the ability to turn things around on a dime with a total of 14 runs in 22 races inside the top 10.
The biggest reason why I am stretching the odds among the favorites to win is Logano’s ability to pull off the season sweep at Michigan after winning the first race of the season. This was his third Cup Series victory at this racing venue over the course of his career.
Denny Hamlin +1540
With four-straight finishes of fifth or better including a recent victory at Pocono, Hamlin would have to be considered the hottest Cup Series driver heading into this Sunday’s race. He has been streaky all season, driving the No. 11 Toyota starting on a high note by winning the 2019 Daytona 500. His other checkered flag this season came at Texas as part of three victories and eight additional Top 5 finishes in 22 point-race events. He is tied with Kyle Busch for the most runs inside the top five this season.
The longer odds to win at Michigan can be attributed to a very pedestrian 14.3 average finishing position at this track over the course of Hamlin’s Cup Series career. He placed 11th in the first race here this year. Nonetheless, I am banking on current form for a big payday at Sunday’s track.
Kurt Busch +2200
Kyle may be in the spotlight on a regular basis, but his older brother is still one of the most consistent drivers in Cup Series racing. Aided by a recent win at Kentucky, Kurt has his No. 1 Chevrolet in seventh place in the current standings. That victory along with 679 total points adds up to an invitation back to the 10-race playoff this year. This Busch has had his issues from time to time this season, but the overall body of work adds some value to his odds as my top longshot.
The real value in his longer odds lies in a second-place finish in the first race at Michigan this year. Busch has now placed sixth or better in his last three runs around this oval. His second of two career victories here in a Cup Series event dates back to the 2015 season.