NASCAR Returns to Mitten State for Pure Michigan 400

David Schwab

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 2:19 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017 2:19 PM UTC

NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series will make its second trip of the year to Michigan International Speedway for the running of Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400. Race time is set for 3 p.m. (ET) and you can catch all the action on NBC Sports Network. 

Martin Truex Jr.’s dominating run through the 2017 Cup series season continued with a victory last week on the road course at Watkins Glen. Matt Kenseth finished second, searching for his first win of the year and Daniel Suarez kept his playoff hopes alive by placing third.

The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win this Sunday afternoon’s race Pure Michigan 400 based on betting odds provided by 5Dimes.


Top Valued Favorite

Kyle Larson is listed as a +550 third-favorite to win on Sunday, and I really like the added value in those odds. His last three Cup series events aside after finishing outside the Top 20 each time, he remains one of the top drivers this season with two checkered flags and seven additional runner-up finishes. The No. 42 Chevrolet is holding down the third spot in the standings with a total of 759 points. The main reason why I am going with Larson this week is his recent performance at this track. After finishing third in the first race here in 2016, he went on to win this race last season as well as the first race at Michigan this year.


Top Valued Contender

Matt Kenseth still needs a victory in one of the next four races to guarantee the No. 20 Toyota a spot in this year’s playoffs for the top 16 drivers. This team is No. 16 on the list in total points with 637, and it has made its way into the top five in six races this season after last week’s solid second-place run. You would have to believe that he is due after posting 20 Cup series wins since 2011, and Michigan lines up as a track that suits his racing style. Kenseth won this race in 2015 as part of a solid 10.6 average finishing position at Michigan over his career.


Top Valued Long Shot

Moving down the list at 5Dimes this week, the one driver who stood out the most with longer odds was Jimmie Johnson at +2150. The reining Cup series champ has been one of the streakier drivers this season. Since his victory at Dover in early June, the No. 48 Chevrolet has not finished better than 10th in the last nine races with four wrecks in that span. There is always value in a driver who has won this title seven times over the course of his career, especially when the odds are stacked this high against him. Johnson placed 10th in the first race at Michigan this year, and the last time he won here in a Cup Series event was in 2014.


Odds For Other Notable Drivers

The top two drivers on this week’s list at +450 to win are Kyle Busch and Truex Jr. Following Larson as a third-favorite are both Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott at much longer +1150 odds to win. Joining Kenseth at +1650 is Denny Hamlin, and joining Johnson at +2150 is Brad Keselowski. You can also get some long odds on Joey Logano at +2250, and if you really want to roll the dice that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has one more winning run in him at Michigan; his odds to win are set at +6600.

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