NASCAR at Michigan Odds, Betting Predictions: 2 Picks for Saturday’s (Aug. 8) FireKeepers Casino 400

Credit:

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the #21 Ford and Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Ford

Aug 08, 2020, 02:23 PM EDT
  • NASCAR's FireKeepers Casino 400 will start at 4 p.m. ET (NBCSN) at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 8.
  • According to real-time NASCAR odds, Kevin Harvick is the race favorite at +450, followed by Denny Hamlin (+550) and Joey Logano (+700).
  • Read our full NASCAR FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan betting preview, including predictions and best bet picks.

After just two races in a span of of 16 days, the NASCAR Cup Series will be on track for back-to-back races at Michigan International Speedway this weekend.

Following Thursday’s qualifying draw, the starting lineup for Saturday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN) is available, meaning it’s also time to start landing on our bets.

Michigan was repaved in 2012, so it’s still a smooth surface that does not produce much tire wear. As a result, track position will be key and there is an opportunity for pit and tire strategy to get cars out front in clean air and steal a good finish (or potentially a win).

Two drivers are popping for me as auto-bets, which I’m grabbing right now. Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@PJWalsh24) for any additional bets I make for Saturday’s race.

NASCAR FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan Odds, Betting Picks

Odds as of Friday at 8 a.m. ET

Ryan Blaney (+1300) to Win

The Cup Series is back on a recently-repaved, high-speed surface, so I’m back on Blaney.

Betting on the No. 12 Ford hasn’t exactly worked out so far this season, but the car’s speed is just too much too ignore.

Because Michigan’s surface does not wear tires, Goodyear, which provides tires for NASCAR, is bringing the same combination that was used already this season at Las Vegas, Kentucky and Texas.

Want to venture a guess as to which driver was the best across those three races?

Blaney ranked first in average running position, fast laps run, laps led and driver rating at those events.

At +1300, Blaney is a no-brainer bet for me and I’m willing to play him down to +1000.

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Matt DiBenedetto (+5000) to Win

I had an inkling I’d like Blaney before I even dug into the numbers, and while I’ve bet DiBenedetto frequently this season, I didn’t think I’d end up playing him to win on Saturday.

However, the metrics quickly convinced me.

Just like Blaney, DiBenedetto has been really good on this tire combination, posting the fourth-best average finish and the sixth-best driver rating at Las Vegas, Kentucky and Texas, combined.

The drawback to Matty D.’s chances to win is that while he tends to hang around the top 10, and even drive his way into the top five at times, the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford doesn’t find itself out front often — DiBenedetto led just two total laps, combined, at Vegas, Kentucky and Texas.

However, at a longshot price of 50-1, that is built into this number and with such little falloff at Michigan, DiBenedetto is a prime candidate to roll the dice and get that car, which we know brings top-10 speed to this type of track, out front to contend to win.

I’d be comfortable betting DiBenedetto at 45-1 or better.

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