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Categorized | NASCAR

2018 Consumers Energy 400 Odds, Picks and Predictions: Top Sleeper Bets for the Consumers Energy 400

2018 Consumers Energy 400 Odds, Picks and Predictions: Top Sleeper Bets for the Consumers Energy 400: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is visiting Michigan International Speedway this weekend, and while the big names tend to rise to the top at the wide, fast two-mile oval, you won’t to completely ignore the dark horses when betting on this weekend’s Consumers Energy 400.

For one, pit strategy has been known to play a factor at Michigan, and that’s exactly what happened in the June race earlier this year when Clint Bowyer used a two-tire stop and held off Kevin Harvick until rain stopped the race after 133 of the 200 laps.

Perhaps more importantly, a lot of younger drivers have been gaining momentum in recent weeks. Erik Jones and Chase Elliott have both picked up their first career Cup wins in recent weeks, and Alex Bowman, William Byron and Daniel Suarez are all running as well as they ever have in their careers. There has never been a better time pull the trigger on the young guns.

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Picks and Predictions: Top Sleeper Bets for the Consumers Energy 400

Top Sleepers

Ryan Blaney (20/1)

His eighth-place finish at Michigan in June doesn’t do Blaney justice. He actually had one of the best cars in that race, leading 15 laps and recording 24 fastest laps. With rain shortening the event, he lost out on a chance to compete for the win, but as strong as the Ford teams were the first time around, he could certainly finish what he started in June during this weekend’s race. I think Blaney is a little underrated at 20/1 this weekend.

Erik Jones (25/1)

The sample size isn’t huge, but Jones has already amassed a decent resume at Michigan. He has a 10.3 average finish in three starts, and he led five laps and finished third in the August race last season. Equally as important, Jones is in the middle of the best stretch of racing of his career. He has finished seventh or better in six of the last seven races, logging back-to-back top-five finishes and picking up his first Cup win a few weeks ago at Daytona. Jones is starting to realize his star potential, and he could be a steal at 25/1 this weekend.

Kurt Busch (25/1)

Busch had an excellent run at Michigan back in June, leading the second-most laps and finishing third. Stewart-Haas Racing actually claimed the top three spots in that race, so SHR clearly has a setup that works at this place. He has now finished 12th or better in his last five starts at MIS, and he owns four career wins at two-mile ovals, including three at Michigan. Add it all up, and Busch looks like one of the better values on the board this weekend.

Daniel Suarez (66/1)

Although he has never had much luck at Michigan in his Cup starts, Suarez does own an XFINITY Series win at the track. More importantly, he has taken a big leap the last couple of weeks, finishing second at Pocono and fourth at Watkins Glen. Momentum means something in NASCAR, and Suarez has it as he heads to a track where he knows he can win. I like his upside at 66/1 this weekend.

Alex Bowman (100/1)

His 16th-place finish at Michigan in June was solid, albeit not spectacular, but Bowman is running as well as he has all season heading into Sunday’s race. He has six top-15 finishes in the last seven races, and he has four top-10 finishes in that span, including a third-place run a couple of weeks ago at Pocono. Hendrick Motorsports has looked much better as a whole in recent weeks, which only adds to Bowman’s appeal as a longshot bet.

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