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Categorized | NASCAR

2018 FireKeepers Casino 400 Picks and Predictions: Top Sleeper Bets for the FireKeepers Casino 400

2018 FireKeepers Casino 400 Picks and Predictions – Top Sleeper Bets for the FireKeepers Casino 400: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway this weekend, and while the power teams in the sport have enjoyed plenty of success here, the two-mile, D-shaped oval has also been known to produce the occasional upset.

One of the distinctive features of MIS is its wide racing surface, and since drivers have plenty of room to work, there tends to be longer green flag stretches. This can cause pit strategy to come into play with teams often short pitting or trying to stretch fuel. If cautions fall at the right time, some surprise contenders for the win could emerge.

With that in mind, here is a closer look at some of my favorite value bets and longshots worth taking a chance on for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan. 

2018 FireKeepers Casino 400 Picks and Predictions: Top Sleeper Bets for the FireKeepers Casino 400

Top Sleepers 

Joey Logano (15/1) 

He won’t win you a ton of money, but Logano has the best profit margin among drivers with an elite resume at Michigan. He has a series-leading nine top-10s in the last 10 starts at the track, and more importantly, he has two wins and has led more laps than any other driver during that span. Compared to some of the drivers with better odds, Logano is a potential steal.

Erik Jones (15/1)

He’s only in his second year in the Cup Series, but Jones has already established himself as one of the better options at the two-mile ovals. He finished 13th in Michigan debut last June, and when he returned to the track in July, he led some laps and finished third. Jones also finished in the Top 10 at Auto Club earlier this year, and he has never finished outside the top 15 at two-mile track at the Cup level.

Aric Almirola (50/1)

He only has one career Cup win under his belt, but I’m still shocked that Almirola is a 50/1 longshot this weekend. He has been the model of consistency all year, piling up 12 top-15 finishes through the first 14 races, including a 12th-place run at Auto Club. At the very least, Almirola is going to be close enough to the front to have a shot at stealing the win with pit strategy, and there are plenty of drivers getting similar odds that struggle to run in the top half of the field.

Jamie McMurray (100/1)

His odds are no doubt impacted by his slow start to 2018, but McMurray has been showing signs of life in recent weeks, and Michigan has become one of his better tracks. He has finished 16th or better in the last eight races here, and he has four straight top-10s. Keep in mind that McMurray’s teammate, Kyle Larson, has won the last three races at MIS, and McMurray has access to the same setup. Yes, Larson is a more talented driver, but McMurray will deliver 20 times the payout if he can pull off the upset.

Paul Menard (200/1)

If I’m throwing a little money at a true longshot, it is definitely going to be Menard. He has struggled at Michigan the last couple of years, but I think that had a lot to do with how far behind Richard Childress Racing has slipped compared to the other top teams. From 2013 to 2015, he reeled off six straight top-15 finishes at Michigan, finishing fourth on three separate occasions. Joining Wood Brothers Racing this offseason seems to have revitalized Menard, and he is back to running in the top 15 routinely and is flashing top-10 upside. Heading to what used to be one of his best tracks, I think he could be a surprise contender.

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