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Categorized | NASCAR

2018 Overton’s 400 Odds, Picks and Predictions: Favorites and Bad Bets for the Overton’s 400

2018 Overton’s 400 Odds, Picks and Predictions – Favorites and Bad Bets for the Overton’s 400: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway for the Overton’s 400. Sunday’s race will be the sixth of 2018 at a 1.5-mile oval, but after hosting the first race of the playoffs for the last several seasons, teams will have to deal with the hot temperatures of the summer this time around.

Despite the change of date, don’t expect a changing of the guard. Of all the track types on the schedule, 1.5-mile ovals like Chicagoland tend to be the most predictable. The importance of horsepower and downforce usually favors the big names from big teams, and this year has been no exception.

Check out all my top bets for Sunday’s Overton’s 400 at Chicagoland, along with a couple of big names that I’ll be avoiding.

2018 Overton’s 400 Odds, Picks and Predictions: Favorites and Bad Bets for the Overton’s 400

Favorites to Bet

Kevin Harvick (9/4)

Throw out a cut tire at Charlotte, and Harvick has been unstoppable at the 1.5-mile tracks this year. He has three wins and a second-place finish in the other four races, leading at least 79 laps in all four of those. In fact, Harvick has led more laps than any other driver in the five races at mile-and-a-half ovals despite essentially missing the Charlotte race because of the early incident. Harvick led a bunch of laps and finished in the Top 5 at Chicagoland last year, and he has been even faster in 2018. If you like safe money, back Harvick Sunday.

Kyle Busch (7/2)

Busch has been the second-best performer at the 1.5-mile tracks this year, and the gap between himself and whoever you want to put at No. 3 is huge. He is the only driver who has cracked the top 10 in all five races at 1.5-mile ovals, and he has two wins and has led the second-most laps. Busch has also been a force at Chicagoland, leading more than 20 laps in the last five races here. He is a great alternative bet to Kevin Harvick.

Denny Hamlin (12/1)

He can be mistake-prone, but Hamlin is usually a top-five driver when he keeps his nose clean. He also happens to be excellent at Chicagoland. Hamlin has finished sixth or better in his last four starts here, winning the 2015 race. He has three top-five finishes in the five races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, so there is no reason he can’t exploit one of his better tracks. If you want to shoot for a little more profit, Hamlin is a nice bet.

Brad Keselowski (15/1)

Keselowski has been lurking at the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, finishing sixth or better in three of the five races and leading more than 40 laps twice. He also has an excellent track record at Chicagoland. Keselowski has seven straight top-10s at the track, and he has a pair of wins during that span. Plus, there is decent room for profit at these odds.

Bad Bets

Martin Truex Jr. (7/2)

It’s easy to make an argument for Truex. He has won back-to-back races at Chicagoland, and his four top-five finishes at 1.5-mile tracks this year are tied for the most in the series. That being said, he has led just 23 total laps in the five races at mile-and-a-half ovals, leading no more than 13 in a single race. He’s been fast, but he hasn’t been on the same level as Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. For essentially the same odds, I’d much rather have Harvick and Busch.

Kyle Larson (7/1)

All season, Larson has been the only Chevrolet driver who has been able to keep up with the Ford and Toyota teams at the 1.5-milers, and he has three top-10s in four starts at Chicagoland. However, he has never won a Cup race at a mile-and-a-half track, and he has led just 22 laps at Chicagoland overall, including zero in each of the last two races here. I think Larson will challenge for a top-five Sunday, but I don’t think he will win. There are multiple options that will pay more for a win that I think have a better shot of reaching victory lane.

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