17/12/2018

NASCAR FireKeepers Casino 400 Vegas picks, predictions 2018: Back Jimmie Johnson at Michigan

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NASCAR FireKeepers Casino 400 Vegas picks, predictions 2018: Back Jimmie Johnson at Michigan

Micah Roberts pioneered wagering on NASCAR races and just locked in his FireKeepers Casino 400 picks

Micah Roberts pioneered wagering on NASCAR races and just locked in his FireKeepers Casino 400 picks

Kevin Harvick is the Vegas favorite for the 2018 FireKeepers Casino 400 at 2-1. The race runs Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET from Michigan International Speedway. Chasing Harvick on the 2018 NASCAR at Michigan odds board are Kyle Busch at 5-1 and Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson, who are both listed at 6-1. Five drivers are going off at lower than 10-1 at the two-mile track. Before you lock in any FireKeepers 400 NASCAR picks, you need to see what Vegas legend Micah Roberts has to say.

As a Vegas bookmaker, Roberts was the first to offer expanded NASCAR betting. Now he hands out winners to his followers. 

In the 2017 playoffs, Roberts picked nine of the 10 winners. That was no fluke: In 2016, he told readers to back Denny Hamlin at 15-1 in the Daytona 500. The result: Hamlin edged Martin Truex Jr. for the checkered flag. Roberts also nailed Hamlin at 40-1 to win at Watkins Glen later that year. 

Earlier this season, Roberts was all in on Harvick at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 despite two other drivers having the same field-leading odds. The result: Harvick dominated, leading for 181 of 325 laps and cruising to victory by 2.69 seconds. 

Also this season, Roberts was on Clint Bowyer at the STP 500, a race in which he snapped a long winless streak. And at the Food City 500, he said Kyle Busch "owned" Bristol and would come away with the checkered flag -- he rallied to finish just .63 seconds ahead of Kyle Larson for the checkered flag.

Now, he has analyzed the FireKeepers Casino 400 and locked in his picks. You can see his entire projected leaderboard over at SportsLine.

One surprise: Roberts says Denny Hamlin, listed at 20-1 NASCAR at Michigan odds, makes a strong run at the checkered flag.

"Hamlin is a two-time winner of this event and finished fourth in this race last season," Roberts told SportsLine. "On a similar track in Fontana this season, he was sixth. He's looking for his first win of the season and definitely should have a top-five car."

Hamlin struggled last week at Pocono, but had three consecutive top-five finishes prior to that at Charlotte, Kansas, and the NASCAR All-Star race. He was third at Richmond and Daytona this season as well. Hamlin is a target for anyone looking for a huge payday on Sunday.

Another shocker: Roberts projects a top-10 finish from Jimmie Johnson, one of NASCAR's all-time greats, but a massive 60-1 underdog. 

"His Hendrick Motorsports Camaro has slowly been finding speed as the season matures with five of his past seven starts finishing ninth or better," Roberts noted to SportsLine. "The best sign he's coming around came the past two weeks at Charlotte (fifth) and Pocono (eighth), two tracks requiring lots of horsepower to run well. Last week he led his first laps of the season. He's coming around."

Roberts' top choice is a driver who may not be the favorite, but has had significant front-running success at Michigan. He's also picking several massive sleepers in his top 10, including one that historically runs well at this track. Vegas isn't giving him any credit, so anyone who backs this underdog could hit it big. 

So who wins the 2018 FireKeepers Casino 400? And which long shot should you be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see the full projected leaderboard from the nation's premier NASCAR handicapper!

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