Auto Racing Betting Preview & Liev Jackson Free Picks: NASCAR Returns to Michigan for Pure Michigan 400
Saturday, August 12, 2017
by Liev Jackson

Auto Racing Betting Preview & Liev Jackson Free Picks: NASCAR Returns to Michigan for Pure Michigan 400

NASCAR returns to Michigan for the second time on the calendar after they were just here on June 18th. This time it’s with four races left on the regular season schedule and just three spots up for grabs for the Cup Championship Playoffs.

Winners on the circuit are automatically guaranteed a spot, with the highest non-winning point getters filling up the remaining places. Right now it appears to be a four-driver sprint to the finish for those last three spots, and that doesn’t even include one driver with a long history of making the playoffs. Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth are in if the season ended today.

Clint Bowyer is 34 points out and in tenth in the points standings. Joey Logano’s win earlier in the season doesn’t count after he failed inspection and he’s 101 points off the pace, but certainly capable of a win on any given week.

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If we go by the favorites, this week’s two-mile track, one of if not the fastest on the circuit appears to be a three-driver race. It’s pretty rare to show odds with such a wide gap between the top three (+350 for the third favorite) and everyone else (+1000 for fourth).

Kyle Busch (+350) is a favorite after a hot summer has propelled him up to second in the driver’s standings. Since the All-Star race in May -which he won-, he’s got four-top five finishes and three more top-ten results in ten races. He won this race once, back in 2011 and has just one top-five result since, in 2013. In the last five races here he’s just 29th in average finish with one top-ten result.

Martin Truex Jr. (+350) is the runaway points leader this year and he just won his fourth race last week. He’s officially a threat on any given week. He’s never won here, but has finished third twice in his last face races here and has the seventh best average finish over that span.

Kyle Larson (+400) has slumped in recent weeks, but he won this race in June and is the defending champ for the August race as well. He’s finished out of the top-25 in his last three races, but the speeds and wide track should play to his strengths.

Chase Elliott (+1000) is still looking for his first career win and this is his best course to get it. He’s finished second in each of his three races here. His 119 average rating is also tops in the field and a win clinches his playoff spot.

Joey Logano (+1500) has the second highest average finish here since 2015, and is highest among the drivers who have competed in all five races. He has a win and two other top-five results. He’ll need a win to qualify for the playoffs and this might be his best last chance.

Daniel Suarez (+6600) is the rookie who took over from Carl Edwards after his surprise retirement close to the start of the season. He started off slow, but has been coming on strong for weeks. He’s now finished top-ten for four straight weeks and has eight such results on the season. He finished third last week and led a career high 14 laps.

The Picks:

Favorite #1: Chase Elliott #24.

Favorite #2: Joey Logano #22.

Upset Pick:

  • Daniel Suarez #19.

Pure Michigan 400 - Odds to Win @ Michigan International Speedway
Kyle Busch #18 +350
Martin Truex, Jr. #78 +350
Kyle Larson #42 +400
Chase Elliott #24 +1000
Kevin Harvick #4 +1000
Jimmie Johnson #48 +1200
Matt Kenseth #20 +1200
Brad Keselowski #2 +1500
Joey Logano #22 +1500
Denny Hamlin #11 +1600
Ryan Blaney #21 +2600
Jamie McMurray #1 +3300
Erik Jones #77 +3500
Clint Bowyer #14 +3800
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. #88 +4400
Kurt Busch #41 +5500
Daniel Suarez #19 +6600
Kasey Kahne #5 +7000

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