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It's Michigan Madness this weekend. We've got a full race card cooked up for the FireKeepers Casino 400 from Michigan International Speedway. NASCAR Cup series predictions, picks, and odds from Phil Bobbitt.

NASCAR Cup Series Predictions, Picks, Odds: Can We Trust Ross Chastain at the FireKeepers Casino 400?

Happy weekend, race fans! We've got a full race card cooked up for the FireKeepers Casino 400 from Michigan International Speedway. This race is literally sponsored by a casino, so we've got no choice but to bet on it.

Last weekend's Cup Series race on the road course was bonkers. We saw Tyler Reddick take the checkered, but quite a few of our targets fell victim to mayhem in a tight turn one. Thankfully, we're back on a 2.0-mile oval this weekend. The large sweeping turns and 18-degree banking in the corners allow Michigan to be one of the fastest courses on the Nascar schedule.

We are assuming there will be minimum tire fall-off after a long run, and that could open the door for some late-race surprises and differing pit strategies. You will routinely see drivers going four and five-wide during restarts. In fact, restarts at Michigan very closely resemble someone shaking up a jar of bees and opening the lid...pure chaos.

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NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 Start Time and Where to Watch

  • Date: August 7, 2022
  • Start Time: 3:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: USA

Click Here for NASCAR Cup Series Odds

NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 Pick

Ryan Blaney to finish better than William Byron (-105) (Bet $105 to win $100)

*Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing*

NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 Prediction

William Byron has been struggling for the last few months. He's registered one (1) top-10 finish over the last 11 races, and that was at the Sonoma Road Course. It doesn't seem to matter whether Byron has a race-winning car or not, he's been unable to piece together decent finishes. He actually ranks sixth in green flag speed over the course of the season.

Don't worry about Byron's flashy green flag speed metric. Our guy Blaney leads that category. With track position and clean air being at such a premium, we also tip our cap to Blaney's P2 average starting position in our comparable track algorithm. Green flag speed correlates to average starting position because the further you can start towards the front, the cleaner the air you have to navigate. You have to scan all the way to 13th to find Byron on the list.

Ryan Blaney probably loves Michigan. He won this thing last year after leading eight laps late and nailing a few restarts. Blaney has twice as many top-5s and top-10s as Byron in our data set, as well as a driver rating four points higher. Blaney needs this win to cement himself in the playoffs and will most likely bring an aggressively trimmed-out racecar. Look for the highlighter yellow Ford to dominate Byron's chevy on Sunday.

NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 Picks

Ross Chastain to finish inside the Top-5 (+139, Barstool) (Bet $100 to win $139)

*Odds available at Barstool at time of publishing*

Ross Chastain to finish ahead of Denny Hamlin (+100, Draftkings) (Bet $100 to win $100)

*Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing*

NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 Predictions

Chastain has been an absolute wizard this year. He's had one of the best cars on intermediate ovals this year. Although this is a 2.0-mile track, it behaves more like an intermediate than a superspeedway even with the higher speeds. The new car has brought challenges for a lot of Cup teams, but it has provided Chastain with the opportunity of a lifetime.

Chastain seems to be the one guy that average start position doesn't affect. When no one else can pass, Chastain can. He has the second-best average green flag speed for the 2022 season and the second-ranked pit crew. He's won on a road course. He's won on a superspeedway. This driver can literally perform on all track types, in any condition. He's second in our metric in fast laps per race (16.6) and first in average laps led (28.2). This is a huge "play-on" target for us this weekend and he should be for you too!

This weekend will be awesome to watch. We don't think the 2022 edition will look anything like last year's race. The cup series cars are running a 670-horsepower package instead of the 550-hp. The handling of this generation of cars will also be must more difficult to handle, and side-drafting is not nearly as effective. Let's enjoy the show on Sunday afternoon, and hit the pay window after!

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Article Author


Phil and Steve are lifelong buddies from the Philadelphia area. They specialize in all things motorsports and turned in a 131.3 unit profit in 2021.


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