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Anthony James Allmendinger threw the ' sphere for a loop-de-loop on August 15 when he won the Verizon 200 at The Brickyard, beating out bigger household names like Chase Elliot and Kyle Larson, among so many others. Will more surprises await us at this week's Firekeepers Casino 400 competition?
That's what our betting odds and predictions for the 2021 Nascar Michigan race will attempt to find out.
|Driver to Win|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+700|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+15000|
Though we're inside of a week to go before the opening gun at Firekeepers 400, you will want to double-check these Nascar betting lines before deciding on an investment. These odds will shift in the coming days at BetOnline and other top online sportsbooks.
Nascar 2021 Firekeepers Casino 400 Betting Breakdown
- When: Sunday, August 22
- Time: 3 p.m. EST
- Where: Michigan International Speedway in Lenawee County, Michigan
- TV/Streaming: NBC Sports
Where Is Anthony James Allmendinger?
Winners from previous Nascar races typically curry some sort of favor from oddsmakers in the next one, particularly when it wasn't their first career victory. For Anthony James Allmendinger, his win at The Brickyard was actually the second of his career.
But having spent most of the year racing in the Nascar Xfinity Series, Allmendinger is not part of the starting slate for this week's race in Michigan. And even if he were, people would point to his victory at The Brickyard as situational luck, since he benefited from numerous accidents at critical times in the race that took other drivers out of the running.
What's Up with Denny Hamlin?
Denny Hamlin (+900) continues to have an extremely puzzling season. After winning seven races last year, he has yet to pick up his first outright victory in 2021. And time is running out for him to escape this slump.
It looked like he might notch his inaugural first-place finish at The Brickyard. He led the field heading into overtime. But a collision with Chase Briscoe (+20000) derailed his shot at victory and caused him to drop all the way to 23rd in the final tally.
Just two races remain before the Nascar playoff field is set. That's not many opportunities for Hamlin to earn a first-place ballot and fortify his place in the standings, where he currently sits in 14th place.
At the same time, while this hasn't been the best season of his career, Hamlin is far from an afterthought. He has 12 top-five finishes to his name, and it should really be 13. That's technically the same number of top-five placements as Kyle Larson, Nascar's Cup Series leader in points, and more than just about anyone else.
You should absolutely view Hamlin as a threat to win at Michigan.
Better Bet: Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, or Martin Truex Jr.?
Kyle Busch (+700), Chase Elliott (+700), and Martin Truex Jr. (+700) all enter Sunday's race with the same 7-to-1 odds, and deciding between them can be difficult.
Truex leads the trio in first-place finishes this year (three) as well as overall Nascar Cup Series points. But he also hasn't bagged a victory since the Goodyear 400 at Darlington. Both Elliott and Busch have won more recently and each has two first-place positions and 11 top-five placements on their 2021 resume.
Forced to choose between the three, we think it makes the most sense to go with Elliott. He put together the best race last week at The Brickyard and has done a great job completing inside passes in recent months.
Kevin Harvick Remains a Threat
Do you know who loves going to work at the Michigan International Speedway? Kevin Harvick (+800).
This might even be an understatement. Harvick has won three of Nascar's past four races on this track: 2020 Firekeepers Casino 400, 2019 Consumers Energy 400, and 2018 Consumers Energy 400. He also picked up a first-place finish when this upcoming race was known as the CarFax 400, back in 2010.
Bettors have largely soured on Harvick after he plunged down the standings. He is in 15th place on the points leaderboard and has zero wins and zero pole finishes on his docket this year.
Still, his track record at Michigan speaks for itself.
Nascar Firekeepers Casino 400 Pick
Race results can be a little unpredictable this late into the Nascar season. Many drivers are attempting to prioritize standings maintenance rather than outright victories.
Kyle Larson (+300) falls under that category. He is the odds-on favorite because he has raced so well this season, but we don't actually believe he'll be chasing a podium finish.
Hamlin is the more intriguing pick to us. He is not only trying to overcome the bad vibes from his unfortunate finish at The Brickyard but he's come so close to winning a handful of races this season. He's just yet to get over the hump.
This feels like the race in which that'll change.
OSB Firekeepers Casino 400 Prediction: Denny Hamlin (+900)
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your Nascar bettings:
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