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NASCAR Best Bets: Motorsports Picks, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan

Pearce Dietrich gives his top NASCAR bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for the FireKeepers Casino 400, which starts on August 22 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Last week at Indianapolis, Best Bet Motorsports Pick, A.J. Allmendinger, pulled off the win at +2000 odds. This week, there could be another surprise winner and Best Bets readers could earn another hefty payout. Find out why Michigan might not be a great race to bet the favorites.


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Ryan Blaney to Win (+1800)

If this race is a calm and peaceful lap-turner, then the favorites will likely win, but there are two ways that the favorites do not win at Michigan. The first scenario involves Ryan Blaney and this can be green-flag race — it does not require caution flags or volatility. Blaney has a lot better chance of winning this race than his odds indicate. Michigan is a flat-out full throttle race track. The high speed tracks are where Blaney excels. Last year, Blaney finished fourth in the Saturday Michigan race. He led the second-most laps (27) and he ran the third-most laps inside the top 5 (58%). In the Sunday race, Blaney started 17th, and with a great restart, he took the lead on lap 92. Unfortunately, on lap 96, his teammate, Brad Keselowski, ran out of talent and wrecked Blaney while attempting to pull a stupid move. Michigan is a Blaney track and he should be a favorite.

Matt DiBenedetto to Win (+5000)

Now, let’s get weird. The second scenario where a favorite does not win is if Michigan is Michigan. This isn’t really all that weird, it just sounds weird to pick Matt DiBenedetto. The high downforce, low horsepower package has wreaked havoc on this sport. The approach at intermediate tracks is completely different — drivers have to get everything they can on restarts. Michigan is possibly the worst track in this package for the drivers, but the favorite of the TV executives. After a restart, the cars hug the wall and go nowhere. The drivers hate this style of racing and the executives are not crazy about it either, but the inability to pass during green-flag runs creates pandemonium on restarts — the executives love this. Last year, the Saturday Michigan race ended with a series of cautions and wild restarts. When the dust settled, the favorite, Kevin Harvick, was victorious, but it could have easily gone the other way. Matt DiBenedetto is one of the best restarters in the high downforce, low horsepower package and he’s desperate for a win. In previous seasons, DiBenedetto was desperate, but he never publicly admitted that he was willing to accept a ride in an Xfinity car until the season. If he does not win this season, it might be his last season. There are only a couple races left where DiBenedetto has a shot at a win, and Michigan is one of them and he knows it. Some bets are more than happy to play it safe and settle for a top 5 finish. On the final restart, DiBenedetto is checkers or wreckers.


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Brad Keselowski to Win (+1600)

Speaking of desperation, Brad Keselowski has never won at his home track in Michigan. He wants this win more than any other, and this is likely his last shot. When he moves to Roush, he’s not winning any races. Excluding plate races, Roush hasn’t won a race since 2014! Keselowski is desperate like DiBenedetto, but he has a much better car. On restarts, Keselowski has been just as good as DiBenedetto, but the statistics are hard to rely on due to their circumstantial nature. Proof of his restart prowess is his second place finish in the Saturday Michigan race last season. A driver must be good on restarts in order to earn a top-5 finish at Michigan because green-flag passing is so difficult. On Sunday, Keselowski was again battling for the win, but desperation kicked in, and his foolish attempt to pass for the lead resulted in a DNF for him and his teammate.

Ross Chastain vs Austin Dillon - Austin Dillon (-105)

If this race is not crazy or the restarts are little more calm like the Sunday Michigan race last season, then Austin Dillon should be able to handle Ross Chastain. RCR and CGR have alliances with Hendrick Motorsports, but the RCR connection is more pronounced and RCR has been able to routinely perform at high downforce, low horsepower tracks where as Ross Chastain has not. The last high downforce race seems like a life time ago. In that Atlanta race, Ross Chastain finished 23rd and Austin Dillon finished 12th. In the race before that, Ross Chastain suffered an engine failure at Charlotte. In this package at intermediate tracks, Dillon’s average finish is 10th and Chastain’s is 22nd.

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All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.