Loading scores...
Latest Lines

Latest Lines and Proper Props: Michigan

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: August 8, 2020, 11:03 am ET

Line Moves

Nine of the top-10 ranked drivers experienced line movements this week. A lot of money must have exchanged hands to see this so many adjustments. Five of the six top-ranked drivers on Monday saw their odds go up, which suggests that odds makers needed to sweeten the pot a little to get a little more action.

Kevin Harvick saw a slight adjustment from +400 (4/1) to +450 and that is not going to significantly change anyone’s betting scheme. Unless he wins or a bettor finds an interesting prop bet that will make some money, it will be difficult to lay off a wager on the fair-haired racer this week. His Saturday odds to finish in the top three are only +125 and given his stellar record in the past several weeks and at Michigan, it’s not recommended to fade his -435 odds to finish in the top 10.

Denny Hamlin’s odds fell from +600 to +550. That typically means enough money came in at the opening odds that bookmakers needed to increase their margins slightly. That little bit of movement made a big difference to them, but as with Harvick, it was not significant enough to substantially alter anyone’s strategy with this exception: It shows confidence among your fellow bettors and might raise his appeal.


Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott each moved from +700 to +800 over the course of the week. On the track, they are heading in opposite directions.

Keselowski signed what is rumored to be a one-year extension to his Team Penske contract the day after winning the Foxwoods Casino 301. That was his third top-five in the past five races. His other two results in that span were a pair of ninths and during the past 18 races, he has finished outside the top 15 only once.

Elliott, on the other hand, is struggling. He was happy to get a top-10 last week. Given the malaise that seems to be affecting this team, that should be the high water mark again at Michigan. He should be able to accomplish that since he’s scored top-10s in all but on Michigan race during his career. Unfortunately, his odds to finish in the top 10 are -275 so there is no money to be made. Elliott’s first three attempts on this track ended in second-place finishes. If he can repeat that feat, his odds to finish in the top three at +215 and in the top five +145.

Ryan Blaney showed the greatest movement among the top 10 ranked drivers this week. His odds improved from +1300 to +900 for the outright win, an adjustment of 400 points. It’s unclear exactly why bettors showed so much confidence in Blaney unless they believe that his bad fortune is in the rear view mirror. And Michigan is a track on which drivers are often capable of making their own good luck. With its wide corners and long straights, racers are able to stay out of trouble. Michigan often devolves into a fuel mileage affair, and that allows smart crew chiefs to play a significant role.

Blaney is a better bet to finish in the top five. His odds of doing so are +150.

The biggest mover in the top half of this week’s field was Kurt Busch, who went from +2500 to +3300. Busch’s strength is the consistency with which he finishes among the top 10 or 15, but unless there are special circumstances such as a strategy move, he is not going to battle for the win. As the outright line moves, however, it often drags the other lines. Currently Busch is listed at +425 to finish in the top five and that could be worth a few dollars.

Prop Bets

NASCAR announced midweek that they would be making changes to how cars are lined up for future events.

Beginning next week, they will use a formula that includes a driver’s finish in the most recent event, the fastest lap run in that race, and owner points to seed the drivers at the front of the field. Once the playoffs begin in five weeks, the championship contenders will be ranked among themselves, so the top 16 in the Round of 16 will all start on the first eight rows. In the Round of 12, those drivers will start on the first six rows and so on.

For this week, the random draw was still in effect and Joey Logano drew the pole with Hamlin alongside on the front row. Both drivers are co-favored to win Stage 1 with +400 odds. Harvick starts third and is listed at +550.

Hamlin (+550), Harvick (+550), and Logano (+650) remain favorites to win Stage 2.

It is worth noting, however, that the drivers with the most segment wins this season have attractive odds. Fifth-place starter Keselowski has earned six stage wins for the season and is listed at +800 to win each segment. Elliott (who rolls off the grid ninth) has +1400 odds to win Stage 1 and +1000 to win Stage 2.

With Logano, Hamlin, and Harvick up front the Draft Kings book gives -225 odds that the winner will come from the top three grid positions. NASCAR races rarely go exactly as planned, however, and a little money can be made with a bet of +160 for the winner to start fourth or worse.

This week’s odds for any driver to win both stages and the race have been set at +650.

While his odds to win outright are not overly exciting, a safer way to wager on Harvick may be to bet his finish among a group of drivers that includes Hamlin, Keselowski, and Blaney. Harvick is favored to win, but has odds of +175. At +235, Hamlin is his most serious competitor in this group.

Tyler Reddick has been one of our favorite dark horses this week and he is grouped with his teammate and two other rookies on the Draft Kings sportsbook. Reddick is favored at +215 odds with Chase Briscoe (+240), Cole Custer (+250), and Austin Dillon (+270) dragging behind slightly.

 

Rank

Driver

Current Odds

Opening Odds

Change

1.

Kevin Harvick

450

400

-50

2.

Denny Hamlin

550

600

50

3.

Joey Logano

700

650

-50

4.

Brad Keselowski

800

700

-100

4.

Chase Elliott

800

700

-100

6.

Martin Truex Jr.

850

800

-50

7.

Ryan Blaney

900

1300

400

8.

Kyle Busch

1000

1000

0

9.

Aric Almirola

1600

1800

200

10.

Alex Bowman

3000

3300

300

 

11.

Kurt Busch

3300

2500

-800

12.

Clint Bowyer

4000

4000

0

12.

Matt DiBenedetto

4000

4000

0

12.

Erik Jones

4000

3300

-700

15.

William Byron

4500

4000

-500

16.

Jimmie Johnson

5000

5000

0

16.

Tyler Reddick

5000

5000

0

18.

Cole Custer

6000

6600

600

19.

Matt Kenseth

6600

6600

0

19.

Austin Dillon

6600

6600

0

19.

Christopher Bell

6600

6600

0

 

22.

Ryan Newman

12500

15000

2500

23.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

20000

20000

0

23.

Bubba Wallace

20000

25000

5000

25.

Chris Buescher

25000

25000

0

26.

JH Nemechek

40000

30000

-10000

27.

Ryan Preece

50000

40000

-10000

27.

Ty Dillon

50000

50000

0

29.

Michael McDowell

75000

50000

-25000

29.

Daniel Suarez

75000

75000

0

 

31.

Brennan Poole

100000

200000

100000

32.

JJ Yeley

150000

150000

0

32.

Corey LaJoie

150000

100000

-50000

34.

Reed Sorenson

200000

200000

0

34.

James Davison

200000

200000

0

34.

Joey Gase

200000

200000

0

34.

Timmy Hill

200000

200000

0

34.

Garrett Smithley

200000

200000

0

34.

Quin Houff

200000

200000

0

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.