Kyle Larson Opens As Clear Favorite For NASCAR FireKeepers Casino 400 In Michigan

Written By Drew Ellis on August 17, 2021

The NASCAR Cup Series makes its return to Michigan International Speedway this weekend, with drivers competing in the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, the lone race at MIS in 2021.

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3 p.m., with the race airing live on NBC Sports Network.

Odds were released Tuesday morning. Here’s a look at what oddsmakers expect for this race.

Kyle Larson the clear favorite

Kyle Larson finds himself as the favorite for Sunday’s NASCAR race in Michigan.

Both BetMGM Sportsbook and PointsBet Sportsbook are listing Larson at +300 to win.

BetMGM has Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. next in the odds at +700 each.

PointsBet has Elliott at +800, Truex Jr. at +850, and Busch and Kevin Harvick at +900.

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NASCAR Cup Series leader hits Michigan on a hot streak

Kyle Larson has managed to bounce back from a rough patch in 2020.

The veteran driver was suspended for the majority of last season for using a racial slur on a livestream during a virtual race.

In 2021, he signed on with Hendrick Motorsports and finds himself leading the Cup standings with just a few races remaining before the 10-race playoffs.

Larson has a series-best five wins, 13 top-fives and 17 top-10s in 2021. In the season points race, he is nearly 200 ahead of the rest of the Cup Series winners this year.

Currently, Larson has finished in the top three in nine of the past 13 races, with four wins in that span.

History has been on Larson’s side at MIS, as he has three wins at the track.

Brad Keselowski pursues home victory

Brad Keselowski returns to his home track for a final time with the No. 2 car.

Keselowski is ending his run with Team Penske to take a minority ownership role with Roush Fenway Racing.

His final season with Penske could be going better. He has just one win on the year with only nine top-10 finishes. That performance still qualifies him for the playoffs, but it’s a significant drop in wins from previous years.

Keselowski has desperately wanted a NASCAR win at his home Michigan track of MIS, but he has come up short 22 times over his career. He has multiple runner-up finishes here, but has not been able to earn the checkered flag.

Oddsmakers are listing Keselowski at +1400 to win Sunday’s race.

Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin seek first win

Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin are two of NASCAR’s best drivers over many years. However, they both find themselves without a win in 2021 as they head to MIS.

Although both are in comfortable positions to make the playoffs based on their season-long points, wins by other drivers who are currently winless could change that.

Hamlin sits 14th right now because of the lack of a win (the top 16 qualify), but would be second in points. He has 12 top-fives and 16 top-10s this year. Heading into Sunday, Hamlin has +900 odds to win according to BetMGM. PointsBet lists him at +1000.

Hamlin is a multiple-time winner in Michigan and should be a top contender again this weekend.

Harvick (+800/+900) is in a more urgent situation. He sits only 95 points over the cut line for the playoffs. Should two winless drivers come through over the next two races, Harvick would find himself out of contention.

The former series champion has also finished outside the top five in his past five races. He has just six top-five finishes this year.

Drew Ellis Avatar
Written by
Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life, and has been writing professionally for the last 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

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