2022 FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan NASCAR Predictions and Pick
Last week’s race at the Indianapolis Road Course brought exciting action, especially on the restarts. Unfortunately, race winner Tyler Reddick wasn’t in my lineup, but my prop bets had a big day.
The NASCAR Cup Series puts the road course in the rearview as they head to Michigan. Michigan should bring thrilling action, as the 2.0-mile oval offers a drafting aspect. How will that impact my NASCAR picks?
Who will help their playoff position at Michigan? Check out my FireKeepers Casino 400 predictions.
Kyle Larson (+700)
Kyle Larson is coming off a rough performance at the Indianapolis Road Course. An early incident with Aric Almirola left him three laps down. Then, he had a brake issue that led to a scary crash with Ty Dillon.
We’ve seen flashes of his 2021 success, but Larson’s team can’t string together good finishes. Perhaps last week’s result means we’ll see a strong performance at Michigan.
Larson has three career wins at Michigan, but none since 2017. Ultimately, he makes my NASCAR predictions because of his performance in last year’s race.
- Stage 1 Finish: 2nd
- Stage 2 Finish: 4th
- Race Finish: 3rd
- Laps Led: 70 of 200
- Average Running Position: 3.0
Larson had the car to beat, leading a race-high 70 laps. He also held the best average running position and driver rating.
Unfortunately, he ran out of fuel ahead of the final pit stop. It wasn’t a race-ending mistake, but he lost the lead. Larson remained in the top five but couldn’t reclaim the top spot.
Auto Club is the other 2.0-mile track on the Cup Series schedule. That represents Larson’s only victory of 2022. My FireKeepers Casino 400 picks believe he can add to the total.
Denny Hamlin (+800)
Denny Hamlin’s disappointing 2022 season has been among the most surprising aspects of the year. Hamlin has a pair of wins, but inconsistencies have him 20th in the standings. His Pocono disqualification gives him one top 10 finish in his last five races.
The good news with Hamlin is speed hasn’t been an issue. His poor finishes stem from an incident or bad luck. Hopefully, he can avoid an issue at Michigan.
Hamlin has two wins at Michigan but none since 2011. He has led 6+ laps in eight straight Michigan races. He has four straight finishes of sixth or better.
It’s not as simple as looking at past Michigan numbers to determine the winner because the Next-Gen car has changed the game. Instead, I want to spotlight Hamlin’s numbers on high-speed intermediate tracks in 2022.
Hamlin’s average speed ranking of 5.5 leads the Cup Series. He has never been slower than seventh, including the fastest speed at Las Vegas.
That’s the primary reason Hamlin makes my NASCAR betting picks. He won the last race at a high-speed intermediate. Can he do it again?
Tyler Reddick (+1100)
Tyler Reddick has had a whirlwind of emotions over the last month. He scored his first career Cup Series win at Road America. Not long after, he announced he would leave Richard Childress Racing to join 23Xl Racing in 2024.
It was a sudden announcement that didn’t sit well with his current team. He followed the win with back-to-back finishes outside the top 20.
He bounced back with a second-place finish at Pocono. Last week, Reddick surpassed Ross Chastain in the final two laps to score his second victory of 2022.
WHAT A FINISH. Retweet to congratulate Tyler Reddick on his WIN at Indianapolis Motor Speedway!— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) July 31, 2022
Watch the full final battle here: pic.twitter.com/yCf8a3AMDE
There are still consistency issues, but Reddick’s peak is a championship contender. He can add to his playoff points with a strong run at Michigan. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs, as he doesn’t have a top 10 in three starts.
We’ve seen Reddick have speed at similar tracks in 2022. He had the car to beat at Auto Club before a late flat tire ended his race. He also had the third-best speed rating at Charlotte.
Momentum is a serious thing in the Cup Series. Chase Elliott has been the best driver, but Reddick quietly has three top-two finishes in five races. Can he keep it going?
Kevin Harvick (+2000)
It’s always interesting to include Kevin Harvick in my NASCAR betting picks. He often has a strong track history at a certain track, but his FireKeepers Casino 400 betting odds present value.
Harvick has shown potential in 2022 but enters Michigan with one top-five finish in his last six races. He needs a win in the final four regular-season races to make the playoffs. My free FireKeepers Casino 400 picks give him a chance at Michigan.
I know Harvick isn’t the same driver as years past, but I can’t ignore his last 10 Michigan races.
- 4 Wins
- 6 Top-Five Finishes
- 7 Top 10 Finishes
- 409 Laps Led
- 5.9 Average Finish
Harvick has dominated the track in the last five years. Last year ended a streak of six straight races with 15+ laps led. His four wins came within that stretch.
Truthfully, we haven’t seen great speed on high-speed intermediates in 2022. Still, he finished third at Charlotte and seventh at Auto Club. Harvick needs to put himself in a strong position at the end.
He’ll be as aggressive as anyone if he has a chance to win. My NASCAR picks like Harvick at (+2000).
2022 FireKeepers Casino 400 Prop Bets
I would’ve had a perfect day for my Indianapolis Road Course prop bets, but Ross Chastain received a post-race penalty after finishing second.
Let’s see how my FireKeepers Casino 400 predictions view the top props.
Ryan Blaney Over William Byron (-115)
Ryan Blaney and William Byron had strong performances at the Indianapolis Road Course but spun while running top-five in the closing laps. Luckily, Michigan represents a good opportunity for both drivers.
Last season, both drivers were top contenders at Michigan. Blaney won the 2021 FireKeepers Casino 400, with Byron finishing second. Ultimately, this pick comes down to their 2022 numbers.
|Ryan Blaney||William Byron|
|Top 10 Finishes||10||5|
Byron had a great start to 2022, but he has one top 10 finish in his last 14 races. Blaney has much more urgency, as he’s one of the top playoff drivers without a win. If nothing else, he needs one for momentum.
Both drivers have had speed on high-speed intermediates. My expert FireKeepers Casino 400 doesn’t have much faith in Byron right now.
Chase Elliott to Finish Top 5 (+125)
Chase Elliott has firmly established himself as the championship favorite. Elliott was a late spin away from scoring his sixth consecutive top-two finish. Elliott has shown speed at nearly every track.
The FireKeepers Casino 400 odds have Elliott as a top contender. He’ll likely contend for the win, but I felt more comfortable taking him to score a top-five finish.
Elliott has shown speed on similar tracks in 2022 but hasn’t scored great finishes. He hit the wall while battling for the lead at Auto Club and Charlotte. Elliott suffered a flat tire while running top 10 at Kansas.
I couldn’t leave Elliott out of my NASCAR predictions. He may not win at Michigan, but his recent speed makes him a strong bet for a top-five finish.
Erik Jones to Finish Top 10 (+120)
The 2022 season has brought many surprise winners. We often see them at superspeedways and road courses, but I could see a new winner at Michigan. Erik Jones represents the best chance to add to the playoff chaos.
Jones has never been great at Michigan, scoring one top 10 finish in nine races. However, I’m not looking at his Michigan numbers. Instead, let’s check out his performance in this year’s Auto Club race.
- Stage 1 Finish: 2nd
- Stage 2 Finish: 2nd
- Race Finish: 3rd
- Laps Led: 18 of 200
- Average Running Position: 4.0
Tyler Reddick had the car to beat, but Jones was a close second. It was impressive to see him show that much speed on a non-superspeedway.
We may not see the same speed at Michigan, but a top 10 finish is within reach. I’d be on the lookout for Jones.
Who Will Win the 2022 FireKeepers Casino 400?
Last season, Kyle Larson was never a bad pick. We haven’t seen the same speed this season, but I like his chances for a big win at Michigan.
It helps to have success at Michigan, but my FireKeepers Casino 400 prediction stems from his numbers on high-speed intermediates. He’s the only driver to finish top 10 in all four races. He won at Auto Club and led late at Kansas and Charlotte.
Fans can watch Sunday’s race at 3 p.m. ET on the USA Network. The best NASCAR betting apps have you covered for betting on the Cup Series.