2019 Auto Club 400 Vegas picks and NASCAR predictions: Avoid Kyle Busch, back Ryan Blaney at Fontana

Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch have already notched victories during the current NASCAR season, with Race No. 5 set for Sunday, the 2019 Auto Club 400. The green flag drops at 3:30 p.m. ET from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., the final stop of a three-race West Coast swing. The live 2019 Auto Club 400 odds have Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick each posted at 9-2. Three other drivers — Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. — are at 7-1, with four more at 18-1 or lower. With new aerodynamic packages and unusual qualifying for Sunday’s race, you’ll want to see what SportsLine’s Micah Roberts, the legendary Vegas bookmaker who pioneered wagering on NASCAR, is saying before making any 2019 Auto Club 400 picks.

Roberts went with Jimmie Johnson as a hefty 25-1 long shot at the season-opening Advance Auto Parts Clash. The result: Johnson survived a huge crash and went on to win the rain-shortened race as Roberts’ followers raked it in. At the TicketGuardian 500 in Phoenix last week, Roberts nailed Busch at 4-1 over the heavily favored Harvick, and nailed eight of the top 10. At the Pennzoil 400 in Vegas two weeks ago, Roberts nailed seven of the top 10. 

He entered the 2019 NASCAR season after finishing big-time in the black in 2018. Those who wagered $100 on each of his picks last year have $1,750 in profit to show for it. His biggest wins came when he went against the grain, taking Keselowski at 12-1 to win the South Point 400 at Las Vegas in the opening race of the NASCAR playoffs and going with Logano, also 12-1, to take the First Data 500 at Martinsville. He also nailed four of Harvick’s nine series victories and three of Busch’s nine wins. Anyone who’s following his picks is up huge year after year. 

Now, he has analyzed Sunday’s Auto Club 400 lineup from every possible angle and locked in his 2019 NASCAR at Fontana picks at SportsLine.

We can tell you not going with Kyle Busch, one of the co-favorites in Fontana. His 10th place average finish in Cup races at this track is worrisome despite three career victories at Auto Club Speedway. There are far better values in a loaded 2019 Auto Club 400 lineup than the 9-2 premium you’ll need to pay for him.

One shocker: Roberts is backing Ryan Blaney, an 18-1 long shot, to make a strong run at the title. He’s a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.

Blaney has recorded top-10 finishes in his last two starts at Fontana. Plus, part of the allure of backing him this week is his team’s strong showing with the new packages.

“The reason to support Blaney this week is more about having a Penske Ford,” Roberts told SportsLine. “His teammates have won both races on 1.5-mile tracks using the new package.” Blaney won the pole last week at Phoenix and finished third. He also took sixth in a Daytona Duel and was fourth in the Clash at Daytona.

For the win, Roberts is eyeing a dark horse at the 2019 Auto Club 400 to make a strong run at the title. His picks will shock many, but anyone who backs them could be in line for a massive payday, just like in the season-opener.

So which drivers are must-backs in the 2019 Auto Club 400? And which underdog shocks NASCAR? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected NASCAR at Fontana leaderboard from the nation’s premier NASCAR handicapper, and find out.

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