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19th of April 2018

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NASCAR at Bristol LIVE updates, picks, predictions, odds, Daily Fantasy advice: Kyle Busch is on the pole

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday for some short-track racing at The World's Fastest Half Mile. Green flag on the 500-mile thriller is was scheduled to fly at 2pm ET, then moved back an hour to 1pm.  

Last week we correctly predicted that Kyle Busch would take the checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway. With that said, here are our picks to win as well as in daily fantasy for this weekend's action. 

Our pick: Kyle BuschMonster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 - QualifyingKyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota, qualifed on the pole for Sundays' race at Bristol. Getty Images

Busch did it for us last week and we have no reason to believe he won't get the job done again this time around. Rowdy is the active wins leader at Bristol with six trips to Victory Lane and won at the track last summer as well.

In baseball, there are players called streaky hitters, where they get hot and string together a stretch of really strong appearances at the plate. Busch is NASCAR's version of a streaky hitter and you gotta get behind him while the tires are warm. Last season's playoff run was a good example of that, when Busch won at New Hampshire, Dover and Martinsville before finishing runner-up to Martin Truex Jr. at Homestead.

Oh yeah, we forgot to mention Busch is starting on the pole as well. At short tracks like Bristol, starting position is critical as its easy to fall behind and go multiple laps down. That's why we're going nowhere near Kevin Harvick this week, who is starting last after crashing in practice.

Contenders: Kurt Busch, Brad KeselowskiMonster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 - QualifyingKurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford, walks to his car during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 13, 2018 in Bristol, Tennessee. Getty Images

OK so we know what you're probably thinking: these guys are just picking the top three qualifiers! Well that's true, but for good reason. While Kyle Busch is the active wins leader at the track, his brother Kurt Busch is right behind him with five checkered flags. Busch now has to join Harvick in the rear of the field after crashing in practice, but we believe he's good enough to work his way up to the front despite the issue. Expect him to work with Harvick on his way up. 

As for Keselowski, he's no stranger to Victory Lane at The World's Fastest Half Mile either. Keselowski won back-to-back races at Bristol in the 2011 and 2012 seasons and is in prime starting position to accomplish the feat yet again. He's yet to clinch his spot in the playoffs, but like Stewart-Haas Racing, Team Penske has also marched out powerful Fords each and every week. We think there's a strong chance Keselowski can bring Roger Penske his first win and guaranteed spot in the playoffs this weekend.

Wild Card: Alex BowmanNASCAR: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500Despite 100 to 1 odds, Alex Bowman will roll off eighth on Sunday USATSI

Bowman is far from a veteran but we're sure he'd like to leave his track experience here in the rear-view mirror. In four starts, Bowman has an average finish of 29, however he wasn't driving for Hendrick Motorsports back then. This time around in the No. 88, Bowman qualified eighth and ran top 10 in practice.

Do we think Bowman is going to win this race outright? Absolutely not. Is he worth throwing a few bucks on at 100 to 1 odds? Absolutely yes. 

Must-play in Daily Fantasy: Denny HamlinNASCAR: STP 500-PracticeHamlin provides great value for DFS players this weekend USATSI

Honorable mention goes to Martin Truex Jr. here but SportsLine talked us out of that one. Despite being one of the Vegas favorites, SportsLine has Truex finishing well out of the top 10. Hamlin on the other hand is a much safer choice. He's been to Victory Lane once before at Bristol, so we know he has what it takes to win there. 

Hamlin is far from the most expensive option at $9,500 in DraftKings. That's lower than Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson. The reason Hamlin is a sexy pick however is because of his starting position. The No. 11 is set to roll off at 25th, meaning if he can finish with a top 10 there will be a huge reward for those that played him thanks to place differential. 

Odds to win the 2018 Food City 500

Betting odds for Sunday's race are provided by VegasInsider.com

Kyle Busch 3/1Kevin Harvick 9/2Kyle Larson 6/1Martin Truex Jr. 13/2Brad Keselowski 12/1Denny Hamlin 12/1Erik Jones 12/1Joey Logano 12/1Chase Elliott 15/1Jimmie Johnson 15/1Ryan Blaney 15/1Clint Bowyer 20/1Kurt Busch 20/1Aric Almirola 30/1Jamie McMurray 60/1Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 60/1Daniel Suarez 75/1Ryan Newman 75/1Alex Bowman 100/1Austin Dillon 100/1Paul Menard 100/1Trevor Bayne 100/1Qualifying results for the Food City 500Kyle BuschKurt Busch (to the rear of the field after crashing in practice)Brad KeselowskiRicky Stenhouse Jr.Ryan BlaneyKyle LarsonPaul MenardAlex BowmanMichael McDowellJoey LoganoWilliam ByronDaniel SuarezErik JonesClint BowyerKasey KahneChase ElliottJimmie Johnson (to the rear after changing a tire in practice)AJ AllmendingerAric AlmirolaDarrell Wallace Jr.Austin DillonChris BuescherDavid RaganMatt DiBenedettoDenny HamlinMartin Truex Jr.Ross ChastainGray GauldingLandon CassillRyan NewmanJamie McMurrayTy DillonTrevor BayneCorey LaJoieDJ KenningtonReed SorensonHarrison RhodesHow to watch the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500

Location: Bristol Motor SpeedwayDate: Sunday, April 15Time: 1:22 p.m. ET Length: 500 laps/266.5 milesStage 1: Ends on lap 125Stage 2: Ends on lap 250Final stage: Scheduled for lap 500TV: FoxLive stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

LIVE updates

Follow along with all the action Sunday from the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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