By David Caraviello | | 18 mins
Folds Of Honor QuikTrip 500 Odds, Picks & Predictions
We’re only four races into the season, but NASCAR already appears in the midst of a sea change. And NASCAR betting fans should be prepared to adapt.
It certainly appeared that way last weekend at Phoenix, where +5000 wager Chase Briscoe became the longest-odds driver to win a Cup Series event this year, and Ross Chastain and Tyler Reddick followed him across the line to complete the unlikeliest top three we’ve seen since--well, who knows when.
And then there’s this nugget: Briscoe became NASCAR’s 10th consecutive winner under the age of 30, a run that started after Denny Hamlin won at Las Vegas last September.
So heading to Atlanta on Sunday, it seems we’re in the midst of a couple of transitions: One spurred by younger drivers (led by 29-year-old reigning champ Kyle Larson) beginning to elbow out the veterans, and another created by this new next-gen car with its common-manufacturer parts designed to level the playing field. What does this mean for bettors? The potential for real value, at least until the sports betting sites catch on.
2022 Folds Of Honor QuikTrip 500 Odds
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Folds Of Honor QuikTrip 500 Betting Tips
Throwing another variable into the NASCAR picks mix, 1.5-mile Atlanta will host its first event since a reconfiguration that increased the steepness of banking and the width of the racing surface, boosting speeds to the point where NASCAR will use its restricted Daytona engine and aero packages, according to Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports. That means past driver performance at Atlanta may not quite be the barometer it once was.
Kurt Busch leads all active drivers with four wins at the track, the most recent coming last July when he led 144 laps. Busch was also one of three drivers to tire test the new layout, along with Chastain and Chris Buescher. Ryan Blaney, who is 28 and co-favorite according to the latest NASCAR Odds with Larson, owns the circuit’s best average finish at Atlanta after placing fifth or better in his last three races, a stretch which includes a victory in 2021.
Larson has never won at Atlanta, but he’s finished second there twice, and has led 411 laps over his past three starts. The best option among the over-30 set may be two-time Atlanta winner Kyle Busch, who’s been seventh or better in five straight starts there, and top-10 in two of three races this year. And steer clear of two-time Atlanta winner Brad Keselowski, who’s been barely competitive this season in his new Roush car.
Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Best Bets
Kyle Larson To Win
Odds: +1000 at DraftKings
Good value at sports betting apps for the best driver in the sport, who certainly fits the profile this week: He’s under 30, he’s shown the ability to contend and win in the next-gen car, and his team is of the caliber that it should be among the quickest to adapt to the changes that have taken place at Atlanta.
Larson has been flat-out dominant at times at Atlanta, even though he’s yet to win there, and he’s good enough to carry all that skill and experience over to the new layout.
Ross Chastain Top 5
Odds: +300 at DraftKings
He’s never finished better than 14th at Atlanta previously, but none of that matters now. Chastain has taken to this new car with gusto, finishing third at Las Vegas before running second at Phoenix, all this after showing plenty of signs last year that he was on the cusp of real contention.
Both Chastain and teammate Daniel Suarez (two top-10s in three weeks) have shown great progress with a Trackhouse team that bought Chip Gannassi’s assets in 2021.
Kurt Busch Top Toyota
Odds: +500 at DraftKings
While it’s younger brother Kyle who owns the average finish of 7.8 this season, older brother Kurt has been the top-finishing Toyota in two of the last three races: Phoenix (where he placed fifth, two spots better than Kyle) and Fontana (eighth to Kyle’s 15th).
Add in Kurt’s recent run of success at Atlanta (top-eight finishes in seven of eight starts, capped by a win last time out), and the experience gained in the tire test, and the 23IX driver is absolutely worth a shot.
Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Time, Date & TV
When: Sunday, March 20, 3:00 p.m. ET
Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Georgia