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NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs: Odds, Picks & Best Bets For YellaWood 500

David Caraviello for Bookies.com

David Caraviello  | 19 mins

NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs: Odds, Picks & Best Bets For YellaWood 500

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It dazzles fans with the noise and spectacle of cars barreling five-wide and inches apart, and it tempts sports bettors with NASCAR odds unlike those you’ll find anywhere else in NASCAR. That’s the giant roulette of Talladega Superspeedway for you—home of big wrecks and big numbers.

Eleven active drivers have won there, 26 have recorded a top-five finish, and 32 (32!) have notched a top-10. Brad Keselowski, the odds favorite for Sunday’s playoff race on the 3.66-mile Alabama behemoth, is not just a +1100 bet to win, but also +140 for a top-five finish—usually negative-odds territory for the guy atop the board. 

Denny Hamlin, the greatest superspeedway driver of his era, is +1400 to win. You can dip into +2000 territory and find legit contenders like Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch.

Heck, regular season champ Martin Truex is even +105 for a top-10—good luck finding better than even-money odds for that finish anywhere else. 

But then again, that’s Talladega, where just about anyone in the field can go to Victory Lane, and anyone can go into the wall. Much like drivers pulled along by the strange physics of the draft, sports bettors are just along for the ride.

YellaWood 500 Odds

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YellaWood 500 At Talladega Betting Tips

So yeah, a lot of guys have a shot on Sunday. Odds favorite Keselowski leads all active drivers with six career wins at Talladega, his most recent coming with his former Penske team in 2021. While the former champion is still looking for his first victory in his current RFK Racing ride, he’s been excellent of late this season with five consecutive top-10s. He placed fifth at Talladega in the spring, and pushed teammate Chris Buescher to victory at Daytona (the circuit’s only other superspeedway) this summer.

Joey Logano owns three Talladega victories, but the most recent was in 2018 and the Penske driver has been AWOL over the second half of this season. Ryan Blaney, Hamlin, Busch, and Chase Elliott each own one Talladega victory apiece, with Busch beating Blaney in an overtime finish in the spring. 

The list of one-time Talladega winners runs the gamut, from Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, and Bubba Wallace to Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Value options abound at Talladega. Todd Gilliland owns the second-best average finish among active drivers with more than one career start (14.7, trailing the 14.1 of Chase Elliott) on the heels of two consecutive top-10s. Ty Dillon has run as high as third, in 2020. Chase Briscoe was fourth in the spring, earning his second straight top-10 result. And Erik Jones has been ridiculous over his past seven ’Dega starts, with an average finish of 8.7 that includes a runner-up result over that span. 

YellaWood 500 At Talladega Best Bets

Denny Hamlin to Win

Odds: +1400 at DraftKings

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: when you see evidence of consistency from one of the streakiest drivers on the planet, jump on board. Hamlin has been a machine of late, with consecutive finishes of second, first, and fifth and now arrives at a Talladega track made for his unique brand of swagger. Hamlin in the past four ’Dega fall playoff races has been third, first, seventh, and fifth, proof Mr. FedEx can deliver when the pressure is on.

Brad Keselowski Top 3

Odds: +300 at DraftKings

We keep waiting for BK to break through and win for the first time this season—goodness knows he’s run well enough to do it—but the odds at the best betting apps this week invite a hedge with a top-3 play. Keselowski was first and second in his last two Talladega races with Penske, and then after some clear growing pains with RFK returned to form with a fifth this spring. He’s run really well overall since Atlanta in July, keeping himself in playoff position without a race win which seems like it has to come eventually. 

Erik Jones Top 10

Odds: +125 at DraftKings

We remain baffled as to why no elite NASCAR team has taken a run at Jones, cut loose by Gibbs after the 2020 campaign in favor of Christopher Bell. Through now four different team variations—JGR, Richard Petty Motorsports, Petty GMS, and now Legacy Motor Club—Jones has managed to coax a respectable performance out of second-tier equipment. That’s certainly been the case at Talladega, where Jones has been top-10 in every race since the spring of 2020, save one start in 2021 when he was involved in a crash.

YellaWood 500 At Talladega Time, Date And TV

When: Sunday, 2:00 p.m. EDT

Where: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway


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About the Author

David Caraviello for Bookies.com
David Caraviello
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500 and SEC football.