NASCAR GEICO 500 at Talladega Odds and 7 Best Bets to Back
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NASCAR’s first trip this season to big, bad Talladega Superspeedway means two things for bettors: Unpredictability and value.
Who’ll win Monday after the scheduled race Sunday was postponed due to rain? Who knows? Talladega is a 2.66-mile roulette wheel, with victors decided by the whims of physics and airflow as much as mechanical wizardry and driver skill. Ryan Blaney last year, Aric Almirola in 2018, a little-known Brad Keselowski with Phoenix Racing, Bobby Hamilton and Jimmy Spencer back in the day — ‘Dega has delivered more than a few surprise winners who rode the draft to Victory Lane.
No wonder, then, this race offers such outstanding value for bettors. Odds favorite Chase Elliott is a meaty +850 to win, substantially more favorable than the +400 or so usually seen for a NASCAR race. Points leader Kevin Harvick can be had for +1400, two-time track winner Clint Bowyer for +2200. Of course, all those guys could also get wadded up in the Big One, a multi-car wreck emblematic of the risk-reward factor that looms larger at Talladega than anywhere else.
NASCAR GEICO 500 at Talladega Drivers To Back
|Driver prop||Odds||Bet It At|
|Brad Keselowski to Win||+900||DraftKings|
|Chase Elliott Top 3||+265||Unibet|
|Ryan Blaney Top 5||+250||888sport|
|Kurt Busch Top 5||+300||DraftKings|
|Ford Winning Manufacturer||+135||Unibet|
| Denny Hamlin |
| Ricky Stenhouse Jr. |
Note: Odds current as of publication. Compare the latest NASCAR odds here.
Brad Keselowski to Win
If you’re going to roll the dice, do it with the best superspeedway racer of his generation. Keselowski has a fantastic feel for the draft, evidenced by five victories at Talladega, more than any other active driver. He’s also enjoying a strong 2020, with two wins and seven straight top 10s. Throw out his recent, mediocre finishes at Talladega due to the random nature of the track. Kez should be the odds favorite, so take advantage. Bet Keselowski to win at +900 with DraftKings.
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Chase Elliott Top 3
Instead, the favorite is Elliott, defending champion in the track’s spring (now summer) race, who has finished eighth or better in three of his last four starts on the Alabama track. Given that he has taken to plate races about as well as his old man, Elliott is worth considering for a high finish. Taking him to place inside the top three allows bettors to maximize their potential value by choosing a prospective winner with more favorable odds. Bet Elliott to finish top 3 at +265 with Unibet.
Ryan Blaney Top 5
Blaney is in the midst of a fantastic run, finishing fourth or better in five of six outings. He’s running well everywhere, from 1.5-milers to short tracks to the fast 1-mile oval at Homestead, where he was third last week. His Talladega cred is solid, given his victory in the fall race last year. Up to fifth in points, Blaney is a high-value, under-the-radar choice — so bet him for a top-5 at +250 with 888Sport and seize the opportunity before bookies catch up.
Kurt Busch Top 5
A 17th-place bobble at Homestead hasn’t dulled our faith in Busch, who otherwise has run well since March and continues to offer great value. His single career superspeedway victory obscures the fact that Busch has been an exceptional racer at Talladega and Daytona for most of his career. He has shown his draft prowess repeatedly by pushing others to victory. Busch has 21 top-fives at Daytona and Talladega combined and is running well enough to notch another this week. Bet Kurt Busch for a Top 5 at +300 with DraftKings.
Ford Winning Manufacturer
Although Toyota has won two straight races in the Cup Series, it’s hard to pass up that proven Ford power at Talladega. Regulations level the playing field from a horsepower standpoint, but the blue oval offers the best active Talladega racer in Keselowski, the most recent Talladega race winner in Blaney and the points leader in Kevin Harvick. Even if Talladega isn’t his best track, Harvick is capable of winning anywhere. Bet on Ford to win at +135 with Unibet.
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Denny Hamlin Top Toyota
With his victory at Homestead last week, Hamlin became the first driver to win three times this season. He’s not the most consistent driver, but his recent Talladega results have been very favorable — Hamlin finished third there in the fall and has finishes of sixth or better in four of seven starts. Joe Gibbs Racing drivers aren’t the best at Talladega, but Hamlin is the reigning Daytona 500 champion, so he knows his way around NASCAR’s fastest tracks. Bet on Hamlin as top Toyota finisher at +175 with 888sport.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Top 10
You have to take a longshot at Talladega, right? Stenhouse’s average finish of 11.6 there is the best among active drivers with at least 10 starts. He won there in 2017 and has placed ninth or better in six of his last eight Talladega races. Stenhouse’s history indicates that if he can make it to the finish line in one piece, he’ll be a factor. Bet on Stenhouse for a Top 10 at +125 with DraftKings. If you’re feeling bold, he pays +550 for a top five.
About the Author
Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500, SEC football and more. He has reported from every SEC football stadium during his career.