How to Bet Sunday's Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway
It’s time for some crash roulette.
The NASCAR Cup Series heads from the new and unpredictable Bristol dirt race to one of the most volatile tracks on the schedule at Talladega Superspeedway, where a big accident is always possible.
Sunday will mark the 10th race of the season and the second superspeedway race for the NextGen cars.
Austin Cindric won the season-opening Daytona 500 in a race that featured the typical pack racing we’re familiar with there. There were numerous big wrecks, with five-car, six-car and an eight-car accident and two three-car crashes. Thirteen cars failed to finish because of damage sustained in accidents.
The unpredictability of these crashes and the proximity of pack racing gives almost the entire field a realistic shot at winning. So, how does this affect your NASCAR betting?
Sportsbooks adjust for the erratic nature of superspeedways. At FanDuel, no driver is under 10/1 to win and 19 are listed at under 25/1.
Unfortunately, both of my picks were caught up in wrecks at Daytona. But we’re going back with them for Sunday’s race.
Best Bet to Win: Denny Hamlin +1400 DraftKings
Recently, Hamlin has been one of the better superspeedway drivers on the grid. He has won three times at Daytona and twice at Talladega, including in May 2014 and October 2020. Hamlin has also finished seven or better in four of his past five starts at Talladega and led laps in his last four races at the track.
Hamlin was running fifth in this year’s Daytona 500 before he was caught up in an eight-car wreck on Lap 63 that ruined his race and relegated him to a 37th-place finish. But even in the limited time, Hamlin liked the speed he saw from his Toyota.
“I’m optimistic about going to (Talladega),” he said. “I felt like we had a strong car in Daytona, but we got caught in a wreck and never really got to show it. As a manufacturer, the Toyotas were able to work pretty well together to get to the front. Talladega is always a numbers game when it comes to the manufacturers, so it’s going to be important that we’re able to get all the Toyotas together and hopefully put ourselves in a good position.”
Longshot to Win: Erik Jones +7000 DraftKings
Jones is a longshot with a legitimate chance to win. He already has had success at superspeedways, winning the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in 2018. In 2019, Jones worked his way up from starting 28th to finish third in the Daytona 500.
Jones was also fast in this year’s Daytona 500. He led four laps and was running in the top eight with eight laps left before he was collected in an accident on the frontstretch. When you get this far down on the draft board, you want to back guys who have shown the ability to run up front, and Jones has done that during his superspeedway career.
Jones is also worth a look in Top 10 markets. He’s currently +200 at DraftKings Sportsbook to finish 10th or better.
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