The NASCAR Cup Series had a driver win nine races in 2020 (Kevin Harvick) and another driver win 10 races in 2021 (Kyle Larson). It is still early in the season and there is a chance the top teams figure out an advantage with the new car, but it is looking more and more like the season of the long-shot is here.
So far this year we have seen Austin Cindric win the Daytona 500 at 25-1 odds, Alex Bowman win in Las Vegas at 20-1 odds and Chase Briscoe win at 50-1 odds. We still had Kyle Larson win at 4-1 odds at Auto Club, so it is not a guarantee that the drivers with 20-1 odds and above will win, but they are sure worth the investment.
The race at Atlanta is going to be tough to predict. Atlanta has a new smooth surface, new configuration, new car with a new aero package. The word from the garage is that the track will race like a smaller Daytona. We all know that the long-shots are all in play at the Superspeedways. I expect the same to be true Sunday.
Here are my best bets for the Folds of Honor Quick Trip 500…
* The odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook. The odds could change between the time of this article and the time you place your bet.
** The first number is the amount of money based on the second number (the amount of the wager). So if you bet $1 on Ryan Blaney, you will win $10.
Here are my “Best Bets” for the Folds of Honor Quick Trip 500…
KYLE LARSON (10-1): I know I spent a lot of time writing about how this is a good season to bet the long-shots but it is rare for us to get double-digit odds on Larson to win any race. I will take it. Larson leads the Cup Series in Average Running Position (10.5), Quality Passes (that is passing cars running in the top-15), has the second-best Average Green Flag Speed per race and he is a threat to win at all tracks. I rather bet on Larson than bet against him.
TYLER REDDICK (16-1): Reddick keeps knocking on the door of Victory Lane and he will find his way through pretty soon. Reddick dominated the race at Auto Club by leading 90 laps and he finished third last week at Phoenix. The No. 8 car has been fast in every race. There is no reason to believe Reddick will not be fast Sunday. I will take a chance with Reddick at 16-1 odds Sunday.
KURT BUSCH (20-1): Busch won the last race at Atlanta but that is not why I am betting on the No. 45 car to win Sunday. Busch participated in a “Group Test” at Atlanta in January. He is one of three drivers (Ross Chastain and Chris Buescher are the other two) who have made laps on the new track at Atlanta in the Gen-7 car. His team should show up with some good notes to work with. Busch has been better than people realize this year. His 11.3 average finishing position is the fourth-best in the Cup Series and no driver has passed more cars in 2022 than Busch. I will roll the dice with dice with Busch at 20-1 odds.
ROSS CHASTAIN (25-1): I am betting on Chastain for the same reasons I am betting on Kurt Busch, because Chastain has laps in the Gen-7 car at the new Atlanta track. Chastain will also compete in the Truck Series race Saturday. That will give him an extra practice and a lot of laps to figure out the new Atlanta. I also like Chastain because he has been on fire. He led 83 laps and finished third at Las Vegas two weeks ago and he finished second last week. If Kyle Busch had those kinds of stats, Busch would be 5-1 odds to win this week, but since Chastain’s name is on the car, the odds are 25-1. I will take it.
Long Shot Special: AUSTIN DILLON (30-1): My long-shot special this week came down to Daniel Suarez (50-1) or Dillon. Trackhouse Racing has a lot of speed this year, but so does Richard Childress Racing. I think Suarez could finish in the top-10, but I will take a chance with Dillon winning the race. He finished second at Auto Club and his teammate (Tyler Reddick) has been one of the fastest drivers this year. Dillon will be an excellent pick if Atlanta truly does drive like Daytona. Dillon’s won at Daytona before and he has a history of finishing up front in the races where the draft comes into play. 30-1 odds on Dillon seem like a good bet for the race Sunday.
Good luck this week!
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