The NASCAR Cup Series will be back to Superspeedway racing this week when the cars run the GAICO 500 at Talladega. “Anyone who enters the race has a good chance to win the race at Talladega” is a common narrative for this race. That used to be the case but four drivers have won every race at Talladega in the current aero package and they are the three favorites this week. Ryan Blaney won two of the last three races at this track, Denny Hamlin won last October. Chase Elliott and Joey Logano won in 2019. These drivers are all good bets but I am spending my money on drivers with 20-1 or lower odds Sunday.
DraftKings Odds for Talladega
* 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 Denny Hamlin you will win $6.
Here are my “Best Bets” for the GEICO 500…
William Byron (20-1): William Byron has been on fire this season. He has finished the last seven races this season in the top-eight. He is already locked into the playoffs so he can takes some chances Sunday to get to Victory Lane. Byron won the race at Daytona last year so he knows how to win at the Superspeedways. I will take a chance with Willy-B at Talladega.
Ryan Newman (33-1): The saying in motorsports is, “In order to win the race, you must finish the race.” There are only two drivers who have completed every lap in the current aero package at Talladega. Ryan Newman is one of the drivers and Ryan Preece is the other. Both are good bets this week, but I like Newman’s chances of getting back to Victory Lane one more time before he hangs up his helmet. He finished 6th at Talladega last year and 2nd in 2019. He should be upfront at the end of the race Sunday.
Erik Jones (45-1): Erik Jones has been awesome at Talladega. He finished 2nd at this track last October and 5th last June. He also won the race at Daytona in 2018 so he knows how to win these types of races. I know Jones will not be in a Joe Gibbs Racing car this week, but that may not be a bad thing. He will have a lot more friends to work with in his Richard Petty Motorsports Chevy. How cool will it be to see the No. 43 car back in Victory Lane? I will place a few bucks on Jones at 45-1 odds.
Matt DiBenedetto (50-1): I like Matt DiBenedetto a lot more for betting purposes than I do for Fantasy NASCAR. The Wood Brothers know how to set up a car for a Superspeedway. DiBenedetto usually tries to find his alliance teammates (Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski) and runs right behind them. That is not a bad place to be on the track. This has been a crazy season, so I would not be surprised to see DiBenedetto win the race and secure a spot in the playoffs.
Long-Shot Special: My Long-Shot Special this week is Corey LaJoie (100-1). This track has a history of long-shots finding Victory Lane. David Ragan brought the Front Row Motorsports car to Victory Lane at Talladega in 2013. The No. 7 car for Spire Motorsports has a lot more speed than what Ragan had that year. LaJoie finished 7th at Talladega in 2019. He just needs a big wreck at the end of the race for this to work out.
Good luck this week!
Follow me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR