The lone superspeedway race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs has the drivers competing at Talladega Superspeedway in the YellaWood 500 on Sunday. Denny Hamlin picked up his second checkered flag of the year last week at Las Vegas and he’s favored in the YellaWood 500 odds to repeat this week.
Online sportsbook Bovada has released the YellaWood 500 betting odds with Hamlin listed at +800. He’s followed by Joey Logano at +950, Ryan Blaney at +1000, Chase Elliott at +1050 and Brad Keselowski at +1300 to round out the top five drivers on the oddsboard.
YellaWood 500 Odds: Talladega Superspeedway
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+2000|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+2500|
Odds as of September 29 at Bovada
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Why Is Hamlin The Favorite In The YellaWood 500 Odds?
It appears that Hamlin is getting back into the groove that he was in early in the season. The only difference now is that he’s actually winning races. Hamlin had eight top-five finishes but no wins through the first nine races to open the NASCAR Cup Series year. Now, in the playoffs, Denny has driven to victory lane in the first race in the Round of 16 and again to open the Round of 12.
In the YellaWood 500 last year, Hamlin started on the pole and finished in that very same position, posting his second career win at Talladega (his first was in 2014). He will be starting on the pole for the third straight time at Talladega, where he has nine top-five finishes among his 31 career starts.
NASCAR Predictions This Week For The YellaWood 500
The exciting part about superspeedway racing is exactly the reason it’s perhaps the most difficult to bet on: the Big One, typically a large accident that can wipe out 10 or more cars in one fell swoop. However, with the field all bunched up and the gap between first place and 20th within a second, it opens the door for a long-shot driver to go to victory lane and increase your bankroll in a big way. With lots of value, I’m providing four picks this week and here they are!
Ryan Blaney +1000: If you did a quick scan of my four picks, you can see a common theme with three of them – Fords. That’s because Ford has been the car in victory lane in 10 of the last 12 races. Two of those victories belong to Blaney, who won the fall race in 2019 and the spring race in 2020. He has led at least one lap in nine of his 14 career starts here and I anticipate him competing for a win again this week.
Brad Keselowski +1300: Things haven’t been so hot for the 2012 champion but his lone victory this season came at Talladega in the spring race. In fact, Keselowski has more wins at Talladega than at any other track with six in 25 career starts. He won his first start there and his last start earlier this year; it’s an automatic bet at odds over 10:1 at a track where he dominates.
Kyle Larson +1500: This is my lone non-Ford pick and maybe it’s not a wise one but 15:1 on the current favorite in NASCAR Cup championship odds is a wager I have to make. Larson has taken a did-not-finish in four of the last five races at Talladega and his best finish is sixth. However, much has been said this season about how he studies tracks and wants to improve and with Talladega having his number thus far, I wouldn’t be surprised if he can figure something out. Teammate Chase Elliott won here in 2019 so maybe he can learn something from that setup.
Michael McDowell +5000: Here’s my long shot at 50:1 so tread lightly. McDowell made the playoffs from his win at Daytona to open the season. Later in the year, he had a third-place finish at Talladega. In his 14-year career, McDowell has just five top-five finishes, all of them coming at the two superspeedways, Daytona and Talladega. He will have some work to do starting in 22nd but he has a knack for getting around these restrictor-plate races in a hurry. He’s definitely worth a shot at +5000.
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