NASCAR Betting Picks: Geico 500 from Talladega

I did kinda see it coming last week but I shrugged it off.

The illusion that Homestead in Miami was owned by Truex, Logano, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick was debunked.

It’s normally for the championship and the past few years, those four drivers have been the only 4 left in the playoffs vying for the title.

Other drivers were letting them all do what they had to do to win, more or less.

I know there are always exceptions but that is the case most of the time.

I thought picking 4 drivers with 3 at small odds was a good idea in this instance but I don’t think that is a good approach to take in the future.

Denny Hamlin absolutely dominated the race on Sunday and he is atop the betting board this week in Talladega, albeit with quite different odds to win.

Let’s look at the contenders for this week’s race and make our predictions for the Geico 500 from Talladega with a little help from our friends at Bovada.

Denny Hamlin: +1000

Wow, 10 to 1 are the lowest betting odds we are going to see for this weekend!

That is because this track is all about speed.

It’s going to be more difficult to predict than most of the other races this year.

The most similar track to Talladega is Daytona.

Who won Daytona this year?

Denny Hamlin.

Who won last week?


See where I’m going here?

He has won when things have gone his way. You could even call one of his wins lucky but he is the type of guy who creates enough luck to do very well for himself.

He has just one win here but when everything else is even, I would not want any other driver in my car.

He is going to give you everything he has every single time and technically, there hasn’t been a more impressive NASCAR driver over the past calendar year.


Chase Elliott: +1100

Choosing between best friends Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott is really tough.

They have both been on absolute fire lately.

Chase is just a little bit more of a finisher.

I know he let potentially 3 wins slip away this year but he still has 7 wins over the past 2.5 seasons while Ryan Blaney has just 1.

Blaney is my top 3 guy.

He is top 3 all day but hasn’t quite been able to get over that hump with just 3 victories in his 7 year NASCAR career.

Chase won the Spring race here last year and finished 8th in the Fall.

Elliott was runner-up in the Spring race the year before.

This is not late April but it is the first race of the year at Talladega.

He was runner up last week.

Show Chase some love.


Top 3 Finish Ryan Blaney: +400

Hey, we were just talking about you, kid.

It was nothing bad…

I promise.

You won the last race here less than a year ago.

How can you not jump all over these odds?

He started 27th at Daytona this year and finished 2nd.

3rd, 3rd, 4th, 2nd, 3rd…

There was a 40th place finish at Bristol thrown in there but these are the results of his last 6 races.

The man is en fuego.

(+400) has a great deal of value.

Top 3 Pick

Matchup – Ricky Stenhouse Jr (-115) vs Clint Bowyer (-115)

Young or old?

Chevrolet or Ford?

Ricky Stenhouse Jr really loves Talladega.

Normally, when we are just talking about finishing position and not winning, I tend to lean towards the drivers with more experience.

Ricky has been racing with the Cup Series for 7 years now and has a great record at this track.

  • 6 top 10s, 4 top 5s, and a win in his last 10 starts here.
  • Clint Bowyer has one top 5 in the past 10 races at Talladega.

Stenhouse beat him soundly in the Fall and by a few cars in the Spring of 2019.

Clint beat him in the previous race by one spot, 2nd and 3rd they were!

The race prior, 5th for Ricky and 31st for Clint.

The potential for crashes is quite high at Dega so don’t go crazy here but I like the value we are getting with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr vs Clint Bowyer
Stenhouse Jr

In Conclusion

Don’t miss Talladega, guys!

I understand NASCAR has its share of boring ovals. There are a few.

Dega is just too much fun, though.

Speeds are going to be north of 200 MPH and there will be some crashes.

Every caution does slow down the action but it tightens up the race at the same time.

I like Hamlin this week because when he has had his crew chief, when a ballast doesn’t fall out of his car, and he has a solid track history, he does very well.

Ryan Blaney will be my top three pick until further notice and I think youth and recent history trumps craftiness and age in our matchup pick.

Get your bets in now, team!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.