Betting on the NASCAR Yellawood 500

Yellawood 500 NASCAR

On Sunday, October 4th, NASCAR makes its second appearance at the Talladega Superspeedway for the YellaWood 500. This is the 5th Playoff race of the postseason, the second Playoff race of Round 2, and the 31st overall race on the season.

Kurt Busch surprised fans and drivers by winning the opening Playoff race of Round 2. The victory automatically earned him a spot in the round of 8.

This week, we have a change at the top of the betting favorites. Unlike almost every other week where Kevin Harvick is the odds on favorite, Chase Elliott is the betting favorite for Sunday’s YellaWood 500. Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney round out the Top 5 odds on favorites.

NASCAR betting sites have released their field of odds and prop bets for the YellaWood 500. Let’s strap on our helmets and belts, rev those engines, and take the checkered flag with our Talladega predictions.

Race Profile

The Talladega Superspeedway is one of the sport’s most famous tracks partly because of the racing action we see with each event at this track and partly because of the movie Talladega Nights starring Will Ferrell.

The track itself was constructed in 1969, is shaped like a tri-oval, and has a lap distance of 2.66 miles. Sunday’s YellaWood 500 breaks down as follows:

  • Total Miles: 500 miles
  • Total Laps: 188 laps
  • Stage 1: First 55 laps
  • Stage 2: Second 55 laps
  • Final Stage: Remaining 78 laps

The YellaWood 500 is set to begin at 2 PM ET and will air live on NBC.

What to Watch for at Talladega

With all of the excitement heading into the 5th Playoff race of the postseason, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on at Talladega:

  • The big crash late in the race.
  • Which Playoff drivers will get caught up in the big wreck?
  • Can Team Penske win another Talladega race?
  • Will any non-Playoff drivers win this race?

2020 NASCAR Playoff Standings

The current Playoff standings (based on points) heading into the YellaWood 500:

  1. Kevin Harvick (3104)
  2. Denny Hamlin (3101)
  3. Brad Keselowski (3059)
  4. Martin Truex Jr. (3058)
  5. Joey Logano (3054)
  6. Chase Elliott (3053)
  7. Alex Bowman (3052)
  8. Kyle Busch (3043)

Below Cutoff Line

  1. Kurt Busch (3041) won second round race
  2. Clint Bowyer (3032)
  3. Aric Almirola (3025)
  4. Austin Dillon  (3020)

Previous YellaWood 500 Winners

The first fall Talladega race was run in 1969 and won by Richard Brickhouse. Dale Earnhardt Sr. holds the record for the most wins in this with seven victories. The following is a list of winners dating back to 2010:

  • Clint Bowyer in 2010, 2011
  • Matt Kenseth in 2012
  • Jamie McMurray in 2013
  • Brad Keselowski in 2014, 2017
  • Joey Logano in 2015, 2016
  • Aric Almirola in 2018
  • Ryan Blaney in 2019

NASCAR YellaWood 500 Betting Odds

The following betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Chase Elliott (+1000)
  • Denny Hamlin (+1000)
  • Joey Logano (+1000)
  • Ryan Blaney (+1000)
  • Brad Keselowski (+1100)
  • Alex Bowman (+1200)
  • Aric Almirola (+1200)
  • Kevin Harvick (+1200)
  • Kyle Busch (+1200)
  • William Byron (+1200)
  • Kurt Busch (+1800)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr (+1800)
  • Jimmie Johnson (+2200)
  • Martin Truex Jr (+2200)
  • Chris Buescher (+2800)
  • Christopher Bell(+2800)
  • Darrell Wallace Jr (+2800)
  • Matt DiBenedetto (+2800)
  • Austin Dillon (+3300)
  • Clint Bowyer (+3300)
  • Cole Custer (+3300)
  • Erik Jones (+4000)
  • Matt Kenseth (+4000)
  • Tyler Reddick (+4000)

YellaWood 500 Betting Favorites

According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win the YellaWood 500 from Talladega on October 4th:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Chase Elliott 1 3 4 5.3 16.0 3
Denny Hamlin 1 8 12 17.4 17.2 5
Joey Logano 3 8 10 17.9 16.2 6
Ryan Blaney 2 3 4 12.1 17.5 3
Brad Keselowski 5 7 11 12.2 16.1 4

Chase Elliott (+1000)

  • Top 3 (+300)
  • Top 5 (+210)
  • Top 10 (-129)

Chase Elliott enters this weekend’s event at the top of the betting favorites. He currently sits 6th in the Playoff standings and is just nine points above the cutoff line. Last weekend, he finished 22nd at Las Vegas, which dropped him one spot in the standings.

At Talladega, Elliott has already showed in his young career that he can race at these superspeedways. In nine starts, he has one win, three Top 5s, and four Top 10s. His 16.0 average finish is 7th best among active drivers.

Elliott won the spring Talladega race in 2019 and finished 8th in this race last year. However, he crashed in the 2020 event at this track and finished 38th.

I think Elliott will be a Top 10 car and flirt with a Top 5 spot. I’m not sure that he will be able to crack the Top 3 or win.

Denny Hamlin (+1000)

  • Top 3 (+300)
  • Top 5 (+210)
  • Top 10 (-129)

Hamlin is 2nd in Playoff points just three behind Harvick and comes to Talladega favored to perform better than the #4 car. Hamlin was 3rd in Las Vegas last weekend, which was his best finish of the Playoffs so far.

At Talladega, Hamlin does have one career win, but it’s his consistent success over the last four years that makes him a real contender on Sunday.

Over the last eight Talladega races, Hamlin has four Top 5s, six Top 10s, and seven Top 15s. He did crash out in one of those races, but that’s expected at this track.

Hamlin was 3rd in this race last year and 4th at Talladega earlier this season. I like Hamlin to be a Top 10, Top 5 and possibly a Top 3 car this weekend.

If he survives the crash, Hamlin could be contending for a checkered flag by time it’s all said and done. The #11 car will be starting on the pole this weekend.

Joey Logano (+1000)

  • Top 3 (+300)
  • Top 5 (+210)
  • Top 10 (-129)

Logano is 5th in Playoff points, but hasn’t won a race since Phoenix back in March.  He’s picked up the pace in the Playoffs with an average finish of 7.7. However, the #22 car only finished 14th at Vegas last weekend, which is a track he normally finishes higher at.

The 2018 NASCAR Cup champion is looking at this weekend’s event and feeling good about his chances. Not only has his team (Team Penske) and teammates (Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski) raced well at this track over the last few years, but Logano has won three times in five years.

In fact, Logano has won this race twice (2015, 2016). He has four Top 5s in the last six Talladega races with his worst finish being 14th. He’s also led laps in nine of the last 10 Talladega events.

I believe Logano will be contending for a checkered flag as long as he doesn’t get caught up in the “big one.”

Looking over his record the last three years at Talladega, Logano has been fortunate not to get caught up in the late lap wrecks. He hasn’t crashed out since spring of 2017.

Logano will be a Top 10, Top 5 and Top 3 car in the YellaWood 500.

Ryan Blaney (+1000)

  • Top 3 (+300)
  • Top 5 (+210)
  • Top 10 (-129)

As you will see, Team Penkse drivers are listed as three of the Top 5 betting favorites for Sunday’s race. However, only Blaney is a non-Playoff driver. He was eliminated after the first round of the postseason.

Despite being eliminated, Blaney still finished 7th at Las Vegas last weekend and now comes to Talladega where he’s won the last two races at this track.

You have to like Blaney’s chances to contend for another checkered flag as he has no pressure on him. I expect the #12 car to finish in the Top 10, Top 5 and possibly even the Top 3 once again.

It will be interesting to see if he helps one of his teammates (Logano, Keselowski) take the checkered flag so that they can advance to the next round of the Playoffs or if he races for the win.

Brad Keselowski (+1100)

  • Top 3 (+325)
  • Top 5 (+225)
  • Top 10 (-122)

Of the Team Penske trio, Brad Keselowski has the most wins at Talladega with five. However, he hasn’t won at this track in three years and hasn’t even cracked the Top 10 over that span. In fact, he’s crashed out of two of the last five Talladega races.

Keselowski is 3rd in Playoff points and has already notched a win in the postseason with a victory at Richmond in the first round. However, he followed up that win with a 34th at Bristol and a 13th at Las Vegas.

Last weekend, I picked Keselowski to win the South Point 400 in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, he never really contended for the checkered flag in that race.

This weekend, I believe Keselowski will buck his recent trend of poor finishes at Talladega to crack the Top 10 and possibly the Top 5. However, I like Blaney and Logano more this weekend than Keselowski.

The Best YellaWood 500 Betting Value

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the YellaWood 500 due to their current betting odds, their past success at Talladega, and their 2020 season so far:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Aric Almirola 1 5 9 18.8 14.8 2
Kevin Harvick 1 7 16 20.1 15.9 4
Kyle Busch 1 6 8 19.5 20.7 6
Ricky Stenhouse Jr 1 6 9 13.1 10.9 2

Aric Almirola (+1200)

  • Top 3 (+450)
  • Top 5 (+260)
  • Top 10 (+100)

Almirola is currently below the cutoff line in 11th place and needs a strong showing at Talladega this weekend. He’s raced well in the Playoffs so far with an average finish of 11.4 including three Top 9s.

Now, he will return to a track where he won this race two years ago and has had a remarkable run over the last four years.

In the last eight Talladega races, Almirola has one win, five Top 5s, and eight Top 10s. He was 4th in this race last year and third at this track in June. His 14.8 average finish is the 4th best among active drivers.

There’s fantastic value with Almirola’s Top 10 odds, Top 5 odds, Top 3 odds and his line to win the race. Of all the drivers this weekend, Almirola offers the most value. I like him to be a Top 5 car and contend for the victory on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick (+1200)

  • Top 3 (+350)
  • Top 5 (+245)
  • Top 10 (-106)

Whenever I can get Harvick at odds this high to win a race, I’m always going to say he’s a value play. We’re talking about the best driver in the sport today who has nine wins, 19 Top 5s, and 25 Top 10s in 30 races this season.

Furthermore, he’s only finished outside of the Top 10 in two of the last 18 overall races on the season. Harvick has also won two of the last four NASCAR events and finished 10th at Vegas last weekend.

Although he’s dominated the field in 2020, and has pretty much led all drivers in the standings the entire year, Harvick has had some troubles at Talladega over the last few years. In the last eight Talladega races, the #4 car has just one Top 5 and three Top 10s.

With that said, Harvick was 10th in the June race at this track and has a 15.9 career average finish which is 6th best among active drivers.

As I said a few times this year so far, you can never count out Harvick in a race. With that in mind, I really like his value for a Top 10 finish.

Kyle Busch (+1200)

  • Top 3 (+450)
  • Top 5 (+260)
  • Top 10 (+100)

The reigning NASCAR Cup champion Kyle Busch is 8th in Playoff points, but would be eliminated if the next round started today because his brother Kurt Busch won last weekend and would leapfrog him to advance.

Busch has run well the last four Playoff races with four Top 7 finishes which translates into a 5.2 average finish in the postseason. He dominated at Bristol two weeks ago, but was edged out by Harvick for the checkered flag. Last weekend, he finished 6th at Vegas which is his hometown track.

Like many other drivers, Talladega has been a tough place to finish high at. He only has eight Top 10s in 30 starts and just one in the last six races at this track. Busch’s lone Talladega win came over 12 years ago.

With that said, I like Busch’s value for a Top 10 finish. His strong run this postseason indicates that the #18 car has turned the corner on an inconsistent regular season. Although I don’t see Busch winning on Sunday, I do believe he will crack the Top 10 as long as he doesn’t get caught up in the big wreck.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr (+1800)

  • Top 3 (+550)
  • Top 5 (+350)
  • Top 10 (+120)

Other than Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is the only other non-Playoff driver that I see doing well at Talladega this weekend. In fact I really like his Top 10 value.

For his career, Stenhouse has one win, six Top 5s and nine Top 10s in 14 starts. His 10.9 average finish is the best among all active drivers.

The #47 car has three Top 5s and four Top 10s in the last five Talladega races including a 9th in this race last season and a 2nd in the June Talladega event this year.

Take Stenhouse and his Top 10 odds for the YellaWood 500.

The Top Longshot to Win the YellaWood 500

Clint Bowyer (+3300)

  • Top 3 (+800)
  • Top 5 (+500)
  • Top 10 (+175)

Currently, Clint Bowyer sits 10th in Playoff points. He’s already pulled off a small miracle to advance to the second round of the Playoffs after entering the postseason in 12th place.

The #14 car has a 9.5 average finish in the Playoffs so far. He started off the postseason with three straight Top 10s, but ended up 12th at Las Vegas last weekend.

Bowyer is a two time winner at Talladega as he won this race in 2010 and 2011. However, over the last six Talladega races, Bowyer has just one Top 5 and one Top 10 during that span. He also has two DNFs as well.

His 16.6 average finish is 10th best among active drivers and I like his Top 10 odds this weekend. With the Playoffs on the line, I’m taking Bowyer to crack the Top 10 on Sunday.

Avoid These Playoff Drivers at Talladega

The following Playoff drivers should be avoided in the YellaWood 500 race this Sunday:

  • Martin Truex Jr. (+2200) – In 31 career starts at this track, Truex has just two Top 5s, eight Top 10s and the 2nd worst average finish among Playoff drivers at 21.5.
  • Alex Bowman (+1200) – Bowman actually has the worst average finish among Playoff drivers at 24.3 as he has just one Top 5 and three Top 10s in 10 career Talladega starts.
  • Kurt Busch (+1800) – Busch is a perennial Top 10 driver at Talladega, but he’s never won at this track in 39 tries. Plus, you have to go back to 2002 for the last time Kurt Busch has won back to back races. He won last weekend and I don’t see him winning on Sunday.
  • Austin Dillon (+3300) – in 14 starts at this track, Dillon has just one Top 5 and three Top 10s. He’s crashed out in four of the last seven races at Talladega and only has one Top 10 in the last four years.

YellaWood 500 Checkered Flag

This is probably the only time I haven’t picked Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch to finish in the Top 5 of a race. But, with the craziness of Talladega racing, you have to look at the drivers who know how to avoid the crashes late in the race.

With that said, my Top 5 drivers this weekend are Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. That’s two non-Playoff drivers in the Top 5.

Hamlin has raced well at Talladega and Daytona the last few years so I like his chances to contend for the checkered flag, but I feel that he’s going to get edged out by a few other drivers. The same can be said for Almirola as well.

Stenhouse Jr. won’t have any teammates to help him late in the race, which will prevent him from taking the checkered flag.

That’s why I’m turning my attention towards Team Penske for the second straight weekend. Here’s a team that’s dominated at Talladega over the last few years and I see both Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano doing well on Sunday.

Additionally, Ford has absolutely crushed it at Talladega not only in this YellaWood 500 race, but also the GEICO 500 race as well. It’s not a surprise that Team Penske is a proud member of the Ford family.

Because it’s the Playoffs, I see Logano getting the edge over Blaney as the #22 car needs a win to advance to the third round and keep his hopes for a second championship in the last three years alive.

I must caution all of you, Talladega is a different beast than all of the other tracks except for Daytona. These events almost always end with wrecks late in the race known as the “big one.”

You can pick a winner for this event, but you will be better off taking Top 5 and Top 10 odds instead, due to the unpredictability of which drivers will survive the crashes. You can also choose one of the YellaWood 500 prop bets below.

My Top 5 Drivers

  • Aric Almirola
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Joey Logano
  • Denny Hamlin

YellaWood 500 Prop Bets

The following NASCAR prop bets are courtesy of DraftKings:

Car Number of Race Winner

Three of my Top 5 drivers are even numbered cars: Almirola (10), Blaney (12) and Logano (22). Since I believe a Team Penske driver will win, I like the Even option for this prop bet.

YellaWood 500 Prop Bets –Even (-182)

Car Number of Race Winner

  • Over 14.5 (-115)
  • Under 14.5 (-115)

I believe this prop bet provides us with a chance to hedge our bets. I took Logano (22) to win the race, but three of my Top 5 drivers are Under 14.5: Almirola (10), Hamlin (11) and Blaney (12).

Plus, Keselowski (2), Harvick (4) and Elliott (9) are also cars Under 14.5 with an outside chance of winning on Sunday.

Car Number of Race Winner –Under 14.5 (-115)

Manufacturer of Race Winner

  • Ford (+125)
  • Chevrolet (+155)
  • Toyota (+300)

A Ford has won this race six straight years. Furthermore, three of my Top 5 drivers all ride in Fords (Almirola, Blaney, Logano). Other Ford drivers with an outside shot at winning on Sunday are Keselowski, Harvick and Clint Bowyer.

If you include the results for Talladega’s first race of the season the GEICO 500, Ford has won four of the last five of those races as well.

Combined, Ford has won 10 of the last 11 Talladega races. At +125 odds, the Ford betting option is a steal.

Manufacturer of Race Winner –Ford (+125)

Team of Race Winner

  • Team Penske (+350)
  • Joe Gibbs Racing (+400)
  • Hendrick Motor Sports (+400)
  • Stewart-Haas Racing (+500)
  • Any Other Team (+550)
  • Richard Childress racing (+1000)
  • Chip Ganassi Racing (+1200)
  • JTG Daughtery Racing (+1600)
  • Roush Fenway Racing (+2200)

This race will come down to two teams: Team Penske and Stewart-Haas Racing.

Team Penske has Logano, Blaney and Keselowski who have won at Talladega a combined 10 times in their careers.

Stewart-Haas Racing has Harvick, Bowyer and Almirola who have combined to win four times at this track.

With that said, I believe you have to go with Team Penske this weekend.

They’ve won three of the last five GEICO 500 races and five of the last six YellaWood 500 races. That’s a combined eight Talladega victories in this last 11 races at this track.

Team of Race Winner –Team Penske (+350)

YellaWood 500 Betting Recap

Betting Value

  • Aric Almirola (+1200)
  • Kevin Harvick (+1200)
  • Kyle Busch (+1200)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+1800)

Longshot

Winner

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …

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