GEICO 500 From Talladega Betting

NASCAR-GEICO-500--From-Talladega-Betting

On Sunday, April 25th, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to fast speeds and long straightaways as the field leaves short track racing in their rear-view mirror and heads to the Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500.

Drivers just spent the last three races on the short tracks and will now head to Talladega where average speeds are over 150mph and crashes can range from small wrecks to “the big one.”

Denny Hamlin comes into the GEICO 500 as the odds on favorite to win the race according to online sportsbooks. He’s followed closely by the three Team Penske drivers of Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski. Chase Elliott rounds out the Top 5.

Let’s put our safety gear on, strap in tightly, rev those engines and make some checkered flag winning predictions for the GEICO 500.

Race Profile

Talladega Superspeedway is a tri-oval track with a lap distance of 2.66 miles long. The four turns have banking of 32.4 to 33 degrees. Sunday’s GEICO 500 race breaks down as follows:

  • Total Miles: 500 miles
  • Total Laps: 188 laps
  • Stage 1: First 60 laps
  • Stage 2: Second 60 laps
  • Final Stage: Remaining 68 laps

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

What to Watch for at Talladega

With all of the exciting NASCAR action heading into the last weekend of April, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on at Talladega on Sunday:

  • Will we see a big wreck late in the race?
  • Can Denny Hamlin get his first win of the year?
  • Will Brad Keselowski win again at Talladega?
  • Will Team Penske dominate the race?
  • Will we see a first time winner on Sunday?

Previous GEICO 500 Winners

The first edition of the GEICO 500 was run in April 1970 and called the Alabama 500. Pete Hamilton was the winner of that race. Jeff Gordon would go on to have the most all-time wins in this race with four. Ryan Blaney is the defending race winner.

The following is a list of previous winners dating back to 2000:

  • Jeff Gordon in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2007
  • Bobby Hamilton in 2001
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2002, 2003, 2015
  • Jimmie Johnson in 2006, 2011
  • Kyle Busch in 2008
  • Brad Keselowski in 2009, 2012, 2016
  • Kevin Harvick in 2010
  • Jimmie Johnson in 2011
  • David Ragan in 2013
  • Denny Hamlin in 2014
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2017
  • Joey Logano in 2018
  • Chase Elliott in 2019
  • Ryan Blaney in 2020

There hasn’t been a back-to-back winner of the GEICO 500 since Jeff Gordon in 2004-2005. Brad Keselowski is the last driver to have won this race more than once in his career. He won in 2016 for the 3rd time in his career. Since then, we’ve seen four different winners.

NASCAR GEICO 500 Betting Odds

The following betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Denny Hamlin (+600)
  • Joey Logano (+800)
  • Ryan Blaney (+900)
  • Brad Keselowski (+1000)
  • Chase Elliott (+1000)
  • Aric Almirola (+1400)
  • Alex Bowman (+1600)
  • Kurt Busch (+1600)
  • Kyle Busch (+1600)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr (+1600)
  • Kevin Harvick (+1800)
  • William Byron (+1800)
  • Kyle Larson (+2000)
  • Christopher Bell(+2200)
  • Martin Truex Jr (+2200)
  • Tyler Reddick (+2200)
  • Austin Dillon (+3300)
  • Darrell Wallace Jr (+3300)
  • Ryan Newman (+3300)
  • Ryan Preece (+3300)
  • Chris Buescher (+4000)
  • Erik Jones (+4000)
  • Matt DiBenedetto (+5000)
  • Chase Briscoe (+6600)
  • Cole Custer (+6600)
  • Daniel Suarez (+6600)
  • Michael McDowell (+6600)

GEICO 500 Betting Favorites

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

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Denny Hamlin 2 9 13 16.9 16.7 5
Joey Logano 3 8 10 17.5 16.6 7
Ryan Blaney 2 3 4 12.2 18.1 4
Brad Keselowski 5 7 11 12.0 16.2 4
Chase Elliott 1 4 5 5.8 14.9 3

Denny Hamlin (+600)

  • Top 5 (+125)
  • Top 10 (-180)

Last week at Richmond, Denny Hamlin led the most laps and was once again a handful of laps away from winning the race. Unfortunately, just like in Martinsville a few weeks ago, his card faded on the final laps and all he could do was watch the victory slip from his grasp.

Yet, Hamlin still finished with another Top 5 result as he was second behind Bowman. Denny remains on top of the standings where’s been at since Week 2 of the 2021 season.

The #11 car also leads the field in Top 5s, Top 10s, laps led, stage wins and Playoff Points. He has a 4.2 average finish in nine races this season and has yet to finish worse than 11th overall.

At Talladega, Hamlin has two wins, nine Top 5s, 13 Top 10s, and a 16.7 average finish which is 10th best among the field.

He’s put together three straight Top 4 finishes including winning at this track last fall. In the last nine races at this track, Hamlin has five Top 5s, six Top 10s, and eight Top 14s.

I like Hamlin as a Top 10, Top 5 and Top 3 driver as long as he can stay out of the big wrecks.

Joey Logano (+800)

  • Top 5 (+165)
  • Top 10 (-140)

For the second straight week, Joey Logano sits 3rd in the standings. He’s just one point behind 2nd place driver Martin Truex Jr. and 82 points behind Denny Hamlin.

Last weekend at Richmond, Logano finished 3rd which was his third straight Top 6 result. In his last six races, the #22 car has three Top 5s and five Top 10s. On the season, he has six Top 10s and an 8.3 average finish.

Like the rest of his teammates, Logano has had some success at Talladega in the past. In 24 career starts at this track, he has three wins, eight Top 5s, 10 Top 10s and a 16.6 average finish which is 9th best among the field.

His last three Talladega races haven’t been anything to brag about as he tallied a 18.0 average finish. Yet, the four races prior to that, Logano had four Top 5s and one victory which came in the spring Talladega race of 2018.

Logano has won three times at Talladega since the fall of 2015 and has six Top 5s as well. He’s another driver that should be in the Top 10 and Top 5 on Sunday. Can he be a Top 3 driver and challenge Hamlin for the checkered flag?

Ryan Blaney (+900)

  • Top 5 (+180)
  • Top 10 (-130)

Ryan Blaney sits 5th in the standings and is slowly putting together a solid season. He won at Atlanta four races ago and has 10.0 average finish in the last three races.

Last weekend, Blaney was 11th at Richmond which matched his result for Martinsville. The #12 car has six straight Top 11 results after starting off the season with three finishes 15th or worse.

Blaney comes into this weekend’s event as the defending GEICO 500 winner.

In 13 starts at this track, Blaney has two wins, three Top 5s, and four Top 10s with an 18.1 average finish. He’s won two of the last three races as Ryan also took the checkered flag in the fall 2019 Talladega race.

Like his teammates Logano and Keselowski, Blaney is a solid driver on superspeedways and he should see a Top 10 result with the possibility of cracking the Top 5.

Brad Keselowski (+1000)

  • Top 5 (+200)
  • Top 10 (-115)

Will the real Brad Keselowski please stand up?

Keselowski has recently competed at some tracks where’s he’s been historically good at only to disappoint with a poor result.

Over the last four races on the season, Keselowski has finished 11th or worse in all of them. He hasn’t cracked the Top 10 since Phoenix, which was five races ago. Brad has an average finish of 14.0 and sits 9th in the driver standings.

Fortunately for the #2 car, he’s been one of the best drivers of the field at Talladega in his career. Keselowski leads all active drivers with five wins at this track. Additionally, he has seven Top 5s, 11 Top 10s, and a 16.2 average finish which is 8th best.

Like the last month of his 2021 season, Keselowski hasn’t had the best of luck at Talladega the last three years. In the last six races at this track, he has yet to crack the Top 10. His best result was 13th.

With the way things are going for the #2 car this season, combined with the last few years of Talladega results, I put Keselowski’s ceiling as a Top 10 driver this weekend. Of the betting favorites, he would be the one to avoid for Sunday’s race.

Chase Elliott (+1000)

  • Top 5 (+200)
  • Top 10 (-115)

Elliott is still looking to get his first win of the 2021 season. He came close at Martinsville when he finished 2nd overall. It was the second time this year that he was runner up in a race. Elliott was also the runner up in the Daytona 500 to kickoff the season.

Currently, Elliott sits 7th in the standings and has three straight results of 12th or better. The #9 car, and reigning Cup Series champion, has been rather subpar for most of the season with a 13.0 average finish and just four Top 10s in nine races.

In 10 career starts at Talladega, Elliott has one win, four Top 5s, five Top 10s, and a 14.9 average finish which is the 4th best among the field.

Elliott has three Top 8 results in the last four races at this track and four Top 8 finishes in the last six Talladega events.

Like any other driver in this race, Elliott has a good chance of finishing in the Top 10 and the Top 5 if he can avoid wrecking. In the 2020 edition of the GEICO 500, Elliott crashed and finished 38th.

The Best GEICO 500 Betting Value

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for GEICO 500 due to their current betting odds, their past success at the Talladega Superspeedway, and their 2021 season so far:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Kurt Busch 0 8 21 17.9 15.8 10
Kevin Harvick 1 7 16 19.7 16.1 4
Ryan Newman 0 7 16 15.0 18.5 9

Kurt Busch (+1600)

  • Top 5 (+350)
  • Top 10 (+155)

Kurt Busch sits 15th in the driver standings for the 4th straight week after finishing 13th at Richmond last weekend. He hasn’t cracked the Top 10 since finishing 8th at Homestead-Miami in the 3rd race of the season. Busch has finished 13th or worse in six straight races.

I don’t like Busch’s chances of winning this race or finishing in the Top 5. He’s never won at Talladega in his career and only has eight Top 5s in 40 appearances.

However, I do believe there’s value with his Top 10 odds of +155. Kurt Busch has an average finish of 15.8 at Talladega which is 6th best among the field. However, he leads all active drivers with 21 Top 10 results including seven in his last 11 starts at this track.

Kevin Harvick (+1800)

  • Top 5 (+350)
  • Top 10 (+130)

Harvick’s lackluster 2021 season continued last weekend as he finished 24th overall and remains 8th in the standings for the third straight week.

In nine races so far, Harvick has just two Top 5s, six Top 10s and an 11.0 average finish which are all well below his high standard of racing. He’s also finished 15th or worse in three of the last six races.

At Talladega, Harvick has one win, seven Top 5s, 16 Top 10s, and a 16.1 average finish in 40 careers starts.

I see value with Harvick’s Top 10 odds of +130 as I can see the #4 cracking the Top 10 on Sunday. He was 10th in this race last year and 4th in 2018. If he can avoid the late race wrecks then Harvick should be able to produce a decent result.

Ryan Newman (+3300)

  • Top 5 (+550)
  • Top 10 (+185)

It’s not often that I list Ryan Newman in my betting value section, but at Talladega Newman does offer value with his Top 10 odds.

In 37 starts at this track, Newman has zero wins, seven Top 5s, 16 Top 10s and an 18.5 average finish. He’s completed 14 of the last 15 Talladega races including seven in a row. Over that span, he’s finished in the Top 10 five times and in the Top 5 on two occasions.

Newman was 6th in the fall Talladega race last year, 7th in this race in 2019 and 9th in this race in 2018. He’s a veteran driver who knows how to race smart at Talladega and find a way to sneak in the Top 10 by time it’s all said and done.

The Top Longshot to Win the GEICO 500

Michael McDowell (+6600)

  • Top 5 (+750)
  • Top 10 (+225)

There are several drivers who could fit the bill as a longshot to win the GEICO 500 on Sunday. I’m going with Michael McDowell as my longshot.

He’s never won at this track in his career and only has one Top 10 in 20 career starts at Talladega. But, he was a longshot at Daytona in February and got lucky after surviving late race wrecks. Maybe he can be just as lucky this weekend as well.

The Rest of the Field at Talladega

The following drivers are worth keeping an eye on in this weekend’s GEICO 500:

  • Aric Almirola (+1400) – Almirola has the 5th best average finish (15.8) at this track. Furthermore, he has eight Top 10 results in the last nine Talladega races including a checkered flag in the fall Talladega race. His odds aren’t as appealing, but he’s certainly a driver that could pull off the win on Sunday.
  • Alex Bowman (+1600) – Bowman edged out Hamlin last weekend at Richmond, but has never won at Talladega in his career. He also has just one Top 5 and a 23.4 average finish. I doubt the #48 car will be a factor in this race on Sunday.
  • Kyle Busch (+1600) – Busch can’t seem to put together a solid run at Talladega any longer. Over the last seven races at this track, Busch has just one Top 10. For his career, Busch has six Top 5s, eight Top 10s, and seven DNFs at Talladega.
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+1600) – Stenhouse has one win at this track along with six Top 5s and nine Top 10s in 15 career starts. He has four Top nine results in the last six races and took the checkered flag in the 2017 GEICO 500. Watch out for the #47 car this weekend.
  • William Byron (+1800) – Like his teammate Bowman, William Byron hasn’t had a great deal of success at Talladega. His first four races at this track saw finishes of 20th or worse including two crashes. Byron did finish 11th in this race last year and 4th in the fall race at Talladega. But, he’ll be lucky to crack the Top 11 this weekend.
  • Kyle Larson (+2000) – It’s surprising how bad Larson is at this track considering how talented of a driver he is. But, in 12 starts, he has just two Top 10s. In fact, he has more DNFs (4) than Top 10s. He’s also crashed in three of his last four appearances at Talladega.
  • Martin Truex Jr (+2200) – Truex is the only driver to have won twice this season so far. Unfortunately, he’s never won at Talladega. In 32 career starts, Truex has just two Top 5s and eight Top 10s. Even worse, he has 13 DNFs which is the most among the field.
  • Christopher Bell (+2200) – Bell sits 10th in the standings, but has a 34.0 average finish at Talladega. He was 29th in this race last year and 39th in the fall race. The young driver only has two career starts at this track.

The Best Top 5 Bet for the GEICO 500

I promise that I won’t pick Denny Hamlin every week for this spot, but it’s hard to argue against the #11 car finishing in the Top 5 on Sunday. Plus, his +125 odds to crack the Top 5 are just too appealing to pass up.

Hamlin leads all active drivers with nine Top 5 results at Talladega. He’s tallied four Top 5 finishes in the last five races including three in a row. Denny was 4th in the GEICO 500 last year and won the fall Talladega race.

Furthermore, Hamlin has been a Top 5 machine this season with eight in nine races including six weeks in a row.

The Best Top 10 Bet for the GEICO 500

There are a few drivers that we can choose from to crack the Top 10, but I like Chase Elliott for this spot in the GEICO 500 on Sunday.

Elliott has the 4th best average finish at Talladega among active drivers at 14.9. Furthermore, he has three Top 8 results in the last four races including taking the checkered flag in the 2019 GEICO 500.

In 10 careers starts, Elliott has five Top 10s which is a 50% rate of cracking the Top 10. Four of those Top 10 results have come in the last six Talladega races. I also like his Top 10 odds of -115 as it offers solid value for one of the race’s betting favorites.

Make sure to check out our NASCAR betting picks for a more in-depth look at who will finish in the top 5 and the top 10 as we get closer to race day.

GEICO 500 Checkered Flag

As I alluded to throughout the article, the winner of Talladega will need to be as lucky as he is good. This race is all about the right line, bump drafting, and avoiding the big wrecks.

With that said, my Top 5 drivers this week are Hamlin, Blaney, Logano, Elliott and Almirola. But, you could pretty much pull five names out of a hat and still have a good shot at three of them finishing in the Top 5 on Sunday due to the unpredictability of this race.

It’s been over 15 years since a driver has won the GEICO 500 two years in a row, so I don’t see Blaney accomplishing this feat.

Elliott’s season has been subpar for the reigning CUP Series champ and I don’t believe he has enough luck on his side to pull out the win. Almirola has had bad luck for most of the year and will most likely fall short of winning again at Talladega.

I see the race winner coming from Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. Of the two, I have to go with Hamlin.

He’s been a Top 5 machine this season and has flirted with winning at least three different times in 2021. Bottom line, the #11 car is more than due for a victory.

My Top 5 Drivers

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Joey Logano
  • Chase Elliott
  • Aric Almirola

GEICO 500 Betting Recap

Betting Value

  • Kurt Busch (+1600)
  • Kevin Harvick (+1800)
  • Ryan Newman (+3300)

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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