NASCAR GEICO 500 odds and value picks
After three straight races at short tracks, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to the biggest circuit on the schedule all season – Talladega Superspeedway – for Sunday’s GEICO 500 (2:00 p.m. ET, FOX). The unpredictable nature of superspeedway racing has led to a wide-open betting board, with Denny Hamlin sitting as the +650 favorite.
Though Hamlin has yet to win in 2021, he has by far the best average finish (4.2) and most laps led (694) of any full-time Cup Series driver this season. However, he has just two victories in 30 prior races at Talladega.
Let’s see if we can’t connect with a longshot as we make our selections for the GEICO 500.
Sun, April 25 2021, 6:00 PM
Stenhouse Jr, Ricky
Despite missing the Top 10 in three straight races at Talladega, Joey Logano is a logical contender for the win on Sunday.
The No. 22 Ford driver has made a habit of running the in Top 10 over this course, placing in 12 of the first 16 stages. He’s yet to win a stage at Talladega, but Logano has checked in second on six occasions.
Overall, solid day at @RichmondRaceway. Started P5. Scored points in Stage 1 & 2. Fast stops on pit road and led a handful of laps. Didn’t get the take off like we wanted on the final restart, but we’ll take the third-place finish. On to @TALLADEGA! pic.twitter.com/SI6TnCLbRA— Joey Logano (@joeylogano) April 18, 2021
Logano has led at least 10 laps in eight of his last nine races here, a streak that’s encompassed two trips to victory lane. He’ll start in second place on Sunday, right alongside pole-sitting Hamlin.
Frequently an afterthought on the Cup Series circuit, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. often makes his presence felt at superspeedways, especially Talladega.
Stenhouse won over this circuit in 2017, and has compiled four additional Top 10s here in seven races since.
Memorable Moments of the 2020 NASCAR Season.— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) December 6, 2020
No. 15: A wild last lap at Talladega in July saw several wrecks, including Aric Almirola finishing backward, and Ryan Blaney winning by inches – 0.007 seconds – over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. pic.twitter.com/yDpbBctvXr
He’s put together a very respectable season thus far for the under-the-radar JTG-Daugherty Racing team, finishing inside the Top 20 in each of his first nine races in 2021. That includes his runner-up result over the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Stenhouse starts his Sunday in 17th place.
Tyler Reddick is off to a so-so start in his sophomore season, but a visit to the tricky Talladega course could change his fortunes.
Reddick sandwiched a runner-up result at Homestead-Miami with five finishes outside the Top 20 before NASCAR went on a short-track spree. He built some momentum for himself at Bristol, Martinsville and Richmond, averaging a finish of 11.67 while collecting two Top 10s.
Talladega is quite different from those courses, but a longshot that’s gaining confidence can be dangerous on racedays. Reddick did well over this course last year, leading 19 laps and winning Stage 1 in the summer race while finishing seventh in the autumn event.
Reddick will roll off the grid in 20th place.