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NASCAR GEICO 500 odds and value picks

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

April 23rd, 2021

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.

GEICO 500

Sun, April 25 2021, 6:00 PM

Hamlin, Denny

+650

Logano, Joey

+900

Blaney, Ryan

+1000

Elliott, Chase

+1100

Keselowski, Brad

+1100

Almirola, Aric

+1600

Stenhouse Jr, Ricky

+1800

Busch, Kyle

+1800

Harvick, Kevin

+2000

Larson, Kyle

+2000

Joey Logano (+900)

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.

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. 

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (+1800)

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.

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 (+2800)

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.

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