NASCAR YellaWood 500 odds, preview and upset picks

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October 2nd, 2020

On the heels of a stunning Sunday night victory by Kurt Busch in Las Vegas, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the YellaWood 500 (2:00 p.m., NBC), the second of three races in the postseason Round of 12.

Joey Logano (+900) is a tepid favorite this Sunday to join Busch as a guaranteed participant in the Round of 8, but he’s still in search of his first victory since March, before COVID-19 necessitated a suspension of racing.

We’ll look for three potential upset candidates as we make our selections for the YellaWood 500.

Nascar Cup Series - YellaWood 500 2020 - Winner

Sun, October 4 2020, 6:05 PM

Joey Logano


Chase Elliott


Brad Keselowski


Denny Hamlin


Kyle Busch


Ryan Blaney


Kevin Harvick


Aric Almirola


Alex Bowman


Martin Truex Jr.


Denny Hamlin (+1000)

Denny Hamlin, the second-winningest driver in the Cup Series this season (six victories, trailing only Kevin Harvick at nine), snapped a skid of three straight races in which he finished outside the Top 10 with a third-place result at Las Vegas. He’ll look to keep the momentum going and perhaps cash at a nice price at Talladega this Sunday.

Hamlin was third in the 2019 fall race at Talladega and fourth in this year’s delayed spring visit on June 22. His 320 career laps led here rank fourth among active drivers, trailing only Matt Kenseth (524), Jimmie Johnson (473), and Logano (352). Hamlin won the Daytona 500 and finished third in the August race at Daytona in NASCAR’s only other visits to superspeedways in 2020.

The No. 11 Toyota will start from the pole on Sunday.

Chase Elliott (+1000)

Chase Elliott carries some momentum heading into Talladega, placing in the Top 10 in three out of the last five overall races and leading 212 laps in the process. He could record another fine effort in the Round of 12 this Sunday.

Elliott has done well over this course in the past, tallying a win in April of 2019 as well as two additional Top 10 finishes in his last five races here. He’s led 67 laps at Talladega in that span. Elliott will begin his day in 10th place.

Alex Bowman (+1400)

Alex Bowman, Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, should not be overlooked at Talladega this Sunday.

Bowman enters this race with an average finishing position of sixth over his last six races. The No. 88 Chevrolet driver has three Top 10s in his last five trips to Talladega, including a runner-up result to Elliott in April of 2019. Bowman will roll off the grid in fourth position.