Don’t say you weren’t warned. This season was something else, and that’s kindness to NASCAR. It was clear in January that the next generation car wasn’t ready. What followed was chaos and unexpected winners. If you’re late to the party, don’t worry because races are getting more and more unpredictable and drivers with long odds are more and more viable. As always, trust the spreadsheet but also trust your eyes. Here are the best bets for the NASCAR YellaWood 500 Cup Series in Talladega, which begins Sunday, October 2 at 2 p.m. ET.
Not so long ago – last season and every season before it – Talladega was one of the tracks where it was wise for bookmakers to chase long odds. In 2022 with the next generation of jalopy, every week is Talladega. So what makes Talladega? Just look at some of the winning bets from Daytona. Some bookies have secured six-figure wins by tapping all the small team drivers who start at the back.
Fall’s Talladega race isn’t usually as chaotic as the Summer’s Daytona. Usually doesn’t mean anything in 2022. The next generation car is a mess and the Talladega could be hairy just like the garbage fire in Daytona this summer, or it could just be crazy enough. It doesn’t take a lot of mess to get long shots to pay off on a board track or a super-highway, no matter what kids these days call it.
Race winner – Yalloud 500
Austin Dillon (+2000)
I cut to Best Coke Zero Sugar 400 Article in Daytona He won the race with a +3000 long shot. Dillon twice won the Cup Series and the Xfinity Series win at Daytona. Also having the 2018 Michigan Xfinity Series win, this race used a low horsepower demo package that made Michigan a plate race of sorts.
Brad Keselowski (+2500)
His car will have enough power. Keselowski has talent and experience. He also has motivation. In the Daytona 500, Keselowski was +1400 in the same equipment and with the same skill. In this race, Kiselovsky had more to lose – although he didn’t race that way. This is checkers or smashers and very likely Kiselovsky’s last chance to win this season.
(+4000) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The endings of his tablet trajectory over the past few seasons haven’t been great. This may be important for DFS, but when betting on winners, only first place matters. The probability of Stenhouse winning isn’t great, but it’s the same across the board for everyone. When he won Talladega and Daytona, he wasn’t the favorite. Nobody trusted him now and nobody trusted him then.
(+4000) Eric Jones
Small cars have always been competitive on the racetrack. Almerola won a short-distance race at Daytona, but he was always competitive. Bubba Wallace almost won two races in the #43 car. Jones won board races with JGR, and took the top 10 in the last two Talladega races. If Eric Jones has a legitimate shot, his fellow Petty-GMS teammate, Ty Dillon (+20,000)is worth considering.
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Race winner – Yalloud 500
Eric Almerola (+4000)
This does not make sense. Several years ago, the marula had the longest 10th Talladega streak ever. There is a lot of luck in slate races, but it’s hard to argue that eight straight top ten runs in Talladega is luck. There is some skill there. His SHR Ford will be fine. He has not forgotten how to drive on a tablet track. These possibilities are very long.
Ty Gibbs (+10,000)
Can’t bet rookie? Austin Sendrick won the Daytona 500. Sendrick won the Xfinity Series race before winning the opening race of the rookie campaign for the Cup Series. Ty Gibbs won his first Xfinity (Super Speed Road) slate race in Atlanta.
Cory Lagoy (+20,000)
He’s calmed down lately, but almost won in Atlanta. Lajoie will probably patiently sail back and hope to avoid chaos. Then late in the race, he’ll make his move. Top 5 good endings are for Lajoie and his little team, but they’ve done it before. It’s time to win and this season this situation could be the best chance Lajoie has ever had.
Cole Custer (+20,000)
There isn’t a lot of good that can be said about Custer. He won a few races in the Xfinity Series a couple of years ago when he had an unfair advantage by driving elite gear. Since his promotion to the Trophy Series, Custer has performed poorly. However, +20,000 for an SHR Ford with an experienced driver is too long. It’s shocking. In 2022, where anything could happen, it’s inconceivable that DraftKings sportsbook would impose such possibilities on Cole Caster.
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