GEICO 500 Preview and Best Bet

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GEICO 500 Preview and Best Bet
Joey Logano leads Denny Hamlin on April 18, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia. Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images/AFP

Top sportsbooks have released their odds for Sunday’s GEICO 500, which takes place at Talladega’s legendary superspeedway.

Few races, if any, inspire more enthusiasm than this one partly because of the record-setting speeds and number of crashes that have been witnessed on this track. So here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the event and everything you need to know in order to place a well-informed betting pick at a sports betting site.

NASCAR Cup Series: GEICO 500

Sunday, April 25, 2021 – 2:00 PM ET at Talladega Superspeedway

Race Info

NASCAR’s Cup Series resumes on Sunday with the GEICO 500, which will take place at the famous Talladega Superspeedway. In total, this event will require drivers to complete 188 laps.

There are three stages for this race. Stage 1 will be complete after the first 60 laps. Stage 2 likewise requires 60 laps. Stage 3 consists of the remaining number of laps.

Just like in previous weeks, an entry list for the race has already been posted. So barring any unforeseen changes, we already know who will participate in the race. Moreover, an official starting lineup gets released Wednesday morning. There is no qualifying for this event, just like there is no practice.

But, because NASCAR is using a formula to determine the starting lineup, we already had an idea of which drivers would be positioned to start the race among the top 10.

Kyle Busch on April 18, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia. Sean Gardner/Getty Images/AFP

Track Info 

Talladega Superspeedway is commonly known as “Dega” and is said to contain a curse. In completing 188 laps, drivers will have completed 500.08 miles. This is a large track where each lap is 2.66-miles long.

Talladega Superspeedway is known — justifiably — for witnessing high speeds and many crashes. To understand why Talladega Superspeedway is a notoriously dangerous track, we need to understand why it encourages such great speeds.

The straightaways are very long, meaning that drivers go for a longer time without having to turn their cars. When they turn their cars, the turns are supported by an extremely high amount of banking. Turns 1 and 2 are banked at 33 degrees, turn 3 is banked at 32.4 degrees, and turn 4 is banked at 32.5 degrees. Banking facilitates greater speeds by creating more momentum for drivers to collect.

Note for your sports betting that, given the higher speeds, driver ability becomes more important. Good driving is needed to maximize positive use of the air and to handle the relatively dangerous conditions.

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Drivers To Avoid 

One driver to avoid — and possibly to fade in match-up betting — is Kyle Busch. Busch has yet to accomplish consecutive top-10 finishes since the first two races of the season back in February. His history at Talladega does not offer any indication that he will perform well in any sense of the word. In his last seven tries at this track, his best finish was 10th. He finished outside the top 20 four times.

Kevin Harvick is another driver to avoid investing in. His performances this season have not come close to mirroring last year’s in terms of quality. In his last four races, for example, he finished ninth or worst. Like Busch, his history at Talladega offers negligible promise for him. In his last five races at this track, he finished 10th or worst. He finished outside the top 20 in three of those five races So like Busch, there is a relatively high potential for him to suffer a disastrous outcome. 

Also, be sure to stay away from Martin Truex Jr. He has yet to finish top-20 at this track in his last nine tries. Like Busch and Harvick, Truex Jr. repeatedly suffers awful finishing positions at Talladega even when he benefits from a strong starting position. 

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota on April 18, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia. Sean Gardner/Getty Images/AFP

My Guys 

Because of the relatively high number of crashes that take place at this track, there is a greater possibility for luck or for bad luck to derail an otherwise promising driver’s chances by involving him in an accident. Also because the payouts offered by sports betting sites are so attractive, we want to invest in multiple drivers to win.

With my best bets, one guy who I like is Joey Logano. He has had recent success at Talladega, finishing fourth in 2019. His recent history this season is also positive, showing his good form. He has accomplished three consecutive top-six finishes.

I also recommend investing in Denny Hamlin. This season, he is really nearing victory as he’s reeled off six consecutive top-four finishes. Hamlin’s average finishing position at Talladega is similarly strong as Logano’s. He also has three straight top-four finishes at Talladega.

For the above reasons, invest in Hamlin and Logano to win with your NASCAR betting picks.


Hamlin +650 at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Logano +900 at Bovada

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*The picks reflect the lines at the moment the writer made the plays, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.