NASCAR’s Cup Series brings us back to the East Coast on Sunday. Here’s a complete preview of the race with betting advice. Be prepared to bet on this event by knowing all you need to know for your online sports betting about this race and about which drivers are likeliest to find success.
NASCAR Cup Series: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Sunday, March 21, 2021 – 3:00 P.M. ET at Atlanta Motor Speedway
NASCAR’s Cup Series resumes this upcoming Sunday afternoon. As of press time, there are still some sportsbooks that haven’t posted their odds for this event. But with the following analysis, you’ll know everything you need to know in order to pounce when they do post their odds.
The QuikTrip 500 is so-called because, in completing 325 miles, drivers will have accumulated 500.5 miles. There are three Stages for this event. Stage 1 and Stage 2 both require 105 laps. Stage 3, the final Stage, requires 115 laps.
As in previous weeks, an entry list has already been posted for this event. Right now, 39 drivers are named. As for the starting lineup, there is no practice or qualifying for this race. The starting lineup has just been released.
It’s important to ask ourselves, though, whether we should really care about the starting lineup. Is this the kind of event where we should adjust our wager size if a driver, or drivers, whom we like start closer to the front or closer to the back?
The Track Info
Details about the track for this event, the Atlanta Motor Speedway, lead me to believe that starting position is not a factor that we should account for when choosing our best bets. Given the length of every lap and the number of laps, the QuikTrip 500 represents the longest race of the season up to this point. Atlanta’s tri-oval Motor Speedway requires 1.5-miles per lap. So there is plenty of time for drivers to pass each other.
There is considerable banking — at 24 degrees — along each of the four turns while the straights are banked at five degrees. This banking allows for drivers to collect more momentum as they navigate the turns.
Instead of starting position, you should worry about other things that are specific to this track. Most notably, the Atlanta Motor Speedway is notorious for being hard on tires. This fact is a product of the track’s relatively worn, old asphalt with its characteristic bumpiness and abrasiveness. So a successful driver that you’ll want to bet on should absolutely have a good crew, a good tire management strategy.
Drivers To Avoid
Kyle Busch continues to disappoint me. He had a good history at last week’s track in Phoenix, but he couldn’t even crack the top 20. In five races so far this season, Busch has finished better than 10th only once. He needs to string together some positive performances before he can re-earn my trust. Sometimes you have to put drivers on the “no-bet list”, and Busch’s poor form places him on this list.
Ideally, we want to marry good form with good track history. Whereas Busch has the latter but not the former, the reverse is true for Joey Logano. Logano has been driving well overall. But there’s little reason to like him at this specific track. His average finishing position in Atlanta is 16.64, an average that has been exacerbated by numerous clunkers. He finished 10th and 23rd, respectively, in his last two races here. His last top-five finish was in March of 2015, just over six years ago.
I like Denny Hamlin a bit more than Busch and Logano. Hamlin’s overall racing form has been positive, but he’s historically so up-and-down in Atlanta. There are better options out there to invest in. So, let’s find a driver who, in addition to good recent form and good track history, has a third component: consistency.
My Almost-Favorite Drivers
With Kevin Harvick, you will always have a chance to win, especially at this track. This fact alone would justify an investment in Harvick, given the nice potential payout at plus odds. Atlanta’s Motor Speedway is Harvick’s second-favorite track lately. He has accrued six consecutive top-10 finishes and three consecutive top-four finishes.
Harvick has also won here in two of his last three tries. Overall, he’s been racing well this season, finishing top-six in every race but one. The only reason why Harvick isn’t my favorite driver is that it’s statistically rare to win consecutive times here.
The same thinking applies to Martin Truex Jr. He consistently performs well in Atlanta, especially lately, and he’s rounded into superb overall racing form. But he won his last race, and it’s statistically difficult to win consecutive races.
My Favorite Driver
Brad Keselowski has it all: good form, good track history, and consistency. He’s finished top-four in two consecutive Cup Series races. Keselowski also has six consecutive top-nine finishes in Atlanta. During this span, he’s finished top-two in Atlanta three times.
Given the possible payout offered by the betting sites and the number of drivers competing, it makes sense to invest in multiple drivers to win. Harvick and Truex Jr. are good bets because they will at least be in the thick of things, so maybe they can buck the trends that indicate any statistical unlikelihood of their victory.
Given their unlikelihood to win but given their chances of finishing strongly, a small wager at plus odds on each of them to win makes sense. At the very least, you should consider backing both drivers in match-up betting.
But my favorite driver, the one you should unequivocally invest your usual betting unit in, is Brad Keselowski because of his strong overall racing form and his positive and consistent history in Atlanta.
For the above reasons, at least bet on Keselowski to win with your NASCAR Betting Picks.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to the live odds.