NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Betting Preview - Geico 500

David Schwab

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 2:48 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 3, 2017 2:48 PM UTC

Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama is one of NASCAR most exciting tracks on the schedule and this Sunday’s Geico 500 as the 10th point-race event of this season’s Monster Energy Cup Series should be no exception. Race time from Talladega is set for 2 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX.

Recapping last week’s results, Joey Logano notched his first point-race victory of the season this past Sunday at Richmond with Brad Keselowski racing his way to second followed by Denny Hamlin in third. I went with Kyle Busch as my top-valued favorite, but he faded to 16th in the final running order

The following is a look at my top-valued favorite, contender, and longshot to win this Sunday’s race at Talladega based on betting odds as provided by 5 Dimes.


Top Valued Favorite

I have always been a big Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan so this may be a bit of a sentimental pick this week as a +800 favorite to win. He has decided to retire from Cup Series racing at the end of this season and this race at this track could be a golden opportunity to jumpstart a very disappointing start to his final run as the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet. This team has just one finish in the top five on the 2017 resume and it is coming off a tough 30th-place finish at Richmond so we know current form is not on his side. What Dale Jr. does bring to this week’s race is a track record of success in restrictor plate racing. He won this event in 2015 as part of his six career victories at Talladega.

 Top Valued Contender

I liked Kyle Busch as a +600 favorite last week and I am riding him again this week as my top-valued contender at +1200 betting odds. Any race at Talladega is going to remain a wild, wide-open affair right down to the final lap which is why I am going with a driver that I know is hungry for a win. The No. 18 Toyota has just two runs inside the top five through the first nine point-race events following four victories and 13 additional Top 5 finishes last season. This makes it safe to say that this team is due. Also adding value to Busch’s odds is his second-place finish in this event last season.


Top Valued Longshot

This week’s list of viable longshots is filled with a number of solid choices, but I am going with Jamie McMurray at +2500 betting odds. He is the type of driver that will remain quiet for a number of weeks before working his way into the mix in some of the Cup Series’ biggest events. So far this season, his No. 1 Chevrolet has been competitive with five runs inside the top 10 to hold down the No. 7 spot in the current standings with 282 total points. McMurray is coming off a respectable sixth-place finish last week at Richmond and adding, even more, value to his long odds would be his fourth-place run in this race last season.

 Betting Odds to Win for other Notable Drivers

Jimmie Johnson’s two-race winning streak came to an end last Sunday at Richmond, but he is one of the top favorites to quickly get back to the Winner’s Circle at +900 odds. Kevin Harvick is third on the list at +1000 and joining Busch at +1200 is Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano. These three drivers have combined to win four point-race events so far. The four-driver group at +1400 odds to win includes Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.

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