NASCAR’s 2016 Sprint Cup season got off to a bang with Denny Hamlin’s thrilling victory in the Daytona 500 and now the series moves on to Atlanta Motor Speedway this week for the running of the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500. Sunday’s race is set to start at 1 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
I went with Hamlin as my top-valued contender in last Sunday’s Daytona 500 and cashed-in at +1200 betting odds. Martin Truex Jr. was a close second in the slimmest margin of victory in the history of this storied race and 2015 Sprint Cup Champion Kyle Busch finished third.
The following is a look at my top valued favorite, contender and longshot to win Sunday’s race at Atlanta based on betting odds as provided by 5Dimes.
Top Valued Favorite
Jimmie Johnson is not the top favorite to win on Sunday, but I like the added value in his +700 third-favorite odds as the defending champion of Sunday’s race. The No. 48 car is coming off a disappointing 16th-place finish at Daytona, but he still managed to lead 18 laps of that race. Going back to last season’s results starting with that win in Atlanta, this team made its way to the Winner’s Circle five times as part of posting a total of 14 Top-5 finishes. Johnson’s overall record at this track could be considered as equally impressive with an average finishing position of 11.1 that has been aided by four career victories here.
Top Valued Contender
I am really stretching the value in this category for Sunday’s race with Dale Earnhardt Jr. as my top contender at +1800 betting odds. The No. 88 car was right in the mix at Daytona until a questionable move resulted in a single-car wreck to take him out of the race. I would expect that same strong car to be back on the track this Sunday with a highly motivated Dale Jr. behind the wheel. Atlanta has not been one of his best tracks over the course of his Sprint Cup career, but he is coming off a third-place finish in last year’s Quik Trip 500.
Top Valued Longshot
Kyle Larson failed to qualify for last season’s Chase with just two Top-5 finishes in 36 point-race events, but I do like the value for sports picks in his +2500 betting odds to break through with an early season victory this year. He ran a respectable seventh behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet in last Sunday’s Daytona 500, which automatically adds value to these long odds. As one of the top young guns racing in the Sprint Cup series, he did post an eighth-place finish at this track in his first run here in 2014.
Racing Odds For Other Notable Drivers
The top two favorites to win on Sunday are Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano at +500 betting odds. Both drivers (Harvick-4th and Logano-6th) are coming off solid Top-10 runs in last week’s race. Next on the list along with Johnson at +700 are Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Kenseth faded to 14th at Daytona and Busch appears primed to pick-up where he left off last season with his third-place run. Filling in the gaps from there is Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski at +800 followed by Carl Edwards at +1000.