The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the YellaWood 500 Sunday. The green flag is set to drop at approximately 2:05 p.m. ET. Below we analyze the 2021 YellaWood 500 odds and lines, with NASCAR picks and predictions.
As the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs continue, a run at the superspeedway is always a tense time for those fighting for their playoff lives. There is usually a “big one” which collects several cars, shaking up the field in the blink of an eye.
It also makes wagering on the race a bit of a crapshoot, as the studying of good information can be all for naught in one unfortunate turn of events, more so than tri-ovals, road courses, etc.
2021 YellaWood 500: What you need to know
- Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski picked up a victory in the GEICO 500 back on April 25 in the first stop at Talladega, holding off Hendrick’s William Byron by 0.102 seconds and Michael McDowell by 0.103 seconds in overtime.
- Keselowski leads all active drivers with six checkered flags at Talladega.
- Richard Childress Racing driver Tyler Reddick has three Cup Series starts at ‘Dega, finishing seventh twice with a 20th-place fun. That’s good for an 11.33 Average-Finish Position (AFP), best among all drivers with at least three Cup starts at the track.
- Veteran Kurt Busch has 41 career Talladega starts, but he has never won. Ryan Newman, who has 39 Cup starts at the track, is also searching for his first Talladega win.
Who is going to win the 2021 YellaWood 500?
It all starts with KESELOWSKI (+1200) when discussing Talladega. Yes, he hasn’t had the season he had hoped for, but he is still alive in the playoffs at a track he has six victories. Keselowski is certainly worth a roll of the dice as he just seems to pick and choose his spots at this track better than anybody.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s DENNY HAMLIN (+750) is the chalk for this race. He goes off from the pole with teammate KYLE BUSCH (+1500) on his side. Hamlin has a pair of wins, 389 laps led and a 17.2 AFP in his 31 Cup starts at the track. The younger Busch has one win, but just a 20.78 AFP and seven DNFs, so he is a little more of a risk.
Among the Chevys, Hendrick’s CHASE ELLIOTT (+1000) is a good play. He has 11 Cup Series starts under his belt at Talladega, going for a win, four top-5 finishes and 173 laps led with a 15.73 AFP.
Long-shot bets for the 2021 YellaWood 500
The beauty of Talladega is that you just never know. The little guy has just as good of a chance as the big-money teams, making the superspeedways more interesting, in my opinion.
RICKY STENHOUSE JR. (+3000) is always a threat on the superspeedway. He has a win at Talladega in 16 career Cup starts, while posting six top-5 runs and a strong 14.0 AFP. If he is going to win a race in a season, it’s a good bet it will be at Daytona or ‘Dega.
STENHOUSE TOP 10 FINISH (+150) is still a very good value at plus-money. I also think BRAD KEESLOWSKI TOP 10 FINISH (-160) is a near certainty. In addition, TYLER REDDICK TOP 10 FINISH (+100) at even-money is a good value, too.
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