The NASCAR Cup Series is heading to Talladega Superspeedway this week with an apparent extra measure of unpredictability added to the outlook. Talladega is always one of the most challenging tracks to navigate for wagering purposes, and now, pinpointing a winner seems to be even more difficult.
The green flag drops on the Geico 500 on Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m. ET, and projecting who may end up in Victory Lane when it’s over is no easy task. The NASCAR Cup Series has featured a lot of tight racing and thrilling finishes this season, leading to seven different winners in the first nine events.
Talladega is naturally known for being one of the most exciting tracks on the circuit. The October race at the site last season, as one example, produced a season-high 57 lead changes, and the April race had 41 lead changes, the third-most in 2022.
In the last six races at Talladega, we have seen six different winners. Examining past statistical trends can naturally be helpful in forecasting results, but as Kevin Harvick knows, the numbers won’t always lead the way to determine a winner at “Dega.”
“You’re going to race in a pack – three-wide at times – and you’re going to get pushed and have to push at times. You just never know what’s going to happen because Talladega is its own animal,” Harvick told NASCAR Wire.
Geico 500 Talladega Winner Odds
Use our featured NASCAR Talledega promo to place a bet on the winner of the Geico 500 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
DraftKings’ Geico 500 winner odds and lines are current as of 1 a.m. ET on Sunday, April 23.
- Ryan Blaney (+1000)
- Joey Logano (+1000)
- Denny Hamlin (+1200)
- Brad Keselowski (+1200)
- William Byron (+1400)
- Ross Chastain (+1500)
- Chase Elliott (+1500)
- Kyle Larson (+1600)
- Kyle Busch (+1800)
- Christopher Bell (+1800)
- Bubba Wallace (+2000)
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+2200)
- Aric Almirola (+2200)
- Tyler Reddick (+2500)
- Kevin Harvick (+2500)
Geico 500 Talladega Winner Prediction
Joey Logano (+1000) • DraftKings Sportsbook
I cannot say there is a “chalky” pick at Talladega, yet Joey Logano is running strong this season, and he has the history to back him up as a prime pick. Logano is a three-time ‘Dega winner, and his one win this season was at Atlanta, which now has a comparable superspeedway package to Talladega.
After a second-place finish at Martinsville, Logano will be gunning hard for a win this week. He also finished second in the Daytona 500.
This season, Logano is third in the Cup Series with 206 Laps Led. The Team Penske superstar is also tied for the second-most top-five finishes at Talladega with nine, so you should lock him in at +125 for the top-five showing.
Geico 500 Talladega Best Bet
Brad Keselowski (+1200) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Keselowski only has one Cup win dating back to the start of the 2021 season, but that was at Talladega. While he no longer consistently displays his past elite form, you can always bet on him to perform like a star at ‘Dega.
The Roush Racing veteran is the all-time winner in Talladega wins with six. He also finished second at Atlanta this season.
In 2021, Keselowski scored a second-place finish in the second ‘Dega race. His all-time Driver Rating of 89.5 is the third-best among all drivers at the site.
Keselowski is tied with Logano for the second-most top-five finishes at Talladega with nine, so go with him at +150 for the top-five showing as my NASCAR bet of the day.
Geico 500 Favorites
Drivers are listed in order of best bets/preference in each tier/grouping.
Denny Hamlin (+1200) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Hamlin is coming off his best finish of the season, placing fourth at Martinsville. He also finished sixth at Atlanta.
Hamlin starts on the pole and he also won from the pole in the second Talladega race of the 2020 season.
The No. 11 driver is always a top contender on superspeedways, as he has won twice at Talladega and three times at Daytona. His 424 Laps Led are the most all-time at this week’s site.
Over the past two seasons at Talladega, Hamlin has led the most laps (78). He won from the pole in the second race of 2020.
Make sure you go with Hamlin to finish in the top five, too, at +150, as he leads all active drivers in top-5 finishes at ‘Dega with 10.
Ryan Blaney (+1000) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Blaney is still searching for his first win this season, and he has no top-five finishes in his last five starts. Yet Talladega is the ideal site for him to recapture his best form.
In the second race at ‘Dega last season, Blaney finished second, and he is the only active driver to have won consecutive races at the site (2019 and 2020). He has the best all-time Driver Rating of 91.7 among active drivers at Talladega.
In the last four races at Talladega dating back to 2021, Blaney leads all drivers in Driver Rating (95.4), and he is second in Laps Led (65).
Ross Chastain (+1500) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Chastain won this event last year, and he is vying to become the next driver to win his first race of the season this week. He led only for the final lap in his first Talladega win in 2022, but Chastain was able to steal the victory at the end of a thrilling race after a late move from third to first.
The Trackhouse Racing driver finished fourth in the second Talladega event last year. He has led 49 laps at Talladega over the past two years.
Chase Elliott (+1500) • DraftKings Sportsbook
In his return from a leg injury, Elliott finished 10th at Martinsville. Talladega is a site where he can push for his first victory in four starts this season.
Elliott is looking for his third career win at Talladega, and he is aiming to join Blaney as only the second active driver to win consecutive races at the site. He took the checkered flag in the second race at ‘Dega in 2022.
Over the past two seasons at Talladega, Elliott leads all drivers in Quality Passes (981 passes of cars in the top 15 while under green flag conditions) and he is second in Green Flag passes with 1,346.
The Hendrick Motorsports standout’s all-time Driver Rating of 91.3 is the second-best among active drivers at ‘Dega. Hendrick leads all teams with 14 all-time Talladega wins.
Kyle Busch (+1800) • DraftKings Sportsbook
In the 2022 Geico 500,Busch finished third. He has a pair of top-two finishes this season and Busch placed in the top 10 at Atlanta.
Busch is the all-time leader in Quality Passes at Talladega (7,270). The first-year Richard Childress Racing driver is also the all-time leader in Fastest Laps Run (156).
Over the past two seasons at Talladega, Busch ranks second in Quality Passes (819), and he is third in Green Flag passes (1,321).
In his career, Busch has seven top-five finishes at ‘Dega, so take him at +200 to finish in that range for the eighth time.
🏁 Back these Geico 500 winner props at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Geico 500 Sleeper Bets
Kevin Harvick (+2500) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Harvick has finished in the top 10 in three of his past four Talladega starts. A well-established legendary driver, Harvick is not a sleeper in the purest sense of the term, yet he is a terrific value pick.
In the past two seasons at Talladega, Harvick is third in Driver Rating (92.8) and third in Quality Passes (783).
Bubba Wallace (+2000) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Bubba Wallace can always be a factor on superspeedways. He won the second Talladega race in 2021, which was rain-shortened, but Wallace can still contend for a strong finish this week.
In the past two seasons at Talladega, Wallace has the most Green Flag Passes and (1,413) Fastest Laps Run (31).
Austin Dillon (+2800) • DraftKings Sportsbook
You must always consider putting a wager on Austin Dillon at superspeedways. He finished second in this event last season, and he won the second Daytona race in 2022.
In the past two seasons at Talladega, Dillon ranks first among Closers (8.5 average spots gained in the final 10 percent of races at the site). He is a true threat to contend for the win late in the race.
Aric Almirola (+2200) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Almirola will start on the front row. Even though he wrecked at Daytona and Atlanta this season, he led laps in both races.
In his last 13 Talladega starts, Almirola has five top-10 finishes and eight top-10s. In the past two seasons at ‘Dega, he is fourth in Laps Led (52).
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+2200) • DraftKings Sportsbook
Stenhouse Jr. is a previous Talladega winner and he has six top-five finishes at the site. He also has nine top-10s at ‘Dega.
Over the past two years at Talladega, Stenhouse is fourth in Green Flag Passes (1,272) and he is third in Fastest Laps Run (22).
Daytona 500 Finish Bets
All recommended prop bets listed are via DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Joey Logano Top 3 (+285)
- Brad Keselowski Top 3 (+330)
- Ryan Blaney Top 5 (+125)
- Bubba Wallace Top 5 (+250)
- Michael McDowell Top 5 (+500)
Geico 500 Prop Bets
Austin Cindric (+100) Over Chris Buescher • DraftKings Sportsbook
When examining Geico 500 props, always strongly consider plus-money picks. I’ll take the shot here despite Buescher qualifying five spots ahead of Cindric, which will not really matter on a superspeedway.
The wide variety of outcomes in a restrictor plate race can lead to a trip to the pay window when wagering on any driver vs driver prop. Buescher can easily be knocked out of the field in a wreck at any time.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+300) Group Winner Over Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, & Bubba Wallace • DraftKings Sportsbook
Kyle Larson is usually a recommended fade at superspeedways, and while Wallace is one of my top value plays overall, Stenhouse can always be a threat to contend at a superspeedway.
Stenhouse qualified 33rd, but he could surely find himself at the top of this pack when it matters most. Take the driver with the longest odds here due to the heavy unpredictability of this event.
How to Bet on the Geico 500
Dig beyond top drivers and be ready for surprises
Don’t just stick to just big-name drivers when making your Geico 500 picks. The unpredictable nature of the event can surely lead to an unlikely winner.
Diversify your wagers
When issuing DFS recommendations for NASCAR restrictor plate races, I always advise entering multiple lineups. If one driver wrecks, your day is done, so you need to employ many builds to stay in the mix.
The same approach certainly holds true for NASCAR wagering at Talladega. Place bets on a few potential winners, and wager on each driver you like to win and place in the top three and top five.
Integrate loop data and other advanced statistics into your betting picks
We have shared several important loop data stats in our picks here. Categories such as Quality Passes and Closers could prove to be keys to success.
Keep the race type and restrictor plate use in mind
You can be bold and take the chances on a long shot, but when considering how many units you want to spend, do keep in mind the higher chances of crashes in a restrictor plate event. The Geico 500 can certainly feel like a high-risk, high-reward event from a betting perspective.