NASCAR from Talladega Betting Preview, Odds and Picks

By in Sports & Betting on

On Sunday, October 13th, NASCAR will be live from the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama, for the race. This is the second race of Round 2 and the 31st overall on the season. This is also the second of two trips that NASCAR makes to Talladega each year.

Last weekend, Kyle Larson earned his first win of the season by taking home the checkered flag at Dover. He’s automatically advanced to the 3rd round of the playoffs with that victory. Seven other playoff drivers are looking to position themselves for a potential birth in the next round with four drivers trying to stave off elimination.

Sportsbooks offering NASCAR bets have listed Joey Logano as the odds on favorite to win the race at Talladega this Sunday. He’s followed closely by Chase Elliott and teammate Brad Keselowski.

Let’s take a look at the NASCAR betting odds, identify potential value, examine some prop bets, and hopefully take home the checkered flag with our predictions.

Race Profile

Talladega Superspeedway is the longest oval track on the circuit with a length of 2.66 miles per lap. Even with four turns, the drivers can get up to some of the fastest speeds recorded. Before changes were made to the cars, speeds exceeded 200 mph. Currently, NASCAR is using a tapered spacer in the engines to keep speeds lower.

The following is a breakdown of the race:

  • Total Miles: 500 miles
  • Total Laps: 188 laps
  • Stage 1: First 55 laps
  • Stage 2: Second 55 laps
  • Final Stage: Remaining 78 laps

The playoff race at Talladega is set to begin at 2 PM ET and will air live on NBC.

What to Watch for at Talladega

With all the nerve-wracking excitement heading into Sunday’s playoff race, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on at Talladega Superspeedway:

  • Will we get “the big one” near the end of the race?
  • Which playoff drivers will survive the big wreck?
  • Can a non-playoff driver win this race?
  • Will Team Penske win another Talladega race?
  • Can Kyle Busch get back into the winner’s circle?

Current Playoff Standings

After the first race of the 2nd round, Kyle Larson has automatically moved on to Round 3 by winning at Dover last weekend. The following is a current breakdown of the playoff standings:

  • Martin Truex Jr. (3,095 points)
  • Denny Hamlin (3,080 points)
  • Kyle Busch (3,080 points)
  • Kevin Harvick (3,074 points)
  • Kyle Larson (3,063 points)
  • Brad Keselowski (3,052 points)
  • Alex Bowman (3,049 points)
  • William Byron (3,032 points)

Below the Cutoff Line to Advance to Round 3

  • Joey Logano (3,032 points)
  • Clint Bowyer (3,028 points)
  • Chase Elliott (3,025 points)
  • Ryan Blaney (3,010 points)

Eliminated from the Playoffs

  • Aric Almirola
  • Ryan Newman
  • Kurt Busch
  • Erik Jones

Previous Winners

The first fall race at Talladega took place in September 1969, and Richard Brickhouse won it. Since then, Dale Earnhardt Sr. won the most fall Talladega races with seven. His son Dale Earnhardt Jr. is second all-time with three wins. Aric Almirola is the reigning race winner after taking the checkered flag in 2018.

The following is a list of the previous winners dating back to 2001:

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2001, 2002, 2004
  • Michael Waltrip in 2003
  • Dale Jarrett in 2005
  • Brian Vickers in 2006
  • Jeff Gordon in 2007
  • Tony Stewart in 2008
  • Jamie McMurray in 2009, 2013
  • Clint Bowyer in 2010, 2011
  • Matt Kenseth in 2012
  • Brad Keselowski in 2014, 2017
  • Joey Logano in 2015, 2016
  • Aric Almirola in 2018

Among active drivers, four previous winners will take the field on Sunday: Bowyer, Keselowski, Logano and Almirola. Three of those drivers are still in the playoffs.

NASCAR Betting Odds

The following NASCAR betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Joey Logano (+700)
  • Chase Eliiott (+900)
  • Brad Keselowski (+1000)
  • Denny Hamlin (+1200)
  • Kevin Harvick (+1400)
  • Kyle Busch (+1400)
  • Alex Bowman (+1600)
  • Clint Bowyer (+1600)
  • Kurt Busch (+1600)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr (+1600)
  • Ryan Blaney (+1600)
  • Aric Almirola (+2000)
  • Jimmie Johnson (+2000
  • William Byron (+2000)
  • Kyle Larson (+2500)
  • Martin Truex Jr (+2500)
  • Matt DiBenedetto (+2500)
  • Paul Menard (+2800)
  • Daniel Suarez (+3300)
  • Erik Jones (+3300)
  • Ryan Newman (+3300) Betting Favorites

According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win the race at Talladega.

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Joey Logano 3 8 10 18.7 16.4 6
Chase Eliiott 1 3 3 5.1 14.0 2
Brad Keselowski 5 7 11 12.8 15.6 3
Denny Hamlin 1 6 10 17.2 18.3 5
Kevin Harvick 1 7 15 20.6 16.1 4

Joey Logano (+700)

Logano is currently on the outside looking in at a birth into Round 3 of the playoffs. He sits 9th in the standings, albeit tied with Byron at 63 points behind the leader Martin Truex Jr. Joey fell four sports in the standings with a 34th place at Dover last weekend.

Fortunately for Logano, Talladega is a track where he has performed well at over his career. In 21 starts, he has three wins, eight Top 5s, 10 Top 10s, and a decent 16.4 average finish. The reason he’s the favorite this weekend is due to his recent success at this track.

In the last eight Talladega races, Logano has three wins and six Top 5s. He does have two crashes, but everyone crashes out at Talladega. Furthermore, Logano has four straight Top 5 finishes, including a victory in the 2018 spring race.

Could this be the track that Logano gets a playoff win at?

Chase Eliiott (+900)                        

Surprisingly, further in the standings is Chase Elliott in 11th place. It’s a dramatic shift from winning at Charlotte two weeks ago and sitting 6th overall. He fell five spots last weekend after finishing 38th in Dover due to engine problems.

Like Logano, Elliott has also raced well at Talladega in his young career. Among active drivers, he has the second-best average finish at 14.0. Furthermore, he has three Top 5s, three Top 10s and an incredible 5.1 starting average.

The biggest plus for Elliott is that he won this race in the spring. I expect Elliott to bounce back this weekend after a disappointing finish at Dover last weekend. Will he be able to challenge Team Penske’s duo of Logano and Keselowski?

Brad Keselowski (+1000)               

Speaking of Keselowski, Brad leads all active drivers with five Talladega wins. His teammate Joey Logano is second with three wins. Keselowski remains in 6th place in the standings after finishing 11th at Dover last weekend. He has four straight Top 11 finishes in the playoffs and is poised for a fifth.

Keselowski won this race two years ago, but hasn’t finished in the Top 10 since then. He does have a solid 15.6 average finish which is second-best among active drivers. Keselowski has won three of the last 10 Talladega races and finished 13th in the spring race this year.

I expect Keselowski to compete for the checkered flag this weekend as Keselowski looks to remain above the cutoff line for Round 3.

Denny Hamlin (+1200)   

Like many other drivers, Denny Hamlin’s success at Talladega has been up and down. For example, he finished 4th in this race last year, but ended up crashing out of the spring race this year and finishing 36th overall.

Hamlin does have one career win at this track, but that was back in the spring of 2014. Since then, he’s only had four Top 10s. He’s had almost as many back of the pack finishes with three. Hamlin does have 5 DNFs, which isn’t the most, but it certainly is a concern.

I’m not sure if Hamlin will survive the big wreck at the end of the race, which typically happens in the middle of the pack during a late-race restart. Hamlin is a prime candidate to get swept up in this mechanical melee. I don’t have confidence in Hamlin winning on Sunday. He’s best to avoid.

Kevin Harvick (+1400)    

Kevin Harvick has been the most consistent driver in the postseason. He’s finished 7th or better in all four races so far and was 4th last weekend at Dover. He’s also led laps in two of the four playoff races this year.

Harvick will need some of that consistency this weekend as he hasn’t fared well at Talladega in recent years. Over the last eight races at this track, Harvick has just two Top 10s. Those finishes are canceled out by two crashes, including one in the spring race this year and one in this race two years ago.

Harvick has a respectable 16.1 average finish, but over the last eight races his average finish is 18.75. It’s even worse over the last five races where Harvick falls down to a 22.3 average finish.

Kevin Harvick hasn’t won since the spring of 2010. Since then he only has three Top 5s. I don’t see Harvick being a serious contender for the checkered flag this weekend. He might crack the Top 10 if he’s lucky, but avoid Harvick this Sunday.

The Best Betting Value

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for this Sunday’s race due to their current betting odds, their past success at Talladega, and their 2019 season so far:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Kyle Busch 1 6 8 19.9 30.3 6
Clint Bowyer 2 7 13 18.8 16.1 5
Ricky Stenhouse Jr 1 5 7 13.0 11.8 2
Martin Truex Jr. 0 2 8 18.9 21.3 13

Kyle Busch (+1400)          

The Kyle Busch winless streak continues as he now has gone 16 races without a win. He’s dropped from the top spot down to third in the standings and isn’t heading to the friendliest of venues over his career.

Busch has only one win in 28 starts and has just as many DNFs as he does Top 5s with six. He finished 10th this year in the spring, but only has four Top 10s in the last 12 races. Not only does he have a subpar starting average of 19.9, but his 20.3 average finish is one of the worst among playoff drivers.

Yet, with that said, Busch at +1400 offers value because he’s still viewed as arguably the best driver in the series. Furthermore, he’s capable of winning any race on any given weekend whether it’s Truck, Xfinity, or Monster Energy Series.

If he can survive the big wreck at the end of the race then I see Busch being in the Top 10 and flirting with a checkered flag.

Clint Bowyer (+1600)

Unlike with Kyle, Clint Bowyer has had a bit more success at this track with two wins in this race (2010, 2011). He also has seven Top 5s and 13 Top 10s. Bowyer didn’t fare well in the spring race when he ended up 29th overall. However, he was 2nd in this race last year.

Bowyer entered the 2nd round of the playoffs in the 12th and final spot. However, a 10th place result at Dover last weekend bumped Bowyer up to 10th overall in the standings. He started off the postseason in 15th and staved off elimination with a 4th place result in Charlotte. I expect Bowyer to have a good run this Sunday and crack the Top 10.

Like with Busch and other drivers, Bowyer’s chances of winning this race depend on avoiding the wrecks. He did it last year, so he’s capable of doing it again this year. I like his odds and experience at this track. The #14 car is cruising under the radar.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr (+1600)

Of the non-playoff drivers, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has the best shot at upstaging the postseason contenders by winning this race on Sunday. Stenhouse has become one of the better drivers at this track as he leads all active drivers with the best average finish at 11.8. He also has a 13.0 average starting position.

Stenhouse won at Talladega in the spring of 2017. Since then, he has crashed out twice and finished in the Top 5 twice. Only four times has he finished outside of the Top 15 and he’s led laps in nine of his 12 career starts.

Stenhouse finished 25th in the spring race this year but was 3rd in the race last year. He’s had an average finish of 16.0 over the last three weeks and I expect him to surpass that mark this weekend. Stenhouse will compete with Team Penske and others for the checkered flag this Sunday.

Martin Truex Jr. (+2500)

Anytime you can get Martin Truex Jr. at these odds, you have to take a flier on him. Before we look at why he’s down so far on the list of odds to win this race, let’s look at the good first.

Truex sits 1st overall in the standings and has four Top 7s in the four playoff races so far. He won the first two playoff races (Las Vegas, Richmond), finished 7th at Charlotte, and was runner up last weekend at Dover to Larson. He has a 10.1 average finish on the season.

Now, we move on to the bad. Truex has never won at Talladega Superspeedway in his Monster Energy Cup career. Furthermore, he has 13 DNFs in 29 starts. Truex has four DNFs in the last six races. He hasn’t cracked the Top 10 at Talladega in four years.

However, I’ve learned this year with Truex never to say never. I ruled him out of before because he had never won back to back races. Then Truex kicks off the playoffs with consecutive wins and was a favorite to win the third race. So, I’m not counting him out this Sunday.

The Top Longshot to Win the

Daniel Suarez (+3300) is my longshot pick for this race. In five career races at this track he has never finished worse than 19th. Suarez has a 14.4 average finish, which is the 4th best among active drivers. He also has a solid 12.8 average starting position.

Suarez has no pressure on him this weekend. He’s not competing for a playoff spot and can take all of the risks he wants. As long as he stays out of wrecks, I think Suarez will sneak up on the field late in the race. With a little luck, anything can happen.

Talladega Prop Bets: Driver Matchups

The following NASCAR prop bets require bettors to pick the winning driver out of head-to-head matchups at Talladega on Sunday, October 13th. These driver matchups and betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes:

Brad Keselowski (-140) vs Ryan Blaney (+100)

Driver Brad Keselowski Ryan Blaney
Wins 5 0
Top 5 7 1
Top 10 11 2
Avg Start 12.8 12.4
Avg Finish 15.6 20.8
DNF 3 3
Total Races 21 10

Heading into this weekend, Blaney has fallen to 12th in the playoff standings while Keselowski sits firmly at 6th. However, Keselowski is one of the betting favorites this weekend while Blaney is expected to finish in the 15 to 20 range.

Keselowski has won five times at Talladega and has a 15.6 average finish. Blaney has a 20.8 average finish and has only cracked the Top 5 once. Keselowski won this race two years ago and has led laps in seven straight Talladega races. Blaney has crashed out in two of the last five races.

I think this weekend will cement Blaney as a casualty of Round 2. I don’t see him advancing to Round 3 after a middle of the pack finish on Sunday. As for Keselowski, he will challenge for the checkered flag and should cement his spot in the next round.

Take Keselowski to win this head to head battle easily.

Winner: Brad Keselowski (-140)

Clint Bowyer (-130) vs Jimmie Johnson (-110)

Driver Clint Bowyer Jimmie Johnson
Wins 2 2
Top 5 7 7
Top 10 13 13
Avg Start 18.8 10.7
Avg Finish 16.1 17.2
DNF 5 9
Total Races 27 35

Both drivers come into this race with two career wins at Talladega. However, both of Bowyer’s wins have been in the race. Johnson has never won the fall Talladega race.

These drivers are close in average finish and results over the last few years, but Bowyer has put up better numbers overall. He has just as many wins, Top 5s, and Top 10s in eight less races than Johnson. Furthermore, Bowyer is fighting for his playoff life while Johnson hasn’t won a race since 2017.

I’m taking Bowyer to win this head to head battle. He finished 2nd in this race last year and Johnson was 7th. Even when Bowyer struggled in the spring race this year with a 29th place finish he still beat out Johnson who was 33rd.

Winner: Clint Bowyer (-130) Checkered Flag

Talladega is a tough race to predict a winner. This is largely due to the big wreck at the end of each race, which typically collects double-digit cars all usually on the lead lap.

With that said, I’m going to narrow it down some. Half of the playoff field has average finishes outside of the Top 20. Furthermore, some of the betting favorites haven’t been a contender at Talladega for several years.

For me, the winner will come from Team Penske’s Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, a veteran playoff driver like Clint Bowyer, or a non-playoff driver like Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Of this bunch, I really like how Team Penske has performed the most.

Logano has raced consistently better than Keselowski over the last few years, but there’s something about Brad Keselowski’s chances this weekend that appeal to me. He hasn’t won in a while and he’s about due.

My Top 5 Drivers

  • Joey Logano
  • Chase Elliott
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • Clint Bowyer Betting Recap

Winner: Brad Keselowski (+1000)

Betting Value:

  • Kyle Busch (+1400)
  • Clint Bowyer (+1600)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr (+1600)
  • Martin Truex Jr. (+2500)

Longshot: Daniel Suarez (+3300)

Driver Matchups:

  • Brad Keselowski (-140) over Ryan Blaney
  • Clint Bowyer (-130) over Jimmie Johnson

NASCAR Props Challenge for Week 31

Each and every week, NASCAR releases 10 prop bets for racing fans to select the right answers, earn points and win prizes. For the 31st race of the season, there are a few props that I like and think you should go with:

Over/Under 30.5 Lead Changes

Before choosing the Over or Under, let’s look back at the history of Talladega races to see what trends emerge:

  • The Over is 1-4 in the last 5 Talladega races
  • The Over is 4-6 in the last 10 Talladega races
  • The Over is 18-7 in the last 20 Talladega races
  • The Over is 27-8 in the last 30 Talladega races

As you can see, this prop bet is a little trickier than what the numbers appear to be on the surface. In recent years, the Under was 4-1 and 6-4. However, looking back further, we see the Over was dominating.

In the spring race this year, the Over hit. I believe with the new changes to the cars, we will have more balance in the field, which means more lead changes. I don’t see one or two drivers leading most of the race. Take the Over for this prop bet.

Prop Bet: Over 30.5 lead changes

Over/Under 2.5 Drivers Lead at Least 20 Laps

In the last 10 races, eight of them had at least three drivers lead 20 or more laps. I see that trend continuing this Sunday. As mentioned above, the cars are going to be closer to even so we should see more competitive racing.

I expect at least three or four drivers to lead 20 or more laps, especially since this is the playoffs and drivers are trying to advance to the next round. Look for Team Penske to lead the way with both Keselowski and Logano leading 20+ laps.

Prop Bet: Over 2.5 drivers lead at least 20 laps

Over/Under 5.5 Playoff Drivers Finish in the Top 10

Lastly, in our O/U theme for prop bets, I believe this prop is going to hit the Under. For starters, there are only 12 playoff drivers in this race. So, this prop bet is asking whether or not half of those drivers will be in the Top 10. Here’s a breakdown of the last five Talladega playoff races:

  • In 2018, there were only three playoff drivers to crack the Top 10.
  • In 2017, there were just three playoff drivers in The Top 10.
  • In 2016, five playoff drivers finished in the Top 10.
  • In 2015, we saw seven playoff drivers crack the Top 10 with six in the Top 7.
  • In 2014, there were only four playoff drivers in the Top 10.

When looking at the trends over the last five playoff races at Talladega, only one of the races had more than 5.5 drivers finish in the Top 10.

With this current playoff field, six of the drivers have average finishes of 20th or worse. A 7th driver has an 18.3 average finish. I believe the numbers point to the Under for this prop bet.

Prop Bet: Under 5.5 drivers to finish in the Top 10
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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