The GEICO 500 at Talladega Betting Preview, Odds, Props and Predictions

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Geico 500 Race Track

On Sunday, June 21st, NASCAR will be live from Lincoln, Alabama, for the GEICO 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway. This is the 13th race of the 2020 season and it will certainly be filled with plenty of action.

Surprisingly NASCAR betting sites don’t have Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch as the favorite this weekend like they do almost every other race. Instead, it’s Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano as the co-favorites for the GEICO 500. They’re followed by Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch.

Race Profile

The Talladega Superspeedway is an oval track with the longest lap length at 2.66 miles. This weekend’s race breaks down as follows:

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

The GEICO 500 is set to begin at 3 PM ET and will air live on FOX.

What to Watch for at Talladega

With all of the excitement heading into the GEICO 500, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on:

  • Talladega will have a limited attendance of 5,000 people in the stands.
  • Will the changes to the cars make the race safer?
  • Will we see a more cautious first stage as drivers get used to the changes?
  • Can Toyota win the GEICO 500 for the first time since 2014?
  • Can Chase Elliott win back to back GEICO 500 races?
  • Will there be a big wreck at the end of the race?

Previous GEICO 500 Winners

The first GEICO 500, known as the Alabama 500 and then the Winston 500, was run in April 1970 and won by Pete Hamilton. Jeff Gordon holds the record for winning this race four times, but it’s Dale Earnhardt who holds the record for most wins at this track with 10.

The following is a list of past GEICO 500 winners dating back to 2000:

  • Jeff Gordon in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2007
  • Bobby Hamilton in 2001
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2002, 2003, 2015
  • Jimmie Johnson in 2006, 2011
  • Kyle Busch in 2008
  • Brad Keselowski in 2009, 2012, 2016
  • Kevin Harvick in 2010
  • David Ragan in 2013
  • Denny Hamlin in 2014
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2017
  • Joey Logano in 2018
  • Chase Elliott in 2019

As mentioned, Chase Elliott is the defending champion of this race. There are at least eight former winners taking the field on Sunday.

NASCAR GEICO 500 Betting Odds

The following NASCAR betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

  • Denny Hamlin (+1000)
  • Joey Logano (+1000)
  • Brad Keselowski (+1100)
  • Chase Elliott (+1100)
  • Kyle Busch (+1200)
  • Ryan Blaney (+1200)
  • Kevin Harvick (+1400)
  • Kurt Busch (+1800)
  • Martin Truex Jr. (+1800)
  • Alex Bowman (+2200)
  • Aric Almirola (+2200)
  • Clint Bowyer (+2200)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr (+2200)
  • Jimmie Johnson (+2500)
  • Tyler Reddick (+2500)
  • William Byron (+2800)
  • Erik Jones (+3300)
  • Austin Dillon (+4000)
  • Chris Buescher (+4000)
  • Darrell Wallace Jr (+4000)
  • Matt DiBenedetto (+4000)
  • Matt Kenseth (+4000)
  • Ryan Newman (+4000)
  • Christoper Bell (+5000)

The GEICO 500 Betting Favorites

According to many NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win the GEICO 500 at Talladega:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Denny Hamlin 1 7 11 18.0 17.7 5
Joey Logano 3 8 10 18.3 16.2 6
Brad Keselowski 5 7 11 12.5 16.0 4
Chase Elliot 1 3 4 4.6 13.2 2
Kyle Busch 1 6 8 20.1 20.3 6

Denny Hamlin (+1000)

Hamlin comes into this weekend’s race on a roll having won at Homestead last weekend after starting on the pole. He led the most laps and was dominating for most of the race.

Hamlin is 7th in the driver standings, but leads the Cup Series with three wins this season. The #11 car is picking up where he left off in the last third of the 2019 season when he came on strong.

In addition to that success, Hamlin has raced well at Talladega having finished in the Top 14 for six of the last seven races at this track. In 28 starts, he has one win, seven Top 5s, 11 Top 10s, an average finish of 17.7 and 5 DNFs.

Hamlin crashed out of this race last year, but bounced back with a third place result in the fall Talladega race. In fact, he seems to do much better in the second Talladega race of the season than this one.

If Hamlin can stay out of trouble then I see him finishing in the Top 10 (-134). However, I have my doubts on Denny finishing in the Top 5 (-295) or the Top 3 (+300). I believe he’s slightly overvalued here and feel there are better options than the #11 car on Sunday.

Joey Logano (+1000)

Joey Logano fell down one spot in the standings to 3rd place overall after finishing 27th at Homestead last week. It’s the first time since the first Darlington race that Logano has sat this low in the standings. Additionally, he’s only had four Top 10s and one Top 5 since NASCAR came back from hiatus.

Those numbers could change this weekend as Logano returns to a track where he’s won at three times in 22 starts. He also has eight Top 5s, 10 Top 10s, and the 8th best average finish at 16.2. He’s tied with Kurt Busch for the most Top 5s among active drivers.

The thing to pay to attention to with Logano is how well he’s raced at Talladega over the last nine races at this track. During that span, he has three wins, six Top 5s, and seven Top 11s.

Logano won this race in 2018 and finished 4th in the GEICO 500 last year. He’s showed some consistency at this track and is a good bet to finish in the Top 10 (-143) and even the Top 5 (+200).

Since this is Talladega, there’s no driver that will provide 100% confidence due to the big wrecks, but Logano is a candidate for the Top 3 (+275) if he can stay out of trouble and the checkered flag.

Brad Keselowski (+1100)

Brad Keselowski enters this weekend’s race sitting one spot behind his teammate Logano 4th in the standings after a 10th place finish in Homestead last weekend.

Keselowski has made the most of the return to racing with seven straight Top 10 finishes in eight races. Additionally, he has two wins over that span and four Top 5s. Also like Logano, Keselowski has had success at Talladega and has earned his spot as one of the betting favorites.

Brad Keselowski is arguably the best active Talladega driver in the Cup Series today. In 22 career starts, he’s won five times and has seven Top 5s, 11 Top 10s, and the 6th best average finish at 16.0.

Keselowski also leads all active drivers with three wins in the GEICO 500 race. Furthermore, he could tie Jeff Gordon with the most wins in this race by taking the checkered flag on Sunday.

Keselowski last won the GEICO 500 in 2016. Over the last two years, he’s been caught up in some crashes, which has prevented him from winning. But, if he can stay out of the wrecks, Keselowski will be the man to beat this weekend.

I like the # 2 car to finish in the Top 10 (-143), Top 5 (+200), and a contender for the Top 3 (+275). He’s going to be one of the best drivers on Sunday for as long as his car can stay clean.

Chase Elliott (+1100)

Chase Elliott has climbed up one spot in the driver standings to 2nd overall after a 2nd place finish at Homestead. He now has eight Top 10 finishes in 12 races and six Top 5s which is a rate of 50%. Elliott has also led laps in all, but one race this season.

In eight career starts at Talladega, Elliott has one win, three Top 5s, four Top 10s, and the second best average finish at 13.2. He won this race last year and finished 3rd in 2018. In four GEICO 500 starts, Elliott has an average finish of 9.75.

In fact, some online betting sites actually have Chase Elliott as the clear betting favorite and not Denny Hamlin or Joey Logano. DraftKings has Elliott listed at +800 odds.

I believe Elliott will be a contender on Sunday. You can lock him in with a Top 10 finish (-162) and a Top 5 result (+185) as well. I also believe he has a great shot at being one of the Top 3 cars (+250) this weekend.

Kyle Busch (+1200)

For the 4th straight race, Kyle Busch enters sitting 9th in the driver standings. He finished 6th at Homestead last weekend, but was never a threat to take the checkered flag even though I picked him to win last Sunday. Instead, it was teammate Hamlin who won and made me look silly because I had Denny as a Top 5 and possibly Top 3 car.

Busch is not performing well in 2020 as he hasn’t won a race this year to date. The reigning NASCAR Cup champion has been “average” at best. Now, he heads to Talladega where he’s only won once and that came in the 2008 GEICO 500 race.

Of the betting favorites, I have the least confidence in Kyle Busch and that’s not something I thought I would say. In the last 10 races at this track, he only has two Top 5s and three Top 10s. Furthermore, he has the 3rd worst average finish (20.3) out of the Top 10 drivers in the standings.

I believe Busch’s ceiling this weekend is a Top 10 (-118) result as he only has a 27.6% Top 10 finish rate. With that said, I don’t see Kyle in the Top 5 (-360) or the Top 3 (+350). In fact, his brother Kurt Busch is a better play this weekend than the #18 car.

The Best GEICO 500 Betting Value

The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the GEICO 500 due to their current betting odds, their past success at Talladega, and their 2020 season so far:

Driver Wins Top 5 Top 10 Avg Start Avg Finish DNF
Kevin Harvick 1 7 15 20.5 16.1 4
Kurt Busch 0 8 20 18.6 15.5 9
Clint Bowyer 2 7 13 18.4 16.3 5
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1 5 8 12.5 11.6 2

Kevin Harvick (+1400)

It’s a rarity to see Kevin Harvick this high in the betting odds. Especially considering he’s a weekly contender to win most races. Harvick still sits at the top of the driver standings, but he’s only eight points ahead of Elliott, which is his lowest lead in since the hiatus.

Harvick won three races ago, but has had two subpar finishes the last two events with a 15th and 26th result.

At Talladega Harvick has one win, seven Top 5s, and 15 Top 10s which is the 2nd most among active drivers. His 16.1 average finish is 7th best among drivers.

Harvick won this race in 2010, but has an average finish of 28th in the last three races. So, he’s lower on the betting options, but he provides betting value because of his success this season and past success at Talladega.

This weekend, I believe that Harvick will be a Top 10 car (-106) and a Top 5 car (+280). However, I’m not sure if he will be able to crack the Top 3 (+400) as Team Penske is going to be tough to beat on Sunday.

Kurt Busch (+1800)

For the 5th straight race, Kurt Busch enters this weekend still sitting 10th in the standings. He finished 17th at Homestead last weekend, which snapped a streak of five Top 9s over the previous five races. Although he hasn’t won a race this year, Busch has eight Top 10s in 12 races.

At Talladega, Kurt Busch has 20 Top 10 finishes, which is the most among all active drivers. His 15.5 average finish is 5th among drivers. Busch has also had four straight Top 8 finishes in the last four GEICO 500 races.

This weekend, I expect Kurt Busch to be in the Top 10 (+105) and compete for a Top 5 spot (+300). If he can survive the wrecks and get some luck along the way, Busch could capture his first checkered flag at the Talladega Superspeedway.

Clint Bowyer (+2200)

Clint Bowyer is a wily driver who is flying under the radar as he sits 12th in the standings. That’s rather impressive considering he only has two Top 5s and three Top 10s this year. Bowyer has also had some bad luck on the track with wrecks and various car issues.

However, at Talladega Bowyer is one of just four active drivers with multiple wins at this track. His 16.3 average finish is 9th best among drivers.

Last year, Bowyer finished 29th in this race and didn’t finish all the laps. Like I said before, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will win the GEICO 500 due to the big crash late in the race. But, Bowyer has value and could be a Top 10 car (+125) this weekend.

He will also need some luck and a good car late in the race to be in a position to challenge for a checkered flag.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+2200)

Stenhouse hasn’t really been competitive this year other than Las Vegas and Charlotte, but he tends to do well on tracks like Talladega. In 13 starts at this track, Stenhouse has one win, five Top 5s and eight Top 10s. That’s a rate of 61.5% Top 10 finishes.

Stenhouse also has an 11.6 average finish, which is the best among active drivers. He didn’t fare well last year as he finished 25th after being involved in a crash. But, he was 5th in this race for 2018 and won this race in 2017.

With his 2020 campaign getting off to a poor start, 21st in the standings, Stenhouse needs a strong showing this weekend to gain some momentum heading into the second half of the regular season. A win would pretty much guarantee a spot in the Playoffs, which would be huge for JTG-Daughtery Racing.

I like Stenhouse to be a Top 10 driver (+130), but he’s going to need some help late in the race to compete for the checkered flag. He has the skills and the experience winning at this track, Stenhouse just needs the car to compete with others.

The Top Longshot to win the GEICO 500

Ryan Newman (+4000) is my longshot of the week. I almost went with Matt Kenseth again, but he’s just not racing well since his return to NASCAR.

Newman has only one Top 10 this year in nine races, but he does have six Top 15s over that span. He had issues last week in Homestead that resulted in a 30th place finish.

Now, Newman will be at Talledega where he’s tied with Kevin Harvick for the second most Top 10s at this track with 15. He also has seven Top 5s.

Newman has done well at Talladega in recent years with four Top 9 finishes, and two Top 2s in the last five races. He was 7th here last year and 9th in the 2018 race. Even with his 25th result over that stretch, Newman has a 9.0 average finish since the 2017 GEICO 500.

I think Newman will be dialed in on Sunday and crack the Top 10 (+215). However, he will have to survive the big wreck in order to have any shot at a Top 5 finish or a checkered flag.

GEICO 500 Checkered Flag

As mentioned, Talladega is one of the hardest tracks to predict the winner at because of the big crashes late in the race. These late-lap wrecks, known as “the big one,” tend to wipe out most of the field especially the top cars half of the field.

With that said, I believe we can have confidence in a few drivers who have consistently done well at this track in recent years. My Top 5 drivers for the GEICO 500 are Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.

Busch has yet to win here, so I’m not taking him, but anything can happen in this sport. Elliott and Harvick are racing well this year, but I think they will get edged out in the end by one of the Team Penske drivers.

Brad Keselowski might have the most wins at this track among active drivers, but Joey Logano has been more impressive in recent years than his teammate.

I like what Logano has done over the last two years at Talladega with four straight Top 11 finishes, three Top 5s and one win. Logano won this race in 2018 and I think he will return to victory circle on Sunday. I’m rolling the dice with the #22 car as the 2018 Cup Series champ will outlast the field this weekend.

My Top 5 Drivers

  • Chase Elliott
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Joey Logano
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Kurt Busch

GEICO 500 Prop Bets

The following NASCAR prop bets for the GEICO 500 are courtesy of DraftKings:

Car Number of Race Winner

  • Even (-177)
  • Odd (+130)

In my Top 5 drivers, I have four cars that sport even numbers: Keselowski (#2), Harvick (#4) and Logano (#22). Additionally, other drivers high on the list of favorites are Ryan Blaney (#12) and Kyle Busch (#18). Even my longshot of Ryan Newman (#6) is an even car.

I like the number of quality drivers with even numbers to race for the checkered flag on Sunday. Team Penske is my favorites to win and all three of their drivers are even numbers.

Car Number of Race Winner –Even (-177)

Car Number of Race Winner

  • Over 16.5 (-110)
  • Under 16.5 (-125)

This prop bet is a little more challenging than the even/odd one. That’s because, there aren’t as many cars with numbers Over 16.5 that are contenders this weekend. Logano, Stenhouse (#17), and Kyle Busch are the ones that I feel the most confident in.

The safe play is on the Under, but since I picked Logano to win, I’m going with Over 16.5 (-110) for this wager.

Car Number of Race Winner –Over 16.5 (-110)

Manufacturer of Race Winner

  • Ford (+135)
  • Chevrolet (+165)
  • Toyota (+250)

Historically, Chevy has dominated the GEICO 500 with 20 wins. Ford is second with 13 wins, while Toyota comes in third with just two wins.

Over the last five GEICO 500 races, Ford has won three and Chevy has won two. Chevy broke Ford’s three race winning streak when Elliott won last this event last year.

This weekend, the odds are certainly in favor of Ford winning again not only with the sportsbooks, but also with the number of quality drivers who have a realistic shot of winning this Sunday.

All three of Team Penske’s drivers (Logano, Blaney, Keselowski) drive Ford. Additionally, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Newman’s teams are Ford.

Three of my Top 5 and six of my Top 10 projected drivers are Fords, which means I’m heavily betting on a Ford to win the 2020 GEICO 500. And, with +130 odds, there’s great value considering how many Ford drivers have a shot at taking this weekend’s checkered flag.

Manufacturer of Race Winner –Ford (+130)

Team of Race Winner

  • Joe Gibbs Racing (+350)
  • Team Penske (+350)
  • Hendrick Motorsports (+450)
  • Any Other Team (+500)
  • Stewart-Haas Racing (+550)
  • Chip Ganassi Racing (+1300)
  • Richard Childress Racing (+1600)
  • JTG Daughtery Racing (+1600)
  • Roush Fenway Racing (+2000)

As you can see, these odds are a lot lower than with previous races largely due to how unpredictable Talladega is.  Joe Gibbs Racing sits at the top of this prop bet, but I believe they’re overrated. Truex and Jones have never won here before. Hamlin and Kyle Busch only have one win apiece at this track.

Hendrick Motorsports has the most career GEICO 500 wins with eight, but Chase Elliott who won last year is their only true contender on Sunday. Alex Bowman and William Byron have average finishes below 25.0 and Jimmie Johnson hasn’t won this race since 2011.

Stewart-Haas Racing provides the best betting value at +550 odds as they have Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer as Top 10 contenders. Unfortunately, this team hasn’t won this race before.

The best option for this prop bet is Team Penske. I’m actually surprised that they’re not the sole betting favorite for this race. Logano (3), Keselowski (5) and Blaney (1) combine for nine wins at this track, which is more than Hendrick, JGR and Stewart-Haas combined.

Furthermore, Keselowski (3) and Logano (1) have won the GEICO 500 on four occasions. Go with Team Penske for this prop bet. There’s fantastic value with +350 odds.

Team of Race Winner –Team Penske (+350)

GEICO 500 Betting Recap

Betting Value:

  • Kevin Harvick (+1400)
  • Kurt Busch (+1800)
  • Clint Bowyer (+2200)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+2200)

Longshot

  • Ryan Newman (+4000)

Winner

  • Joey Logano (+1000)
Rick Rockwell

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

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