NASCAR YellaWood 500: Talladega Race Betting Analysis
Race: YellaWood 500
Date: Sunday, October 1, 2023
Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Time: 2 pm ET
What Did We Learn From Last Weekend?
Bubba Wallace led a career-high 111 laps after starting from the pole for Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. He only had to manage six laps on the final restart to take the checkered flag. He couldn’t pull it off. In his words, he “choked” on the restart and had his worst one yet. Wallace may not have gotten a win, but he definitely came away with a much needed strong finish after barely creeping his way into the top 12. He really had himself set up for a win, but then a five car wreck in the back of the field led to the final restart. Tyler Reddick and Ryan Blaney got together, causing a fiasco that ultimately derailed Wallace from his shot at the win. Instead, William Byron capitalized and earned Hendrick’s 300th victory and his own 10th victory. He’s been quietly pursuing the championship, which is one thing that is very endearing about him. Byron isn’t boisterous, but he’s grateful for his opportunities. He referenced the chance that Mr. Hendrick gave him at 17 years old to go Cup racing in the future. I think it’s paying off.
Some of the other drivers didn’t have the greatest luck. Larson managed to wreck himself racing Bubba Wallace. There’s not much else to say about that one. Denny Hamlin got tangled up with teammate Ty Gibbs on pit road, causing just enough damage to his car to not be able to get to the front. He still had a strong run and managed to stay away from the carnage, so he was satisfied with how the day ended. One driver who had a much-needed great day was Ross Chastain, who took home the runner-up trophy. He was followed by Bubba Wallace, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin to round out the top 5 spots.
Where Are We Headed This Weekend?
This weekend, the drivers are likely going to experience even more carnage as they head to a track hated by Kyle Larson. I say that because he’s been vocal in his hatred towards superspeedways as of late, but he’ll have to tolerate Talladega this weekend and do his best to come away with a decent finish if he wants to continue on his mission toward another championship. This place is known for carnage. It’s a track that often ruins anyone’s plans. That’s it. There’s not flash forward planning that can predict what is going to happen. It’s inevitable that someone somewhere on the track is going to do something dumb. I said it. Someone is going to miss the mark or not hear their spotter, or ignore their spotter and cause a pileup. On this 2.66 mile asphalt tri-oval, it is mission-critical to stay focused. The turns are pretty gnarly. Turns 1 and 2 boast 33 degrees of banking, with 3 and 4 at 32.4/5, respectively. The tri-oval minimalizes the banking at around 16.5 degrees with just 3 degrees on the backstretch. It’s not secret that maintaining the draft is going to be one of the most important things a driver can do.
Odds and Value Picks
That said, drivers have to maintain friends…or at least allies to make sure that happens. Typically, we see drivers of the same team lock together. When that isn’t an option, manufacturers will stay together out of loyalty. When that doesn’t work, well, you’re headed to the back of the pack and in a hurry. There are many drivers that were historically good on these tracks. The veterans and retirees are no longer with us on track, though. Dale Sr., Jeff Gordon, Ernie Irvan, Sterling Marlin…just to name a few. These days, we have some drivers who are good, but I really don’t see any of these guys on the same level as some of the drivers before them. Maybe it’s a result of such drastic changes in the cars, but whatever it is, there’s not one driver that we can really pinpoint as the absolute best here. There are a few that we can pull out as consistently strong. Let’s take a look at your potential winners heading into this weekend’s race at Talladega with their odds provided by BetUS Sportsbook:
- Winner: Denny Hamlin +1400
- Mid-Range Pick: Kevin Harvick +2000
- Dark Horse: Erik Jones +2000
Bet your YellaWood picks for FREE by scoring a 100% bonus! Simply deposit $100 and then use bonus code PREDICT100 at MyBookie Sportsbook and you’re bonus will showup instantly! You can actually use this 100% bonus offer for deposits up to $300!
In his seven total starts at Talladega since 2020, Jones has one of the best average finishes at 8.7. He’s got 2 top 5 finishes and 6 top 10s. This guy has been coming along here later in the season and really proving to be someone to keep your eye on. Although Kevin Harvick is no longer competing for a championship, he’s still got a lot to fight for as he closes out the end of his Cup Series career this year. He’s looking for a win, and with an average finish of 14.6 over the last seven races here, he’s in the top 10 best. Harvick has a lot left in him. With the pressure of the championship off his plate, I think we’re going to see a lighter heart and a more competitive Harvick overall as the weeks wind down. Denny Hamlin is going to be the one to chase here to the end, though. He’s 6th in best average finishes in the most recent races, with one win, 3 top 5s, and 4 top 10s. For the past several weeks, he’s been at the front of the pack. He’s one of the drivers that is always someone to look for on the big tracks. While we used to focus on Penske horsepower, we need to be more focused on the playoff guys this weekend. This is the second of three races in this round that will set the round of 8. Let’s see how everything shaped up after Texas:
- William Byron
- Denny Hamlin
- Chris Buescher
- Christopher Bell
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Ross Chastain
- Brad Keselowski
- Kyle Larson
- Bubba Wallace
- Tyler Reddick
- Ryan Blaney
- Kyle Busch
The biggest loser right now is Busch, who is 17 points below the cutoff. Wallace is only 2 points behind Larson, so Larson has his work cut out for him. Tyler Reddick and Ryan Blaney are still in contention, but they are going to have to be smart and calculated in their race this weekend. Wallace should have a good weekend. He typically does well at Talladega, even winning a past April race at this track. Many of these guys should be pretty nervous about this weekend. Other than Byron, there isn’t anyone locked into the next round yet. Talladega really makes this anyone’s championship, in my opinion. Stay tuned to see how this weekend shakes up the points as the drivers do their best to survive Talladega Superspeedway.
I’m sure you’re already aware, but in case you aren’t, did you know that we have free weekly NFL picks?