2017 GEICO 500 Race Picks

May 6, 2017 by Nascar Wagers

2017 GEICO 500 Race Picks

2017 GEICO 500 Race Picks
NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Betting Preview
Sunday May 7th, 2:20PM (EST) at Talladega Superspeedway
by Jay Horne of NASCARWagers.com, NASCAR Handicapping Service

The Monster Energy Cup Series will unleash 40 cars onto the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway tomorrow afternoon with the running of the GEICO 500. Earlier today Ricky Stenhouse Jr captured the pole for the GEICO 500 and will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday. However, Stenhouse is just 1 of 40 drivers that believes they can win tomorrow’s race thus behold the lure of restrictor plate racing. As we prepare for a wild and exciting race on Sunday, we take this time to breakdown the drivers that could end up in victory lane as we provide our 2017 GEICO 500 race picks!

Earlier today, we hit a profitable 25 to 1 bet (.75 unit) on Aric Almirola in the Sparks Energy 300. The win was just Almirola’s 4th win in in more than 300 starts between both the Xfinity and Cup Series. So what was the reason that we would put our money on a guy like Almirola earlier today? Behold the glory of the draft and restrictor plate racing. These plate races can provide opportunities for surprise winners and unsuspecting drivers to run upfront. As I described in the Sparks Energy 300 preview, betting plate races is all about probability and value. You need to choose drivers that have a high probability of running upfront/finishing races and also drivers need to have value in terms of odds to maintain a strong ROI for your betting card.

Therefore if we go by the probability and value model, then it does not make sense to back mostly favored drivers. Instead, we should be taking a few gambles on some drivers that have a habit of performing well in restrictor plate races that have bigger odds because surprise winners in plate races are not all that “surprising.” Therefore be sure to odd some value to your lineups if you are going to bet these races. I will be the first to admit that these plate races have a lot of luck involved but if you stack your betting lineups consistently with a very strong ROI then it will be worth the gamble when you hit!

For Sunday’s action, I would start off the conversation surrounding the guys that I really like which include Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. I think those 4 guys are clearly the best at superspeedway plate racing in the today’s Cup Series. Earnhardt Jr holds 6 wins at Talladega which is the 2nd most all-time behind his father Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt along with Hamlin, Logano, and Keselowski have won the last 6 straight Talladega races. Keselowski and Logano have won 4 of the last 5 which has become a pretty dominate run by Team Penske. I would not fault anyone for wanting to back any of those drivers. However, I do think Earnhardt is overvalued despite the fact I would personally love to see him win another race at Talladega.

Outside of those “favorites” mentioned above, things really open up throughout the rest of the field. Just to throw out some names, I would list guys like Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, and Jimmie Johnson into the next group of drivers that I think could end up in victory lane. All of those drivers have had some superspeedway success with the exception of Elliott. However, I really liked the way Elliott drove back in February in the Daytona 500. He made really aggressive moves and showed the unique ability to hold guys behind him when he got out front. For that reason, I jumped on Elliott early in the week at +1650. Harvick, Bowyer, and McMurray all ran well back at Daytona and have Talladega wins on their resume. I really like Bowyer and McMurray as potential intermediate long shots if they can stay out of trouble. I also threw Jimmie Johnson’s name into that group for the simple fact that I don’t think you can ever count out the #48 team.

Of course there are plenty of other guys that could win tomorrow’s race. There are no right or wrong drivers to pick at Talladega because everyone ultimately has a relatively equal opportunity. Therefore, I think there are some legitimate long shots that are worth consideration. Pole sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr has run well at the plate races and is over 40 to 1 odds. Trevor Bayne and Ryan Blaney are a few additional drivers that I think could be surprise stories on Sunday if things go their way. So if you are looking for a few names to add value to your lineup, they may be worth exploring.

2017 GEICO 500 Race Picks

Take advantage of the great odds for racing at Talladega courtesy of Bovada!

*More plays to come closer to race time

Denny Hamlin +1150 (1.25 units)
Clint Bowyer +1600 (1 unit)
Chase Elliott +1650 (1 unit)
Jamie McMurray +3000 (.5 unit)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr +4500 (.5 unit)
Ty Dillon +20000 (.25 unit)

Two Team Parlay

Brad Keselowski/Joey Logano +410 wins GEICO 500
Jamie McMurray +120 over Kurt Busch
Risking 1 unit to win: +1019

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