- Talladega takes the stage with the Geico 500 on Sunday, April 24th, 2022
- Can Team Penske continue their quiet dominance or has Hendrick caught up?
- Below are odds and trends ahead of Sunday afternoon’s race.
NASCAR travels to Talladega, Alabama for the tenth race of the 2022 season. The race comes from the Talladega Superspeedway. The odds reflect the usual chaos from the 2.66-mile track. Ryan Blaney is favored this week with +1000 odds in the NASCAR Geico 500 odds. It does seem like Hendrick, and Team Penske could do battle again here.
This is one week after the Food City Dirt Race, where Tyler Reddick looked poised to win, but Chase Briscoe spun him and Reddick out of the winner’s circle. Kyle Busch was able to cross the checkered flag ahead of Reddick.
Let’s dig into these Geico 500 odds and figure out which drivers are the best bets.
Geico 500 Odds
|Driver||Odds to Win||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top Ten|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+2800||+800||+150|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+3000||+850||+160|
Odds as of April 21st at the Barstool Sportsbook App
Ryan Blaney Favorite At Talladega But…
NASCAR drivers will run on the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway when the flag drops for the Sunday afternoon race beginning around 3:00 PM ET. This track banks at a 32-33 degree angle around turns, 16.5 on the tri-oval, and even 3.0 on the back straightaway.
There are few drivers that have truly dominated the Alabama track, but there has been a quiet dominance of sorts by Team Penske. Four of the last six winners have come from that group, including two from current race favorite Ryan Blaney. Blaney has enjoyed a nice season in the #12 Ford and sits second in the points standings, just three behind Chase Elliott.
Currently, Blaney stands at +1000 odds (+1000 at Caesars). Teammate Joey Logano lists at +1200 (+1000 at Caesars Sportsbook). Some shorter odds exist on Caesars Sportsbook, but there exist some longer shots at +3300 like Michael McDowell.
Now, what will happen at Talladega on a warm afternoon?
Top 5 lap leaders in Cup this season, and the percentage of the laps they've led:
William Byron – 482 (19.8%)
Ryan Blaney – 339 (13.9%)
Chase Elliott – 276 (11.3%)
Tyler Reddick – 196 (8.1%)
Chase Briscoe – 187 (7.7%)
— FalchionWielder (@FalcionWielder) April 18, 2022
The idea is that the Team Penske driver will be at or near the front on Sunday, lead a bunch of laps, and contend for his first win of the 2022 season. After all, Blaney has won two of the last six races at Talladega.
|Year||Race Winner||Pole Position||Most Laps Led|
|2021||Brad Keselowski — Team Penske||Denny Hamlin — Joe Gibbs Racing||Denny Hamlin. — Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2020||Ryan Blaney — Team Penske||Martin Truex Jr. — Joe Gibbs Racing||Ryan Blaney — Team Penske|
|2019||Chase Elliott — Hendrick Motorsports Racing||Austin Dillon — Richard Childress Racing||Chase Elliott — Hendrick Motorsports Racing|
|2018||Joey Logano — Team Penske||Kevin Harvick — Stewart-Haas Racing||Joey Logano — Team Penske|
|2017||Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Roush Fenway Racing||Ricky Stenhouse Jr. — Roush Fenway Racing||Joey Logano — Joe Gibbs Racing|
The race has seen overtime of exactly three laps in three of the past five years including the last two both won by Team Penske drivers.
Can Chase Elliott Break On Through?
Sports bettors were still okay after last week. The Hendrick Motorsports Racing driver still is lurking in the NASCAR Cup Series odds, and the race odds as well. Furthermore, Chase Elliott still leads the points standings.
In a wild race, where drivers went forward and backward all night long, no driver ended Sunday's #NASCAR Cup Dirt Race at Bristol with a higher Passing Differential than @TeamHendrick's @chaseelliott.
— TobyChristie.com (@TobyChristieCom) April 20, 2022
This shapes up to be some battle between Chase Elliott and the Team Penske drivers. Yes, there are some other drivers who can bridge the gap. However, Elliott did win in 2019 and has shown an ability to pass more cars than usual during the first quarter of 2022. Elliott is just +1200 at Caesars but +1300 at Barstool. It is partially why other Hendrick drivers like William Byron and Kyle Larson who could play a role here as well.
Geico 500 Predictions & Picks
This is the first race of the second quarter and the second at a superspeedway. Chaos and attrition are expected at Talladega.
"Talladega is like being on the interstate, four lanes wide, all four lanes are packed with semi-trucks, and you’re in the middle of semi-trucks,” said 2018 winner Aric Almirola. https://t.co/5FTjCuZYYD
— WAFF 48 (@waff48) April 21, 2022
That weather expects to be relative tranquil on Sunday afternoon. The Next-Gen cars with the restrictor plates and some heat, so what could go crazy? There expects to be drivers trying to find position without wrecking on a constant basis. This race is a fun crapshoot.
The stage format is 60-60-68 for laps. Watch the changeable track conditions as the 2.66-mile course heats up and expect a possible overtime.
Here are our best bets:
- Top Pick: Ryan Blaney to win (+1000)
- Middle Shooters: William Byron (+1800), Chase Elliott (+1300), Tyler Reddick (+2500), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+2800).
- Longshots: Michael McDowell (+3300), Austin Dillon (+3500 – Caesars Sportsbook)