James Gilbert | Getty Images
James Gilbert | Getty Images

The Action Network: Best outright bets for Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega

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Pack racing at NASCAR superspeedways like Talladega is unpredictable.

I know. Thanks for the news flash, right?

However, due to this unpredictability there are often opportunities to get favorites at better prices than normal because, just like us, oddsmakers have a difficult time predicting who will win these races as well.

And with pack racing also comes surprise winners, meaning there are more live long shots further down that odds board than at most other tracks.

So, for Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, I’m embracing the unpredictability and betting on these three drivers.

NASCAR Betting Picks for Talladega

*Odds as of Sunday morning

Brad Keselowski (+1500 at Caesars) to Win

Keselowski has six career NASCAR Cup Series wins at Talladega, which is tied with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the most victories ever at the track.

Yeah, that’s pretty good company.

And while Keselowski has clearly seen a massive step down in equipment after leaving Team Penske to take on a role as a driver/owner at Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing this season, he proved that there is little-to-no downgrade at superspeedways in February at Daytona.

Keselowski and teammate Chris Buescher swept the Duel races, showing their equipment is plenty fast at superspeedways, before Kes posted the best average running position and led the most laps en route to a ninth-place finish in the Daytona 500.

Buescher was no slouch in the 500 either, with Keselowski and eventual-winner Austin Cindric the only drivers to finish with better average running positions.

In Keselowski, we’re getting one of the best ever at Talladega in top-level superspeedway equipment at the enticing price of 15-1 odds.

William Byron (+1800 at DraftKings) to Win

Not only does Byron have a win at Daytona under his belt from 2020, but he has also been extremely fast in the Next Gen car at these types of race tracks so far this season.

Byron was in second place in the Daytona 500 just before the end of Stage 1 before getting taken out in a wreck that was not of his doing.

And while I don’t think Atlanta is a perfect comp to Talladega, it raced much like a superspeedway event following the offseason reconfiguring. And who won that race while leading the most laps and posting the best driver rating?

Lord Byron.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+3500 at Caesars) to Win

At this point I don’t need to sell myself on the fact that Stenhouse is a very good superspeedway racer, so he was already on my mind heading into Talladega.

However, his stats at Daytona and Atlanta earlier this season were actually better than I initially assumed.

Despite just a 28th-place finish in the Daytona 500 due to a crash late in the race, Stenhouse was still tied for sixth in average running position while leading the fifth-most laps.

Again, Stenhouse’s finishing position of 31st at Atlanta is nothing to write home about, but it’s the underlying metrics that matter.

In that race Stenhouse was leading when a cut tire forced him to spin and eventually get slammed by Austin Cindric, ending his day.

At 35-1, I’ll gladly back a very good superspeedway performer, especially considering how much better he was at Daytona and Atlanta than his finishing positions indicated.