No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet leads a line of cars at Atlanta
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BetMGM: No clear favorite with wild, unpredictable Atlanta ahead

Chase Briscoe predicted an intense and wild ride at the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway’s first NASCAR Cup Series event, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, earlier this year.

It would be crazy, predicted Kyle Busch. Denny Hamlin didn’t know what to expect at the 62-year-old track, nor did Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon and dozens of other drivers who grew accustomed to three and four-wide racing atop the worn asphalt.

It was an intense, wild, crazy, and unpredictable ride with 46 lead changes — from 20 different drivers — as William Byron won his third career Cup Series race. And four months later, the online betting markets appear braced for more chaos.

In NASCAR odds at BetMGM, four drivers opened as co-favorites for the Quaker State 400; Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney and Byron all sat at +1000. Byron and Hamlin have since dropped to +1100, but if it holds until Sunday, it will be the first race this season without a driver inside +1000 for race-winner odds.

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And with five more drivers stacked closely behind at +1200 — Kyle Larson and Ross Chastain — and +1400 — Bubba Wallace, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano – it could be the tightest odds of the season.

Featured matchup betting reflects oddsmakers’ reluctance to draw lines in the sand, or perhaps more appropriately, lines in the meticulously manicured asphalt, which was replaced immediately following last year’s Quaker State 400. This was designed to produce pack racing similar to Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

One week after pricing multiple heavy favorites for the Kwik Trip 250, BetMGM doesn’t have a featured matchup favorite above -140 this weekend.

Ryan Blaney (-130) vs. Martin Truex Jr. (+100)

Winner of the 2021 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, Ryan Blaney finished 17th in March after three straight top-five finishes at Atlanta, part of a strong run for Ford drivers over the last five years.

Blaney is tied with Denny Hamlin for the most top-five finishes at Atlanta, Daytona, and Talladega (seven) over the last 15 races at those three tracks. Truex isn’t far behind, though, with five top-five finishes in those races, including a third-place finish in last year’s Quaker State 400.

As of Thursday, Truex is dominating public betting in this matchup; he has 95% of the tickets and 93% of the handle.

Tyler Reddick (-125) vs. Austin Dillon (-105)

One week removed from his first career NASCAR Cup Series win, Tyler Reddick is seeking to join only five other drivers with multiple wins this season. The 26-year-old driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet has never posted back-to-back top-five finishes in his Cup Series career, something Austin Dillon has done only once in his nine full seasons.

Reddick isn’t a popular pick in race-winner betting — with only 2.1% of the tickets and 2% of the handle — but he has 65% of the handle in the head-to-head with Austin Dillon.

Kevin Harvick (-120) vs. Brad Keselowski (-110)

There was nothing better than Atlanta’s old asphalt, Kevin Harvick said before the race in March, which ended with his worst finish (21st) at the track since 2010.

Harvick is now 21 years removed from his first win at Atlanta Motor Speedway — in the 2001 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500, his third career Cup Series start — and after last week’s 10th-place finish, he will carry a 61-race winless drought into Sunday’s race. It’s the second-longest drought of his 22-year career.

Harvick is currently commanding two of every three tickets and 90% of the handle against Brad Keselowski in featured matchup betting.

Bubba Wallace (-140) vs. Michael McDowell (+110)

This feels like the week Bubba Wallace has been waiting for.

Struggling for consistent contention with the No. 23 Toyota, Wallace raced well at Atlanta in March (13th), Daytona in February (second), and Talladega last October (first). He did swap two crew members with Christopher Bell ahead of this weekend’s race.

Wallace is a popular pick to win the race — with 6.8% of the handle, fourth-highest among all drivers — and finish ahead of Michael McDowell. Wallace has 88% of the handle over the 37-year-old who finished eighth last weekend in Wisconsin.

You can view updated Quaker State 400 odds and more online sports betting opportunities at the BetMGM online sportsbook.