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March 19, 2023

The Action Network: Best bets for Atlanta Motor Speedway

Christopher Bell looks onward

The Action Network specializes in providing sports betting insights/analytics and is a content partner with NASCAR. Check out more NASCAR betting analysis here.

The second drafting race of the year goes green at Atlanta Motor Speedway this afternoon (3 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

With no practice and with just a single qualifying session, we’re mostly reliant on performance at similar tracks, including last year’s two races at Atlanta to handicap the race.

My strategy at drafting tracks is to typically look for drivers with longer odds in situations where odds should be running closer together thanks to the high-variance nature of these tracks.

I do exactly that with these five picks. I’ll break down my two favorites, and then I’ll tell you three more plays I’m on based on the latest NASCAR odds to round out my Ambetter Health 400 betting card.

RELATED: Updated odds for Sunday’s race

NASCAR Odds, Picks for Atlanta

Christopher Bell to Win Group +380

Group C at DraftKings consists of the following drivers:

  • Kyle Larson (+200)
  • William Byron (+230)
  • Kyle Busch (+290)
  • Christopher Bell (+380)

Last year, William Byron led this group with an average running position of 9.97. That beat Bell by just a whisker, as the Joe Gibbs Racing driver had a 10.04 average.

Both were well ahead of Larson (19.78) and Busch (22.23).

While a two-race sample doesn’t tell us a ton, it does show that Bell is absolutely in the ballpark with this group. In fact, Bell would have finished second in this race last year if not for a penalty for advancing his position below the double line.

In the second Atlanta race, Bell ran inside the top 10 in both stages before fading late.

Stewart-Haas Racing to Win +800

Barstool Sportsbook is offering the four-car team of Stewart-Haas Racing at a palatable +800 price tag.

By comparison, the other four-car teams of Hendrick Motorsports and JGR are +335 and +550, respectively.

But one thing that stood out to me during qualifying was the relative instability of the Toyotas. Ty Gibbs got into the wall on his warmup lap, and Christopher Bell spun during his second-round qualifying effort.

FOX broadcaster and former Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer noted how stiff and rigid the Toytoas looked, especially after Bell’s spin.

If that translates at all to the race, it may mean JGR is less likely to win, giving other teams a better shot.

So I really like getting one-ninth of the field with a four-car team. And by virtue of the +800 price tag, we break even by winning this bet one in nine times. Overall, the SHR cars are well above an average car to win in my model.

In fact, if you piece together the best odds on all four drivers by shopping around, the sum of their individual implied odds is 11.5% which is above the 11.1% implied odds we’re getting by taking the whole team at +800.

Other Bets to Make

Based on the latest NASCAR odds, I also like:

  • Ty Gibbs top Toyota (+1800 at BetMGM)
  • Justin Haley top Chevy (+3300 at BetMGM)
  • Kaulig Racing to Win (+3300 at BetMGM)