The newly revamped Atlanta Motor Speedway makes its grand NASCAR Cup Series debut this Sunday. Therefore, let’s quickly touch on what has changed, how this affects expectations for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Using BetMGM Sportsbook as the guide for our NASCAR betting odds, let’s dive into some of Awesemo’s expert NASCAR picks this week and racing predictions for Sunday.
Expert NASCAR Picks | Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
How to Bet Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 This Week
Outside of adjusting the track’s length, just about everything else pertaining to Atlanta Motor Speedway was reconfigured this past fall — surface, banking, track width, etc. — and is summarized in this week’s NASCAR DFS Preview. The Atlanta track that fans and drivers remember will not be anything close to what was witnessed last Summer when Kurt Busch won or last Spring when Ryan Blaney drove to victory. A “new” Atlanta, especially if it becomes a miniature version of Daytona, ultimately means the list of potential winners opens up to a majority of the field.
Because of this possibility, sportsbooks have priced drivers at odds reflecting this possibility of a superspeedway style event. At BetMGM, no one opened with odds shorter than 9-1 (Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson) and perennial long shots like Cody Ware and Josh Bilicki sit 500-1, whereas they’re normally twice that number. These abnormalities haven’t stopped betters from jumping on perceived longer odds for Blaney and Larson, leading sharps to believe that the public isn’t aware, or has forgotten, that Atlanta has seen these sweeping changes.
NASCAR Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 betting at @BetMGM
• Larson 9.1%
• Blaney 7.4%
• Elliott 6.0%
• Larson 17.5%
• Blaney 8.5%
• Reddick 8.4%
• Stenhouse Jr
— John Ewing 🦁 (@johnewing) March 17, 2022
Bubba Wallace: 33-1 to Win
Without much more to go off than a handful of practice laps from January when Kurt Busch, Ross Chastain, and Chris Buescher ran some practice laps for Goodyear, prognostications are all over the place for Sunday.
That said, it is worth noting that all sportsbooks seem to be hand-in-hand with odds reflecting a superspeedway race. Should this be the case, it’s hard to not jump all over Bubba Wallace at +3300 to win, coming off three-straight top-two finishes at superspeedways. While Wallace may have his deficiencies as a driver, and they become even more apparent as he gets outdriven on a weekly basis by teammate Kurt Busch, he has a certain knack for knowing when to make a move towards the lead at tracks like Daytona and Talladega. Of all drivers in Sunday’s field, he’s demonstrated one of the better abilities to navigate the chaos that happens at superspeedways but his odds at BetMGM do not reflect that. For perspective, Wallace currently sits at +2000 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Expert Long Shot NASCAR Picks This Week
The question arises, if Atlanta is just a smaller superspeedway now, why even bother with Wallace at 33-1 to win and not just move down to bigger numbers? Sure, for betters who are foreseeing even more potential for chaos and calamity as the backstretch and corners have been reduced to just 40′ while the double-yellow line rule will be in enforcement, going down to previous Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell at +10,000 or even former two-time superspeedway winner David Ragan at +25,000 make plenty of sense. If the draft and pack racing works like Kurt Busch alluded to in his post-practice comments, one bad move could take out more than half the field as they will be even more packed together than a typical superspeedway race.
However, there is still plenty of unknowns, especially once all of the cars in the field get bunched together. Denny Hamlin made some comments that put some cold water on the miniature Daytona expectations as he worries that there is still too much horsepower for the cars to truly stay wide open all the way around the track, not to mention, even after getting repaved — Atlanta is still pretty bumpy in certain spots. These factors add up in the potential for a race that looks look less like Daytona and more like last year’s All-Star Race at Texas or previous iterations of that race at Charlotte. Should that be the case, betters will be better off betting 16-seeds in the NCAA Tournament than expecting David Ragan or Greg Biffle to have a chance at victory.
The start for the Generation Seven car has seen Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe win while nearly witnessing Tyler Reddick and Ross Chastain win as well. At this rate, it shouldn’t be a shock to see another driver in that 20-1 through 50-1 range be competitive, if not win, regardless of how Atlanta races. Mid-tier teams and or drivers continue to be live from week to week, should this pattern continue on Sunday, grabbing a driver with a proven superspeedway record like Brad Keselowski (+2500), Aric Almirola (+2500), or Austin Dillon (+3300) make sense as well.
Needless to say, there are tons of different paths to go down with outright betting. For betters, the smartest path will be simply waiting for practice to get a good gauge of what racing should look like Sunday, yet don’t be shocked to see these odds scramble once everyone else has seen practice.
Best Long Shot NASCAR Picks This Week: Brad Keselowski (+2500), Aric Almirola (+2500), Austin Dillon (+3300)
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