NASCAR Bets: Talladega Longshot Plays for the Xfinity and Cup Series

Well hello there; it’s time for some NASCAR bets. Dale Tanhardt is back (when he wants to be) to give you his best longshot plays for – not just the NASCAR Cup Series, but the NASCAR Xfinity Series as well for this glorious Talladega weekend. Remember when you thought last weekend was crazy? Get ready for one of the wildest race weekends of the year.

Let me go ahead and knock this out before we get into the fun: for those who haven’t noticed yet, I’ve taken a step back from weekly articles as my focus shifts more towards the growth of Garage Guys on the digital side. We’ve brought in two very hungry, top-notch NASCAR betting contributors (Derrick Yoder and Nate Williams) who will write articles dedicated to the Truck Series and the Xfinity Series, respectively.

Derrick had a clean sweep of truck bets last weekend at Bristol, and Nate starts his Xfinity campaign with Garage Guys this week. Be on the lookout for his article before Saturday. I’ve moved into a more administrative role with the website and by administrative I mean that I literally do nothing at all.

And by doing nothing at all, I mean I am so busy with digital content, podcasting, brand partnerships, and social media engagement that I have chosen to step into an administrative role on the site. It’s like Pulp Fiction but for NASCAR.

Dale Fiction?

Anyways, there are several longshot plays that I absolutely love heading into the weekend for both the AG-PRO 300 and the GEICO 500 at Talladega. The odds are so interesting for the superspeedways that it actually begs the question, “What counts as a longshot”.

I’d say anything at 20-1 or more constitutes a longshot in my book. Realistically, in 99% of all sports bets internationally, the favorite to win the Cup race on Sunday, Ryan Blaney at 10-1, would be considered a longshot. That’s what makes NASCAR betting so awesome, in my opinion. Nonetheless, I think it’s kind of up to you to determine where that line begins.

Superspeedway racing is pretty often headlined by longshot winners throughout NASCAR’s National Series. Bubba Wallace (Cup), Brandon Brown (Xfinity), Tate Fogleman (Trucks), Jeb Burton (Xfinity) and Brad Keselowski (Cup) were the five winners at the track in 2021.

4 of these winners were 20-1 or lower odds to win their respective races; Fogleman was 100-1.

Hell, even Brad K. was 13-1 when I picked him to win (my only ‘Dega betting win in 2021). It remains to be seen if I will actually be betting on all of the plays I give out here. Remember: this is not my official betting card for either race this weekend. To see my full Xfinity card, head to Twitter and follow me here. For my Cup card, download the Action Network app to see my picks here.

To this point, there is only one bet I have locked in for the weekend, and it will be included below.

The Garage Fam is foaming at the mouth for Talladega. If you’re going, come party with us on Talladega Boulevard this weekend. If not, you’ll enjoy one hell of a race weekend.

Let’s get right into it.

Best NASCAR Longshot Bets for Talladega

Geico 500 Pole Qualifying: Aric Almirola to win the pole (+2000)

This bet is only listed on DraftKings Sportsbook, which has been heavy on presenting Formula One qualifying lines – so this is very refreshing to see. In all reality, one of the Hendrick guys will probably win the pole. In particular, I like Chase Elliott at +800.

But, for a solid longshot play here, I love Aric Almirola. This team has been excellent at qualifying on the superspeedways over the years, and Aric was the fastest driver who doesn’t belong to the Hendrick Motorsports fleet as he qualified 4th for the Daytona 500 earlier this year.

In his last three qualifying attempts at Talladega dating back to 2018-2019 (no qualifying due to Covid protocol from 2020-2021), Almirola’s starts are 4th, 2nd, and 5th. I think this warrants a small play on Almirola to kickoff the weekend.

This is the one excerpt I’ll write about pole qualifying, so I’ll list a few other longshot plays I like: Ross Chastain (+2000), Daniel Suarez (+7000), and Harrison Burton (+20000).

Xfinity Series Ag-Pro 300: Anthony Alfredo to win (+6000), Top 3 Finish (+1400)

The to-win bet is via DraftKings Sportsbook, and the Top 3 is via Barstool Sportsbook.

I like these prices for an experienced guy with a team that’s got some speed. Alfredo drives for Our Motorsports, which is an RCR (Richard Childress Racing) satellite team as they lease their engines from ECR (Earnhardt Childress Racing).

Alfredo finished 7th at Daytona after overcoming major adversity throughout the race. He also has a 6th-place finish in two starts at Talladega in Xfinity Series competition.

I think Alfredo hangs in the mix and runs well, which warrants a small bet on a potential win and/or top 3 finish.

Geico 500: Daniel Hemric Top 3 Finish (+10000)

This line is available on FanDuel Sportsbook. It is a major, major misprice as all other books have this bet at around +2000.

I have already sprinkled on this play, as Hemric is in a racecar that’s capable of winning. He will be in the #16 Kaulig Racing machine. Hemric also has a P5 at Talladega in a start during his rookie campaign in 2019. Kaz Grala finished 6th in this race last year when piloting the #16.

I would take a look at this bet as soon as you read this because I’m sure FanDuel is gonna move the line at some point before Sunday. It is a major error as they have him priced with the likes of BJ McLeod, JJ Yeley, and Greg Biffle – who are in much lesser racecars on Sunday.

Put a nickel on it before it moves.

Geico 500: Tyler Reddick to win (+2500)

This line is courtesy of Barstool Sportsbook. Most other books have him at +2000.

Everybody’s gonna forget about the Reddog this weekend after his crushing P2 at Bristol. It seemed like everybody bet on Reddick to win that race. They’re all gonna forget about him this time, and I’m gonna keep riding with the Reddog.

Where was Reddick’s first-ever Truck Series win at?

A superspeedway.

Where was Reddick’s first-ever Xfinity Series win at?

A superspeedway.

Reddick has three total superspeedway victories between Trucks and Xfinity Series competition, and nobody is knocking on the door like Tyler Reddick right now. He also has 3 Top 10’s and 1 Top 5 in his last 6 superspeedway starts.

Also, superspeedways are a breeding ground for first-time winners in NASCAR. Since the beginning of 2021, 7 of the 13 superspeedway races amongst Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks have been won by a first-time winner.

I expect Reddick to be aggressive and be at the front all day on Sunday after, once again, coming so very close to that first win in the Cup Series. Don’t forget about the Reddog – the win is coming.

Geico 500: Erik Jones to win (+7000), Top 3 (+2000), Top 5 (+800)

The best line available for that Jones boy is on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Erik Jones is by far the most underrated superspeedway racer in the series. Before McDowell won the Daytona 500, I probably would’ve given him the nod; now I believe it’s Jones.

In races at Daytona that Jones doesn’t wreck (including the Duels and Clash exhibitions held at Daytona), his average finish is 9.3. In races at Talladega in which he doesn’t wreck, his average finish is 8.6. Over his last 4 Talladega starts, he has 2 Top 5’s and 3 Top 10’s.

That total would be 4 Top 10’s in the last 4 had he not been spun coming to the finish line in this race last year while running in the Top 10.

I’m telling you: Jones has been very consistent at ‘Dega as of late. He’s been on the doorstep of winning here. He has two Daytona wins. Jones is a great superspeedway racer.

The iconic #43 is due for a win. Erik will bring a win to this team eventually. Why not this weekend? At +7000, he holds incredible value as a stout underdog play this weekend.

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