With Tyler Reddick in victory lane, the Garage Guys Discord partied Sunday evening. Chase, Dale, and I were all on Red Dog, so I hope you got to collect some bags with us last week. Now we take my Early NASCAR Betting Picks to Atlanta, where we will be running the second race at the track for the first time this year.
As most people know, Atlanta was reconfigured and repaved this year, so Atlanta data from before this year isn’t relevant. The track is now a drafting track, more akin to Daytona and Talladega than to other 1.5 Mile tracks. As such I’m looking to driver history at Daytona, Talladega, as well as the first Atlanta race this year. It’s also important to remember that there is a very high level of variance at drafting tracks which means much of what is going to happen cannot be predicted.
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NASCAR Early Betting Picks: Quaker State 400 Presented By Walmart
#47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. | +5000 (Caesars Sportsbook)
The high variance at drafting tracks opens up value on long shot drivers, like Ricky Stenhouse Jr. After opening at 35-1 at Barstool he was quickly bet down to 33-1. Then Caesars did even better and gave us 50-1. Ricky needs to win if he wants to make the playoffs. His best shot to win is here or at Daytona the last week of the regular season. So expect him to go hard this weekend.
Ricky has a history of strong performances at drafting courses having won at both Daytona and Talladega in the past. Despite poor finishes due to incidents at those tracks this year he has brought a fast car to both tracks. He had the 2nd fastest green flag speed at the Daytona 500 and was 3rd in green flag speed at Talladega before wrecking out.
Ricky also showed that he can perform well on the reconfigured Atlanta. In March he started 28th and methodically worked his way up to the front, briefly taking the lead on lap 130. As is common at drafting tracks, he was shuffled back out of the lead but recaptured it twice. Unfortunately on lap 200, while leading for the third time, he blew a tire ending his shot at the win. 50-1 is just too short for him this week where with his drafting skill and the right bit of randomness can turn into a win. Bet to +3500.
#43 Erik Jones | +5000 (Caesars Sportsbook)
Like Ricky, Jones must win to get into the playoffs. Like Ricky, Jones has a history of solid performance at drafting tracks, including a win at Daytona in 2018. Jones was fast early at Atlanta in the spring, finishing the first stage in 5th. He also showed speed at times at both Daytona and Talladega. 50-1 is too long for a guy who knows what it takes to win at a drafting track. Bet to +4000.
Early Top 10 Betting Picks For Caesars Sportsbook:
1. #38 Todd Gilliland +1200
2. #42 Ty Dillion +1200
3. #16 Noah Gragson +950
4. #7 Corey Lajoie +750
5. #21 Harrison Burton +750
6. #41 Cole Custer +750
Caesars has long been known for offering poor outright odds for favorites, compensating for this with good odds on long shots. In its second week offering Top 10 odds that generosity on long shots has translated to the book’s top 10 offerings. As soon as these odds were released I started trying to figure out how I was going to bet them.
I ended up deciding I would bet them all and size to around 7.5u of winning for each bet. Five of these six drivers had issues at Atlanta in March except Corey Lajoie who finished 5th. If that repeats itself we are winning here.
If we get lucky and two manage to sneak into the Top 10 we are partying. These drivers are all clearly long shots, but none are backmarkers, which is how they are being priced. For reference, DraftKings, the other book with Top 10 odds posted as of Tuesday night, has all of these drivers in the +300 to +600 range.
To average around 7.5 units in winning for each bet I sized my bets as follows. Burton, Custer, and Lajoie at +750 are each a full unit. Gragson at +950 is .8u, while Dillion and Gilliland at +1200 are .65u. This means I have a total of 5.1u at risk, and if just one hits, I’ll leave this crazy scheme up over 3 units. I would bet the +750 drivers to +650, Gragson to +800, and the +1200 drivers to +1000. If you are getting shorter odds make sure you adjust your bet size accordingly.
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