Monster Energy Series Alabama 500 Free Race Pick - Betting Odds

October 15, 2:00 PM EDT

Martin Truex Jr. continues to put some serious distance between his racing team and the rest of the Cup Series field with another playoff victory last week at Charlotte. For the third time in the last four races, Chase Elliott took second as my +1400 top-valued pick in that race and Kevin Harvick finished third.

The following is a look at a few of the top favorites to win this Sunday’s race at Talladega along with my top value pick based on betting odds provided by 5Dimes.

Alabama 500 Race Favorites

Kyle Busch recently won at New Hampshire and Dover before fading to 29th at Charlotte this past Sunday. This was just his second finish outside the top 10 in his last 10 point-race events. This impressive run also includes earlier victories at Pocono and Bristol. With four checkered flags in 10 races, it is easy to see why he is a +900 favorite to win this week at one of the most demanding tracks in NASCAR. The No. 18 Toyota is now in sixth place in the current standings with 3055 total points. Busch placed third in the first race at this venue this season and his only career victory here was back in 2008.

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The second-favorite to win on Sunday is Brad Keselowski at +950 betting odds. The No. 2 Ford has quietly remain in contention for this year’s racing title with three runs inside the top 10 in the first four playoff races, but you get the feeling it is going to need a victory in one of the next three races to keep those hopes alive. This team’s last win was way back in early April at Martinsville and it has just two Top 5 runs in its last 10 events. Keselowski does have four career victories at Talladega including one in this race last year, but his average finishing position here is 14.9 after ending up seventh in the first race at this track this season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to ride out the string in his final season of Cup Series racing and one final trip to Talladega will probably be his last chance to thrill his fans with a one final trip to Victory Lane. The No. 88 Chevrolet only has one Top 5 finish this season in a failed attempt to qualify for the playoff, but it did come close with a seventh-place run at Dover two weeks ago. The only reason why Dale Jr. is set as a +1100 third-favorite to win this Sunday is his past track record at Talladega as part of his success in restrictor plate events. His last victory here was in the first race of the 2015 season.

Alabama 500 Race Prediction

Talladega is one of the most wide open tracks in Cup Series racing where anything can happen between the green flag and the checkered flag. This is why the odds are so long for the favorites. This is also why I am taking the value in the longer +1350 odds on Jimmie Johnson as a seven-time Cup Series Champion. His third-place finish two weeks ago at Dover showed flashes of that championship form, but the No. 48 Chevrolet is running out of chances to keep this season’s title hopes alive. Talladega has not been one of Johnson’s favorite tracks over the course of its storied career, but with so much on the line my money is on the best overall driver in the field.

Free Pick: 
Take Jimmie Johnson +1350

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