Talladega is the location for the final superspeedway race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.
The YellaWood 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC) is expected to be an intense race, with no playoff drivers still stuck in the last eight.
The playoff drivers will attempt to move into the lead at the end of the stages to rack up stage points.
In the meantime, drivers not currently in the playoffs have won each of the four playoff races, and I’m looking at one of them to pick up another win with my best bet for Sunday’s race.
NASCAR pick for Talladega
*Quote as of Wednesday afternoon
Pop quiz: Which driver has the best average position across all three races at Talladega and Daytona this year?
The answer: Erik Jones!
Yes, Jones was arguably the best rider on superspeedways this year. Not only does he have the best average running position, he’s also close to the top in other key metrics.
He has the third-most laps led, as well as the second-highest driver rating in those races.
He is the only driver to appear in the top three in those three categories, while only Martin Truex, Jr. appears in the top three in two of those statistics.
Other drivers to make the top three in any of these stats: Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch.
The best odds available on these drivers range from 13-1 (Blaney) to 22-1 (Truex).
However, DraftKings and FanDuel each snag a 30-1 number for Jones.
I’ll happily take the guy with the longest rating – and the best stats in this group.
I didn’t even mention that he almost won the first race at Talladega this year.
My model has Jones winning 5.5% of the time, so even if it overestimates Jones, there’s plenty of room here for the 3.2% implied odds.
The bet: Erik Jones will earn +3000 | Bet on: +2500
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