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NASCAR Best Bets: Motorsports Picks, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for the YellaWood 500 at Talladega

Pearce Dietrich gives his top NASCAR bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for the YellaWood 500, which starts on October 3 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The YellaWood 500 at Talladega was postposed due to rain and will begin Monday at 1 PM ET.

The competition didn’t beat Kyle Larson last week, he beat himself. A loser is a loser, but Talladega is a great opportunity to rebound with a big pay out. The longshots do not always come through, but sometimes they do and they make up for a season’s worth of losses. The picks have been hitting, so we don’t need to chase a big payout, but it’s Talladega, so let’s go for it.


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Ross Chastain to Win (+3000)

A key part of betting winners at a plate track is betting winners. An underdog finishing fifth is a great story, but it pays the same as finishing last — nothing. We want drivers that are willing to throw away a top-10 finish and go for the win during the last five laps. Ryan Preece and Chris Buescher have solid average finishes at Talladega and Daytona, but that’s a red flag for bettors. Winners do not always have a good average finish because they frequently wreck going for wins. Those poor finishes weigh down their average. Drivers with average finishes close to the front are safe drivers that might work in DFS but are terrible bets.

No one will ever describe Ross Chastain as safe. He may be less aggressive this season, on a scale from 1-10, he’s 15 down from 24. Surprisingly, Chastain has not been a wild man at the plate tracks this season, but this weekend the circumstances are different. Chastain has a job next year, so he can be stupid. Also, this might be Chip Ganassi’s last legitimate shot at a Cup win before he sells the team to Trackhouse Racing. One last point, Chastain has won two plate races in the Xfinity Series and many Xfinity Series plate track winners have found success in Cup Series plate races.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr to Win (+3500)

It’s been a while since Stenhouse won at a plate track. Yes, they’re not technically restrictor plate tracks anymore in the Cup Series, but they race the same. Everything is still the same from the racing to Stenhouse’s plate track talent. It’s true that Stenhouse’s finishes or lack of finishes — average finish of 28th over the last four plate races — do not look good, but for the reasons listed in the previous blurb, this is what bettors should want to see. Before Stenhouse’s recent spat of wrecks at Talladega, he finished second at the 2.66 mile plate track last spring. Stenhouse is an all-or-nothing plate racer and unlike many other underdog Cup Series drivers, he’s actually pulled off a win in a plate race, and he’s done it twice.


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Cole Custer to Win (+5000)

This is the best payout bettors can get with a driver in decent equipment. The small teams can survive and earn a top 10, but to win, a driver needs a real car on the final laps. Custer is a longshot because he might have the car, but does he have the talent and skill to win at a plate track? Does such a thing even exist? Does such a thing exist to create such a disparity in odds between the favorite and a long shot? Plate racing skill is overrated and the market’s inability to identify what truly matters was highlighted by Michael McDowell winning the Daytona 500 with +10000 odds. This is a long shot, but it can work, if a lot of good cars wreck and Custer does not. That’s not asking for a lot at Talladega.

Matt DiBenedetto to Win (+2500)

If you’ve bet Matt DiBenedetto as the longshot desperately in need of a win, then you’ve been losing. Actually, that narrative has always been in play, and seeing that he’s never won a Cup race, then you’re probably in rough shape, if you’ve been betting it all along. If you’ve been riding this narrative since Matt DiBenedetto publicly acknowledged that he did not have a ride in 2022, then why jump off now? Sure, it’s been a loser, but give it one more week. This is DiBenedetto’s best shot at a first and last win, and the odds reflect it. Obviously the betting market understands this narrative and adjusted the line accordingly, but this isn’t just a silly Hollywood script.

DiBenedetto has the ability to win a plate race. The Wood Bros. won a plate race with a less talented driver (my apologies, Trevor Bayne). Team Penske might not be closely affiliated with this auxiliary Ford much anymore, but this weekend they will likely give the guy that they’re firing a parting gift in the form of a hooked up plate car. It’s not like it’s a hard thing for them to do. A Penske Ford won the summer Daytona race (Ryan Blaney), spring Talladega race (Brad Keselowski) and was running one and two on the final lap of the Daytona 500 before Logano and Keselowski wrecked each other.

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All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.