Friday, September 30, 2022

Talladega NASCAR Betting Preview: 2022 YellaWood 500

 Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

It’s a wild card Sunday in the NASCAR Playoffs at Talladega Superspeedway’s 2.66-mile high-banked monster. The wild card is the beastly layout of the track itself where anything can happen and anyone can win. No playoff-eligible driver has won yet after four races in the playoffs and that trend is heightened by the idea this week that the Big One can take anyone out. 

The YellaWood 500 is the perfect race for the mid-point of the playoffs and also the mid-point of the Round of 12. After Next week’s race at the Charlotte ROVAL, four more drivers will get chopped.

The NextGen car has brought all kinds of parity into NASCAR 2022 but what I like most about the season is that anyone can win and not just on the superspeedways as in years past. Bettors can take long shots and cash. There have been 19 different winners through the first 30 races and favorites like Kyle Larson only have two wins. I love that about this season. 

Here’s a look at what I’m thinking this week using odds in order courtesy of BetMGM sportsbooks:


Chase Elliott 12/1 has a Talladega win but he probably should have five more wins on superspeedways. He has 27 starts on them with six top-fives and 330 laps led. He has great equipment always. He’s had five poles on them and three other front-row starts. At Daytona in August, he led five times for 31 laps but was involved in an accident and finished 29th. He was seventh at Talladega in April and 10th in the Daytona 500. But he also won at Atlanta for the first time, his home track, leading a race-high 96 laps while using the superspeedway race package like Daytona and Talladega. He’s sitting seventh in playoff points and he’s got a fear of messing stuff up, but I think he’ll be fine. Caesars has him at 13-to-1 odds. I think he’s the driver to beat. 

"It’s obviously not an ideal situation to be where we’re at in the points heading into Talladega, but it is what it is,” Elliott said. “I’ve said for years that no one is safe in these playoffs. We’ve been in similar situations in the past, so we know what we need to do these next two weeks to put ourselves in a good position to advance. I know we’re fully capable of getting the job done. We’ve proven it time and time again."

First of all, Joey Logano 12/1 Team Penske and Team Penske wins these superspeedway races a bunch since Rusty Wallace retired. He’s got four wins in 55 starts on superspeedways with 15 top-fives and 651 laps led. The NextGen car didn’t produce this season as he had in the past, but he’s always a factor. He understands the draft and he’s got lots of friends out there that trust him to roll on a giddy-up move onto a new line to the front. He’s second in points so I don’t expect many daring moves, but once he gets involved he’ll be his normal self which sometimes gets him in trouble in these races. Sometimes wrecking his own teammates late in the race.

I saw Ross Chastain 12/1 at 15-to-1 to win at Caesars so check that out if you like him. He won the April Talladega race and led just one lap, the last one. That was the old Chastain, brave and brash. That was the Chastain that chucked a watermelon after winning and gained all kinds of new fans. But the veterans put him in his place and he abided. Now he drives delicately and doesn’t tread on anyone. He’s almost corporate NASCAR worthy now. But he’s second in points and still eligible for a title. I think he waits out the Big One and puts himself in a position to win late. Come on watermelon sugar!

Ryan Blaney 12/1 is a two-time winner at Talladega and he’s comfortably sitting fourth in points. Why not just win the race and win the championship? He still has yet to win a points-paying race this season, although he did win the $1 million prize for winning the non-points All-Star Race. Team Penske equipment is always a positive.

Denny Hamlin 14/1 is the best on superspeedways. He sees the air before the air sees itself. He knows where the air is going and uses it to move where he needs to get more speed out of it. It’s magical and it's how he won three Daytona 500s. He has five superspeedway wins and 20 top-fives with 1,052 laps led. NASCAR should check him for illegal wizardry. Best of all, this BetMGM price is the highest I’ve seen on him in superspeedway races since he won his first Daytona 500. Yes, I’m down.  

“It’s really tough because you can’t predict when a wreck is going to happen,” Hamlin said about Talladega approach. “As a driver, you start to feel the intensity of the pack picking up and you start to see people making aggressive moves. You just have to make a judgement call on whether you want to be a part of it at that time. What’s difficult about the Next Gen car is that you can’t go from the back of the pack to the front like you used to be able to. It’s pretty much a two-lane road and you have to pick one lane or the other. No matter what, with these cars having so much drag on them, you can’t get the third lane going. That used to be the avenue to go from the back to the front, so you used to be able to lay back and make your charge whenever you wanted to. Now, you have to try to stay up front and that’s what we’ll try to do, but you ultimately put yourself at risk of getting in a wreck.”


In 32 superspeedway races Kyle Larson 14/1 has one top-five and it came in April at Talladega with fourth place after leading 32 laps. This type of racing has never been his thing. The cars are all bunched up and he looks uncomfortable in them. But this is the playoffs. Work through the rough patches and find a way. I wonder if he’ll play it safe here on such a volatile track. 

"I don’t think so just because there’s so many stage points on the line,” Larson said. “Yes, there might be a couple that do that, but I feel like you typically don’t see that. I think there’s so many stage points on the line that if you can get those points then, even if you wreck, you’ll have a decent points day out of it. I see everybody racing pretty hard."

William Byron's 14/1 best Talladega finish was runner-up last season and in 2020 he was fourth. He also won at Daytona in 2020. He’s good and has good enough equipment to win, but he’s got other issues. And it’s not NASCAR fining him or taking points away after his shenanigans at Texas last week. A bet on Byron means you have to trust Denny Hamlin to not exact revenge and Talladega is so easy to make a deliberate punt look like a mistake or just one of those racing things. I think he’s toxic this week with a big red siren saying stay away from the bet windows. I might take a shot at 28-to-1, though.

"Racing at Talladega is more about how well you can push someone and how well your car can receive a push,”  Byron said. “It’s a track where you really have to be able to work with other cars to not only get to the front but also stay up there. We were running up front in the spring race and lost our help in the end to stay up front, unfortunately. Once you get back in traffic, it’s a lot harder to make your way forward. With how close the points are right now, I think stage points are going to be even more crucial Sunday than they normally are in this race. With everyone trying to get every point they can, you don’t want to put yourself at risk of not finishing the race either just trying to get a stage point. It’s a fine balance for sure." 


Date: Sunday, October 2, 2022
Venue: Talladega Superspeedway
Location: Lincoln, Alabama
Distance: 500 miles
Laps: 188
Network-Time: NBC - 2:00 p.m.
Defending Champion: Bubba Wallace

The only tracks you should bet Austin Cindric 16/1 are on superspeedways and road courses so that means I’m betting him the next two weeks. I just have to find better prices. The rookie burst onto the scene with a Daytona 500 win and then was third at Daytona last month. He also was third at Atlanta using the superspeedway package. Team Penske equipment is so good on these tracks.

Shop around for the best odds, but Bubba Wallace 16/1 is someone you should have in your betting portfolio this week. BetMGM might have the best odds so far from what I’ve seen. He won this race last season for his first Cup win. He started off this season with a runner-up in the Daytona 500. He was good on superspeedways before getting great equipment and now he’s got two Cup wins. He’s proved himself, now he belongs. Now he has swagger and is at a confidence level he’s never been at. He’s going to come in saying he’s going to win and I believe him.   


Thursday, September 29, 2022

NASCAR YellaWood 500 Odds, Predictions & Picks by Micah Roberts

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Texas NASCAR Betting Preview: 2022 AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500

 Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 Picks, Predictions

The 30th race of the season at Texas Motor Speedway also kicks off the Round of 12 in the playoffs in Sunday’s AutoTrader Echo-Park Automotive 500. Four drivers were chopped from playoff contention last week while three non-playoff drivers won all three races in the Round of 16. There have been 19 different winners so far in what has been the most parity I’ve ever seen in NASCAR. The NextGen car has done its job. Erik Jones, Bubba Wallace, and Chris Buescher told the playoffs to hold their beer while winning the last three, and all at 20-to-1 or higher prices. That’s four straight high-odds payouts when including Austin Dillon’s Daytona win in the cutoff race.  

Let’s get to work and find this week’s Texas winners. I take at the top portion of the odds chart using odds courtesy of BetMGM.


Flip the switch, it’s playoff time. That’s what it looks like has happened. Denny Hamlin (6/1) gave a sign on the 1.5-and 2-mile tracks that he was ready to roll and then he started the playoffs with two runner-ups. It has to be one of his wildest seasons of his career, but he might just win his first championship and I can’t wait to see it. He has three Cup wins at Texas and a 13th-place average finish in 31 starts. He also gets a boost by getting Kyle Busch’s pit crew who has been one of the best this season. He thinks this Texas race is huge in this round. 

“This is going to be a very important race,” Hamlin said. “With the unknowns of Talladega and the (Charlotte) ROVAL, we’re looking at Texas as a place we can go run up front, try to maximize our points and be in contention for the win. Passing was very difficult in the All-Star Race though, so I expect that to be the case like it has been for the last few years at Texas, so qualifying up front and having a smooth day on the track and on pit road are going to be key for us to have a shot.”

Christopher Bell (13/2) is coming strong with three top-fives in the Round of 16. He leads all Toyota drivers with 10 Top-fives this season and he has a great track history on his home track with a 2017 Truck Series win and a 2019 Xfinity Series win. His next step in the progression is winning at Texas in the Cup Series. Caesars has him at 8-to-1 odds.

“The two ends of the track are completely different,” Bell said of Texas. “We have the All-Star race under our belt with the NextGen car and turns 3 & 4 have lots of throttle time, tons of banking, and lots of grip with the repave, and turns 1 & 2 have lots of grip but they don’t have the banking to hold you. Drastically different corners for sure. Long runs are where we’ve been really good and I’m excited to kick off the next round of the Playoffs at my home track.”

Christopher Bell has seen a Top 5 result in three straight races. (Getty)

Kyle Larson (7/1) won at Texas in the Cup Series for the first time last season after winning also winning the All-Star Race there. He was dialed in in 2021. They had a huge edge over everyone winning 10 times and winning the championship, but just two wins this season. What did he learn from last season’s incredible run that he can apply this week as he starts the Round of 12? 

"Be clean and let the other teams make the mistakes,” Larson said. “Honestly, if you can just finish you don’t have to do anything crazy in the first couple rounds. Don’t take yourself out of stage points or a good finish and you can advance. Once you get to the Round of 8, that’s obviously when you need to get some top-five finishes or a win. You just don’t want to take yourself out of any race or get any DNF or anything like that where you put yourself in a must-win situation because winning is really difficult to do. You just want to keep yourself in contention every race."

Chase Elliott (8/1) has the championship vibe going and leads all drivers in points (3040), wins (4), and is tied with his teammate with 11 top-fives. In 11 Cup races at Texas he has two top-fives and an 11.5 average finish.

"I’d love to go to Texas this weekend and have a good, solid run and start this round off on a high note. We didn’t get to run the full All-Star Race earlier this year, but I still feel like we got enough track time to have good notes as we head back there. We just need to put a good weekend together and execute a solid day. If we can do that, then we have as good a shot as anyone to get a win and lock ourselves into the next round."


Date: Sunday, September 25, 2022
Venue: Texas Motor Speedway
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Distance: 501 miles
Laps: 334
Network-Time: USA - 3:30 p.m.
Defending Champion: Kyle Larson

Martin Truex Jr (10/1) has five top-fives in 32 Cup starts at Texas and 17 top-10s with 674 laps led. He was the best on 1.5s for a few years and never won here. He’s definitely got more speed now like all the Toyotas on the big tracks. He was fifth at Kansas after leading 24 laps.

“I’m looking forward to the race,” Truex said. “As a whole, I feel like the Toyotas have ran really well on these types of tracks, so if we can put a full race together, I have a lot of confidence in what we’re capable of.”

Kyle Busch has failed to see a Top 10 result in 12 of 14 races. (Getty)

In 31 Cup starts at Texas, Kyle Busch (10/1) has four wins, 14 top-fives, 18 top10s, and 1,069 laps led. He also has 10 Xfinity Series wins and five Trucks Series win. He had a quick exit from the playoffs despite fast cars. He’ll be the weekly wild card, the unknown element of the betting equation. It’s important to realize that his only win came on the ridiculous Dirt Race at Bristol. I wonder if they learned anything from the All-Star Race they can use this week.

“I don’t know, we obviously were very fast there in the All-Star Race until we had the tire issue,” Busch said. “We’d like to think we can go out there and we’re fast and we have good strong racecars. As far as the track and the resin, I’m hoping we can dabble in it a little longer the outside way around, but it does seem to have grip and you can make some runs off the top of the corners and try to make some moves down the straightaway and such. Same old Texas, it looked to me there in the spring, from that standpoint.”

Ryan Blaney (10/1) dominated the All-Star Race at Texas in May after leading a race-high 84 laps. He won $1 million for the win, but it’s an unofficial non-points win. He still has no wins in 2022 when everyone else seems to be winning. This is a great track for him as he’s finished eighth or better in nine of his last 10 Texas starts which includes two All-Star races. He’s still alive racing for the championship.


2022 NASCAR Cup Notes at Texas

Texas native Chris Buescher is the 19th different winner of 2022

Holding off the field for 57 laps following the final restart and taking the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway, RFK Racing’s Chris Buescher snapped the longest active winless streak in the series at 223 races and became the 19th different winner of the season. As a result, the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is now tied with the 1956, 1958, 1961 and 2001 seasons for the series-most different winners in a single season at 19 each. If this year were to see another different winner in these final seven races, then the 2022 season would become the sole leader in the NASCAR Cup Series in the number of different winners in a single season at 20.

The Bristol victory was the first points-paying race win for RFK Racing since Brad Keselowski joined the organization as an owner, and the second win of Buescher’s Cup Series career (Pocono, 2016 and Bristol, 2022).

“We’ve had a great week celebrating and taking in everything associated with the Bristol win, but I’m just as excited to get back to my home state of Texas and see friends and family and give our Fastenal Mustang another good run this weekend. We put together a solid plan for the All-Star Race this spring and had good success, so our goal is to capitalize on that even more and keep the train rolling this weekend.”

Now the Prosper, Texas native, Buescher, heads to Texas Motor Speedway to make it two wins in a row. Buescher has made 12 series starts at Texas posting an average finish of 22.7. Buescher’s best finish at his home track is 15th back in 2018.

Oklahoman Christopher Bell emerges from the Playoffs’ Round of 16 as a contender

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell entered the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 16 as the 10th seed with the pedal to the floor, as he was the only driver in that round to post three top-five finishes and clinch his spot in the Round of 12 prior to the elimination-race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Plus, he finished the Round of 16 in the Playoff standings lead by not only finishing well, but by dominating his competitors in stage points. Bell accumulated 50 stage points in the first three Playoff races – 14 more stage points than the next highest driver, Kyle Busch with 36.

Now that the Playoff competitors have been reseeded for the Round of 12, Bell is ranked seventh in the standings, just 27 points back from Chase Elliott in the Playoff standings lead, and only four points above the Round of 8 cut line. This is Bell’s second career appearance in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2021, 2022) and the Oklahoma native is looking to advance to the Round of 8 for the first time. He was eliminated in the Round of 12 in last season’s Playoffs, ultimately finishing 12th in the final championship standings.

But this weekend is looking fortuitous for Bell, as Texas Motor Speedway is a track at which he has exceled. In three series starts at the 1.5-mile facility, he has put up two top-five finishes and has an average finish of 9.0 (second-best among active drivers).

“Texas is one of my best tracks statistically and a place I enjoy racing at,” Bell said. “It’s a very important race and we need to capitalize on Texas before heading into Talladega.”

Playoff Bubble: All-Star winner Ryan Blaney returns to Texas

Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney has advanced to the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 12 after a slow start to his postseason run putting up just one top-10 finish in the Round of 16. Now the North Carolina native shows up to Texas Motor Speedway as the winner of the 2022 NASCAR All-Star Race, which was held at this same 1.5-mile facility back in May, needing a boost to his championship chase.

Currently, Blaney sits in the eighth and final transfer spot on points in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs standings up just four points on Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe in ninth – the first spot outside the Round of 8 cutoff. This is Blaney’s sixth appearance in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2017, ’18, ’19, ’20, ’21, ’22) and he is looking to advance to the Round of 8 for the fourth-time in his career (2017, ’19, ’21).

In addition to his NASCAR All-Star Race win at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season, the 27-year-old has made 13 points-paying race starts at the 1.5-mile speedway posting three top fives and seven top 10s. He has a career-best Texas finish of runner-up in 2018 and has an average finish at the track of 16.3.


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Video: Micah Roberts talks NASCAR Championship & Darlington


Darlington NASCAR Betting Preview: 2022 Cook Out Southern 500

It’s going to be a hot and humid Sunday night at Darlington Raceway’s high banked 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. It’s time for the Cook Out Southern 500, one of the grandest traditions in NASCAR history running on Labor Day weekend almost every year since 1950. It’s 500 miles on The Lady in Black, and she’s angry all the time. But she’s been sweet to a few drivers over the years who understand her story and understand how to not wear out their tires too quickly.

It’s the perfect race to start the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs where 16 qualified drivers will be competing for the 2022 Championship. The Southern 500 begins the Round of 16 and four drivers will be eliminated after this three-race round. Win a race in this round and you move on to the next round regardless of points. After nine races and three stages, we’ll have the Championship 4 race at Phoenix on Nov. 3 and a Champion will be crowned.

I wrote earlier in the week about who I like to win it all.


Here’s a look at who I like this week using odds courtesy of BetMGM

Kyle Larson (6/1) - In nine Cup starts at Darlington he has an 8.9 average finish with five top-fives which includes three straight runner-ups before his 36th in the May race. He started second, led 30 laps, and the engine blew. The 2021 Champion likes the track a lot, but no wins.  The NextGen car has brought his party way down. Too much noise from 10 wins in 2021. Just two wins this season, each separated by a long gap. So why is he favored? Because it’s the playoffs and he gets his old car back? No. Because he’s due? No. It doesn’t matter because the sportsbooks all copied each other's lazy odds, likely using last fall’s odds grid, past experience on the track, and threw 2022 results out the window. I won’t be on Larson this week, but I’ve got a driver they fell asleep on with odds. 

"We had a really fast car last time before we had trouble,” Larson said of the May race. “The first round has a lot of really good tracks for us. Darlington, Kansas, and Bristol. Those are honestly three of my best racetracks. I really like that round and hopefully we can do well in it and get some wins and get some bonus points. I have always run really well at Darlington, but have not gotten a win there yet. I finished second three times in a row before this year, so would love to be one spot better there and finally get that Darlington win that I have been close to getting."

Denny Hamlin (7/1) - He’s still banged up from the late Daytona wreck and will not race in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. He has five Xfinity Series wins at Darlington and a series-leading four wins at Darlington. He won last year's Cup race there. He leads all active drivers with a 7.8 average finish and also has 11 top-fives and 786 laps led. The Lady in Black and Hamlin are good friends and send each other Christmas cards. But the new car has taken away all the edges he’s experienced at his favorite tracks like Darlington and Martinsville. And he had to scheme with differing pit strategies to win at Richmond. We’ll look to bet him next week at Kansas, but he’s saying all the right things this week. 


“I feel really good about where our team is at. We have as much potential as anybody in the field if we can just put it all together,” Hamlin said. “Darlington is obviously a great place to get that started with our history there. It would be nice to go in there Saturday, qualifying up front and be able to maintain that throughout the night Sunday. That’s easier said than done, but Chris (Gabehart, crew chief) and everyone on our 11 team is doing everything they can right now, so I’m excited to see it play out.”

Read More Here.....Top-5 Finish prediction on

2022 NASCAR Playoffs Grid


NASCAR Playoffs Predictions

 The green flag to the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs drops on Sunday at Darlington Raceway with 11 of the 16 qualified drivers having a chance to win their first Championship. That’s the thing that struck me first. We’ve got a lot of new faces that have been elevated in the sport with a big assist from the NextGen car and I love it. 

There are five first-time winners this season and they’re all in the playoffs. There are 16 winners overall during the first 26 races with the only one missing the playoffs being Kurt Busch who is suffering from concussion symptoms. It’s the most wide-open playoffs I’ve seen yet in all my years of following NASCAR. Just like the weekly races, anyone can win this thing.

We’re going to have 10 weeks of awesomeness with four drivers being eliminated from championship contention every three races until only four are standing for the Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway on March 6.

Here’s a look at all the candidates to win in order of odds posted by Caesars Palace sportsbooks.


Chase Elliott (5/2) stands alone to win the title. The 2020 Champion leads the series with four wins, 17 top10s, and is tied with two others with 10 top-fives. He’s shown to be good at all styles of tracks and doesn’t even have a road course win yet this season. Because he’s been great at Dover and Nashville, I can correlate that to win at Bristol and Phoenix. And because he won at his hometown track of Atlanta for the first time, I can suggest Las Vegas, Kansas, Texas, and Homestead might be possibilities for wins as well. His calm demeanor is his secret and it translates to running great races when he had only a good car. It’s going to take someone really special to beat Elliott in this format.

The 2021 Champion Kyle Larson (6/1) won 10 races last season. Then NASCAR moves to the NextGen car and now he no longer has an edge. He won at Fontana in Week 2 and Watkins Glen in Week 25, but he also had 10 top-fives showing that perhaps his struggles were more amplified by myself than reality. Would I bet him to win at these prices? No way. The only races I could see him doing well at are Bristol and Phoenix.

Ross Chastain (6/1) is the guy to watch. I’d hope to find better odds than what Caesars is offering but he’s got all the attributes of a cham[pion and it’s been a thrill to watch. After the Atlanta race where he was runner-up in Week 19, he had 10 top-fives to lead the series. He comes into the playoffs still with only 10 top-fives. He had some of his mojo taken away by veteran drivers trying to teach the young whipper-snapper a lesson. But he’s got to get back to being who is which is an aggressive driver. He’s one of my favorites to win it all.

Ross Chastain has failed to see a Top 10 result in seven straight races. (Getty)

Denny Hamlin (8/1) is the sentimental choice to win it all because he’s been so close in the past but never won it. It absolutely kills him inside that he hasn’t won and now he has to sit by all this week and throughout the playoffs to answer questions about how bad it hurts not to win one. “What would it mean to you to win the championship?” But this season hasn’t been great. The new car has made things tougher on him, especially at tracks he’s dominated in the past such as Darlington and Martinsville which are both in the playoffs. His win at Charlotte says he can win at Las Vegas, Texas, and Kansas. His Richmond win shows his team can do some differing pit strategies and try things outside the box to steal a win. His Pocono win taken away by NASCAR’s post-race inspection shows that his team is trying everything they can to find speed, and I like that. The unwritten NASCAR rule is that if you aren’t cheating, you’re not trying.

Read More Here.......Final 4 Prediction on