NASCAR at Atlanta Odds, Betting Pick: The Driver to Bet Right Now & Strategy for Saturday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang PPG (12)
Editor’s note: The 2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as well as next weekend’s race Homestead-Miami Speedway have been postponed.
With concerns surrounding the outbreak of COVID-19, NASCAR announced on Thursday that this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and next week’s event at Homestead-Miami Speedway will still take place, however, both races will run without fans in attendance.
On Friday, it was then announced that this weekend’s race would move to Saturday (2 p.m. ET) with no practice sessions.
For those new to NASCAR, Atlanta Motor Speedway hasn’t been repaved since 1997 resulting in an extremely abrasive surface that wears out tires quickly and forces drivers to manhandle ill-handling racecars later in green flag runs.
But from a betting value standpoint, I’ve noticed that practice sessions at high-tire wear tracks, like Atlanta, correlate more strongly with speed in the race than tracks with little wear.
Generally, I’d make a point not to exhaust my bankroll this early until I’m able to analyze those sessions.
But even with them cancelled, there is one driver I’m locking in now before cars hit the track tomorrow and odds go off the board.
NASCAR at Atlanta Betting Pick
One driver has popped in my research when looking at both performance in this race last year and at Auto Club Speedway, another high tire-wear track, two races ago.
Despite finishing 22nd in this race last year, Ryan Blaney was among the fastest cars on track, posting the fourth-fastest average speed during green flag runs.
In fact, Blaney was tied for third in average speed late in a run last season — trailing just Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson — at high tire wear 1.5-mile tracks, like Atlanta, according to iFantasyRace.com.
Blaney has carried that speed over to this season, and an argument can be made that he’s been ever better in 2020. At Auto Club less than two weeks ago, the driver of the No. 12 Ford ranked second in driver rating, fast laps and laps led.
Still, despite all of this, there are still seven drivers with better odds at DraftKings to win Saturday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
At 12-1 to win, I’m locking in Blaney right now and will fill out the rest of my Atlanta card following practice and qualifying.
The Bet: Ryan Blaney (12-1) to win the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500