NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions for Atlanta: Why to Bet Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in Sunday’s Quaker State 400
Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NASCAR makes its return to the newly configured Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400 on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, USA).
Drafting was the name of the game at the first Atlanta race, but it did have an element of 1.5-mile, intermediate track racing, according to the drivers.
The winner back in March, William Byron, used a superspeedway car with an intermediate setup on it.
Given that Byron not only won the race but led 111 of the 325 laps in doing so, other teams may end up copying that. That could shift the dynamics of which cars run up front.
With that in mind, there’s one driver who stands out as a great midweek value bet — regardless of how things may or may not change from that first race.
NASCAR at Atlanta Pick
*Odds as of Wednesday afternoon
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has two wins in his career at drafting tracks.
Yes, both came at the bigger drafting tracks — Daytona and Talladega — and they occurred back in 2017, but this +5000 line at Caesars is still too long for Stenhouse.
For starters, Stenhouse has continued to produce solid results at drafting tracks throughout his career. He has three other top-five finishes, but more importantly, he’s reached the front quite often.
Since the 2017 season, when Stenhouse really figured out how to race at the drafting tracks, he’s led an average of 5.9% of the laps he’s run per race. While that may not sound like much, it’s the eighth-most among drivers entering this Sunday’s race.
While all but one of these 23 starts were at Daytona or Talladega, there’s the one prior race at Atlanta to look at.
In that race, Stenhouse led 22 of the 200 laps he ran before crashing out through a blown tire. That equates to an 11% lap led rate.
Throughout his career, Stenhouse has won two of his 40 drafting track starts, including 2-of-23 since 2017, with several other opportunities to win.
It hurts not having a teammate to help push him to the win, but Stenhouse has proven he can get to the front regardless.
The Bet: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +5000 to Win | Bet to: +3500