NASCAR Odds, Picks & Predictions for Atlanta: A Featured Matchup With Value for Sunday’s Quaker State 400
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell
For the second time this season, the NASCAR Cup Series visits the newly-reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway, which now races similarly to Daytona and Talladega, for Sunday’s Quaker State 400 (3 p.m. ET, USA).
Because drivers will now race in packs and rely heavily on the draft, the playing field is leveled for cars that might not typically have the speed to run up front, while big wrecks can also result in a much more random finishing order.
With this in mind, I’m eying one featured matchup for Sunday’s race at Atlanta that offers a very capable superspeedway racer at plus money.
NASCAR Pick for Atlanta
*Odds as of Thursday morning
Bubba Wallace and Michael McDowell are both very proficient in the draft.
McDowell has made a career of overperforming at superspeedways, culminating with a win at the 2021 Daytona 500.
Wallace has also posted his best Cup Series results while pack racing, including a victory at Talladega last fall.
But because of the aforementioned randomness that we should see at Atlanta, I’m more interested in McDowell at +115 odds in this matchup.
McDowell has the pack-racing prowess to win the matchup on performance alone, and having the chance to steal it with luck (or bad luck for Wallace) makes the plus-money price an attractive one.
And while Toyota is making a change to attempt to alleviate the pit road problems that have plagued Wallace this season, there’s still enough of a chance that the No. 23 team puts its car in a bad position due to a slow stop or pit road penalty.
The Bet: Michael McDowell (+115) over Bubba Wallace