Denny Hamlin celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Pocono Raceway, in Long Pond, Pa. Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick flipped their 1-2 finish in Pocono’s doubleheader weekend last year but they each come back for this weekend’s races winless and trying to chase Kyle Larson. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
- Kyle Larson is a big favorite this week at the Quaker State 400 on July 11th, 2021
- Both Busch drivers could finish well this week but Kurt Busch as a top ten pick may be worth a look again on Sunday
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday afternoon’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway
NASCAR goes back to Atlanta with a Sunday afternoon road race after last week’s race in Wisconsin, where Christopher Bell ran a surprising runner-up to Chase Elliott. Kyle Larson is the +225 favorite in the Quaker State 400 odds at the 1.5-mile course at Atlanta after leading 269 laps in the Spring race.
Kyle Busch (+750) could once again be an interesting pick in Atlanta. His odds to finish in the top three are listed at +200. Also, watch for drivers like his brother Kurt on the 1.5-mile motor speedway as well as Christopher Bell (+900) a top-three long shot.
Let’s take a look at the odds for the NASCAR Quaker State 400 and figure out which drivers are the best bets.
Quaker State 400 Odds
|Driver||Odds to Win at DraftKings||Odds to Finish Top Three||Odds to Finish Top 10|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1000||+250||-240|
Odds as of July 8th
Kyle Larson Favored to Win at Atlanta
NASCAR drivers run on the 1.54-mile-long speedway when the flag drops for the Sunday afternoon race beginning around 3:30 PM EST. Some crazy incidents have occurred to Larson of late, including a collision with teammate Alex Bowman at Wisconsin and a blown tire on the last lap at Pocono. Despite this, the No. 5 did not win at Atlanta, but he did finish in second in March. The Hendrick Motorsports Racing driver did lead 269 laps.
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Though Larson has had a dominant car the last couple of months. The previous few weeks have seen Joe Gibbs Racing and other teams have caught up.
He has the speed and downforce to dominate the Atlanta race (average finish of 7.67), and the scary part is that unfinished business from March.
Kyle Larson is starting in 6th. That’s the same position he dominated from this spring.
— Ryan (@ifantasyrace) July 7, 2021
The Hendrick Motorsports Racing driver was great at staying near the front of the field. Kyle Larson may have the faster car, but the other teams have caught up a little even on the high tire wear 1.54-mile track.
Quaker State 400 Recent Winners
|Year||Race Winner||Pole Position||Most Laps Led|
|2020||No race data — Old Race in Kentucky||No race data||No race data|
The good news is that again this is a new race but an added second race for the Atlanta Motor Speedway. In March, Ryan Blaney surprised many by holding off Kyle Larson in the final laps. It marked yet another Ford winning the late winter/early spring race. The last five events in Atlanta have all been won by a Ford.
Should Kyle Busch Be Almost a Co-Favorite?
Sports bettors have little history to draw on as the summer race shortens in Atlanta to 260 laps for the first time. The younger Busch has taken another turn in the NASCAR Cup Series odds, and the No. 18 has contended in five of the last six races. That includes a win and four other top-five results. The first Atlanta race in March saw Busch start back in 19th and move his way up the field to 5th despite not leading a single lap.
NASCAR Cup at Atlanta starting lineup: Chase Elliott is on the pole with Kyle Busch in the front row. pic.twitter.com/oxvYsx5Jla
— Alex Andrejev (@AndrejevAlex) July 7, 2021
Give Kyle Busch a ton of credit. He gets to start second on Sunday. With a much better starting position, this may set up the Joe Gibbs Racing driver to lead some laps. His car has improved speed wise and again he had success at the Pocono Tri-Oval two weeks ago — finishing second and first. Though that was not an intermediate track, it is significant because Busch has shown an ability to drive well with high-wear tires and tri-oval banking conditions.
Can Denny Hamlin Win a Race Already?
The driver of the No. 11 has been rather good at being in a position to win on intermediate tracks and finished fourth at Atlanta in March. He even had the pole then. Now, he starts from third on Sunday afternoon. Hamlin is fourth with an average position of sixth in his last four races from Hampton, Georgia (three top-tens). The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has one odd stat below from April.
Hamlin has led 694 laps this year. Bowman has led 11 — the opening lap of the Daytona 500 and the final 10 laps today.
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 19, 2021
Since then, Hamlin has led just 74 laps but maybe starting to right the ship some with four top-ten results (two top-fives) in his last six races. The driver holds a slim three-point lead over Kyle Larson.
While some will debate that there are better candidates out there to do well, there is a reason why drivers like Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are at the same on the odds list as Hamlin. Since 2018, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has done quite well on this Atlanta speedway. The problem with Truex Jr. and Harvick is that they have struggled a bit. Truex Jr. finished outside the top ten at Pocono and ninth in the spring at Atlanta. Harvick wound up 10th in March.
The Picks: Denny Hamlin to win (+1000); Ryan Blaney to finish Top Ten (-210); Kurt Busch to finish Top Ten (+105)
Top Pick: Kyle Larson to finish Top Three (-155)
Longshot: Christopher Bell to finish Top Three (+900)
A journalist veteran for over two decades, Chris has taught the gamut of fantasy hockey sports online from injuries to news to prospects, and more. He has bet on several sports and written sports betting articles about the NBA, MLB, NCAA football, the NFL, and NHL for USA Today.