The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs proceed on Sunday, October 1st at the iconic Talladega Superspeedway with the 2023 Yellawood 500. This race is scheduled to get started at 2 p.m. ET. William Byron is coming off a win in Texas last week and heads into Alabama as one of the favorites to win this weekend. He has +1200 odds, while Brad Keselowski sits at +1100. Others expected to contend are Chris Buescher (+1200), Ryan Blaney (+1200), Joey Logani (+1200), and Denny Hamlin (+1400). Chase Elliott was the 2022 winner at Talladega. Below, find the preview and Yellawood 500 picks.
Before we get into the analysis, odds, and predictions for this race, check out our how-to bet on NASCAR page.
Yellawood 500 Odds
The Yellawood 500 is the second race in the Round of 12 for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Dale Earnhardt has the most all-time wins here with seven. When it comes to drivers on the current circuit, Logano's two wins are the best among his peers. He won in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016. Logano was also the playoff winner last season. Chevrolet is the most winningest manufacturer at the Yellawood 500 with 22 victories.
Brad Keselowski (+1100)
It's actually quite interesting to see Keselowski as a favorite. He hasn't won a race since 2021. That doesn't exactly scream success. However, he's won six times overall at the Talladega Superspeedway. There's a track record here for Keselowski. That last victory was in Alabama in 2021 in the spring race. He almost always turns up on superspeedways, too, collecting 188 points on these tracks in 2023. That's the most on the Cup Series circuit. When it comes to recent results, Keselowski is in good form. He's finished top-10 in five straight starts, including a runner-up at Daytona. Keselowski is one to keep an eye on.
William Byron (+1200)
Byron continues to make a case for himself as one of the best drivers in the Cup Series. He just collected his season-best sixth victory in Texas and certainly looks like a contender to take home the title. He was first in the regular season standings and currently sits nine points clear of second place Denny Hamlin in the playoffs. On top of the six wins, Byron has 11 top-fives and 16 top-10s. One could argue he's the most consistent Cup Series driver. As previously mentioned, Chevrolet is dominant at Talladega and that happens to be his manufacturer. In some capacity, Byron is worth betting on this Sunday.
Chris Buescher (+1200)
Buescher had a really good season, finishing third. He's also proven his worth in the playoffs. Buescher has four top-10 finishes in his last six starts, even winning Daytona. The 30-year-old was also third at Darlington and fourth at Bristol. The spring race at Talladega resulted in a fourth-place finish, too. That stands to reason why Buescher has respectable odds for Sunday.
Ryan Blaney (+1200)
Alright, you have to look at Blaney when it comes to Talladega. He's got a mind-boggling four top-two finishes here in his last eight appearances. He was second in the spring race. My only knock on Blaney is his recent form. 28th, 22nd, and 12th. That being said, it's clear Blaney has confidence at Talladega. That could mean he turns up and puts forward his absolute best in the Yellawood 500 picks. Only time will tell.
Denny Hamlin (+1400)
Hamlin is another one who thrives on superspeedways. However, he hasn't doen all that well on these tracks in recent memory. When it comes to Talladega, Hamlin has six top-10 finishes in his last 10 outings here. Hamlin is also probably the most in-form driver in the Cup Series right now. He was second at Kansas, first at Bristol, and fifth at Texas. Don't count out Hamlin.
Chase Elliott (+1400)
We have to discuss the 2022 Yellawood 500 winner. Elliott missed some of the season due to a suspension and an injury, but he's still Chase Elliott, one of the best drivers around. Results in past weeks say he could do well here, too. Elliott has only finished worse than eighth once in the last five races. That was when he was 11th in Texas last weekend. Elliott was 12th in the spring race at Talladega.
Yellawood 500 Picks
The two names I'm eyeing on Sunday are Keselowski and Byron. You could go with both of them to win just to place it safe, but I'll go with top-five finishes. That still offers some respectable odds.