2021 Nascar Playoff Picks: YellaWood 500 Predictions

2021 Nascar Playoff Picks: YellaWood 500 Predictions

Check out our best betting picks for Nascar's YellaWood 500!

After weeks upon weeks of Kyle Larson sitting atop the Nascar Cup Series standings, Denny Hamlin has overtaken first place following his victory at the South Point 400. Naturally, this shift places greater importance upon our next batch of 2021 Nascar playoff picks, which will be our YellaWood 500 predictions.

Let's take a look at the latest Nascar betting odds, courtesy of the folks over at BetOnline:

DriverBetOnline
Denny Hamlin+800
Joey Logano+900
Chase Elliott+1000
Ryan Blaney+1000
Brad Keselowski+1100
Kyle Larson+1200
William Byron+1200
Kyle Busch+1400
Kevin Harvick+1400
Alex Bowman+1800
Aric Almirola+1800
Kurt Busch+2000
Tyler Reddick+2200
Martin Truex Jr+2500
Austin Dillon+2500
Matt DiBenedetto+2500
Bubba Wallace+2500
Christopher Bell+2800
Ricky Stenhouse Jr+2800
Ross Chastain+3300
Chris Buescher+4000
Ryan Newman+4000
Erik Jones+4000
Michael McDowell+4000
Ryan Preece+4000
Justin Haley+4000
Cole Custer+5000
Daniel Suarez+5000
Chase Briscoe+5000
Corey Lajoie+6600
Justin Allgaier+8000
Anthony Alfredo+15000
Landon Cassill+20000
BJ McLeod+30000
Quin Houff+30000
Josh Bilicki+30000
Garrett Smithley+30000
Joey Gase+30000
Cody Ware+30000
David Starr+30000

Make sure you're double-checking these Nascar odds before committing to any concrete Nascar picks. The lines at BetOnline as well as other top online sportsbooks will move between now and the opening lap at the YellaWood 500.

2021 YellaWood 500 Predictions

  • When: Sunday, October 3
  • Where: Talladega Speedway in Talladega, Alabama
  • Start Time: 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
  • Length: 188 Laps (500.08 miles)

Should Denny Hamlin be the Favorite?

Oddsmakers often tend to favor the winner of the most recent race because they know bettors will be pouncing on them. Denny Hamlin (+800) is indeed benefiting from his victory at the South Point 400, but also gets a bump from his overall elevated profile. His first-place finish was his second win of the season and it moved him ahead of Kyle Larson for the top spot in the Nascar Cup Series standings.

Here's the thing: Hamlin doesn't have the incentive to drive as aggressively at YellaWood. He led for 137 laps at South Point. But that was when he still needed to clinch a place in the Round of Eight. His most recent victory earned him entry into that field, and he's the first driver to secure it.

Sure, Hamlin could be focused on building up his lead in the standings and maximizing his starting spot in future races. But for the next two contests specifically, with a spot in the Round of Eight already sewn up, we see him driving more conservatively.

Denny Hamlin To win the YellaWood 500
+800
BetOnline

Is Kyle Larson Undervalued?

It's funny how recent results can impact the way a driver is viewed by oddsmakers and bettors.

This is the first race in forever for which Kyle Larson (+1200) hasn't registered as the favorite. And we're inclined to call that an overreaction.

Yes, Hamlin has overtaken him in the standings. But it's not like Larson is driving through a rut. He won the Bass Pro Shops Night Race earlier this month and nearly pulled off another victory at South Point. He won Stage 1 and actually held the lead for 96 laps.

"Almost winning" isn't the same as winning. But Larson still has a season-high six first-place finishes to his resume and has routinely been in the hunt even when he doesn't nab the top pole position. He is absolutely a threat to win at YellaWood and should be painted as a serious betting option when he's laying 12-to-1 odds. 

Kyle Larson To win the YellaWood 500
+1200
BetOnline

Better Bet: Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick?

Kyle Busch (+1400) and Kevin Harvick (+1400) enter YellaWood with identical betting odds, and we, for the life of us, cannot understand why.

Indeed, Harvick has improved his driving down the stretch of races in recent runs. But he continues to have zero wins and zero pole-position finishes on his 2021 resume. We've held out hope for him to land a victory in previous races. We cannot bring ourselves to do it in this one.

Even if you want to bet on Harvick, you shouldn't do so at a 14-to-1 price point. Busch provides much better value for that entry. He hasn't finished in first since the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 back in June, but he's remained in the thick of the championship race with 12 top-five finishes and 18 top-10 flags. 

Kyle Busch To win the YellaWood 500
+1400
BetOnline

Official YellaWood 500 Pick

Look, at 12-to-1, Kyle Larson is just too tasty for us to pass up. This is someone who has consistently driven himself to the front of the field and held position for dozens, if not hundreds, of laps at a time. Given that he still technically needs to qualify for the Round of Eight, we expect him to hit the throttle and be ultra-aggressive on the inside from the get-go.

Another name to consider: Martin Truex Jr. (+2500). He has the second-most wins on the season and ranks fourth in the Nascar Cup Series yet checks in as a 25-to-1 because he'll be starting from the rear of the pack after his car failed initial inspection. Though this is certainly a problem, it's not insurmountable. We have seen him race effectively from the back before.

The value being offered by Truex still isn't quite enough to move us off from the Larson pick. He has been the best, most consistent driver of the Nascar season. We see no reason to doubt him now, with the playoffs officially entering crunch time.

OSB Prediction: Kyle Larson (+1200)

Kyle Larson To win the YellaWood 500
+1200
BetOnline

Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your Nascar betting:

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