NASCAR Betting Guide: Ambetter Health 400

Bubba Wallace combines superspeedway skills with speed on 1.5-mile tracks. What's the best route for betting him this week in Atlanta?

If you're trying to bet the NASCAR Cup Series in Atlanta, it's important to acknowledge how flippin' weird this track is.

It's just 1.5 miles long, which is roughly average for the circuit. But after a renovation in 2022, the series will be using a superspeedway package here for just the third time.

It's part 1.5-miler, part drafting track. When you mash them all together, you get a whole lotta chaos.

In the first two Atlanta races, we saw Hendrick Motorsports win both times, an indicator that speed matters. But there was also a 32% incident rate, and Corey LaJoie nearly won one of the races on a much lesser team than Hendrick.

In other words, it's just as weird and Frankenstein-y as we all thought it'd be.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. If we're confused, so are bookmakers, and it can give us potential spots for value. By combining strength on pack tracks with teams that should be at least able to keep pace on a 1.5-mile track, we should be heading down the right path.

I think some drivers fit that bill this week. Let's run through the optimal ways to bet them based on the NASCAR betting odds at FanDuel Sportsbook for the Ambetter Health 400, and we can circle back if anything else pops up post-qualifying.

Bubba Wallace to Podium (+650)

(UPDATE: Wallace has since shortened to +600 to podium (14.3% implied). I have him at exactly 14.3% post-qualifying, so I'd hold off if you didn't already place this bet.)

If you can find Bubba Wallace longer than +2000 to win, I'm in. I'm showing slim value on him at that mark at FanDuel (5.3% for me versus 4.8% implied), so if you can inch that out a bit, I'd bite.

But with FanDuel giving us extra wiggle room on his podium odds at +650, I think that's the preferred bet here.

I've got Wallace's podium odds at 14.9%, up from 13.3% implied. He sits there because he blends the two key aspects of this track: 1.5-mile speed and drafting acumen.

In Las Vegas (the other 1.5-mile track this year), Wallace logged an eighth-place average running position and parlayed a late caution into a top-five finish. He also notched a win in Kansas last year, another 1.5-mile track.

He's best known for his superspeedway skills, though. Wallace won Talladega in 2021 and has logged 5 of his 12 career top-5s on pack tracks. This is the exact kind of profile I want here, so pick your preferred market on Wallace and add him to your betslip.

Erik Jones to Podium (+1100); Jones to Finish Top 10 (+250)

(UPDATE: Jones has since shortened to +1000 to podium and +150 to finish top 10. I still have value on the podium bet -- 11.8% for me versus 9.1% implied -- but the top-10 bet is no longer a value. I do have Jones at 3.8% to win versus 2.6% implied at +3700, so I'd be inclined to swing for the fences if you didn't snag this mid-week.)

The story with Wallace is similar to what we've got with Erik Jones: I like him outright at +3000. And you can still get him at +3500 elsewhere, a number I love if you have access.

If not, he's undervalued both to podium and finish top 10 at FanDuel.

Typically, podium odds will be one-fourth as high as outright odds (aka if a driver is +1000 to win, they'll be +250 to podium). You're paying a tax for extra security.

For Jones, though, his implied odds of podiuming are just 8.3% compared to his implied win odds of 3.2%. We're getting a nice discount, one I'm happy to take.

Jones and Legacy MC have struggled to start the year, but they haven't been far enough off to give us pause. He still managed a top-16 average running position in both Fontana and Las Vegas despite starting in the back half of the field for both.

Last year on superspeedways, Jones was a stud. He was less than a lap away from winning Talladega, and he had a top-15 average running position in all six races. He converted on those good runs, too, finishing sixth or better three times, including in the second Atlanta race.

As a result, I have Jones' podium odds up at 14.4% versus 8.3% implied. His top-10 odds are 41.3% versus 28.6% implied.

This is a spot where I'd layer the bets, putting more money on the top-10 odds to ensure a profit if he runs well while adding a bit on the podium bet (and potentially the outright) to give yourself more upside should he truly nail it. Either way, he's undervalued as it stands now.

Austin Dillon to Finish Top 10 (+360)

(UPDATE: Dillon has since shortened to +150 to finish top 10. I have him at 25.7%, so he is no longer a value.)

If we're valuing pack-racing skill, this number stands out as being odd. Austin Dillon is a two-time Daytona winner and nearly did it again this February. He was also runner-up in the first Talladega race last year. He's very good in the draft.

And it's not as if this team lacks speed. His teammate, Kyle Busch, had the clear best car in Fontana (a race where Dillon also finished top-10). And Dillon, himself, finished 14th or better in all but two races on 1.5-mile tracks last year. So even skewing things a bit toward that track type shouldn't ding him.

My model has Dillon's top-10 odds at 25.3%, up from 21.7% implied, and I think I'm more likely to be too low on him than too high. As a result, I'm willing to take this one and bet on another guy with proven superspeedway skills.

Corey LaJoie to Finish Top 10 (+500)

(UPDATE: LaJoie has since shortened to +230 to finish top 10. I'm well below that, so I'd pass if you didn't get in earlier in the week.)

Typically, I'd be wary of a Spire Motorsports car in this setup. I expect speed to matter a bit more, and they don't typically have it.

But Corey LaJoie's runs at this track last year and his early-season speed in 2023 move the needle.

LaJoie nearly won the second Atlanta race. He led 19 laps and had a 14th-place average running position, though a last-lap block jettisoned him back to 21st. He did finish fifth in the first Atlanta race.

In Fontana, LaJoie started high in the order after qualifying was rained out. But he held his own and wound up with a 14th-place average running position. He was at least respectable the following week in Las Vegas.

I think that should give us confidence in him. The model agrees, putting his top-10 odds at 20.1%, up from 16.7% implied. We've seen enough here where we should be willing to side with what the numbers are saying.

Ty Gibbs to Finish Top 10 (+600)

(UPDATE: Gibbs has since shortened to +300 to finish top 10. I'm a good chunk below that, so this one is no longer a value.)

I'm still skeptical of Ty Gibbs at superspeedways. He's racing against guys who have been doing this for decades, and this is just his age-20 season.

It's just hard to say no to a driver in a car this fast with top-10 odds this long.

Last year, Gibbs ran six races on pack tracks in the Xfinity Series. He finished top-10 in three of them and was 11th in another.

His one win? It came right here in Atlanta.

Now, that's far from a stellar track record, given the Xfinity Series has lower incident rates on pack tracks. But it does mean his experience is growing, something he desperately needs.

When you put that in Joe Gibbs Racing equipment at a track where speed matters a bit more, you do get decently high top-10 odds at 22.5%. He's unlikely to win the race, but simply finishing top-10 isn't a huge ask. With his implied odds here at just 14.3%, I'm willing to close my eyes, bet on this team, and hope Gibbs keeps his nose clean for 400 miles.

Post-Qualifying Addition: William Byron Over Kyle Larson (-108)

With Kyle Larson's betting odds so much shorter than they should be on this track type, we should look for a route to fade him. This is the best path in my eyes.

Since the start of 2019, Larson's best finish on a pack track is fourth. William Byron has two wins and two runner-ups in that same timeframe. Byron is definitively the better pack racer.

If Atlanta skews toward a 1.5-mile track, Byron has proven he'll be fine there, as well. He won Las Vegas over Larson just a few weeks ago. They're in the same equipment, so we can afford to bet on skill. At this track type, that favors Byron.

Byron ranks second best by my model post-qualifying, trailing just Ryan Blaney. This bet allows me to exploit that without betting his outright (+1000), which is too short for me while simultaneously betting against Larson at a track type he dislikes.