Sleeper Picks for the 2021 NASCAR GEICO 500

| April 22, 2021 8:51 am PDT

If you’re tempting to gamble on a couple of sleepers for the GEICO 500, rest assured that Talladega has a long history of outsiders and giant slayers.

The action goes down this Sunday, April 25th, at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. So, there is still time to check out the odds for the 2021 GEICO 500 sleepers and value bets. Better yet, you could look through my top value bets for the race and take a punt on those.

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series has had some surprise winners this year, with Michael McDowell, Christopher Bell, and William Byron visiting Victory Lane already. Will the winner of Sunday’s event be another driver with juicy odds?

For the value chasers and longshot merchants out there, these could be the best big odds picks for the GEICO 500 in 2021.

William Byron +2000

Byron clinched fourth place at the 2020 YellaWood 500 in October. 

It was his best-ever return on the track, and he’ll be keen to cast his net even wider this time around. With one win and two top-5s under his belt in 2021, the man behind the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Hendrick Motorsports is in a great position as we approach the summer.

Other than form and a pretty impressive outing in his last appearance on this track, what else makes Byron a top sleeper pick for the GEICO 500 this weekend? Well, he represents the solid value when compared with other drivers on his level. For example, the chances of Aric Almirola +1500 and Kurt Busch +1600 are being oversold at those odds. 

Byron is live and fully charged ahead of this race and deserves his spot as my GEICO 500 sleeper pick. He’s a contender to win, that’s for sure.

Kyle Larson +2200

Those snoozing on Larson’s odds to win the 2021 GEICO 500 could come to rue their misfortune.

There was always going to be questions around just how “Yung Money” would hit the ground in his return to the Cup Series. If his respectable 10th place finish at the Daytona 500 showed us where his head was, his big win in Homestead proved he means business in this campaign.

Results since then have been solid, with a 2nd place at Atlanta and 5th at Martinsville high points. However, he will be very disappointed at failing to come away with the Food City Dirt Race win on March 29.

Larson’s record on superspeedways from his last five Cup Series starts reads 4, 3, 10, 7, 10. But things can be deceiving, as all five were at Daytona. Sure, at Talladega, his record isn’t as impressive, but when he takes the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE to the track for the first time this Sunday, he should look much better.

Larson is a sound 2021 GEICO 500 value bet.

Ryan Preece +3500

Preece stormed to an awesome third-place finish at the 2019 edition of this race.

That was his debut at Talladega, too. He came close to joining the Cinderellas and giant-killers that day but had plenty of time ahead of him to win at ‘Dega. Perhaps this Sunday could be that day, and if it is, a lot of bettors will be sore at losing out on a solid bet. 

Preece makes my 2021 GEICO 500 sleeper picks on account of his steady record here, which reads 18, 15,10 following his first start here in 2019. He pushed his way into the top-10 in October’s YellaWood 500, and I believe he has a genuine shot of upsetting the oddsmakers with an even better performance this weekend.

With odds of +3500, he’s a value bet worth looking at.

Michael McDowell +6600

Finally, we take on the big long shot for the GEICO 500 in 2021.

McDowell is more than deserving of a peek at these odds. The 2021 Daytona 500 winner followed up the Cup Season opener with an 8th place finish at the O’Reilly Autoparts 253 and 6th in the next race Cup Series race at Atlanta. 

The Front Row Motorsports driver will be targeting Talladega for another upset win. And given we have seen our fair share of upsets over the years, with David Ragan’s +10000 victory in 2013 still fresh in the memory, I wouldn’t be shocked to see McDowell triumph on the world-famous track.

McDowell’s combination of threat on superspeedways and chunky odds make him one of the best sleepers for the 2021 GEICO 500.

Where to Bet On the GEICO 500

That brings us to the end of my 2021 GEICO 500 sleepers and value bets.

All four drivers above have legitimate chances of winning Sunday’s Cup Series race at Talladega, although they are sleepers for a reason. Still, if you agree that any of these guys’ chances aren’t exactly in line with their odds, feel free to get your money down with our recommended sportsbooks.

Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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