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Dirty Mo Dough’s 3 Best Bets For Atlanta: 

For the first time in history, NASCAR is starting its season with back-to-back drafting-style tracks, as we head north from Daytona to Atlanta Motor Speedway.  


Since its latest reconfiguration into a high-banked 1.5-mile superspeedway, Hendrick Motorsports has won three of the last four races with two wins coming from Daytona 500 Champion William Byron and one from Chase Elliott. 


What Does The Model Say? 

Tier 1 of The Professor’s predictor model shows Ryan Blaney as the favorite this weekend, followed by William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Chase Elliott. However, the Sportsbooks have Joey Logano (+900) as the odds-on favorite to win, followed by Blaney, Elliott, Kyle Larson, and Brad Keselowski. 


The Professor has Logano ranked sixth and Keselowski ranked ninth in Tier 2 of the model with Larson ranked 13th at the bottom of Tier 2. So, there’s some disagreement between The Professor’s model and the oddsmakers, which means we may be able to create some value on certain drivers. 


Our Best Bets: 

On this week’s episode of Dirty Mo Dough, Steve Letarte suggested the Toyotas would be “monsters” this weekend and I agree. They didn’t qualify well, with the highest Toyota qualifying 12th, but just like Daytona, they’ll race well. 

Top Toyota - Christopher Bell (+420) or Erik Jones (+700) 

It’s hard for me to choose between Bell and Jones here. Bell is a Tier 1 driver according to the predictor and Erik Jones holds the second-best average finish here at Atlanta in his four starts with this configuration. Bell is starting 22nd and Jones is starting dead last in 37th, that means you’re getting great value on these two drivers who showed they can drive up through the field last week. 


Your best threat would be Denny Hamlin (+260), but at that price, he’s just not worth betting to be the Top Toyota. I’ll take my chances with a half-unit bet on Bell and Jones to be atop the Toyotas. 

H2H - Ross Chastain (+100) over Martin Truex Jr. (-130) 

 Let’s be honest, drafting tracks are a crapshoot. The “Big One” can happen at any time and take out half - if not all of - the favorites. That being said, I love to target plus-money matchup bets at tracks like these. This means if you see a head-to-head matchup with a + next to it, the sportsbooks have created some value for you. 


Add in the fact that Martin Truex Jr. has yet to win at a drafting-style track in his career, and this matchup bet holds insane value. Ross also looked really fast last week at Daytona and was one poorly timed move away from possibly winning the Daytona 500. And when he’s not caught up in the Big One, he’s averaging a fourth-place finish here. I’m putting a full unit on this matchup bet. 


FADE - Tyler Reddick, Kyle Larson, and Michael McDowell 

 Sometimes the best bets are the ones you don’t make. Whether you’re a matchup better, a group better, or just a fan of these three, I’d stay away or target to go against them. The predictor shows Larson as a Tier 2 guy, but barely, while Reddick is in Tier 3 and McDowell well into Tier 4. 


Let’s start with Tyler Reddick. He’s in the bottom 10 of my Atlanta power rankings sitting at 24th. Three of his four finishes here in the Next Gen car have been worse than 26th and his success at drafting tracks seems more luck than skill to me.  


Kyle Larson just doesn’t have the results at Atlanta with three DNFs and a 13th-place finish. There’ll be plenty of tracks to hammer Larson this year, but Atlanta is not one of them. 


As for Michael McDowell, I think we’re seeing the peak of what Front Row Motorsports is capable of. Both cars made the final round of qualifying with McDowell capturing his first career pole. It’s a great story but now the sportsbooks have cut his odds in half.  


While his results are far better than Reddick and Larson’s, Atlanta is his worst of the three drafting tracks. Therefore all the value on him is gone now that he’s starting from the pole and the only way to go is down from here. 


P.S. For you Daily Fantasy players, I would target the Toyotas this week. They’re starting near the back half of the fieldbut will be hard-chargers towards the front. Especially Erik Jones who has the opportunity to pass literally every car in the field. 




His friends call him Alex, but you can call him Tampa Timms. He’s a full-time producer, part-time gambler, but his co-workers think sometimes it’s the other way around. He once decided to stay on a boat and fire off bets, rather than hang out in the water with a cold beverage with his friends. 




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