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2023 Ambetter Health 400: NASCAR at Atlanta Odds, Picks & Predictions

by March 17, 2023
2023 Ambetter Health 400: NASCAR at Atlanta Picks & Predictions

NASCAR hopes to put a headline-filled week in the rearview as it heads down home to Atlanta.

It began as Kevin Harvick had last week’s Phoenix race slip through his hands due to a late-race caution. If you were like me and holding the Harvick outright ticket, it was brutal. However, he snuck back in for a T5, and all three of the best bets featured here cashed.

But the stir didn’t end there, as NASCAR handed out one of its steepest penalties ever to all four Hendrick Motorsports teams (No. 5, 9, 24 and 48) and the No. 31 Kaulig Racing team for unapproved parts modifications concerning hood louvers. Additionally, Denny Hamlin was penalized for admitting to intentionally wrecking Ross Chastain in the closing laps on his podcast, “Actions Detrimenta with Denny Hamlin.”  

Nonetheless, the show must go on. And what a show it is as we’re heading to what some are calling “the greatest mystery of the NASCAR season.” The recently configured Atlanta Motor Speedway is now a 1.54-mile quad oval that sports the highest banking of any intermediate NASCAR track.

Essentially, it’s superspeedway-like racing on a mile-and-a-half. Though it’s debated whether the teams will use a true superspeedway package, the books are treating it as if it’s one, offering longer odds for us to attack using the following data sets.

  • Recent performance & 2023 statistics
  • 2022 Atlanta No. 1 & 2 finishes & total speed rankings via
  • Daytona 500 finishes total speed rankings

Here’s the card for Hotlanta:

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2023 Ambetter Health 400: NASCAR at Phoenix Odds, Picks & Predictions

All bet recommendations are for 1u.

Top 5: William Byron (+170 via Barstool Sportsbook)

It’s the chalkiest T5 across books, and for good reason. William Byron comes into this race after another hot start, winning back-to-back races and holding second in laps led this season with 240.

Byron won this first Atlanta race last spring and had top-six total speed in both races here, leading a combined 152 laps across the two races. Ranking top-10 in total speed at the Daytona 500, Byron will have the car and means to compete for another win if he can avoid the big ones.

Top 10: Alex Bowman (+130 via Barstool Sportsbook)

Alex Bowman now has four straight top-10 finishes, five if you include the Busch Light Clash. I’ve had the pleasure of riding with the last three. Despite the book still offering plus-money on this wager, I don’t see the No. 48 slowing down anytime soon.

What gives me confidence in the Arizona native is that he’s been fast at all types of tracks this season; short, superspeedway and intermediate. He now also has an extreme chip on his shoulder as NASCAR’s punishment takes shim from first in the points all the way to 23rd.

Bowman finished at the magic number 10 in this race last season and was ranked top-six in total speed in both Atlanta contests. I think he does it again this weekend, helping us cash in once more.

Matchup: Corey Lajoie (-125) vs. Todd Gilliland (-105) via Caesars Sportsbook

We took advantage of mispriced Chris Buescher matchups last week, and we’ll try to do the same here with Corey Lajoie this go-around. The No. 7 driver is having a career year, currently ranking 17th in average finish and is now top 15 in points due to penalties to Bowman and Byron.

Additionally, Atlanta was arguably the 31-year-old’s best track last season. Lajoie finished fifth in this spring race and was a serious contender to win the summer race, leading 19 laps and ranking 13th in total speed.

His opponent in this week’s matchup is second-year Cup Series driver Todd Gilliland, who isn’t much to write home about yet. Gilliland’s average finish this season is 26.8, nine spots below Lajoie’s 17.8, and he has just one T20. With Gilliland’s average finish of 22nd here last season, I’m confident laying at least a unit, if not more, on the No. 7.

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Seth Woolcock is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more sports betting and fantasy sports analysis from Seth, check out In-Between Media and follow him @Between_SethFF.