2012 Aaron’s 499 Odds, Free Picks and Predictions – Favorites and Sleepers to Win 2012 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway: NASCAR betting odds to win the 2012 Aaron’s 499 this Sunday, May 6th at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama have been posted at all the major Las Vegas and best online sportsbooks with Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr having been installed as the 10/1 +1000 favorites to win the 2012 Aaron’s 499.
A trip to Talladega Superspeedway should have bettors smiling. Sure, the track is incredibly unpredictable thanks to the three-wide pack racing and the big wrecks that result, but on the plus side, any driver that survives the mayhem has a shot at winning. In other words, upsets happen at Talladega. Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray and Brad Keselowski are just a few of the recent surprise winners at NASCAR’s biggest track. If there was ever a week to throw down some money on a longshot, it is this Sunday’s Aaron’s 499.
April’s race last season didn’t produce a surprise winner, but it did provide a thrilling finish. The race boiled down to a duel between the drafting pairs of Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Richard Childress Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick. Bowyer led the most laps on the afternoon and held a slight edge exiting Turn 4 on the final lap, but one last push from Junior propelled Johnson to a narrow victory. HMS put three cars in the top four spots and all four cars in the top eight.
In the fall event, Bowyer got a little bit of revenge thanks to a little help from his teammate Paul Menard. Menard had spent most of the day drafting with Tony Stewart, who led a race-high 30 laps. However, a final restart setup a showdown between the drafting pairs of Stewart and Menard and Menard’s RCR teammates Bowyer and Jeff Burton. Menard opted not to push Stewart when the field took the green, stacking up the rest of the field and allowing Bowyer and Burton to amass an insurmountable lead. Bowyer eventually slipped by Burton coming to the checkered flag, winning the fall event at Talladega for the second year in a row.
The Favorites – 2012 Aaron’s 499 Odds, Predictions and Free Picks
It has been more than 100 races since Dale Earnhardt Jr. won a Cup Series event, but his long winless drought could finally end this weekend. He is a five-time winner at Talladega, and he finished fourth at the track last April. More importantly, Junior is finally running like the title contender he was expected to be from the day he joined Hendrick Motorsports. He has always been one of the best in the business when it comes to restrictor-plate racing, and Junior could remind everyone of that fact this weekend.
Is there any driver hotter a Talladega than Clint Bowyer? In his last three starts at the track, he has a pair of wins and a second-place finish. Bowyer hasn’t finished outside the top 12 in his last five starts at Talladega, and he has eight top-12s in his last nine starts. Bowyer always seems to be near the front of the field, and considering his last three results, he may just be the man to beat this weekend.
While no driver has perfected a strategy for surviving restrictor-plate races, Kevin Harvick has come about as close as anyone. He has become an expert at charging to the front in the latter stages of events, waiting until after the big wrecks have thinned the field to make his move. The strategy has certainly been successful at Talladega in recent years, yielding three top-five finishes in his last four starts at the track, including a win.
The Dark Horses – 2012 Aaron’s 499 Odds, Predictions and Free Picks
When Brad Keselowski made his Talladega debut, he was a relative unknown in the NASCAR world. After he went to Victory Lane in his first Talladega start, he was on the fast track to stardom. Since the win, Keselowski has remained one of the better drivers at the track, picking up four top-10s in six career starts. He finished fourth at Talladega last fall, and a return trip to Victory Lane could be on tap Sunday.
He settled for third at Talladega last April, but Jeff Gordon knows how to win at NASCAR’s biggest track. He is a six-time winner for his career, and his four victories since the start of the 2004 season are the most in the series. The all-time record for wins at Talladega is 10 by Dale Earnhardt, and Gordon could move a little closer to that mark this weekend.
Sleeper Specials – 2012 Aaron’s 499 Odds, Predictions and Free Picks
Although he runs only a couple of races a year these days, Michael Waltrip is always a threat when he gets behind the wheel at a restrictor-plate track. All four of his career wins in the Cup Series have come at Daytona or Talladega, and in addition to his win at Talladega, he assisted on several of Junior’s trips to Victory Lane. Waltrip has finished in the top 10 at the track as recently as last fall, and bettors shouldn’t mistake his semi-retirement for him being washed up.
There is a lot to love about Paul Menard this weekend. He has finished in the top 15 in three straight starts at Talladega and has six top-15s in his last eight starts. Menard has also finished as high as second at the track and had the added advantage of driving for Richard Childress Racing. The organization has won three of the last four races at Talladega and has finished first and second twice during the stretch. Menard will have excellent equipment to work with this weekend.
Drivers to Avoid – 2012 Aaron’s 499 Odds, Predictions and Free Picks
It would make sense that Matt Kenseth would be a strong option this weekend. After all, he won the Daytona 500 for the second time in his career to open the 2012 season, and like Daytona, Talladega features restrictor plates and pack racing. However, Kenseth’s success at Daytona just has translated. In fact, he has gone 10 straight starts without cracking the top 10 and nine straight starts without finishing in the top 15.
He is coming off a win last weekend at Richmond and is a former winner at Talladega, but bettors should beware of Kyle Busch this weekend. He has a 24.9 average finish at the track and has finished in the top 10 only twice in 14 career starts. Worse yet, Busch has nine finishes of 25th or worse in his 14 starts at Talladega. History says he is much more likely to wreck than to win this weekend.
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2012 Aaron’s 499 Odds – May 6th at Talladega Superspeedway.
Driver Odds to Win the 2012 Aaron’s 499
101 Kevin Harvick +1000
102 Dale Earnhardt Jr +1000
103 Kyle Busch +1200
104 Tony Stewart +1200
105 Jimmie Johnson +1200
106 Jeff Gordon +1200
107 Carl Edwards +1200
108 Matt Kenseth +1500
109 Brad Keselowski +1500
110 Kasey Kahne +1500
111 Denny Hamlin +1500
112 Jamie McMurray +2000
113 Greg Biffle +2000
114 Clint Bowyer +2000
115 Jeff Burton +2000
116 Kurt Busch +2500
117 Martin Truex Jr +3000
118 Ryan Newman +3000
119 AJ Allmendinger +3000
120 Trevor Bayne +4000
121 Juan Montoya +4000
122 Paul Menard +4000
123 Marcos Ambrose +4000
124 Regan Smith +4000
125 Field +1800
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