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GEICO 500: NASCAR Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 5/1/16

2016 GEICO 500

GEICO 500: Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 1:00 pm (Talladega Superspeedway)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FOX

This week we head to Talladega for the GEICO 500, a race that is known for multiple wrecks and multiple winners. Jeff Gordon leads this race with four victories, a feat he accomplished in just seven years.

Let’s try to avoid the carnage and pick yet another Nascar winner.

GEICO 500: NASCAR Odds, Pick, Predictions, Dark Horses - 5/1/16

USA TODAY Sports

Here are some racers to consider putting onto your card this week.

Brad Keselowski - Brad Keselowski has three victories at the Talladega Superspeedway, which includes a 2009 and 2012 win at the GEICO 500. Keselowski has had more recent success in the fall race on this track, but he’s still finished 15th or better in six of his last nine appearances in Talladega. In fact, Keselowski’s first Sprint Cup victory came on this very tack back in 2009. Keselowski has been a middle of the pack driver the past couple of weeks but there’s no denying his history here. I’ll take a shot for the 32-year-old to win his second race of the 2016 season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Speaking of success on this track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not only the defending champion at the GEICO 500, but he’s finished runner-up or better in three of his last five appearances at the Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt has won in Talladega six times over the course of his career. Earnhardt is somebody to have on your card every week until he gets that first victory, as he’s placed in the top-10 in five of the first nine races. Victory lane isn’t far behind and given his success on this track, Earnhardt has to be the overall favorite this week.

Paul Menard - I’m going to include Paul Menard on the card this week after giving him a break the past couple of weeks. Menard hasn’t finished better than 15th the last three weeks, but there’s no denying his car runs very well in Talladega. In four of his last five appearances at the Talladega Superspeedway, Menard has finished sixth or better, including a third-place finish in last year’s GEICO 500. Take it back a little further, and Menard has finished 17th or better in eight of his last 11 appearances at Talladega. Yes, Menard doesn’t have a ton of overall Sprint Cup success, but you always have to consider giving him a look when he races in Alabama.

Matt Kenseth - Matt Kenseth is coming off a solid performance last week in Richmond and hopes to build on that after a shaky start to the 2016 season. Kenseth has four top-10 finishes in his last eight appearances at the Talladega Superspeedway. That includes a victory in the 2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500. Kenseth has become a regular of sniffing victory lane when the race is in Talladega, and we all know he could use a victory this week to kind of get his season back on track. I like Kenseth to have another impressive showing this week, which is why he’ll be on my card.

Aric Almirola - Aric Almirola hasn’t shown us much this season to consider him for a victory, but it’s what he’s shown when he races on this track that makes him the big sleeper this week. Almirola finished 15th and 16th in his two races here last season and has finished 16th or better in four of his last six appearances in Talladega overall. That includes a top-10 finish in the 2013 Aaron's 499. It’s been awhile since Almirola has really come close to getting a victory in Sprint Cup, but if you’re looking for a real dark horse this weekend, Almirola and his consistency on this track make him a solid play.

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