The 2021 GEICO 500 will be the first of two races at Talladega Superspeedway during the ongoing NASCAR season, and the fastest track in stock car racing always provides plenty of excitement for fans and bettors alike. Superspeedway racing means you'll see drivers going door-to-door at three-wide. Multi-car wrecks that level huge swaths of the 2021 GEICO 500 starting grid are almost inevitable. However, familiar names seem to rise to the top of the 2021 NASCAR at Talladega leaderboard regularly. The GEICO 500 2021 begins at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Denny Hamlin is the most recent winner at Talladega and the 13-2 favorite in the latest 2021 GEICO 500 odds from William Hill Sportsbook. Other past winners offering double-digit payouts include Joey Logano (10-1), Ryan Blaney (10-1), Brad Keselowski (14-1), Chase Elliott (10-1) and Aric Almirola (16-1). Before you scour the 2021 GEICO 500 starting lineup and make any NASCAR at Talladega predictions, be sure to see the latest 2021 GEICO 500 picks from SportsLine's proven projection model.

Developed by daily Fantasy pro and SportsLine predictive data engineer Mike McClure, this proprietary NASCAR prediction model simulates every race 10,000 times, taking into account factors such as track history and recent results.

The model began the 2020 season paying out big by picking Denny Hamlin to win his second consecutive Daytona 500 at 10-1. The model also called Kevin Harvick's win at Atlanta and nailed a whopping nine top-10 finishers in that race. McClure then used the model to lock in a 10-1 bet on Hamlin for his win at Miami.

At The Brickyard, the model called Harvick's fourth victory of the season. Then during the 2020 NASCAR Playoffs, the model nailed its NASCAR picks in back-to-back races, calling Denny Hamlin to win at 17-2 at Talladega and Chase Elliott to win at 7-2 at the Charlotte Roval.

During the 2021 season, the model has correctly predicted at least seven top-10 finishers in four of the last six races. Then two weeks ago, it had Martin Truex Jr. at the top of its projected leaderboard at Martinsville, nailing his victory for a 3-1 payout. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model simulated the 2021 GEICO 500 10,000 times. Head to SportsLine to see the complete projected 2021 Geico 500 leaderboard.

Top 2021 GEICO 500 predictions

One shocker: the model is high on Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., even though he's a 25-1 long shot in the latest NASCAR at Talladega odds 2021. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday. Stenhouse has never finished higher than 13th in the NASCAR standings, but he's made a name for himself as a superspeedway specialist throughout his 11-year Cup career.

In 2017, Stenhouse won the GEICO 500 at Talladega and then won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona several weeks later. While those have been his only two trips to victory lane in his Cup career, he's found his way to the front regularly at Talladega. Stenhouse has recorded six of his 19 career top-fives at Talladega and been particularly fond of the spring race, finishing fifth or better in three of the last four GEICO 500s.

Another massive surprise: Kyle Larson, one of the Vegas favorites, stumbles big-time and barely cracks the top 15. There are far better values in this loaded 2021 GEICO 500 starting lineup.

Larson has had a sensational comeback season thus far. In fact, he enters Sunday at sixth in the 2021 NASCAR standings. However, Talladega Superspeedway hasn't been particularly kind to him over the years. He has just two top-10s in 12 Cup starts there and has crashed in three of his last four runs at Talladega.

How to make 2021 NASCAR at Talladega picks

The model is also targeting four other drivers with 2021 NASCAR at Talladega odds of 15-1 or longer to make a serious run at winning it all. Anyone who backs these drivers could hit it big. You can see all of the model's NASCAR picks over at SportsLine.

So who wins the 2021 Geico 500? And which long shots stun NASCAR? Check out the latest 2021 NASCAR at Talladega odds below, then visit SportsLine now to see the full projected 2021 GEICO 500 leaderboard, all from the model that called at least seven of the top 10 drivers in four of the last six races and nailed Martin Truex Jr.'s win at Martinsville

2021 GEICO 500 odds 

Denny Hamlin 13-2
Joey Logano 10-1
Ryan Blaney 10-1
Chase Elliott 10-1
Brad Keselowski 14-1
William Byron 15-1
Kyle Larson 15-1
Kevin Harvick 15-1
Kyle Busch 16-1
Aric Almirola 16-1
Alex Bowman 17-1
Martin Truex Jr. 18-1
Bubba Wallace 20-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 25-1
Austin Dillon 25-1
Christopher Bell 25-1
Kurt Busch 25-1
Ryan Newman 30-1
Matt DiBenedetto 30-1
Tyler Reddick 50-1
Chris Buescher 50-1
Cole Custer 60-1
Michael McDowell 60-1
Ross Chastain 75-1
Daniel Suarez 75-1
Erik Jones 75-1
Ryan Preece 75-1
Justin Haley 75-1
Corey Lajoie 100-1
Chase Briscoe 100-1
Harrison Burton 150-1
Anthony Alfredo 200-1
Kaz Grala 250-1
Timmy Hill 750-1
Josh Bilicki 1000-1
Cody Ware 1000-1
Joey Gase 1000-1
BJ McLeod 1000-1
Quin Houff 1000-1