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Denny Hamlin is the favorite heading into Sunday's race at Talladega. And there's a bettor who really thinks that Hamlin is going to get his first win of the season.
Someone has placed a $15,000 bet on Hamlin to win at BetMGM. With Hamlin's odds at +650, the bettor would win a cool $97,000 if Hamlin heads to victory lane. It's at least the second time that someone has placed a big bet on Hamlin to win this year. Someone — maybe even the same person — bet $15,000 on Hamlin to win at Martinsville.
If it's the same person, that bettor would have more than tripled the money he or she bet over those two races if Hamlin wins on Sunday.
The big bet for Talladega means that over two-thirds of the handle — the total money bet on drivers to win Sunday’s race — is on Hamlin to win the race. BetMGM would prefer if any other driver won. It’d get to pocket the money bet on Hamlin and pay out far fewer bets on another driver.
Hamlin is the most-bet driver with 9.1% of tickets placed on him to win. Joey Logano is the second-most popular driver at 6.6% and Matt DiBenedetto is third at 5.9%.
Bettors are also liking low-dollar fliers on Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell; 2.8% of tickets at BetMGM are on McDowell — he has more bets than drivers like Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman and Aric Almirola — but just 0.4% of the handle is on McDowell.
Additionally, someone is taking the chance on a driver winning the race and the first and second stages. BetMGM has taken a $5,000 bet to win $32,000 on a driver sweeping each of the race's three stages.
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