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Raptor King of Tough 250 Predictions: Is Austin Still King of the Hill?

Written by: Reid Spencer
Published February 23, 2024
8 min read
  • Xfinity cars draft in packs at Atlanta, but straight-line speed is decisive

  • Heavy favorite Austin Hill just added to his resume on superspeedways

  • John Hunter Nemechek goes for second straight Atlanta win on Saturday

Raptor King of Tough 250 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Join DraftKings today and claim the Get a No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000 offer.

Driver Odds
Austin Hill +380
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John Hunter Nemechek +750
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Justin Allgaier +850
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AJ Allmendinger +850
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Cole Custer +900
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Sheldon Creed +1100
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Riley Herbst +1100
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Parker Kligerman +1200
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Sam Mayer +1400
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Sammy Smith +1600
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Ryan Truex +1600
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Our Picks for the Raptor King of Tough 250

Raptor King of Tough 250 Predictions

Raptor King of Tough 250 Predictions

Yes, Atlanta Features Pack Racing, But Straight-Line Speed Rules

If you really want to wait for a strong clue as to the winner of Saturday’s Raptor King of Tough 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, hold off betting until after time trials on Friday afternoon.

After a 2021 repave of degraded asphalt on the 1.54-mile track, NASCAR instituted its superspeedway competition package at Atlanta. That means reduced horsepower and close-quarters racing in an aerodynamic draft.

But don’t be fooled. Theoretically, superspeedway racing expands the universe of possible winners. However, in all four races since the repaving and reconfiguration of the track, the winner has come from the top five in qualifying.

Waiting to bet until after qualifying will give you great insight, but the odds will also adjust accordingly. So it might be wiser to assume who might be fast in time trials. Austin Hill, John Hunter Nemechek, Justin Allgaier, and Cole Custer likely will fall into that category.

Austin Hill Proved Once Again That He’s the Superspeedway King

We steered you away from Austin Hill last week, not because we didn’t think he would win the season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona, but because his short odds didn’t justify the risk of picking him.

Hill, however, overcame a litany of issues—a flat tire, a pit road speeding penalty and a crash—to win the opener for the third straight year.

Once again, Hill is the favorite as the Xfinity drivers take to the track at Atlanta in the second leg of a Saturday doubleheader. And once again, we can’t recommend betting on the Richard Childress Racing driver at +380 via DraftKings Sportsbook.

The odds are just too puny—and Hill can’t win two superspeedway races in a row, can he?

Most Recent Race Winner John Hunter Nemechek Gets Our Nod

The way we figure it, John Hunter Nemechek has almost as good a chance of winning on Saturday as Austin Hill.

After all, Nemechek won last year’s summer race and is looking for two in a row at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Nemechek has stepped up to full-time NASCAR Cup Series racing with Legacy Motor Club this year, but the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota he’ll drive in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race is the same equipment he took to Victory Lane last season.

Accordingly, picking between Nemechek and Hill is easy, given that Nemechek is priced at a much more favorable +750 via DraftKings.

We also like Nemechek’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Ryan Truex, to finish in the top three at +500 via DraftKings. Truex has finished third in his last two Atlanta starts.

How to Watch the Raptor King of Tough 250

  • Race: Raptor King of Tough 250

  • Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway

  • Time: Saturday, February 24, 5 p.m. ET

  • How to Watch: FS1

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AUTHOR

Reid Spencer

218 Articles

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]

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