Reality bites.

This isn’t about an annoying movie, rather the reality of losing two straight races and going to NASCAR’s most unpredictable track. If there is going to be a curveball thrown in the 2012 Sprint Cup schedule, this is the weekend. Here’s why.

Eight different drivers have won the last ten races at Talladega. Over the last five years, Mike Bliss and Joey Logano are in the top five among best average finishes. Jeff Gordon, who has two wins here in the last five years, is 13th in average finish among active drivers.

Restrictor plate racing is where upsets happen. Brad Keselowski wins at Talladega with an underfunded team. Trevor Bayne wins at Daytona.  Something special should happen.

Problem is nothing special has happened in 2012. Don’t get me wrong; the racing has been entertaining. But while only one favorite has won all season, those 30/1 long shots have shot blanks. Elite teams are creating elite results. And if that trend stays the course at Talladega, it will probably do so the rest of 2012.

So up a fake 385 after Kyle Busch’s win, here’s are my picks for the sake of entertainment and entertainment alone.

10 fake dollars on Kyle Busch at 12/1
Busch won here; Toyota is hot. Plus if Busch wins, the fans might riot.

10 fake dollars on Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson at 12/1

Because I won’t get those odds all year with these two.

10 fake dollars on Clint Bowyer at 18/1
Of driver who have started ten races here in the last five years, nobody has exceeded Bowyer’s two wins and average finish.

5 fake dollars on Martin Truex Jr. at 30/1
Because Clint Bowyer needs a running buddy.

5 fake dollars on Joey Logano at 30/1
Because Kyle Busch really needs a running buddy.

I feel dreadful about these picks. Of course, this means I’m bound to win. How reality can bite. Here’s what The Spread thinks. Enjoy the race, and insert random catchphrase here.

Dale Earnhardt Jr 8/1
Kevin Harvick 8/1
Jeff Gordon 12/1
Tony Stewart 12/1
Jimmie Johnson 12/1
Carl Edwards 12/1
Kyle Busch 12/1
Kasey Kahne 15/1
Greg Biffle 15/1
Brad Keselowski 15/1
Denny Hamlin 15/1
Matt Kenseth 15/1
Clint Bowyer 18/1
Jeff Burton 20/1
Jamie McMurray 20/1
Kurt Busch 25/1
Joey Logano 30/1
Martin Truex Jr 30/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 35/1
Michael Waltrip 40/1
Paul Menard 40/1
AJ Allmendinger 40/1
Ryan Newman 40/1
Marcos Ambrose 50/1
Trevor Bayne 60/1
Regan Smith 100/1
Casey Mears 100/1
David Ragan 100/1
Dave Blaney 100/1
Landon Cassill 100/1
David Gilliland 100/1
Bobby Labonte 100/1
Aric Almirola 100/1
Field (Any Other Driver) 15/1