The lines are set for Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 (2 p.m. ET/NBCSN/INDYCAR Radio Network) and the initial look appears very favorable. See, the NTT IndyCar Series race at the Pocono Raceway has the usual favorites but because the favorites have been so good lately, it gives the other guys some very good odds to wager on.
Here’s what I mean.
Alexander Rossi races through Turn 3 in 2018 at the Pocono Raceway
The favorites are Josef Newgarden (+400), Alexander Rossi (+400), Will Power (+550) and Simon Pagenaud (+600). Granted, I can make a strong case that any of those four car win, but if you look at what some of the other drivers have done too, they can not only win for themselves, but for your bank accounts as well.
The last 10 winners this season have been either Newgarden, Rossi, Pagenaud or Scott Dixon. They’ve won every Indy Car race since Long Beach in mid April. Power, is +550 and has won two of the last three Indy Car races at Pocono and was second in the other. That’s a good bet this weekend.
Due to their odds, Newgarden and Rossi are very good plays but you can’t play both. Newgarden, has never won in Pocono but does have four consecutive top five finishes on the 2.5-mile oval and five in six tries. His worst career finish on the 2.5-mile track is eighth while his best is runner-up twice. He won on another superspeedway at Texas back in June and was fourth back in May at Indy. Strong choice there.
Rossi, won this race last year while leading 180 of the 200 laps to go along with two runner-ups on two superspeedway tries this yea. But, he enters down a bit. Since the start of July, Rossi has scored just one podium. If you go back six races, he’s only led just 57 total laps.
Pagenaud’s Indy win is big but he was only sixth in Texas back a June. He also has just one top five finish in seven Pocono tries, albeit he does have five top eight finishes in six tries there too.
Out of the favorites, I’d rank them Newgarden, Power, Rossi and Pagenaud in that order.
Let’s look at some sleepers now. These are the money values.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (+1500) is strong here. He finished eighth in Indy and fifth in Texas. He has three top eight finishes in his last four Pocono starts including a win in 2015. He also enters with a third place run in the last race of the season at Mid-Ohio.
Don’t sleep on the Rahal/Letterman/Lanigan Racing duo either. Both are confident heading into this weekend with what they feel like is a big step up from gains made in the engineering department. Graham Rahal (+2500) says this is his best shot at success at Pocono as he finished a strong third at Texas two months ago and was involved in a crash with Sebastien Bourdais with 24 to go in the Indy 500 while battling for a spot inside of the top seven. Also, Rahal enters this weekend on the heels of seven consecutive top 10 finishes on the season and nine in the last 10 races overall. His teammate Takuma Sato (+2500) came home third in the Indy 500 and had a rocket ship at Texas in leading 60 early laps before making a costly error on pit road. If both stay out of trouble on Sunday, then they’ll be in contention.
The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Santino Ferrucci (+4000) and Sebastien Bourdais (+5000) are very good plays too. You don’t have to wager much to win a lot and both have been good on superspeedway’s this season. Ferrucci, finished seventh in Indy and fourth in Texas. That trend says he will win on Sunday. Also, the fact that he has better odds than Bourdais is a statement since Bourdais finished fifth in this race in 2017 and fourth last year. He was also eighth at Texas in June after starting third. He also qualified seventh in Indy before that crash with Rahal as mentioned above.
Another good play would be Tony Kanaan (+10000) this week. I mean, why not? He has scored his best results on ovals this year as his only two top 10 finishes were on two of the three oval starts. He has led at least one lap in all but one Pocono start and heads to the Tricky Triangle this weekend confident in his chances.
I also would make a play on the Carlin duo too. Charlie Kimball was running really well at Indy in May before getting caught up in that Rahal/Bourdais incident. He finished ninth in this race last year and was runner-up in 2013. His teammate for this weekend in Conor Daly finished 11th at Texas and 10th in Indy. Both are (+20000).