INDIANAPOLIS – The biggest race of the year is here for the NTT IndyCar Series. With betting becoming legal now in a lot of the places in the United States, including Indiana, this should be one of the bigger races that fans can put some money down on for the series.
So, who do you bet on?
Here’s some advice for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. ET/NBC/INDYCAR Radio Network).
Alexander Rossi (+750)
He’s at his best in Indy. He was the favorite last year despite starting in the last row. Rossi, won the race as a rookie in 2016 and has finished seventh and fourth respectively since. He also has three top fives in his last five starts on the season to go along with winning the last superspeedway race at Pocono last August. He’s having a good month and rolls off ninth on Sunday.
Simon Pagenaud (+800)
He’s coming off of a win in the INDYCAR Grand Prix and is searching for his first ‘500 triumph. It just feels like this could be his year. Pagenaud, finished sixth in last year’s race and is always around the top 10 at Indy. He was fastest on Monday and will come from the pole.
Ed Carpenter (+1000)
He has to win one of these years right? Carpenter started on the pole and led a race high 65 laps last year in a runner-up effort. The Indianapolis native goes all out for this race and consistently has a car capable of winning. He has been fast all month and starts the race second.
Helio Castroneves (+1000)
You can never overlook Castroneves. In his first three starts for the ‘500, he finished first or second in each. In his first 10 tries, he had a top 10 in nine of them. But, over his last eight, he has just four top 10’s but two of which were close runner-ups. He wants a fourth Indy 500 crown. He will come from Row 4, as three of his four prior starting spots outside of the top 10 at Indy have seen him finish 1st or 2nd.
Spencer Pigot (+1100)
ECR has good superspeedway cars at Indy. Spencer Pigot make the Fast Nine last year and will start on the Front Row this year. Take him at these odds too.
Marco Andretti (+1400)
50th anniversary of his grandfather’s Indy 500 triumph. Andretti, is at his best at Indy including scoring five top four finishes. History is on his side. He starts 10th.
Takuma Sato (+1600)
While he’s a past winner (2017) that’s Sato’s only top 10 in nine tries. He’s crashed out in two of the last three years here too. But, he’s been fast this month with being in the top three in three of the last four practices.
Ed Jones (+1700)
Yes, he failed in last year’s race at Ganassi but he did finish third in 2017 with Dale Coyne Racing. Now, he’s with ECR and shining. He was quick all month and qualified in the fourth position.
Sebastien Bourdais (+2000)
The Frenchman will admit that superspeedway’s aren’t his finest tracks. Bourdais, has two career top 10 finishes in seven Indy tries including both being in his last four starts. But, he’s only led four total laps. He made the Fast Nine but does he have a shot of winning? I think so. Bourdais was in the top six in four of the six practice sessions.
Tony Kanaan (+3000)
The 2013 Indy 500 champion said going into this season that his only shot to win was the Indy 500. Last year, he started in Row 4 and if not for a cut tire, was well on his way to at the very least, a top three finish. Kanaan, has two top five results in his last three ‘500 starts and five in the last eight. Despite saying on Monday that his car wasn’t capable of winning, his team made changes that Kanaan needed and he’s since said that this is his best chance of winning since 2013.
Conor Daly (+5000)
Throw out his past Indy 500 stats as those were all with cars having no capability of winning. The car he’s is now, well it does. Daly, is a great racer and has a shot to show us what he can do. The extra Andretti car has led laps in five of the last six ‘500s to go along with putting three drivers as Rookies of the Year in the past six years too. He qualified a career best 11th and says he has a good car on long run speed. Watch out for Daly to climb up steadily to the front.
JR Hildebrand (+5000)
Here’s another one off with a shot. Hildebrand, finished 11th with this team last year. He also has four top 11 finishes in his last five Indy 500 tries. He’s been solid this month so far.
Charlie Kimball (+15000)
He’s a very underrated Indy driver. Kimball, has four top 10 finishes in his last seven Indy 500 starts. He was third in 2015 and fifth in 2016. He’s been in the top six of practice in four of the last five sessions.
Be Wary Of These Drivers
Will Power (+750)
No one is as good on superspeedways now than Power. He’s the defending Indy 500 champion and has more wins since 2016 on superspeedway’s than anyone else in the series. Power, also has four top 10 finishes in his last five Indy 500 tries including two of those being in the top two. He starts sixth on Sunday. But, we’ve only had a repeat winner just once since the 1970 and 1971 and his car isn’t to his liking yet.
Josef Newgarden (+800)
For the odds, this is risky. Newgarden, has struggled in the past at Indy. Yes, he finished third in the 100th Running in 2016 but that’s his only top five in seven tries. His last two finishes are 19th and eighth respectively. He does start in Row 3 though but was in the top five just twice in practice.
Scott Dixon (+1000)
He’s due for a big win but for these odds, is it worth the gamble? Dixon, has scored just one Indy 500 triumph but that came all the way back in 2008. Chip Ganassi Racing hasn’t won a ‘500 since 2012. So, why will this year be Dixon’s yet? Well, he finished third in this race last year for his third top eight in his last four tries. On the season, Dixon has four podiums in five tries. But, he’s not having a very quick month and has his worst starting position of his career at Indy.
Ryan Hunter-Reay (+1600)
Hunter-Reay is a past Indy 500 champion (2014) and has led a lot of laps here recently. The Andretti Autosport driver has led at least one lap in five of his last six tries. He also has three top five results including a fifth place run a year ago in his last six Indy 500 starts. Unfortunately, he’s not having a very good month so far and starts outside the top 20. His shots are long.
Graham Rahal (+2500)
He’s never won the ‘500 before but Rahal has four straight top 15 finishes in the big race including 10th last year. He’s also led laps in each of the last two years here too. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had a real quick car this month.
Felix Rosenqvist (+5000)
This car has been dominant at Indy in the past. While Rosenqvist may be a rookie, this car that he’s driving has led laps in nine of the last 11 Indy 500’s. Unfortunately, he just hasn’t had it this month since his crash last week.
Zach Veach (+5000)
Yes, it’s an Andretti car, but he’s only finished 26th and 23rd respectively in the ‘500. Plus, Veach hasn’t finished better than 12th all year and starts towards the back.
James Hinchcliffe (+5000)
He’s the ultimate redemption story right? He nearly got killed in a practice accident in 2015 only to return to win the pole in 2016. He missed out on the race last year only to come back and…win? Hinchcliffe, finished seventh in this race in 2016 and has led at least five laps in four of his last five Indy 500 starts. On the season, he has three top 10’s in five tries. But, no one has won this race from the last row before.
Sage Karam (+6000)
One of these years, he’s going to finish this race again. If he can, he’s going to win. Karam, consistently starts mid pack for the ‘500 and he consistently finds his way to the front. If he can finish, he can win. Unfortunately, he’s coming from the back row and a winner has never won from there before.
Matheus Leist (+10000)
The Brazilian finished fourth in the INDYCAR Grand Prix and had his best race of the year last year at Indy. He started in Row 4 and finished 13th. This is his lone shot to contend but Kanaan doesn’t think they have the cars to though.