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IndyCar Bets: Indianapolis 500 Odds, Picks & Predictions (2024)

It’s almost time for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing! Although we’ve still got Carb Day on Friday (I’m publishing this story on Wednesday), I think we know enough to draw some conclusions about this year’s Indy 500. I have two drivers on my betting card for the 2024 Indianapolis 500 — keep reading my IndyCar Series picks and predictions to find out who they are! I’ll also run through the Indianapolis 500 betting odds and preview this year’s race.

IndyCar Bets: Indianapolis 500 Odds, Picks & Predictions (2024)

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IndyCar Series Bets: Indianapolis 500 Odds & Race Preview

Indy 500 Outright Odds

Scott McLaughlin+400+110
Josef Newgarden+550+140
Will Power+650+170
Kyle Larson+700+175
Alexander Rossi+1000+230
Pato O’Ward+1100+260
Alex Palou+1200+230
Colton Herta+1500+400
Scott Dixon+1800+425
Santino Ferrucci+1800+425
Rinus Veekay+1800+425
Felix Rosenqvist+2500+500
Kyle Kirkwood+2500+500
Takuma Sato+3000+700
Helio Castroneves+4000+750
Ryan Hunter-Reay+4000+800
Marco Andretti+6000+1400
Marcus Armstrong+6000+1400
Ed Carpenter+6000+1400
Christian Rasmussen+6000+1400
Callum Ilott+6000+1400
Marcus Ericsson+7000+1400
Odds as of 5/22/24 at 4 p.m. ET.

Indy 500 Race Preview

If you believe the betting odds, this year’s Indianapolis 500 is quite predictable. The three Team Penske drivers, Scott McLaughlin (+400), Josef Newgarden (+550) and Will Power (+650) have no business losing this race. As a team, Penske is +130 to win at Caesars.

So why is the team so heavily favored? In the penultimate practice session, which usually has significant predictive weight, Newgarden ran fastest while Power ran third-fastest. McLaughlin was 21st, but that didn’t matter in qualifying — he won the pole for Team Penske and will start alongside Power and Newgarden on the front row.

However, it’s not easy to win the Indy 500 from the pole. Since 2010, it’s been done just once — Simon Pagenaud, a former Team Penske driver, did so after a thrilling late-race battle between himself, Takuma Sato and Alexander Rossi. While four polesitters won the Indy 500 from 2004 to 2009, the sport was in a different place then due to the collapse of CART and concurrent Champ Car series.

The Team Penske Chevrolets are also likely heavily favored because the field is weaker. Marcus Ericsson (+7000), who won in 2022 and nearly won in 2023, is on a struggling Andretti Global team. He has a high finish of fifth with three results outside of the top 15 and a DNQ at the Thermal Club.

With Ericsson, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves in bad equipment, Pagenaud’s injury and Tony Kanaan’s retirement, Alexander Rossi (+1000), Scott Dixon (+1800) and Takuma Sato (+3000) are the only previous winners of the Indy 500 who look threatening.

The biggest threat to Team Penske appears to be Kyle Larson (+700), who is making his first start in the series. He’ll have a chance to do what Shane Van Gisbergen did to the NASCAR Cup Series last season to the IndyCar Series by winning his debut event. Larson will start fifth, behind his Arrow McLaren teammate, Rossi. Rossi and Pato O’Ward both posted top-10 speeds in the penultimate practice but Larson was back in 28th.

Aside from Larson, Rossi and Dixon, Alex Palou (+1200) is always a threat with Ganassi Racing. He should’ve won the 2022 event and can’t be ruled out, especially with his strong start to the season. That said, he was 19th in the penultimate practice and will start the race in 14th.

IndyCar Series Bets: Indianapolis 500 Picks & Predictions

Indianapolis 500 Bet: Josef Newgarden Runs it Back

Although Josef Newgarden is known as the sport’s premier driver on ovals, he trails his teammate, Scott McLaughlin, in oddsmakers’ eyes for this event. That’s not really justifiable. Newgarden swept the ovals last season with four wins. In 2022, he went 3-for-5, underperforming at the Indianapolis 500 and suffering a mechanical failure in the final Iowa race.

In total, Newgarden has 14 wins on ovals in the IndyCar Series. The sport will visit five ovals for seven races this season, so while he is off to a terrible start in the points, it’s safe to expect he’ll bounce back. He owns the second-best odds to win this year’s title at +500 despite trailing leader Alex Palou by 91 points.

Newgarden’s strong performance in the penultimate practice session is a big-time signal. Since 2016, the fastest driver in the penultimate practice session has finished the race worse than fifth just twice. In 2022, Palou looked to have the dominant car but was penalized on pit road. In 2023, Will Power lost a ton of spots on an early restart and never recovered. Both Palou and Power saw their teammates go on to win the race.

I’m honestly surprised that we’re able to get Newgarden at +600 on BetMGM. I advise playing that line along with him to record a top-5 (-130 on BetMGM). He is in desperate need of a good result, and with his recent dominance on ovals, I expect him to get that much-needed good run this weekend.

Indy 500 Betting Prediction: Josef Newgarden +600 at BetMGM
Indy 500 Betting Prediction: Josef Newgarden T5 -130 at BetMGM

Indianapolis 500 Bet: Don’t Sleep on Santino Ferrucci

In five starts at the Indianapolis 500, Santino Ferrucci has one podium, which came last year, and five top-10s. He has finished better than where he started in each event.

Although Ferrucci hasn’t performed well on road or street courses, big ovals like Indianapolis are his bread and butter. He has one top-5 and two top-10s at Texas in four starts and one top-5 at Pocono in two starts.

Ferrucci and A.J. Foyt Racing appear to be trending in the right direction. Last season, Ferrucci had zero top-10s heading into the Indy 500. This year, he has two — a P9 at St. Pete and a P7 at Barber.

The 25-year-old former F2 driver will start this year’s Indy 500 in P6. He was 15th in the penultimate practice session, which, while not great, didn’t matter last year — he ran 31st before his podium finish.

I’m getting some exposure to Ferrucci to win (+1800 at DraftKings) mostly for fun, but most of my money will be on him to score his sixth-straight top-10 in the event (-130 at Caesars).

Goodyear 400 NASCAR Betting Prediction: Santino Ferrucci +1800 at DraftKings
Goodyear 400 NASCAR Betting Prediction: Santino Ferrucci T10 -130 at Caesars

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