By David Caraviello | | 16 mins
Indy 500 Odds, Expert Picks & 2022 Betting Predictions
It’s the biggest auto race in America, full of the requisite pageantry and prestige. The Indianapolis 500 brings the singing of “Back Home Again in Indiana,” the Purdue University band marching around the track, the faces on the Borg-Warner Trophy and the winner’s swig of milk. And casual sports fans and bettors alike wondering—who are these drivers again?
It’s a natural question given that IndyCar racing doesn’t exactly rank among the county’s most-watched sports—except for one Sunday afternoon on Memorial Day weekend, of course. But among the constants at Indy are the car owners who traditionally dominate The Greatest Spectacle of Racing, foremost among them Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske.
And this year the favorite is Honda-powered Ganassi, who owns the two drivers topping the odds boards on betting apps: Scott Dixon and Alex Palou. Dixon, Palou and Ganassi teammate Jimmie Johnson—you may remember that guy from NASCAR—owned three of the 500’s four fastest practice speeds through the track’s first six sessions. Johnson was fastest in four-lap mock qualifying runs, one day before Dixon averaged 234 mph to record the fastest pole run in history.
Indianapolis 500 Odds
|Driver||Win||Top 3||Top 5|
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Indianapolis 500 Betting Tips
While Dixon is considered one of the foremost IndyCar racers of his era, the New Zealander has claimed the Borg-Warner just once (2008) in 19 career starts despite being consistently one of the fastest drivers at Indianapolis. His Ganassi teammate Palou has made just two career 500 starts, but finished as the runner-up to Helio Castroneves a year ago.
The seven-time NASCAR champ Johnson is a 500 rookie, and has struggled for most of his two-season dalliance in IndyCars. But his best career finish (sixth) came on the oval at Texas Motor Speedway in March, and he knows the Brickyard well from his four victories in the NASCAR race at the historic track. The Ganassi stable is rounded out by 2013 Indy champ Tony Kanaan and Marcus Ericsson, who like his teammates has been fast all month.
Elsewhere, Rinus Veekay was the fastest of the Chevrolets in pole qualifying, followed by his team owner Carpenter, who has finished as high as second in the 500 and been consistently fast throughout the month of May. And the Penske cars have been uncharacteristically down on power—Will Power was the team’s best qualifier (11th), and the outfit’s fastest driver through the month’s first six practices was Scott McLaughlin in 23rd.
Indianapolis 500 Best Bets & Predictions
Alex Palou to Win (+600)
Dixon has the pole and his face on the champion’s trophy, but also the pressure of someone who should own more Indy 500 titles than the one he has.
Palou qualified on the front row, has been consistently fast in practice and has none of the baggage of his teammate, swinging our winner’s pick to the Spaniard—who also carries a bit better value on betting sites.
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Marcus Ericsson Top 3 (+500)
You could do far worse than those odds on a Ganassi driver who’ll start on the third row and like his teammates has shown lots of speed throughout his month in Indy.
The Swede has made just three Indy 500 starts (with a best finish of 11th) but earned his first IndyCar podium on an oval track with a third-place finish at Texas in March.
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Ed Carpenter Top 5 (+220)
Fifth last year, sixth in 2019, runner-up in 2018—the 41-year-old Carpenter keeps turning in strong runs at the track his stepfather Tony George once ran. He’s been fast in 2022 as well, with a second-row starting spot and the top overall practice speed through the first six sessions.
And because his team isn’t one of the heavy-hitters, he carries odds that belie a guy with six career top-10s at the Brickyard.
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Indianapolis 500 Time, Date and TV
When: Sunday, 12:45 p.m. ET
Where: Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway