Betting Preview: GMR Grand Prix

By: Joe Branch
May 14, 2021

Back home again, in the month of May!  The NTT Indycar Series is set to race in Indianapolis, in the month of May! This Saturday will be the 10th race on the road course at IMS since its inception in 2014, including the Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader held in the fall of 2020.

Team Penske has absolutely dominated this track. They have won 7 of the 9 races held at the world’s greatest race course.

With the only two outliers being Scott Dixon in the July race of 2020 and the inaugural event which saw Simon Pagenaud take the checkered flag when he was driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports.

The road course at Indianapolis tends to be a race that is fairly pure, meaning there aren’t usually many cautions and overall pace usually wins out.


Given Penske’s success here it is no surprise to see Josef Newgarden come into this weekend as the odds on favorite at +500 (5 to 1).

In July 2020, Dixon earned his first win at the IMS Road Course following three consecutive runner-up finishes (Image by Walt Kuhn/INDYCAR)

5 to 1 is pretty good odds for a favorite in any weekend but I especially like these odds because of how “straightforward” the GP of Indy has been in the past. The championship leader, Scott Dixon comes in at +550 (5.5 to 1).

Good value for a favorite can be found in Will Power this weekend. I expected Will to be the favorite this weekend so his 6.5 to 1 odds are a pleasant surprise. Will has a long history of dominating this race course. Power has four wins in the GP including the last fall race in 2020.

He has also won the pole at Indy in 5 of the 9 races, so if you’re going to bet Power, do it before qualifying as he is sure to be a sharp end of the grid.

Value Picks

As stated above this race is usually straightforward and rarely gets turned upside down by a random caution.

This can make the value picks and long shots less appealing. That being said, there are a few that at least are intriguing.

Graham Rahal has finished second on the IMS Road Course twice, including last year (Walt Kuhn/INDYCAR)

Graham Rahal is at +1800 (18 to 1), Graham has always raced well here, though he has often struggled with the qualifying pace which leaves him with an uphill battle on race day.

In the three races held at the Indy Road Course in 2020, the veteran finished 2nd, 7th, and 7th. He seems to always be there and with a little lady luck, we could definitely see the #15 car riding the lift up to victory circle.

Value can also be found in +2000 (20 to 1) for Alexander Rossi. Rossi hasn’t been as high as 20 to 1 going into a race weekend in a long time.

Rossi’s recent misfortunes in not finishing races so far this season is definitely the reason for the longer odds. However, he finished on the podium in both of the fall races last year at Indy and has proven to have pace this year so this could be a breakout race for him.

Alex Palou can also be worth a look here at +1600 (16 to 1).  Given his pace on old tires at Barber, this race could have a similar feel as it is 85 laps on the 2.439 mile course. 

Long Shots

Harvey earned a career-best start at IMS’ Road Course in 2020 (Second) and his career-best finish (Third) a year earlier (Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR)

I’ve liked this guy as a long shot in several road course races of late, hopefully it pays off eventually, but Jack Harvey is +3500 (35 to 1) this weekend.  This track was Harvey’s breakout race in 2019 with a podium finish.  He has been near the front a few times here and continues to knock on the door of his first win.

        A hail mary of a long shot could be found in Conor Daly +12500 (125 to 1).  Daly has led some laps here in the past however has struggled on pace so far this season. 

Joe’s Picks

Favorites: Will Power 6.5 to 1

Value: Graham Rahal 18 to 1 and Alexander Rossi 20 to 1

Long Shots: Jack Harvey 35 to 1

Odds are from DraftKings as of 5/13 Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR


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