105th Indianapolis 500 Betting Preview

By: Joe Branch
May 28, 2021

It’s here! The 2021 Indy 500 and fans are back.  Excitement is up and betting sites are throwing up odds for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. 

The field is as deep as we’ve ever seen it with nine former winners and a minimum of 20 drivers that could legitimately win this race.  What does that mean for sports bettors? Pure Madness!

For those of you that follow along every week, you know that betting sites often only post winning odds and maybe a few head to head bets for the weekend. 

For the Indy 500 on DraftKings, you can currently bet the winner, the podium, top 5, top 10, 1 on 1 matchups, groups, and all kinds of prop bets! We will still look at our traditional, favorites, value bets, and long shots.  Hopefully that will help in leading you to some solid prop bet wins as well.

Favorites

Defending series champion and last year’s Indy 500 runner up Scott Dixon comes into the weekend as the odds-on favorite to win the race at +350 (3.5 to 1).

3.5 to 1 is a tough bet in a race like this when so many things can go wrong but given the fact that it’s the Iceman, no one would be surprised if he’s drinking milk for the 2nd time of his career this Sunday.

Dixon posing for the “morning after” photos on Monday after securing his fourth Indianapolis 500 pole (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

Colton Herta comes in at +700 (7 to 1). Herta qualified 2nd and has a real chance this Sunday.

He finished 8th last year and has definitely shown that he’s willing to make the risky move to win the race in the last 10 laps if it comes down to that. Herta has had a rocket ship this month and is itching for real race day success at IMS.

A last honorable mention in the favorites category goes to Alexander Rossi.  Rossi has run at the sharp end of the grid at Indy ever since his fuel mileage win in 2016.

He has proven to be one of the guys that can make passes happen even when it seems to be impossible for others in years passed.

Rossi was dicing it up pretty good in the last practice Sunday night and looked pretty good in traffic. He will start the race on the inside of row 4 and is +1400 (14 to 1).

Value

There are so many potential value bets in the field but a few definitely stand out more than most. Let’s start with Tony Kanaan +1600 (16 to 1). TK and Chip Ganassi have had the fastest cars all month.

TK starts fifth and has a lifetime of experience to draw from and get to the end of the race. Double digit odds on a former winner in a fast car with something to prove is a great combination.

Tony Kanaan looks to repeat his 2013 Indianapolis 500 win (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

Ed Carpenter is +2200 (22 to 1).  You may have to read that twice to believe it.  The Indianapolis native starts 4th and Chevy seemed to be faster in race trim throughout the week before qualifying boost.  A ton of value here.

Other value picks worth a look would be the duo from Rahal Lanigan Racing in Graham Rahal at +1800 (18 to 1) and defending Indy 500 champion Takuma Sato at +2000 (20 to 1)

Long Shots

Ed Carpenter Racing has been one of the most impressive teams this month and Conor Daly has +5000 (50 to 1) odds.

Of the three Carpenter cars, Daly has been one of the best in traffic and has been really happy with his car. Could you imagine that mullet in victory lane?

Daly will start 19th on Sunday (Matt Fraver/INDYCAR)

The rest of the long shots would probably need some circumstance to win the race, but both Marco Andretti and Santino Ferrucci are +5000 (50 to 1).  3 time winner Helio Castroneves is +2800 (28 to 1) and starts in the 3rd row. 

Lastly for a real long shot and some huge odds, Stefan Wilson has +15000 (150 to 1) odds. Last time he raced for Andretti Autosport he led the race with five laps to go before having to pit for fuel.

Also J.R. Hildebrand has +20000 (200 to 1) odds. Hildebrand has always been capable at Indy and of course we remember 2011.

Joe’s Picks

Favorites: Colton Herta 7 to 1 to win, 2.15 to 1 for top 3

Value: Tony Kanaan 16 to 1 to win, 4.5 to 1 for top 3

Value: Ed Carpenter 22 to 1 to win, 6 to 1 for top 3

Long Shots: Conor Daly 50 to 1 to win, 12 to 1 for top 3

Extra Long Shots with small bets on Stefan Wilson 150 to 1 to win, 35 to 1 for top 3

Odds from DraftKings as of 5/27

Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR

Published by Spencer Neff

I am a lifelong auto racing fan. Through IndyCar1909, I look forward to sharing my passion for the series and its illustrious history with you.

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