Honda Indy 200: Betting Preview

By: Joe Branch
July 2, 2021

The NTT Indycar Series heads to Mid Ohio this weekend for the final race before the “Olympic Break” that will have the series off for the next month. 

Mid Ohio has been a place of very few cautions over the past few seasons.  This season the race will be 80 laps, different from 75 in each double header race in 2020 and the 90 lap race that saw a mixture of two and three stoppers in 2019. 

An 80 lap race should make two stops optimal strategy but I’m sure there will be some guys in the back try three stops in hopes of catching the right yellow. Mid Ohio has seen seven different winners in the last seven races.  The last three winners were Colton Herta, Will Power and Scott Dixon.

The Favorites

Josef Newgarden is the favorite coming into this weekend which has been the norm as of late. Newgarden is +400 (4 to 1) to win.  This is actually a pretty good value for a favorite, I would expect Newgarden to qualify well so 4 to 1 is probably the best odds we’ll see on him for the weekend.

In 2019, Dixon earned his sixth Mid-Ohio victory, twice as many as any other competitor in the track’s INDYCAR history (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Scott Dixon is the 2nd favorite at +500 (5 to 1).  He is a six time winner at Mid Ohio! Dixon has been racing well all season but has struggled with the qualifying pace.  5 to 1 is decent value here but it could get even better after qualifying.

The next two favorites are the 2020 winners Will Power +650 (6.5 to 1) and Colton Herta at +700 (7 to 1).  Power is the definition of “due” for a win along with his teammate Josef Newgarden.  Herta has been the one mainstay for Andretti Autosport towards the front of the field.

Value Picks

Points leader Alex Palou comes into the weekend with +900 (9 to 1) odds.  The Spaniard is the only driver to win multiple races this year.  Mid Ohio is also a tight, twisty, and rhythmic course.  The winner will have to make fuel and make the tires last, much like the race at Barber that Palou dominated to kick off the 2021 season.

2018 Mid-Ohio Winner Alexander Rossi finished second in Race 2 last year in a podium sweep for Andretti Autosport (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

Alexander Rossi finished 3rd and 2nd in last year’s double header.  He comes into this race very hungry for a strong result and is +1200 (12 to 1).

Long Shots

There is some solid value in a couple of drivers that are +3000 (30 to 1) in Detroit winner Marcus Ericsson and series veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay.  Ganassi Racing seems to be fast everywhere they go and with their strong history at this track and Marcus’s new found confidence, win number two could be right around the corner.

As for RHR, the word that comes to mind is desperate.  He’s shown pace all season but doesn’t have a single result to show for it.  The pilot of the No. 28 car finished 5th and 3rd in Mid Ohio last year and always seems to show well here.  

A few other long shots that could be fun to bet include Santino Ferrucci at +5000 (50 to 1) and Jack Harvery at +6000 (60 to 1).

Hunter-Reay finished third in Race 2 of last year’s doubleheader, his only podium in the last 27 races (Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

My Picks

Favorite: Will Power (6.5 to 1 to win and 1.8 to 1 to podium)

Value: Alex Palou (9 to 1 to win and 2.5 to 1 to podium)/Alexander Rossi (12 to 1 to win and 3 to 1 to podium)

Long Shots: Marcus Ericson/Ryan Hunter-Reay (30 to 1 to win and 7.5 to 1 to podium)

Odds from DraftKings as of 7/1

Header Image By Matt Fraver/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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