By: Joe Branch
August 13, 2021
It feels like we’ve been here before…. A lot. This weekend the NTT Indycar series will race on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They will race on Saturday at 12:30 EST and will be followed by the Xfinity Series later that afternoon. Qualifying for the NTT Indycar Series will take place Friday night at 7 PM EST.
This will mark the 5th race on the Indy Road course in the last 15 months so we have plenty of previous data and races to use to our advantage. In the last four races at the world’s greatest race course, we have seen 4 different winners, and only Rinus Veekay and Alexander Rossi have been on the podium more than once.
Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon both assume their position as the odds on favorite to start the weekend at +550 (5.5 to 1). This has been common practice all season. +550 is decent odds for JNew as he is likely to qualify well.
Dixon however, did not make it out of Q1 in the spring race, unless Dixon happens to put it on pole tomorrow night, these odds should only get better on Saturday.=After the top two, there are four drivers under 10 to 1 odds. Alex Palou and Colton Herta at +700 (7 to 1), Pato O’Ward at +800 (8 to 1) and Alexander Rossi at +950 (9.5 to 1).
Out of these drivers the one that I see value in is the championship points leader Palou. He qualified 4th in the spring and Ganassi Racing is carrying all of the momentum in the world right now.
Romain Grosjean was on pole and led 44 laps in the spring, he starts off this weekend at +1200 (12 to 1)! Grosjean led laps last week at Nashville and has been knocking on the door of his first win.
The GMR Grand Prix winner Rinus Veekay comes in at +1400 (14 to 1). Ed Carpenter Racing showed great pace with both of its cars in early May and should be very competitive this weekend as well.
Another great value pick at +2000 (20 to 1) is Jack Harvey. Jack has been very close to a win here and always seems to qualify well.
The question is, has the team lost focus and all of its momentum. Jack announced that he will be leaving the team at the end of the season and the results haven’t really been the same since Helio won the 500 in May. The dynamic here is something to keep an eye on.
There are some good long shot bets this weekend. Last week’s winner Marcus Ericsson is +2800 (28 to 1). Marcus has won two races this season, although both of them have been on street courses, he’s proved that the pace is there, and his confidence has to be at an all time high!
Graham Rahal has always raced well here but just seems to struggle at qualifying. Graham is +2500 (25 to 1) for Saturday. In the spring race he had damage early, was way behind the field, and managed an incredible top 5. If he could just start at the sharp end of the field, he will be a certain threat.
Saving the best for last, everyone’s favorite mullet, Conor Daly is +15000 (150 to 1)! Conor was in the Firestone Fast 6 in May and was hit from behind going into turn 1, ruining his day. As mentioned above ECR was very strong all weekend for the GMR Grand Prix. 150 to 1 is definitely huge value and it will probably go down after the first practice.
Favorite: Alex Palou 7 to 1 to win, 1.75 to 1 to podium
Value: Romain Grosjean 12 to 1 to win, 3 to 1 to podium
Rinus Veekay 14 to 1 to win, 3.5 to 1 to podium
Long Shots: Graham Rahal 25 to 1 to win, 6 to 1 to Podium
Conor Daly 150 to 1 to win, 40 to 1 to Podium
Odds from Draft Kings as of 8/5 Header Image By Matt Fraver/INDYCAR