Indy 500 – 2017 Preview, Predictions, and Betting Picks

By in Sports & Betting on

Serious auto racing fans get excited at the smell of gas and rubber any day of the year. For the rest of the population that identify as casual fans, that excitement usually only shows up four times a year – The Daytona 500, The Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Indianapolis 500. The Daytona 500 usually doesn’t make this list known as the Triple Crown of Motorsport, but we think it deserves to be on there.

While each of the races on the list is prestigious in its own right, the Indianapolis 500, known as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is easily the most prestigious on this list. With all the excitement and prestige on the line, you can imagine that the wagering and sports betting on the race will be as big as ever. If you’re looking to make some money or up the excitement factor of the race with some bets, you’ve come to the right place. Our experts are going to walk you through everything you need to know with the current odds, who to look out for, and what we think is going to go down on race day.
Here are the top sites we recommend for betting on the 2018 Indy 500:

Current Betting Odds

Surprisingly, a lot of sites have been late to put out their Indy 500 lines this year, but we were able to find several books offering odds. These are the betting odds as of May 17th, 2017 on OddsShark. As always, expect these to change and fluctuate a fair amount between now and the drop of the green flag.

  • Fernando Alonso | +695
  • Scott Dixon | +715
  • Simon Pagenaud | +730
  • Will Power | +730
  • Helio Castroneves | +900
  • Juan Pablo Montoya | +900
  • Josef Newgarden | +1000
  • James Hinchcliffe | +1200
  • Tony Kanaan | +1300
  • Ryan Hunter Reay | +1500
  • Marco Andretti | +1700
  • Sebastian Bourdais | +2500
  • R. Hidebrand | +2600
  • Alexander Rossi | +2900
  • Graham Rahal | +3400
  • Carlos Munoz | +4000
  • Charlie Kimball | +4200
  • Ed Carpenter | +4900
  • Takuma Sato | +5100
  • Jack Harvey | +5200
  • Mikhail Aleshin | +5200
  • Oriol Servia | +8300
  • Max Chilton | +10400
  • Field  | +1600

We also checked a few other sportsbooks and found some shakeups all through the lineup. At Bet365, they had Montoya, Power, and Dixon all at +800 and Alonso at +900. Some books were only offering lines on whether or not Alonso would win the race.  We expect some of those books to include complete lines soon, but for now, that’s all they were offering.

Ones to Watch – Predictions

This is panning out to be one of the most wide-open races in Indy 500 history with a lot of drivers not only being discussed as having a shot to win, but that being reflected in the odds as well. The driver getting the most attention is F1 superstar Fernando Alonso who is skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to run in his very first Indy 500. As one of the best drivers in the world, it’s easy to see why the oddsmakers have him posted as a favorite.

The question will be how all of the extra media attention affects Alonso as well as how he performs in his first time ever running the 500. F1 drivers tend to drive with the same crew of 19 other drivers every week so it will be interesting to see how he does against a whole new cast of characters. Frankly, we don’t anticipate the media attention bothering him at all (it’s not like F1 is any slouch sport), and we anticipate a strong run.

Something interesting to note is that according to, Team Penske spent additional testing time at Indy this year showing that the race is of extreme priority to them.

Team Penske

Honestly, we feel like one of the Team Penske drivers is most likely going to be cruising into victory lane. Even though the team had an abysmal showing last year (10th, 11th, 19th, and 33rd), we think they’re going to show up with something to prove this year. Penske will be driving five drivers this year:

  • Helio Castroneves | +900
  • Will Power | +730
  • Simon Pagenaud | +730
  • Josef Newgarden | +1000
  • Juan Pablo Montoya | +900

If you’re looking for the value pick that still has a solid shot at the win, Josef Newgarden is your man. With three wins in the last two years and a strong third place finish at Indy last year, he’s definitely someone worth throwing some money at.

Castroneves finished third in the Driver’s Championship last year but did so without a win. He might be a good bet for a podium finish, but without wins recently, we’re worried about his ability to close lately (though that could be silly to say as he won the race back in 2009).  He’s such a legend, though, we may be eating those words come race day as the 20-year veteran always comes to compete.

Though he finished 19th last year, Pageund had five victories and claimed the Verizon Championship in 2016. Counting him out would just be silly.

Our pick to win the race, though, is the guy who finished dead last in 2016. Juan Pablo Montoya won this race twice including a win back in 2015. An absolute legend in the sport, we expect Montoya to show up in a big way this year.

What to Bet for the 2017 Indy 500

You’ve got several options if you believe in our predictions on what to bet. Remember, you don’t have to pick just one driver to win the race, but can pick several and still come out profitable.

Bet to win:

  • Juan Pablo Montoya | +900
  • Josef Newgarden | +1000
  • Simon Pagenaud | +730

One driver we didn’t mention above that may be in line to spoil the day for Team Penske is Scott Dixon. We’re probably going to throw a bet to win on him as well.

  • Scott Dixon | +715

We recommend picking a few of these to bet, or you can bet all four which will give you a better chance to win but will decrease the amount you profit. It’s all up to you and what strategy you want to employ. Oftentimes people think you can only bet on one driver to win the race when in fact it can still be profitable to bet on multiple drivers. If you were to bet $100 on all four drivers and the driver paying the least, Scott Dixon, were to win, you’d still make a profit.

Four Bets of $100 = $400

Dixon win at +715 = $715 in profit + $100 original wager

Profit = $415

Even if you throw the odds on favorite in there, you would still profit with five wagers and him winning. It’s up to you how you want to approach this from a strategy standpoint.

Yes we know we don’t have the odds on favorite in there at all, but we don’t anticipate him being able to get the job done in his first race at Indy. We could be crazy and be eating our words on race day, but sports betting is about believing in what you think is going to happen especially when it goes against the odds.

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