Indy 500 Betting Guide

Odds, Predictions, And How To Bet

The 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 30, 2021 in Speedway, Indiana. The 500-mile race is one of the most prestigious in all of motor sports. Together with the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it forms the Triple Crown of Motorsport.

Takuma Sato will look to defend his title in 2021, after winning with +1600 odds last year.

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Indy 500 betting odds 2021

Betting odds for the 2021 Indianapolis 500 will be posted soon. To get a gauge for how the odds will look, here are last year’s prices.

Indy 500 Winner

Game
08/23/2020
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Scott Dixon
Bet now
+400
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+470
Alexander Rossi
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+750
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+750
Ryan Hunter-Reay
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+800
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+850
Marco Andretti
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+850
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+850
Josef Newgarden
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+1100
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+1100
Will Power
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+1200
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+1300
Simon Pagenaud
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+1400
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+1300
Rinus VeeKay
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+1400
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+1800
Takuma Sato
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+1600
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+1600
James Hinchcliffe
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+1800
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+2200
Colton Herta
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+2000
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+2000
Felix Rosenqvist
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+2500
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+2800
Graham Rahal
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+2500
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+3000
Conor Daly
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+2800
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+2800
Fernando Alonso
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+3300
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+2800
Hélio Castroneves
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+3300
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+3200
Patricio O'Ward
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+3300
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+3200
Oliver Askew
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+5000
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+4200
Santino Ferrucci
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+5000
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+4200
Ed Carpenter
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+5000
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+5000
Tony Kanaan
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+5000
Bet now
+5000

How to bet on the Indianapolis 500

Betting on race cars bears some similarities to horseracing. So, if you are familiar with handicapping the ponies, there will be some familiar ground here.

Pick the Winner

The first and simplest type of Indianapolis 500 wager is to pick the eventual winner. Almost every site that offers betting on motorsports will have this kind of wager available.

The odds on these types of bets are usually fairly long, even for the favorites. There are simply too many variables in motorsports that can affect the outcome of a race.

As a result, even the favorites don’t less than 6-1 odds.

Even past winners, such as Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan, are available at odds higher than 10:1 right now. So, there is quite a bit of variance in these kinds of situations.

Top Three Finish

Those accustomed to betting on horse races will recognize this style of betting. For all intents and purposes, betting on a top three finish is the same as a win-place-show bet on a particular horse.

Basically, this type of bet means that the bettor believes the chosen driver will finish somewhere in the top three. Given how long the odds are for any of the drivers in the field, it’s understandable that bettors would want a bit of leeway in the finishing order.

Head to Head Matchups

Head-to-head matchups essentially reduce the entire race down to two drivers. A bettor wagers on which of the two will place higher, even if those places are the last two in the field.

These matchups actually use moneylines in order to identify the favorite and underdog in each pairing. So, hypothetically, Will Power could go off at -125 to Helio Castroneves at +145..and so on.

Futures bets

Functionally, a future bet is the same as a pick the winner bet. The bettor is choosing a member of the field to win the race.

However, the difference is time. These bets often occur weeks or months before the race itself.

As a result, they are subject to far more variation due to the risk of drivers suffering injuries, setbacks, or simply falling off their game in the interim time period. So, the odds for these bets can change quite a bit as race time approaches.

Proposition bets

Finally, a proposition bet on Indianapolis 500 tends to involve some sort of gimmick or angle to the wager. In other words, the conditions of the bet may only partially pertain to the driver’s actual ability.

So, a prop bet could be something like a wager on which former champion will place the highest, or perhaps a bet on the winner’s home country. In other words, a prop bet will have an element ancillary to the actual race itself that plays a part in the wager.

Indy 500 fast facts

For those in a hurry, here is a quick guide to the upcoming race:

  • Date: Sunday, May 30, 2021
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. Eastern
  • TV: NBC
  • Easiest way to watch online: Sign into NBC.com and submit cable subscription information
  • Other online viewing options: Hulu, YouTube, Fubo, DirecTV, Sling, and IMS Stream
  • Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana
  • Distance: 500 miles (about 200 laps around the track)
  • Surface: Asphalt and brick
  • Race series: IndyCar
  • Defending champion: Takuma Sato

A brief history of the Indianapolis 500

The Indianapolis 500 ran for the first time in 1911, with Ray Harroun winning the inaugural race. Since then, both the race and the racetrack have become one of the most famous auto races in the world. The annual event is often dubbed “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

The 500-mile race takes place in an open-wheel, open-cockpit format, meaning that vehicles’ tires and drivers are exposed to the open air. This format has come to be known as “Indy Car Racing,” due to its presence at this event.

The track itself is a rectangular oval nicknamed “The Brickyard” for its partial brick surfacing. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the highest-capacity sports venue in the world, with permanent seating for over 250,000 patrons. On race day, more than 300,000 will watch the race.

As with many venerated sporting events, there are several traditions associated with the Indianapolis 500. Before each race, race officials and a designated singer lead the crowd in a rendition of “Back Home Again in Indiana.”

The winning driver traditionally drinks from a bottle of milk to celebrate his victory. Below is a list of the most recent competitors to sample dairy products at the end of the race.

Recent Indianapolis 500 winners

YearDriverCountry
1996Buddy LazierUSA
1997Arie LuyendykNetherlands
1998Eddie CheeverUSA
1999Kenny BräckSweden
2000Juan Pablo MontoyaColombia
2001Hélio CastronevesBrazil
2002Hélio CastronevesBrazil
2003Gil de FerranBrazil
2004Buddy RiceUSA
2005Dan WheldonUK
2006Sam Hornish Jr.USA
2007Dario FranchittiUK
2008Scott DixonNew Zealand
2009Hélio CastronevesBrazil
2010Dario FranchittiUK
2011Dan WheldonUK
2012Dario FranchittiUK
2013Tony KanaanBrazil
2014Ryan Hunter-ReayUSA
2015Juan Pablo MontoyaColombia
2016Alexander RossiUSA
2017Takuma SatoJapan
2018Will PowerAustralia
2019Simon PagenaudFrance
2020Takuma SatoJapan