The Ultimate Guide to Indy 500 Racing

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The Ultimate Guide to Indy 500 Racing

Author: American Gambler Staff | Last Updated: May 25, 2023

The 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 is the sixth race of the 2023 IndyCar season and takes place on May 28 at The Brickyard. The field is wide open, as just 15 points separate the top five drivers in this year's IndyCar standings after four events. This betting guide will give you all the tips, strategies, and news to make the most informed wagers on this year's “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”  

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Introduction to Indy 500 Betting

The Indy 500 is one of the most anticipated events in all of motorsports and is run annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, this year's race will be challenging to pick a winner, as several drivers are in contention at the top of the IndyCar Series standings. 

In addition, the race is also the first of the season on an oval track, making it even more difficult to predict a winner based on early-season results.    

Understanding Indy 500 odds

Odds for the upcoming Indy 500 can be found at almost all legal online and retail sportsbooks, meaning there's an opportunity to shop around for the best value to make your Indy 500 picks. However, the odds will constantly change as it gets closer to race day as bookmakers take bets and consider other information leading up to the event.  

Types of Indy 500 Odds

Before betting on the Indy 500, it's essential to understand the different types of odds offered. Three types of odds are available for Indy 500 betting, depending on where you bet. These are American odds, fractional (British) odds, and European odds. They all represent the same thing, but the odds are presented in a different format.

How to Read Indy 500 Odds

When using fractional (British) odds to wager, a line of 5/1 means you'll win $5 for every $1 wagered plus your original stake. 

European Indy 500 odds are written in decimal format, with the number indicating the total payout for every $1 wagered. So odds of 4.00 would pay a total of $4, which includes the initial $1 stake. 

American, or moneyline odds, show the favorite's odds indicated by a minus (-) sign and represents the amount you need to bet to win $100. Underdogs are characterized by a plus (+) sign and show the amount you'll win for every $100 wager.  

For example, odds of -200 mean you must wager $200 to take a profit of $100, while betting on an underdog at +200 means you'll make a profit of $200 for every $100 bet.

How to Bet on the Indy 500

It's simple for bettors to start placing real money wagers on the Indy 500. Betting online is the most convenient method, with many top-rated bookmakers providing competitive odds for the event. The first step is to find a reputable online sportsbook that has competitive odds and uses your preferred banking method so you'll get paid out quickly when you win. 

Types of Indy 500 Bets

There are many different ways to wager when betting on the Indy 500. All online sportsbooks will offer odds on the race winner, but many will provide odds within several other betting markets, with the following being the most popular:

  • Race Winner – The most popular betting market for the Indy 500 lets you pick any driver in the field to win the race. If they finish first, you win based on the odds provided by the bookmaker.
  • Podium Finish – Because it's very difficult to predict a winner, the safer bet is to choose a driver to finish on the podium, meaning they must finish in the top three at the end of the race. 
  • Pole Position – In this betting market, you can bet which drivers will secure the pole position during Indy 500 qualifying. 
  • Head-to-Head – This betting market will show the drivers grouped into pairs, with the only thing required is picking which driver will finish the race ahead of the other.  
  • Props – Many top sportsbooks offer prop betting for players that like alternative market betting. Odds available may include markets like top ten finish, winning manufacturer, or top American driver. 

How to Place an Indy 500 Bet

Once you've found an online sportsbook and opened an account, it's easy to place a wager on the Indy 500. However, you must first fund your account by clicking on the ‘deposit' or ‘cashier' option on the site's main page and then choosing the most convenient banking method. Once the money's in your account, you can proceed to make your picks. 

Find the menu with the listed sports markets, select motorsports, and then Indy 500 to see the betting lines for each wager type. Just pick the bets you want to place and enter the amount you wish to bet. 

Next, click the button to confirm your picks and place your wager. If your bet is a winner, you can then go to the cashier and request a payout as long as you've met all wagering requirements.  

Top Indy 500 Betting Strategies

A basic strategy is involved when betting on the Indy 500, which all bettors should follow. But most importantly, there's always a chance that your wager won't be successful, so make sure to set a budget and only bet an amount that you can afford to lose. 

It's also essential not to bet on a driver just because he's your favorite and not based on the odds. Instead of trying to guess the winner, read expert opinions online and evaluate each driver's chances to win. Also, look for the most favorable odds to get the best value for your money. 

Indy 500 Betting Tips From Experts

There are many things bettors must consider when deciding to wager on Indy 500 2023 odds. There are unique differences between the biggest spectator event in the US, and other races on the IndyCar Series schedule. The biggest is the double IndyCar championship points drivers will earn in this event because of its importance. 

Expert Predictions for the Indy 500

Many experts don't expect much to change from last season's IndyCar Series, where Will Power again had at least one win in the previous 16 seasons.

Scott Dixon has had terrible luck at the Indy 500 for the past three years after having the best car to start each event, but many feel this may be his chance to win his first Indy 500 since 2008.

Also, don't count out Brazilian Hélio Castroneves, who won for the fourth time here in 2021 at +3300 odds.

Tips From Professional Bettors

The first place you should start when looking for your Indy 500 best bets is at the past performance of each driver and team, especially in this event. Then, checking IndyCar Series stats online can help narrow down the choices and give you an idea of what to anticipate in the race's outcome. 

The driver's form in previous events can help you understand if his car and driving skill will compete with the world's top open-wheel racers. You can also check details about drivers' practice and qualifying sessions leading up to the race for the most current performance information on teams and drivers. 

One of the most significant factors to consider when picking your Indy 500 favorites is the weather conditions anticipated at race time. But, of course, the temperature at the start of the race is also critical and can affect various factors, like the car setup used by each team.  

Top Drivers and Teams to Watch for the Indy 500

Pato O'Ward

O'Ward is currently the slight favorite for this year's Indy 500 on the strength of his two second-place and one fourth-place finish this season. The Team Arrow McClaren SP driver also finished fourth here in 2021 and made the podium with a second-place result in 2022. He's also trying to become the first driver to win five Indy 500s with a victory in 2023.

Will Power

Last year's IndyCar Series champion is one of the favorites to take the Indy 500 in 2023 after winning just one race last season. The Australian also races for Team Penske, which includes Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden. 

Scott Dixon

Dixon has one win at the Indy 500 in 2008 but took the pole position in the last two events only to finish off the podium due to some tough luck. His best performance recently was in 2020, when he finished second after qualifying in the same position. His Chip Ganassi Racing team has also won 14 IndyCar championships since 1996 and last year's Indy 500, won by Marcus Ericsson.

Josef Newgarden

Newgarden has been a member of Team Penske since 2017 and has been one of the most consistent drivers in the IndyCar Series since joining the team. He had a career-high five wins in 2022 but hasn't finished on the podium at this event since taking third place in 2016 when he was with Ed Carpenter Racing.  

American Gambler Staff