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Indianapolis 500 Odds & Predictions | Indy 500 Best Bets & Picks

Posted: May 27, 2022Last updated: May 27, 2022

The 106th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing is set for Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the world’s greatest race course.

Sunday saw a history-making run for the pole by Scott Dixon, who qualified with the fastest pole speed ever for the Indianapolis 500.

Is Dixon the favorite, or will one of the other 32 drivers take the checkered flag? Here are our best bets for the Indianapolis 500.

Indianapolis 500 Odds

All Indianapolis 500 odds are from Caesars Sportsbook and current as of Wednesday, May 25, at 11 a.m. ET.

  • Scott Dixon (+400)
  • Alex Palou (+450)
  • Pato O’Ward (+850)
  • Josef Newgarden (+1000)
  • Rinus VeeKay (+1200)
  • Marcus Ericsson (+1400)
  • Takuma Sato (+1400) 
  • Jimmie Johnson (+1600)
  • Will Power (+1800)
  • Colton Herta (+1800)
  • Tony Kanaan (+1800)
  • Ed Carpenter (+2200)
  • Scott McLaughlin (+2200)
  • Simon Pagenaud (+2500)
  • Romain Grosjean (+2500)
  • Helio Castroneves (+2500)
  • Felix Rosenqvist (+2500)
  • Alexander Rossi (+3000)
  • Graham Rahal (+5000)
  • David Mulakas (+5000)

Indianapolis 500 Sportsbook Play of the Day

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Read Chris Wassel’s Caesars Sportsbook review for more insight and get your welcome bonus below, or continue reading this analysis for our best Indy 500 tipster picks.


Indianapolis 500 Winner Prediction

Scott Dixon (+400)

WAGER: 1 Unit

Dixon is clearly the favorite to win from the pole position on Sunday. Dixon’s car has looked like it has been on rails the last few days, and he set a new record to take the pole with a four-lap average of 234.046 miles per hour.

He’s now won the pole five times and won the Indianapolis 500 from the top spot in 2008. His car has been unbelievably consistent. Despite a late start Monday, the New Zealand native posted the second-fastest speed in practice.

Dixon has a chance to become the all-time leader in laps led for the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday and is poised to win his second 500 for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Indianapolis 500 Contenders

Alex Palou (+450)

WAGER: 1 Unit

If there is a car in the field equal to Dixon, it belongs to Spain’s Alex Palou.

Palou had the quickest time in Monday’s practice session after being edged for the pole by his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Dixon on Sunday.

Palou is looking to break a recent jinx for the second starting position. Only one driver has won from the middle of the front row since 1970: Juan Pablo Montoya, who accomplished the feat for Ganassi in 2000.

Palou has the car and the talent to pull off the win on Sunday. Last year he finished second to Helio Castroneves in a nail-biter.

Pato O’Ward (+850)

WAGER: 1 Unit

The sensational third-year star has a great chance to become the first driver from Mexico to win the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

Pato O’Ward qualified seventh at an average speed of 232.705. He’s refocused after a bit of a contract dispute with his team, Arrow McLaren SP, earlier in the year. He’s made a home in IndyCar now after thoughts of trying to make his way in Formula 1.

O’Ward has finished in the top six in each of his first two Indianapolis 500s, and he definitely has what it takes to win on Sunday.

Rinus VeeKay (+1200)

WAGER: 1 Unit

It’s hard to pick against a guy who changed his name just to make it easier for American fans to understand. Rinus VeeKay (whose real name is Rinus van Kalmthout) is a Dutch driver following in the footsteps of stars from the Netherlands such as Arie Luyendyk, the two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500.

Luyendyk got his first win in 1990 starting on the outside of the front row, and that’s where VeeKay rolls off on Sunday.

His car was blindingly quick on Saturday’s first qualifying day, but he settled for the outside of the front row on Sunday.

VeeKay led 32 laps last year in the 500 on his way to eighth place, and he’s started in the top four positions in all three of his Indianapolis 500 starts. Don’t be surprised if VeeKay joins his countryman Luyendyk on the Borg-Warner Trophy this weekend.

Indianapolis 500 Sleepers

Ed Carpenter (+2200)

WAGER: 1 Unit

It’s hard to consider a driver who has won the pole three times a sleeper, but Ed Carpenter has had a solid, methodical month.

The owner-driver qualified fourth with an average speed of 233.080 miles per hour. He’s finished in the top five three times in his Indianapolis 500 career, including a second-place finish in 2018.

Helio Castroneves (+2500)

WAGER: 1 Unit

It’s really hard to consider a guy a sleeper who is one of only four drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 four times, and the only one with a chance to win it an unprecedented fifth time.

However, Castroneves has struggled ever since he crashed his 2021 winning car in the open test session at the end of April, and he qualified at 27th on Saturday. The only driver to ever win from the position was Fred Frame in 1932, so Castroneves will have a long road ahead of him on Sunday if he’s to make history.

Alexander Rossi (+3000)

WAGER: 1 Unit

The driver with some of the most natural talent of anyone in the field — and the most rotten luck — Alexander Rossi is worth the price of admission if you only watch his car during the race.

Rossi qualified 20th, which may lead you to write off his chances, but he won from 11th as a rookie in 2016, and he came from the 32nd starting position to finish fourth in 2018. Rossi has led every Indianapolis 500 he’s been in except last year, where his race was ruined by an early yellow flag.

For Rossi to win he will need consistent pit stops, something he hasn’t been getting from his Andretti Autosport crew this year.

Indianapolis 500 Best Bets

Josef Newgarden (+1000)

WAGER: 1 Unit

The two-time IndyCar champion has never had a great amount of luck at Indianapolis, although he did finish third in 2016, one of his three top-five finishes at the Brickyard to date.

Newgarden qualified 14th on Saturday, but his Team Penske Chevrolet looks good in traffic, and he was sixth-quickest in Monday’s practice session.

Takuma Sato (+1400)

WAGER: 1 Unit

Takuma Sato is looking to become part of a select company on Sunday, potentially joining A.J. Foyt, Bobby Unser, and Al Unser on the list of drivers who have won the Indianapolis 500 on three different teams.

Sato has been quick each day in practice, and he’s had an eventful time in qualifications, first having his time disallowed for breaking a rule, then bouncing off the wall in a successful effort to make the Fast 12 shootout.

Sato was fourth-fastest in Monday’s practice session and he has a car to compete. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner will be a factor on Sunday.

Jimmie Johnson (+1600)

WAGER: 1 Unit

His car was a handful at times on Sunday, but Jimmie Johnson held on to qualify on the outside of row four with a four-lap average of 231.264 miles per hour.

The Chip Ganassi Racing cars have been remarkably consistent, and Johnson was the third-fastest car in Monday’s practice session, trailing only his teammates, Palou and Dixon.

Johnson knows how to win at IMS. He took the Brickyard 400 four times in NASCAR, and he certainly has the car and talent to be a big factor on Sunday.

Tony Kanaan  (+1800)

WAGER: 1 Unit

One of the most popular drivers to ever turn a wheel at the corner of 16th and Georgetown, it’s possible that this could be the final Indianapolis 500 for Tony Kanaan.

The 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner has a great car, albeit some mechanical gremlins that made things difficult for his team at times over the weekend. Still, the ever-popular TK put his car on the outside of the second row with a speed of 232.372 miles per hour.

Kanaan has led the Indianapolis 500 in 14 different years, and there’s no reason to believe he will not only be upfront Sunday but a threat to win.

Will Power (+1800)

WAGER: 1 Unit

Will Power has been remarkably consistent to start the 2022 IndyCar season, finishing either third or fourth in all five races so far.

Power hasn’t had the outright speed of the Chip Ganassi or Ed Carpenter Racing cars, but he did qualify 11th with a speed of 231.534 miles per hour.

Power saw his record-streak of leading eight consecutive Indianapolis 500s end last year and is hoping to start a new one on Sunday on his way to a second victory.

Colton Herta (+1800)

WAGER: 1 Unit

Colton Herta is the most recent winner in the NTT Data IndyCar Series, having taken the GMR Grand Prix on the IMS Road Course on May 14. But Herta struggled in qualifying, with his crew having to change an engine on Saturday after he lost one on his first attempt.

The young, California-born star qualified 25th, with an average speed of 230.235 miles per hour. It’s not impossible to win from that far back — Johnny Rutherford did it in 1974 — but that year “Lone Star J.R." had the second-fastest car in the field on qualifying rank.

It’s going to be a tough task for Herta to come to the front, but if anyone has the talent to do it, it’s the 22-year-old looking to become the youngest winner in the race’s history.

Author

Mike Thomsen

Mike Thomsen is a copy editor and staff writer for The Game Day with over 30 years of experience as a television and radio producer. He has won several national and state producing awards and has been nominated for 3 regional television Emmy awards. He co-hosts a nightly auto racing show, “Beyond The Bricks,” for WFNI-FM in Indianapolis as well as the station's pre-and-post race and qualifications coverage of the Indy 500. The co-Vice President of the National Indianapolis 500 Collectors Club, Mike has an extensive background in auto racing memorabilia and historical research.

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