Image for Reid Spencer Reid Spencer - October 14, 2022

Indianapolis 500 Predictions, Odds, Picks | IndyCar Series

  • Scott Dixon has the speed, but past results are mixed for Indy pole winners.
  • Rinus Veekay has the fastest Chevrolet in the field—and a vital top-three spot.
  • Helio Castroneves’ chances for a record fifth Indy 500 win are slim and none.

Indy 500 Odds

Odds for Indy 500 taken from DraftKings Sportsbook

Winner Odds
Scott Dixon +500
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Alex Palou +600
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Pato O’Ward +900
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Rinus Veekay +1100
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Josef Newgarden +1200
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Will Power +1400
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Scott McLaughlin +1600
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Takuma Sato +1600
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Marcus Ericsson +1600
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Jimmie Johnson +1600
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Ed Carpenter +1800
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Colton Herta +2000
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Tony Kanaan +2000
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Felix Rosenqvist +2000
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Indy 500

In a departure from our traditional NASCAR previews this week, we’ll also preview the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 at the iconic Brickyard. The Indy 500 traditionally draws a larger single-day crowd than any other sporting event in the world. Hence, our interest in covering it.

The race will be contested over 200 laps (500 miles) around the 2.5-mile speedway, which is big enough to accommodate four holes of a golf course and a dirt track within its confines—with plenty of room to spare. Helio Castroneves is the defending winner of the race.

Scott Dixon Has the Speed and the Pole Position—Is Another Win in the Cards?

Clearly, Scott Dixon laid down a marker for the rest of the field when he posted a four-lap average of 234.046 mph in qualifying for the 106th Indianapolis 500.

With that speed, Dixon easily won the pole for Sunday’s race and just as quickly sped to the top of the favorites’ list.

Dixon claimed his only Indy 500 win in 2008 after starting from the pole. On the other hand, his three more recent poles (2015, 2017, and 2021) have not paved a path to Victory Circle. In those years, Dixon finished fourth, 32nd and 17th, respectively.

In a grueling race like the Indy 500, reliability is just as important as speed. That’s one reason why only one driver has won the race from the pole in the last 12 years (Simon Pagenaud in 2019).

Nevertheless, it’s hard to bet against Dixon, who has set the bar for the second year in a row—and decisively so. His price (+550 via DraftKings) is reasonable for a pole winner, and Honda, which supplies his engines, seems to have moved well past the reliability issues of past years.

Rinus Veekay Is Chevrolet’s Bet for a Top Finish in the Indianapolis 500

After a dismal year in 2021, Chevrolet won the first four races of the 2022 season, with Scott McLaughlin taking the season opener, Josef Newgarden winning the next two, and Pato O’Ward triumphing in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

No Chevy driver could match the qualifying speed of 2022 Indy 500 pole winner Scott Dixon, but Rinus Veekay of Ed Carpenter Racing managed to run third in time trials and snag a critical front-row starting spot.

Why critical? Because 45 of the 105 Indy 500 winners to date have come from first, second or third on the grid—21 from the pole, 11 from the second position, and 13 from third.

Barring mechanical failure, chances are excellent that the 2022 Indy 500 winner will come from the top three starting spots. That has been the case in three of the last four years. The exception was Helio Castroneves, who started eighth last year.

The third-third place starter won the race in 2018 (Will Power) and 2020 (Takuma Sato). If the trend continues, Veekay is a steal at +1100 via DraftKings.

Helio Castroneves Has a Very Slim Chance to Make History on Sunday

If you’re thinking that Helio Castroneves will win a record fifth Indianapolis 500 in Sunday, you’re bucking some serious history.

Back-to-back winners of the Great American Spectacle are every bit as rare as the proverbial unicorn. Admittedly, Castroneves accomplished the feat in 2001 and 2002, but he’s the last to do so.

And here are the unpleasant facts. Castroneves is starting 27th on Sunday after posting speed in time trails more than 4 mph slower than that of pole winner Scott Dixon.

In 105 runnings of the Indy 500, only one driver has ever won from the 27th starting spot. That was Fred Frame back in 1932.

It would be nice to think Castroneves has a chance to make history with a fifth victory in IndyCar’s most important race, but, realistically, it’s not going to happen.

Accordingly, we advise resisting the urge to bet on the sentimental favorite—even at +2800 via DraftKings—and back a driver who can actually win.

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How to Watch Indy 500

Indy 500 Information
Race Indianapolis 500
Location Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Time Sunday, May 29, 12:45 p.m. ET (green flag)
How to Watch NBC (pre-race coverage starts at 11 a.m. ET)
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AUTHOR

Reid Spencer

189 Articles

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]

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