Behind the Checkered Flag - Breaking Down Odds. Picks and Promos for the Indy 500 Race

Last updated May 25, 2023

2:45 PM ET May 28
Indy 500
Alex Palou to win

Experience the adrenaline rush of a lifetime at the iconic Indianapolis 500, an unmatched spectacle in auto racing. Known as "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the Indy 500 captivates millions worldwide yearly with its jaw-dropping speeds, strategic maneuvers, and thrilling battles for the lead.

In this article, we will guide you through the Indy 500 2023 winner odds, best pick, and everything else you need to know about this legendary race.

Indy 500 Winner Odds

Favorite to win this year's Indy 500 is Alex Palou at +600 followed by Pato O'ward at +750. None of them have won the Indy 500, and placing your bets on either if these drivers would be a rational thing to do. The third favorite on the starting grid is legend Scott Dixon who won the Indy 500 15 years ago (2008). 

With two Swedes in the race, there could potentially be a back-to-back victory for the Scandinavians (Marcus Ericsson being the reigning champ).  The top ten (based on the odds) Indy 500 favorites to win in 2023 are: 

DriverWinner Odds from DraftKings
Alex Palou+600
Pato O'Ward+750
Scott Dixon+800
Alexander Rossi+1000
Rinus Veekay+1000
Marcus Ericsson+1100
Takuma Sato+1200
Felix Rosenqvist+1200
Santino Ferrucci+1200
Josef Newgarden+1400
2:45 PM ET May 28
Indy 500
Alex Palou to win
✅ Starting from pole position

✅ Probably the best driver on the grid who have never won Indy500

✅ Leading the Indycar series and is one of the most consistent drivers
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Most Popular Indy 500 Betting Types

When betting on Indy 500 or Indycar in general, there are a few betting types that stand out as more popular than others. 

The most wagered betting form on Motorsports overall is Race Winner: This is the most straightforward bet. You're simply picking who you think will win a particular race.

Another popular bet which is very popular amongst more senior bettors is Podium Finish: This bet involves picking a driver to finish in the top three. It provides a little more leeway than picking the outright winner.

If you want to play it safe, then Top 10 Finish is something for you: This type of bet involves picking a driver to finish within the top 10 positions. This is a more straightforward bet to win, but usually offers lower odds.

Other fun bets you can make are: 

  • Fastest Lap: This is a bet on which driver will achieve the fastest lap during a race.
  • Head-to-Head/Driver Matchups: This bet involves picking which of two drivers will finish higher in a race. This can often be a more predictable bet than picking the overall winner, as it reduces the number of variables you need to consider.
  • Futures/Outrights: This involves betting on the championship winner overall. This type of bet is typically made before the season starts.
  • Proposition Bets (Props): These are bets on specific outcomes that may not directly affect the final result of the race. For example, you could bet on whether a safety car will appear during a race, or whether a particular driver will retire before the end of the race.

About Indy 500

The Indianapolis 500, often simply called the Indy 500, is an annual automobile race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) in Speedway, Indiana, United States. The event is traditionally held over Memorial Day weekend, in late May.

It is contested as part of the IndyCar Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel open-cockpit formula colloquially known as "Indy Car Racing." The event is considered one of the greatest racing spectacles and is often called the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

The race consists of 200 laps around the speedway's 2.5-mile oval for 500 miles, hence its name. The track is rectangular, oval, with four distinct corners, each with its radius, and two long straightaways and two shorter ones.

One of the unique aspects of the Indy 500 is its tradition of drinking milk in the winner's circle. Since 1936, with a few exceptions, the winner of the race has celebrated by drinking a bottle of milk, a tradition started by Louis Meyer, who was a three-time winner of the race.

The race is also known for its iconic balloon release before the start of the race and the singing of "Back Home Again in Indiana," a tradition started in 1946 and performed for many years by Jim Nabors.

Past Winners

  1. 2023: Marcus Ericsson
  2. 2021: Hélio Castroneves
  3. 2020: Takuma Sato
  4. 2019: Simon Pagenaud
  5. 2018: Will Power
  6. 2017: Takuma Sato
  7. 2016: Alexander Rossi
  8. 2015: Juan Pablo Montoya
  9. 2014: Ryan Hunter-Reay
  10. 2013: Tony Kanaan
  11. 2012: Dario Franchitti
  12. 2011: Dan Wheldon
  13. 2010: Dario Franchitti

Legendary Indy 500 race winners

The Indy 500 is a prestigious event with a long history, and there have been many notable winners over the years. Here are some of the most successful drivers in the race's history up until my knowledge cut-off in September 2021:

  • A.J. Foyt: He's one of the three drivers who have won the Indy 500 four times. His victories came in 1961, 1964, 1967, and 1977.
  • Al Unser: He's another four-time winner, securing victories in 1970, 1971, 1978, and 1987.
  • Rick Mears: Mears also won the Indy 500 four times, in 1979, 1984, 1988, and 1991.
  • Hélio Castroneves: He joined the elite club of four-time winners in 2021, with his victories coming in 2001, 2002, 2009, and 2021.
  • Mario Andretti: The racing legend won the Indy 500 in 1969.
  • Dario Franchitti: He won the race three times, in 2007, 2010, and 2012.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya: The Colombian driver won the Indy 500 twice, in 2000 and 2015.

Indy 500 FAQ

What is the Indy 500?

A1: The Indy 500, short for the Indianapolis 500, is an annual automobile race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, United States. It is part of the IndyCar Series, the top level of American open-wheel racing.

When is the Indy 500?

The Indy 500 is traditionally held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, May 28th. However, the date may vary slightly from year to year.

How long is the Indy 500 race?

The Indy 500 race is 500 miles long, which equates to 200 laps around the 2.5-mile rectangular oval Indianapolis Motor Speedway track.

What is the "Brickyard"?

The "Brickyard" is a nickname for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It comes from the track's original surface, which was made entirely of bricks. Today, a one-yard strip of the original bricks remains at the start/finish line.

Why does the Indy 500 winner drink milk?

The tradition of the Indy 500 winner drinking milk dates back to 1936 when Louis Meyer, a three-time winner, requested a glass of buttermilk after his victory. It has since become one of the race's most enduring traditions.

How can I watch the Indy 500?

The Indy 500 is broadcasted on NBC in the United States. For those outside of the U.S., various international broadcasters carry the race. You can also listen to live radio coverage on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network.

Has Scott Dixon won the Indy 500?

Yes, Scott Dixon, the New Zealand-born driver, has won the Indianapolis 500. His victory came in 2008 when he was driving for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Has Alex Palou won the Indy 500?

Alex Palou, the Spanish IndyCar driver, had not yet won the Indianapolis 500.

Jake Williams
Jake Williams is a sports gambling expert. He's been writing in the sports betting and DFS industry for over a decade. He specializes in MLB and NBA, along with College Basketball and College Football.