Indy 500 Picks, Predictions, and Race Preview

Scott Dixon has once again claimed pole for the Indianapolis 500, but his spotty record at Indianapolis Motor Speedway has us looking elsewhere on the board — starting with Alex Palou at +600. Find out why in our Indy 500 betting preview.

Last Updated: May 26, 2022 10:43 AM ET Read Time: 5 min
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The Indianapolis 500 is just around the corner, and as such, we're bringing you our full Indy 500 betting preview, including a lineup of best bets and things to pay attention to.

Following Sunday's qualifying, the front row consists of 2008 winner Scott Dixon, Alex Palou, and Rinus VeeKay. Otherwise, the field is chalked full of IndyCar youngsters and vets looking to make a splash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, thus creating some betting value for us to jump on.

We break it all down in our Indy 500 betting preview below. You can also get a comprehensive odds breakdown in our Indy 500 odds.     

Indy 500 best bets

Picks made on 5/25/22 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick above to jump to the full analysis.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Indy 500 favorites    

Alex Palou (+600)

Palou was +1,400 last month. He started seventh here as a rookie in 2020 and was runner-up a year ago after qualifying sixth. Now, he starts on the front row in second and was in the Top 10 in three of the four practice sessions this month.

Pato O'Ward (+900)

He won a race in Texas last year and has finished sixth and fourth respectively in his two Indy 500 starts.

Rinus VeeKay (+1,100)

Indy is special to him. It’s the spot where he got his first Top-5 finish, his first podium, his first pole, and now his first win. Can he get an Indy 500 win on Sunday? He qualified on the front row last year and finished eighth. He’s back on the front row again this year too.

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Indy 500 sleepers

Marcus Ericsson (+1,800)

Might be the sleeper of the field. Ericsson was second, fourth, seventh, and fifth respectively in the four practice sessions, qualified in Row 2 for this Sunday’s race, and finished third back in the spring in Texas.

Ed Carpenter (+1,800)

The hometown hero is always good here. He has three Top-6 finishes in his last four starts and is coming from Row 2 too.

Simon Pagenaud (+2,500)

A similar situation to Castroneves was in last year. Pagenaud is now with MSR and coming off of a third-place run last season. He has three Top 6s in his last four Indy starts including a win in 2019. In his last four starts on the season, he has a Top 11 in three of them including a runner-up on the road course race here two weeks ago.

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Indy 500 fades

Scott Dixon

Yes, he’s on the pole for the fifth time of his Indy career. Yes, he was in the Top 2 of every practice session so far. Yes, you would see that he led 111 of 200 laps in 2020 and was on the pole last year too. He also has two Top-3 finishes in his last four Indy 500 starts. However, despite all that, he hasn’t won here since 2008 either, has just one win in his last 26 series starts, and just one win in his four prior Indy 500 poles too. May want to go deeper to find the winner.

Joseph Newgarden

Newgarden has scored just two Top-5 finishes in nine tries here and starting from 13th. 

Will Power

Four of his last six Indy 500 finishes have been 10th or worse including his last two being 14th and 30th, respectively. He’s also coming from a starting spot outside the Top 10.

Colton Herta

Started at +650. He’s dropped because he’s starting 25th. His best finish in three tries here is eighth despite three Top-10 starts prior.

The Rookies

There have been three rookie winners here since 1967. The last coming in 2016 on a fluke fuel call. I’d avoid Jimmie Johnson (+1,600), Romain Grosjean (+3,000), David Malukas (+5,000), Callum Ilott (+10,000), Devlin DeFrancesco (+10,000), Kyle Kirkwood (+10,000), and Christian Lundgaard (+10,000).

Indy 500 matchup pick

Scott McLaughlin (-110) vs. Ed Carpenter (-120)

I feel like this is Carpenter’s year for at least another Top 5 while McLaughlin may struggle to finish there since he’s starting so far back.

PICK: Ed Carpenter (-120)

Indy 500 preview

Each of the last five Indy 500 winners has all started inside the Top 8. For a race that’s going to be predicated on track position, you may want to look in the Top-3 rows for Sunday’s race for the winner.

In looking though, you have a combined two Indy 500 victories among them. We’ve also had a new first-time winner for the Indy 500 in six of the last eight years too which means Alex Palou, Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter, Marcus Ericsson, Pato O’Ward, and Felix Rosenqvist should be on milk alert. The thing is, Penske and Ganassi may be the ones to beat among them.

What’s new, right? The two teams have only combined to win each of the last nine series titles to go along with 13 out of the last 14 overall. Not only that, they’ve combined to win 44 of the last 69 races in the series (66%) since this new UAK car came out. Since the Aeroscreen? 24 wins in 35 tries (73%). They’ve combined to win nine of the last 13 races overall and if you count Texas in March, the only other superspeedway on the schedule, they combined to sweep the entire Top 7 of the finishing order.

On the overall speed chart for the two-day test, they took four of the Top-5 speeds and seven of the Top 10 overall. Ganassi has four cars starting in the Top 6. Is this their race to lose? They have six of the Top 8 drivers in points right now.

Indy 500 key stat

The last 12 years have seen the fastest driver of the race fail to win in the end.

Indy 500 betting trend to watch

  • The last seven drivers to lead the race at the midway point (Lap 100 of 200) have all failed to win in the end.

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