2017 Indianapolis 500 Betting Preview

Posted by Kenny Bell on Friday,May 26, 2017 9:05, EDT in

The Indianapolis 500 used to be one of the biggest annual events on the American sports calendar. Names like A.J. Foyt and Al Unser Sr. and Rick Mears were among the best-known athletes in the USA. However, the popularity of open-wheel racing has faded considerably. That said, the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is still a marquee event. The 101 st running of the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday from the Brickyard and New Zealand’s Scott Dixon is the +500 favorite in the auto racing odds.

2017 Indianapolis 500 Betting Preview

Currently 33 cars start the race in rows of three. In the past there have been as few as 21 (1916) and as many as 42 (1933). The cars go 200 laps around the 2.5-mile track, equaling 500 miles. With more than 250,000 permanent seats, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the world’s largest seating facilities.

Dixon won the pole with a four-lap average of 232.164 mph in the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to earn his third Indianapolis 500 pole. It was the quickest pole run since Scott Brayton in 1996 at 233.718 mph. Arie Luyendyk produced the fastest qualifying run in Indianapolis 500 history one day after Brayton in 1996, with a run of 236.986 mph on the second day of qualifications. Dixon won from the pole in 2008 – his only Indy 500 win and lone victory ever by a Kiwi — and also drove to the top spot in 2015, when he finished fourth.

Will Power is the second favorite at +650. He just won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway a couple of weeks ago. The Aussie won the IndyCar Grand Prix for his first victory of the season, leading 61 of 85 laps and easily holding off Dixon. Power gave Team Penske its third straight victory this season and third in a row on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. The Australian also won the inaugural event in 2015. No Aussie has won the Indy 500.

Power will start ninth. Since 2001, Team Penske’s cars have prevailed from the 11th, 13th, 10th and 15th starting positions in addition to Sam Hornish Jr. and Castroneves winning from the pole in 2006 and 2009, respectively.

Three men have won the race four times: A.J. Foyt Jr., in 1961, 1964, 1967 and 1977; Al Unser Sr. in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987 and Rick Mears in 1979, 1984, 1988 and 1991. Three-time champion Helio Castroneves is +800 along with Juan Montoya.

The biggest ace up Castroneves’ sleeve as he seeks to add to Indy wins scored in 2001, 2002 and 2009 is that he’ll once again attack the 500 in a car fielded by Team Penske. Roger Penske has won the race a total 16 times as a team owner. Castroneves had a potential winning car last year but was bumped from the lead group after contact with J.R. Hildebrand 40 laps from the race’s end. He finished a disappointing 11th. Castroneves hasn’t won any race since 2014 in Detroit. Castroneves, still in great physical shape, turned 42 on May 10. Numerous drivers have won the 500 in their 40s — the oldest, Al Unser Sr., (47) in 1987.

Castroneves, who starts 19th , was the last driver to repeat at Indy. Last year, in one of the more improbable finishes in Indianapolis 500 history, Alexander Rossi, a then-rookie, coasted to the finish line out of fuel to win the 100th running of the big race. The other leaders pitted, giving Rossi the lead a few laps from the checkered flag. Rossi, who will start third, is +1600.

2017 Indy 500 Betting Pick: Fernando Alonso

Alonso, who starts fifth, is +700 to win his first Indy 500. Alonso is missing the Monaco Grand Prix to make his rookie appearance at the Indy 500.

INDY 500 GRID

With position, car number, driver, engine, team, four-lap qualifying speed average:

Row 1

1. 9, Scott Dixon, Honda, Ganassi, 232.164 mph|
2. 20, Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, Carpenter, 231.664
3. 98, Alexander Rossi, Honda, Andretti Herta, 231.487

Row 2

4. 26, Takuma Sato, Honda, Andretti, 231.365
5. 29, Fernando Alonso, Honda, Andretti McLaren, 231.300
6. 21, JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, Carpenter, 230.889

Row 3

7. 10, Tony Kanaan, Honda, Ganassi, 230.828
8. 27, Marco Andretti, Honda, Andretti, 230.474
9. 12, Will Power, Chevrolet, Penske, 230.200

Row 4

10. 28, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, Andretti, 231.442
11. 19, Ed Jones, Honda, Coyne, 230.578
12. 16, Orio Servia, Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, 230.309

Row 5

13. 7, Mikhail Aleshin, Honda, Schmidt Peterson, 230.271
14. 15, Graham Rahal, Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, 230.253
15. 8, Max Chilton, Honda, Ganassi, 230.068

Row 6

16. 83, Charlie Kimball, Honda, Ganassi, 229.956
17. 5, James Hinchcliffe, Honda, Schmidt Peterson, 229.860
18. 22, Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, Penske, 229.565

Row 7

19. 3, Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, Penske, 229.515
20. 77, Jay Howard, Honda, Schmidt Peterson, 229.414
21. 24, Sage Karam, Chevrolet, Dreyer & Reinbold, 229.380

Row 8

22. 2, Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, Penske, 228.501
23. 1, Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, Penske, 228.093
24. 14, Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, Foyt, 227.921

Row 9

25. 88, Gabby Chaves, Chevrolet, Harding, 226.921
26. 4, Conor Daly, Chevrolet, Foyt, 226.439
27. 50, Jack Harvey, Honda, Shank Andretti, 225.742

Row 10

28. 63, Pippa Mann, Honda, Coyne, 225.008
29. 11, Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, Juncos, 224.052
30. 44, Buddy Lazier, Chevrolet, Lazier, 223.417

Row 11

31. 17, Sebastian Saavedra, Chevrolet, Juncos, 221.142
32. 40, Zach Veach, Chevrolet, Foyt, 221.081
33. 18, James Davison, Honda, Coyne, no speed