2023 Indy 500 Prop Bets: More to pick this week than just the winner
For the first time this season, prop bets open for the NTT IndyCar Series
The biggest race on the IndyCar schedule, the Indy 500, deserves the most attention from viewers and oddsmakers. Typically, the only bets you can make for IndyCar races are for who’s going to win. This week there is much more on offer. Here’s a breakdown of some of the 2023 Indy 500 prop bets you can choose this week.
Podium finishers for the Indy 500
The Indy 500 can be a back-and-forth race with many lead changes and challenges from farther down the order. If you’re choosing a podium finisher, there are many good options.
Polesitter Álex Palou predictably has the best odds at +170. But the top three were covered by the smallest margin in Indy 500 history. Front-row starters Rinus Veekay (+350) and Felix Rosenqvist (+300) are both excellent choices to take the top three places. Between the two, Veekay would be a better payout and better option.
Santino Ferrucci (+425) has a history of making up ground in his Indy 500 starts. This Sunday is the best chance he’s had at a podium finish, thanks to starting on the second row. A combination of Palou, Veekay, and Ferrucci would be a promising choice.
Rosenqvist’s teammate Alexander Rossi (+350) starts seventh. He was the last American to win the biggest open-wheel race in America with his victory in 2016. His previous podium came in 2019. In his first year with Arrow McLaren, he could get back there again.
Hélio Castroneves (+1200) has short IndyCar odds for a driver starting 20th. But he’s also won four Indy 500 races, more than any other driver in Sunday’s race. He’s finished in the top five nine times in 22 Indy 500 events. It’d be slightly surprising to see him reaching the podium from the 20th but possible.
Winning car number for the Indy 500
Oddsmakers have a fun choice for bettors: the car number of the winning driver being over 9.5 (-135) or under 9.5 (+105).
The drivers with numbers under 9.5 are Josef Newgarden (2), Scott McLaughlin (3), Pato O’Ward (5), Castroneves (06), Rosenqvist (6), Rossi (7), Marcus Ericsson (8), and Scott Dixon (9). That group has seven combined wins in the Indy 500, with four from Castroneves and one from Rossi, Ericsson, and Dixon.
That’s more than the number of wins from drivers with numbers over 9.5. That includes Takuma Sato (no. 11, two wins), Will Power (no. 12, one), Tony Kanaan (no. 66, one), and Simon Pagenaud (no. 60, one).
It is an even split in the top 10 between drivers with numbers under 9.5 and over. Three of the top four are over 9.5. The overall number of drivers over 9.5 makes it a better bet.
Winning manufacturer for the Indy 500
On Sunday, there are two engine manufacturers: Chevrolet (-125) and Honda (-105). Honda-powered cars have won five of the last seven Indy 500 events (2016-17, 2020-22). Chevrolet had two wins in 2018 and 2019 to break that streak.
Chevrolet-powered cars performed very well in qualifying. Six of the top 10 drivers and 10 of the top 15 have a Chevrolet engine in their vehicle. This looks like a chance for Chevrolet to break Honda’s winning streak once again. Honda’s best chance for victory resembles Palou, Dixon, or Sato.
It is unusual for the IndyCar Series to have so many options from oddsmakers, but that’s the nature of the Indy 500 as the biggest draw on the IndyCar schedule. We’ll find out Sunday how different the IndyCar standings (and these predictions) will look after 500 miles and a bottle of milk for the winner.
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