2024 Firestone Grand Prix Odds: Picks & Predictions for St. Petersburg

IndyCar Returns this Weekend to St. Petersburg, who Takes First/Road Race?

After five months away, the IndyCar Series is back for the 2024 season this weekend. Álex Palou enjoyed one of the more dominant seasons in recent memory en route to his second championship win in three years in 2023. This season, other drivers are looking to catch up to the Spaniard but the 2024 Firestone Grand Prix Odds point to another strong start for Palou.

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Favorites for St. Petersburg

  • Álex Palou (+450)

The defending champion returns with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2024 after winning more races than any other driver last year. He hasn’t had the best run at St. Petersburg since joining the grid, though.

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Four races have yielded just one top-five finish. Last year, he started seventh and finished eighth in this event. Only one of his five wins in 2023 came at a street course – Detroit – compared to four at road courses. It’d be a surprise to see him win this weekend.

  • Pato O’Ward (+550)

O’Ward’s 2023 title campaign fell away in the middle portion of the schedule while Palou excelled, ultimately landing the Mexican driver fourth in the standings.

He’s had mixed results in St. Petersburg; he took second in 2020 and 2023 but finished outside the top 10 in the two events in between. He had mixed results on street courses last season but wants to start off stronger in 2024.

  • Kyle Kirkwood (+550)

Kirkwood was one of the better IndyCar drivers on street courses in 2023. His two wins were both from street courses: Long Beach from pole position and Nashville. The Andretti Global driver returns in 2024 after a strong improvement last season. He’ll likely be fighting at the front for this one.

  • Scott McLaughlin (+700)

McLaughlin had just one win in 2023 in Alabama but had some of the best IndyCar results on the grid over the second half of the season.

Pole position in Nashville, the final street course of the schedule, could be a good sign of things to come this season, starting in St. Petersburg. Team Penske could have another title challenger with him this year following the success of teammates Will Power and Joseph Newgarden.

  • Scott Dixon (+800)

Dixon made a late charge in the second half of 2023 to get within range of Palou but couldn’t get close enough. St. Petersburg is one of the few tracks he’s yet to win at on the 2024 IndyCar schedule.

Through 19 races, he’s finished in the top 10 very often (14 times) but hasn’t managed the top spot. His form from the second half of 2023 shows he could challenge for the title this year but that may not begin right away this week.

Sleepers this week

  • Marcus Ericsson (+1000)

Ericsson won this race last season in what proved to be his only victory of the year. But he raced well at other street courses, including third in Long Beach and seventh in Nashville.

Repeat winners were the norm for a while at St. Petersburg. Juan Pablo Montoya won in 2015 and 2016, Sebastien Bourdais won in 2017 and 2018, and Newgarden won in 2019 and 2020. Ericsson could be the latest one to do it.

  • Colton Herta (+1100)

Herta struggled in 2023 to a 10th-place finish and couldn’t string together a good run of IndyCar races. His best results came at street courses, though, with third in Toronto and fourth in Long Beach.

He won this race in 2021 and he also won an Indy Lights event at this track in 2017. For a much better track record at street courses than many of the favorites, Herta’s worth taking a chance on.

  • Will Power (+1500)

Power’s one of the most successful drivers on the 2024 grid in St. Petersburg. He has as many pole positions (eight) as the rest of the grid combined. Last year he finished seventh after starting 10th on the grid.

His best result in 2023 came on the Detroit street course with a second-place finish. He’s won this race twice in 2010 and 2014. After winning the title in 2022, he had a subpar 2023 campaign. Look for him to get a great result this weekend.

2024 Firestone Grand Prix Odds: Picks for Sunday’s race

The St. Petersburg street course should make for an exciting start to the year. After Palou’s dominant season in 2023, there are plenty of drivers who could make a strong run at the title in 2024 starting this week.

Of the favorites, Kirkwood looks like the best choice. He’s a proven winner on street courses and could establish himself as a contender in his third season this week. For a better payout, it’s hard to argue with Power. He’s won there before and is still a strong driver at street courses overall.

For betting news, Indycar odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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