Indianapolis 500 Best Bets, Winner Predictions & Betting Picks
Matt Selz gives out his best bets, predictions & picks for this weekend's Indianapolis 500 race.
The 2023 Indy 500 is here! One of the most prestigious races in the world, 500 miles around the famed Brickyard in Indianapolis is quite the test of drivers. We all know the sites of the Pagoda and the yard of bricks at the start-finish line and the throngs of 250,000 fans on race day. It’s a glorious site in the middle of the greatest day of racing between the F1 Monaco Grand Prix and NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600. Now that Indy 500 practice and qualifying and Carb Day results have all been set, it’s time to take a look at some of our favorite bets, predictions, and betting picks for the 2023 Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Layout and Trends
The rectangular oval of Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a one-of-a-kind track from its shape, to its distance, to its strip of original bricks. The 2.5-mile layout is made of two longer straights, two “short chutes” and four slightly unsymmetrical corners. It’s also known as one of the fastest tracks in the world, especially heading into Turn 1. Indy is also a wide track though so we can expect plenty of three-wide passes and crossover attempts.
Over the last 11 Indy 500s, a different car number has won each race and the pole-sitter has won just once in the last 13 500s and twice in the last 21. Not looking great for repeat winners. On top of that, this race has produced a lot of one-off winners of late with the last seven winners not having won a season title in their careers. While the Indy 500 is the biggest race of the year in terms of prestige and points, it hasn’t ultimately determined the season champion in a while.
Winner Predictions For the 2023 Indy 500
All odds listed are from DraftKings Sportsbook at the time of writing.
Pato O’Ward +650
Every year he’s run the Indy 500 he’s gotten a better finish than the year prior. The only way to keep that streak going is to win in 2023 having finished P2 last year. It also doesn’t hurt that last year’s winner, Marcus Ericsson, started in the same spot that O’Ward will roll off from — P5. His record on ovals is impressive and the car has looked fast much of Indy 500 practice and qualifying as well.
Rinus Veekay +1200
It was a valiant effort last year in his 500 run but he faded as the race went on. He’s had good success in previous trips to Indy with his first career top-five, first podium, and win — granted on the road course, and could he now be able to tame the oval? Veekey will be starting P2 on Sunday and fits in with the trends listed above as well. Starting on the front row, so long as it’s not P1, has given past drivers a solid chance to kiss the bricks.
Takuma Sato +1200
Since we’re talking about trends in this piece, let’s go over some for Sato. The number is three. That’s the trend. He’s won the Indy 500 with two different teams and now has a good shot with a third. He was quickest in the three early practices last year and did the same again this year. Sato’s previous two wins came in 2017 and 2020, boom another three, in terms of years apart. Is the third time the charm for Sato who could get another win three years after the last?
Will Power +1600
As the race has drawn nearer, Power has found more speed in each practice session. He’s topped the charts a couple of times at practice so far and is starting inside the top-12, which has generally proved beneficial for eventual Indy 500 winners. While his run at the only other oval race this year so far wasn’t great, Indy is its own beast and he’s been in contention before so we know the moment isn’t too big for him.
Kyle Kirkwood +2500
He nabbed his first win earlier this year and seems to be in a fast car again this week. While he’s starting P15 which is a tad further back than we’d like to see, he has been top-eight in practice speeds a few different times gearing up for the 500. He did have issues at Texas earlier in the season but again, this is a different track and we’ll take the speed he’s showing this week. One last thing, Kirkwood is in the car piloted by Alexander Rossi previously and that car last year started P20 and finished P5 which should give us hope Kirkwood can move up similarly through the field.
Best Prop Bets For the Indy 500
Pato O’ Ward Top-3 Finish +210
That record on oval tracks I mentioned before? Yeah, he has five runners-up finishes in his 16 career starts, and over his last 12 such races, O’Ward’s posted 11 top-four finishes. Combine that with his runner-up last year in Indy and starting well again, and we’ll take the plus money return for sure.
Takuma Sato Top-5 Finish +140
It’s intriguing to consider him at +300 for a top-three finish but instead, we’ll take a decent plus-money return for a top-five. Sato has three top threes in his last six Indy races and he’s looking racy again this year in a car that was fast in the only other oval race this year.
Tony Kanaan -105 vs. Will Power
How about a bit of a hedge? Yes, we listed Power as a shot to win but if that doesn’t happen, why not take a shot on Kanaan, a driver with five top-10s in his last seven Indy races? The car he’s in has run well here too including a top-three finish last year.
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