Only die-hard IndyCar fans would remember the name Ray Harroun as the winner in the inaugural running of the Indy 500 all the way back in 1911. Flash forward to 1966 and the name Graham Hill gets added to the list of winners in the 50th running of this storied race. This Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 33 drivers will try and take their place in racing history as the winner of the 100th running of one of the most recognized sporting events in the world. Start time from the Brickyard is set for noon (ET), and the race will be broadcast nationally on ABC.
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Betting on this race has also grown in popularity over the years, and Bovada has set the odds to win for all 33 drivers. There are some obvious favorites, but down the list are some strong contenders and one long shot that I believe can upset the field.
Top Valued Favorites
Riding a hot hand is one way to bet this race, so you cannot go wrong with a play on Simon Pagenaud as one of two +600 favorites to win in the midst of a three-race winning streak. The French driver of the Team Penske No.22 car started this impressive run with a victory in the Grand Prix of Long Beach. He followed this up with a trip to the Winner's Circle in the Grand Prix of Alabama before taking first place in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14. One slight drain on the value in his odds is a starting spot in the middle of Row 3.
The other +600 favorite to win on Sunday is Australian Will Power in the No. 12 car as another member of Team Penske. He is currently ranked 10th in the current IndyCar standings with a total of 105 points. His best finish was third in the Phoenix Grand Prix on April, but he will be looking to rebound from a 19th-place run in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis after starting 10th. He will start on the outside of Row 2 in search of his first Indy 500 career win after a near miss last year with a second-place finish.
Top Valued Contenders
Moving down Bovada's list, you have pole winner James Hinchcliffe at +1000 betting odds. A member of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team in the No. 5 Honda, the 29 year-old Canadian is coming off his best run of the year with a third-place finish at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He is now ranked eighth in the standings with 110 points. In four career runs in this race, his best finish was sixth in 2012 after starting from the middle of the front row.
Also in the front row for Sunday at +1200 betting odds is Josef Newgarden from Henderson, Tennessee. Driving the No. 21 Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing, he qualified for the No. 2 spot in this race. Ranked 12th in the standings through the first four races, his best effort this season was a third-place finish in the Grand Prix of Alabama. This is his fifth season racing in the IndyCar series, and his best finish in this event was ninth in last year's trip to the Brickyard.
Top Valued Long Shot
Marco Andretti will represent one of the most famous racing families in the sport in this year's Indy 500 as a +2000 long shot to add to the legacy that Mario Andretti started with a victory in the 1969 running of this race. Marco hails from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and he has been racing in the IndyCar series since 2006 but is still searching for his first Indy 500 title. The main value in his odds is the fact that Marco has finished in the Top 10 in five of his last six runs around the Brickyard and since 2006 he has made it to the Top 3 podium four different times in this race. Driving the No. 27 Honda for Andretti Autosport, the main reason he is a long shot to win is that he has yet to crack the Top 10 in his first four events this year, and he will have to start this race from the middle of Row 5.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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