2022 Indianapolis Indy 500 race predictions, odds, picks and best bets: Young stars can shine

Alex Palou Indianapolis 500 qualifying 2022
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Phil Agius


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I've been writing about the NFL and a host of other sports for the UK's top daily betting paper the Racing Post for more than 20 years. An incurable Browns fan (1-31 survivor), I also specialise in all kinds of motorsport betting including F1, MotoGP, IndyCar and NASCAR. For Phil Agius media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

The 106th running of the Indy 500 takes place at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday (NBC, 12:45pm ET) with a field of 33 drivers hoping to add their name to the history books.

Scott Dixon took pole position for the race in last week’s qualifying and is the favorite to win the race for a second time in his 20th start.

Let’s take a look at the odds for the big race and how the field lines up before diving into the best bets for the race.

2022 Indianapolis 500 preview

Helio Castroneves tied the all-time record with his 4th Indy 500 win last year, but the honor of winning the big race has largely been shared around in recent years, with Takuma Sato (2017 and 2020) the only driver with multiple wins in the last decade.

The 200-lap race is only the second oval race of the IndyCar season, with the other 4 races this season held on road courses, so the championship standings which see Will Power leading from Alex Palou and Scott McLaughlin, don’t mean a great deal this week. The oval race at Texas was won by Josef Newgarden as Team Penske filled 3 of the first 4 places and runner-up McLaughlin led for the majority of the race before losing by a tiny margin.

The qualifying sessions at Indianapolis matter more though, and this time it was the Honda-powered cars of Chip Ganassi Racing that had the upper hand, filling 4 of the 6 places in the Firestone Fast 6 Qualifying.

The leading places on the grid are: 1 Scott Dixon, 2 Alex Palou, 3 Rinus Veekay, 4 Ed Carpenter, 5 Marcus Ericsson, 6 Tony Kanaan, 7 Pato O’Ward, 8 Felix Rosenqvist, 9 Romain Grosjean, 10 Takuma Sato.

2022 Indianapolis 500 odds

The leading odds for Sunday’s race are:

Scott Dixon +650
Alex Palou +650
Colton Herta +900
Scott McLaughlin +1000
Josef Newgarden +1000
Pato O’Ward +1200
Will Power +1300
Rinus Veekay +1500
Ed Carpenter +1600
Marcus Ericsson +1700
Helio Castroneves +1900
Alexander Rossi +2000
Takuma Sato +2200

Odds available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.

2022 Indy 500 winner best bets

Alex Palou +650

Older heads have won the races in the recent runnings of the Indianapolis 500, but some of the young talent on the grid could come to the fore in Sunday’s race. Castroneves was 46 when winning last year, 12 years after his third success at the Brickyard, while Takuma Sato was 43 when he won in 2020. Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Sato again were all well north of 30 when winning the 3 previous 500s, and no youngster has been in victory lane since rookie Alexander Rossi (24) in 2016.

Dixon, 41, was fastest at the right time in qualifying last week, but the young guns alongside him on the grid may prove hard to keep at bay. Dixon is starting on pole for the 4th time since his 2008 win, with the previous bids from pole resulting in finishes of 4th (2015) and 17th (2021), while he failed to finish in 2017. He was runner-up from 2nd on the grid in 2020, but this race has not been kind to pole-sitters, with Pagenaud in 2019 being the only driver to convert pole into a race win in the last 10 years. Over that period, the winners started (most recent first): 8-3-1-3-4-11-15-19-12.

Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Racing team looked strong throughout the practice and qualifying sessions and his biggest rival could turn out to be the teammate alongside him on the grid, Alex Palou.

At 25, the Spaniard has finished 1st and 2nd in the IndyCar championship in his first 2 seasons with the team, and he looks strong enough on the ovals to win the big one. In 2020 he qualified 7th in his first visit, and last year he qualified 6th and led for 35 laps before being passed within 2 laps of the finish. Palou was fastest of everyone in Monday’s post-qualifying practice and looks worth a bet to go one better this time.

Rinus Veekay +1500

Rinus VeeKay is becoming IndyCar’s answer to F1 world champion Max Verstappen. The Dutch driver was fastest in last Saturday’s qualifying session and 2nd in Top 12 qualifying. After taking 3rd on the final grid he looks set for a bold bid in his Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet.

At 21, Veekay could become the youngest ever winner of the race, but he has experience of the track from Indy Lights in 2019 and this is his 3rd attempt in the 500. He came 8th last year from 3rd on the grid and led the field for 32 laps. His 2020 race was better than his final placing of 20th appears as he was running in the top 5 when getting a costly pit-lane penalty.

2022 Indianapolis 500 best longshot

Felix Rosenqvist +2800

Complete a trio of European talents with Arrow McLaren driver Felix Rosenqvist. His odds of +2800 make him a great outside bet considering he took pole in this season’s only oval race at Texas (retiring with a mechanical issue) and he posted the 3rd-fastest time in the main qualifying session last Saturday, before just missing out on the Fast Six in 8th place.

2022 Indianapolis 500 best prop bet

Scott McLaughlin top-5 finish +280

Among the many prop bets on offer for the great race, BetMGM Sportsbook has odds to finish in the top 5, and New Zealander Scott McLaughlin appeals at +280. Lining up a disappointing 26th on the grid, way behind Team Penske teammates Will Power and Josef Newgarden, McLaughlin showed he should really have been further forward when 15th in post-qualifying practice.

His close 2nd to Newgarden in Texas suggests he could still be a factor on ovals, having already won on a road course in St. Petersburg in the 2022 IndyCar season opener.

Gear up for Sunday’s F1, NASCAR and IndyCar extravaganza with our motorsport mega parlay!

At Pickswise we offer free motorsport picks for Formula 1 and NASCAR including analysis and betting advice from expert handicappers.

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