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Thread: Indy 500 betting guide

  1. #1 Indy 500 betting guide 
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    Indy 500 betting guide

    PJ Walsh
    ESPN Contributor
    ESPN INSIDER

    If anyone associated with Indycar, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or open wheel racing was worried about how the 2017 Indy 500 could live up to last year's 100th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, they can thank Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso.
    On April 11, the two-time Formula 1 World Champion announced that he would be skipping the Monaco Grand Prix, F1's most prestigious race, to instead partner with Indycar's Andretti Autosport and make a run at the Indy 500.

    Alonso, a 32-time winner on the Formula 1 circuit, brings international star power to an already world-class event and the 35-year-old Spaniard hasn't disappointed since hitting the track. Following impressive speed throughout practice, Alonso secured a fifth-place starting position during last weekend's qualifications.

    The Indy 500, already a popular event among motorsports bettors, is garnering even more attention this year, according to Bookmaker.eu's Scott Cooley.

    "We do five times as much action on the 500 compared to other Indycar races," explained Cooley.
    He also revealed that the Indy 500 will be the most heavily bet race of an already popular motorsports weekend that also includes the aforementioned Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600.

    "It's such a storied and iconic race that sports fans know when it's happening, and they want to know who wins. Much like the Triple Crown races, whether someone is a horse fan or not, they're tuning in. It's the same for the Indy 500," Cooley added.

    "It's such a storied and iconic race that sports fans know when it's happening, and they want to know who wins. Much like the Triple Crown races, whether someone is a horse fan or not, they're tuning in. It's the same for the Indy 500," Cooley added.


    Because of his international star power, books have expectedly taken steady action on Alonso throughout the month of May. Back on May 8, Alonso was available at +3500 at the Westgate Superbook. At the time of publication, Alonso has been bet down to +1200 and even shorter at most offshore sportsbooks.

    Polesitter and current Indy 500 favorite (+400), Scott Dixon, has also been a very popular bet behind both sharp and recreational action.

    Earlier this week, Cooley indicated that Dixon money was really picking up. "Wiseguys already liked him a good bit, but the public is piling on now," he said. "His odds moved from +700 to +500 basically overnight. "
    Sportsbooks have been forced to adjust their numbers to account for Alonso and Dixon money, allowing prices for a handful of drivers to drift considerably higher than expected. As a result, I'm going ahead and locking in three futures bets to win the Indy 500 that are too good to pass up.

    Ryan Hunter-Reay (+1000)
    Hunter-Reay at this price is one of my favorite Indy 500 bets in recent memory. RHR won the Indy 500 in 2014 and had the best car in the field last year, leading more laps (52) than any other driver before a pit-road accident ended his day while he was leading the race.

    This year, Hunter-Reay has been his normal speedy self all throughout Indy 500 practice but a bad qualifying draw prevented him from getting everything out of his car, resulting in a 10th-place starting position. While this is further back on the starting grid than most expected, the last five Indy 500 winners have started outside of the Top 10, meaning RHR should still be considered one of the favorites even though he's not priced as one. At 10-1 (and even better for those willing to shop around), this is an autobet for me and a great way to start off an Indy 500 betting card.

    Tony Kanaan (+1000)
    Surprisingly, the 2013 Indy 500 winner has gone somewhat under the radar leading up to Sunday's race. Kanaan opened at 10-1 at Westgate, has a Top 10 starting spot and is happy with his car's race setup yet his price has not budged.
    TK is always fast here, including a fourth-place finish just one year ago, and combined with Hunter-Reay gives us another past Indy 500 champion at a price of 10-1.

    Sage Karam (+10000)


    Everybody needs at least one long shot, right? Well, if you're looking for a flier, Karam is your guy. Despite struggles in qualifying that resulted in a starting position of only 21st, it wasn't all that surprising for those who followed last week's practice sessions. While Karam had trouble posting fast "no tow" laps (laps in practice run without the aid of the draft or aerodynamic tow) he frequently ranked in the Top 10 on the speed charts while racing in traffic with other cars.
    I don't expect Karam to charge to the front and lead a chunk of the race, but he should have enough speed to hang around the Top 15 and have a shot if the racing gets dicey in the closing laps. At a price of 100-1, that's really all we can ask for.

    Value Bets

    Our strategy for the 2017 Indy 500 is to take advantage of value created by books being heavy on both Alonso and Dixon by grabbing two underpriced favorites and one long shot who could make some noise and pull off a major upset.
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    No opinion on this material fellas, just posting for others to read...
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