The 2017 Indianapolis 500 is just over a week away as the world’s best drivers gear up for another running of “the greatest spectacle in racing.” The entry list has been finalized and the drivers have already gotten their first taste of the track with practice runs that began on Monday. Online bookmakers are also doing prep work of their own as they compile the odds ahead of another major betting event.
As we count down the days to the 101st running of the Indy 500, we can do a little homework of our own in previewing the race and planning our bets. Our purpose today is to help you do exactly that. We have all the basic information you need to bet on the Indy 500 online, including race start times, the full entries list and the early betting odds.
Where to Bet on the Indy 500 Online
The 2017 Indy 500 runs this year on 28 May with gates opening at 6 AM. Around noon, the drivers will make their way to their starting positions and at 12:14 PM ET, they will be told to “start your engines.” The Indy 500 is scheduled to officially get underway at 12:19 PM ET.
Indy 500 Preview
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway released the 2017 Indy 500 entry list on 14 May. Once again, we have a great batch of drivers to look forward to with a combination of rookies, past winners and international racing veterans all in the hunt.
Past winners who will be racing on Sunday include defending champion Alexander Rossi (2016), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002, 2009), Buddy Lazier (1996), Juan Pablo Montoya (2000, 2015), Scott Dixon (2008), Tony Kanaan (2013) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014).
Rookies to Watch
Two-time F1 Champion Fernando Alonso will also be making a run for the Borg-Warner Trophy this year, joining Alexander Rossi as F1 drivers trying their hand at racing. It is also worth noting that Alonso will be driving for Andretti Autosport, the same team for which Alexander Rossi drove as a rookie last year en route to winning the 2016 Indy 500.
Fernando Alonso had his first actual practice run with other vehicles at the IMS oval on Monday and by all accounts, it went very well. He posted a fastest lap at 223.025 mph to rank right in the middle of the pack. The quick adjustment so far is commendable considering Alonso was literally the day before competing in the F1 Spanish Grand Prix across an ocean and in a completely different machine.
Alonso will not be the only rookie competing at the Indy 500 this year. Jack Harvey, Ed Jones and Zach Veach will also be making their Indy 500 debuts this year. Jack Harvey is a two-time Indy Lights runner-up who will also be worth watching. He crashed into a wall during Monday’s practice run but was cleared to race again after a quick checkup.
Nine rookies have won the Indianapolis 500 to date since its inception. The most recent of these was Alexander Rossi in 2016. Prior to him, the last rookie to win was Helio Castroneves in 2001 and Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000.
Going back further into history, other rookie winners include Graham Hill (1966), George Souders (1927), Frank Lockhart (1926), Rene Thomas (1914), Jules Goux (1913) and Ray Harroun in the inaugural race in 1911.
Of these rookies, only Helio Castroneves came back to win the Indy 500 again the following year. He followed up his 2001 rookie victory by winning it again in 2002.
Former Winners to Watch
Five former Indy 500 winners stand out above all others as names to watch in 2017. Those are Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Kanaan and Alexander Rossi.
Scott Dixon will be opening as one of the Indy 500 betting favourites this year on the back of his proven success in the past and his strong season so far. Dixon seems to be building momentum for the Indy 500 after taking second at last weekend’s IndyCar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He also finished 2nd at the Grand Prix of Alabama in April and third at the Firestone Grand Prix in March.
IndyCar.com makes a special note regarding Dixon’s recent results: the last time he stood on the podium three times before the Indy 500 was in 2008. That happens to be the same year he won the Indy 500.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves will be looking to make it a fourth on May 28th. Castroneves has been an IndyCar driver going on 20 years now, but he is not one to overlook with his vast experience and proven winning ways.
After a pair of wins in 2001 and 2002, Castroneves went another seven years before winning again. Now, eight years after his 2009 victory, Castroneves will be looking for one last big run.
Two-time winner Juan Pablo Montoya has gone as long as 15 years in between Indy 500 wins, so seeing him win it again two years later is no stretch. He is a proven commodity and very well-rounded driver having won the Indy 500 in addition to several F1 Grand Prix races.
The biggest question revolving around the great JPM is how ready he’ll be to drive in the Indy 500 after being inactive for most of this season. Prior to the IndyCar Grand Prix on 13 May, he hadn’t raced in a competitive event since last September. He drove well-enough at the Grand Prix to earn a 10th place finish, but we still have to wonder if his low volume racing schedule this year will hurt his chances at the competitive Indianapolis 500.
Tony Kanaan, 2013 winner, is getting up there in age as well with 20 years of IndyCar racing already behind him. His best results so far this season were a 6th place finish at the Phoenix Grand Prix on 29 April and a 7th place finish at the Grand Prix of Alabama the week before that.
His 20th-place finish at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis is not indicative of much due to that being an issue of misfortune rather than something indicating poor driving. Marco Andretti made contact with Kanaan early in the Grand Prix and Kanaan was forced to pit on the second lap. With his last Indy 500 victory coming just four years ago, we cannot write him out of contention this year as well.
Alexander Rossi is worth a close look for obvious reasons as the defending Indianapolis 500 champion. His achievement last year was nothing short of remarkable as he became one of the few rookies to ever win the Indy 500.
It will not be surprising if Rossi’s odds shorten as we get closer to the race. He has all sorts of name recognition and will likely be a popular wager. In his most recent race, he finished 8th at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
You can find the detailed and official entry list here, but below we have all the basics:
|4||Conor Daly||29th (contact)|
|7||Mikhail Aleshin||27th (contact)|
|17||Sebastian Saavedra||Did not race|
|20||Ed Carpenter||31st (mechanical)|
|22||Juan Pablo Montoya||33rd (contact)|
|24||Sage Karam||32nd (contact)|
|26||Takuma Sato||26th (contact)|
|49||Buddy Lazier||30th (mechanical)|
|77||Jay Howard||Did not race|
2017 Indianapolis 500 Betting Odds
Our favorite Indy 500 bookmakers have now published the outright odds on every driver in the event. As you would expect, Scott Dixon, Fernando Alonso, Will Power and Helio Castroneves lead the way as 2017 betting favorites. Here are the odds on all 33 drivers.
Indy 500 Odds at International Bookmakers:
|Juan Pablo Montoya||12/1||11/1||12/1|
Odds at USA-Friendly Sportsbooks:
|Juan Pablo Montoya||+1200||+1400||+1200|