What are the Betting Odds on the Indy 500?

The 2019 Indy 500 was held on May 22nd and was one of the most talked about races in recent history. The 100th edition of the prestigious event drew a record-breaking crowd of over 200,000 people. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is the site of this year’s race, holds an official British Bookmakers (OddsBets.com) betting estimate of 7.0 for the winner with a place getter of 5.0. It was the lowest betting odds on a non-championship race in the UK in 2019.

What are the betting odds on the Indy 500? Let’s find out.

The Current Odds

The current British betting odds for the first four places are as follows:

  • 1st: 7.0 (OddsBets.com)
  • 2nd: 5.0 (OddsBets.com)
  • 3rd: 4.0 (OddsBets.com)
  • 4th: 3.0 (OddsBets.com)

The prices for a complete ticket, which includes admission to the race and the privilege to place a wager on the winner, are as follows:

  • For the first four places: £60 (Futurice)
  • For the place prize: £30

The chances of a driver or teaming securing victory in the Indy 500 are slim. Since 1968, no driver or team has won the race more than once. Juan Pablo Montoya is currently the second-longest-serving driver in the history of the 500 with 534 races behind him. He has also won the Indy 500 on three occasions (2002, 2003 and 2019). The only other driver to have won the race more than once is Lewis Hamilton. He has triumphed three times (2013, 2018 and 2019).

Other notable winners of the Indy 500 include A.J. Foyt, who won the race four times (1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962), Mario Andretti, who has won the race three times (1972, 1973 and 1974), and Al Michaels, who scored a hat trick of victories in 1981, 1982 and 1983.

In terms of teams, the number of first-time winners is greater than the number of repeat winners. This is largely explained by the fact that it is easier to secure one win than it is to secure multiple wins in the Indy 500. Only five teams have managed to secure back-to-back wins in the history of the event. These teams are:

  • A.J. Foyt Enterprises – A.J. Foyt (four times)
  • Walter Andretti’s cars – Mario Andretti (three times)
  • Team Penske – Roger Penske (two times)
  • Front Row Enterprises – Bobby Rahal (two times)
  • Team Newman–Curtis – Willy T. Ribbs, Jr. (two times)

Since the inception of the event in 1914, only 17 different race winners have been registered. This is partly explained by the fact that the cost of entering the race has increased consistently throughout the years. The entry fee was £10 in 1914, but it has since increased to £125. The most expensive ticket to watch the 100th running of the Indy 500 is now £2000. In contrast, the cheapest ticket for last year’s race was £15.

Which teams and drivers are likely to secure the greatest success in the coming months? Let’s find out by analyzing the form books of the 24 current teams and drivers competing in the Indy 500.

Form Analysis

Let’s begin by taking a look at the form book of the 24 teams and drivers competing in the 2019 Indy 500. The following table lists the results of all races entered by each team and driver so far this year:

The results column lists the teams and drivers’ positions after completing each race in order. A team or driver’s best two results from previous races will be listed along with their current standing. The “Win ratio” column represents the number of victories, relative to the number of races completed, with the ratio being calculated using the following formula: (Races completed x 2) / (Total number of races entered).

For example, Alfa Romeo currently holds the following results:

  • 3rd – one of the best third-place finishes in the history of the Indy 500
  • 12th – current position in the standings
  • 19th – poor performance in the last two races
  • 21st – best ever result for this team in the Indy 500 (last place)

Based on these results, we can calculate that Alfa Romeo has an overall win ratio of 0.25. This means that for every two races completed by this team, they will win one. Put into perspective, since the inception of the Indy 500 in 1914, only three other teams have managed to secure an overall win ratio below 0.5: Marmon (0.23), Eagle Automotive (0.37) and A.J. Foyt Enterprises (0.25). This makes Alfa Romeo the front-runner in the upcoming Indianapolis 500.

Next, let’s take a look at the form book of the 24 drivers competing in the 2019 Indy 500. The following table lists the results of all the races entered by each driver so far this year:

As expected, the majority of the current drivers’ results are quite poor. However, three drivers stand out:

  • Josef Newgarden – 4th place overall, 2nd place in the Rookie of the Year standings
  • Charlie Kimball – 6th place overall, 3rd place in the Rookie of the Year standings
  • Carlos Munoz – 10th place overall, 5th place in the Rookie of the Year standings

Based on these results, we can calculate that Josef Newgarden has an overall win ratio of 0.16, followed by Carlos Munoz with 0.13 and Charlie Kimball with 0.11. This makes these three drivers the early leaders in the Indy 500.

The Future

Looking into the future, it is difficult to predict which teams and drivers will emerge as leaders. This is largely due to the constantly changing landscape of the Indy 500 as well as the sport of motorsport in general. Teams and drivers will rise to the top as long as they continue to perform well and put in the hours necessary to learn and improve. With that being said, here are the Top 5 Drivers to Watch in the 2020 Indy 500.


Josef Newgarden currently occupies the 4th spot in the 2019 Indy 500 point standings. This is a career-best result for the former CART race-winner. The team recently switched to the Honda engine for the 2020 season and the results have been spectacular. The highlight of Newgarden’s season so far is a 4th-place finish at Indy. This was his first top-five result at the ‘500 and it came on the heels of back-to-back 3rd-place finishes in 2019. Newgarden, who is currently 24th on the 2020 driver rankings list, is one of the early favorites to win the Indy 500 in the coming months. The German driver has been training hard throughout the winter months and the results are showing. He currently leads the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year standings and is looking to make a serious run at the title.