A Complete Guide To Betting On The Indianapolis 500

Posted on August 21, 2020 - Last Updated on September 3, 2020

The “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will be taking place this Sunday, and there are plenty of Indy 500 betting options available in the Hoosier State.

It’s full steam ahead for the race, although no fans will be attending the race this year. The Indianapolis 500 has never taken place before without spectators.

This year will be the first time in 74 years that the 500 isn’t happening over Memorial Day weekend.

COVID-19 forced the race to press pause for a few extra months.

Indianapolis 500 odds

Indiana’s online betting apps will be taking action on the race.

Since sports betting didn’t start in Indiana until September 2019, this year’s race will be the first one that you’ll be able to bet on in Indiana.

With no fans in the Motor Speedway this year, betting on the race is a fun way to mix up the viewing experience.

Simon Pagenaud won the race for the first time in 2019. Now he’s one of the favorites to come out on top again this year.

Here’s a look at the odds for the top racers from Indiana sportsbooks that are taking bets on the winner:

Scott DixonMarco AndrettiAlexander RossiRyan Hunter-ReaySimon Pagenaud

Indy 500 prop bets from PointsBet

Even though PointsBet isn’t taking action on the winner, it has the most prop bets available for the race.

For example, you can bet on which racers will finish in the top three, top five and top 10.

There are dozens of options available for each prop, so check out the full list of options to find your favorite.

Additionally, PointsBet has betting options out there on which racer will win their individual group. You can wager on groups A-D right now.

Here’s a look at the odds for group B, which includes 2018 winner Will Power, and 2017 winner Takuma Sato:

  • Will Power: +275
  • Takuma Sato: +325
  • Rinus VeeKay: +325
  • Colton Herta: +350
  • James Hinchcliffe: +400

Finishing position props like these are exciting due to the unpredictable nature of the race.

PointsBet also has some head-to-head options on the board right now.

For example, you can pick whether you think Scott Dixon or Marco Andretti will finish the race in a better spot. Right now Dixon is the -182 favorite, with Andretti trailing at +135.

DraftKings Indianapolis 500 props

DraftKings Sportsbook also has its fair share of props, and they differ from what PointsBet is offering.

You can place a bet on the engine manufacturer of the winning car. Chevrolet is the +165 underdog, with Honda sitting at -225.

The winning car’s number is also a betting option.

Right now, the winning car is favored at -125 to have an odd number, with the odds for the winning car having an even number at +100.

DraftKings also has two over/under betting options on the board for the winning car’s number. You can take the over/under at 20.5 or 24.5, whichever value you prefer.

The final prop bet DraftKings is offering covers the grid position of the race winner. You can take the over/under on that position at 8.5.

Indy 500 betting promotions

All things considered, the list of promos for the Indianapolis 500 is pretty thin.

That may change by the time race day comes along, but for now, PointsBet and Unibet are the only two sportsbooks with a promotion out there.

PointsBet’s promo is a money-back guarantee on any driver to win the race.

If your driver loses the race, but finishes in the top 10, PointsBet will refund you with up to $25 worth of site credit.

Unibet, Indiana’s newest online sportsbook, has an almost identical promo out there.

The only difference between the two is that for Unibet’s promotion, your driver will have to finish in the top five for you to get your money back.

First year of Indy 500 betting

Betting on motor sports only accounts for a tiny amount of Indiana’s betting handle in a typical month.

Racing doesn’t even have its own category on the state’s monthly revenue reports. IndyCar gets thrown into the “other” category, which contains everything from the NHL to table tennis betting.

That lower level of interest might help explain why more sportsbooks aren’t jumping at the opportunity to pump out more promos.

Regardless, this year’s 500 could help turn that around.

Since this is the first year you can bet on the race in Indiana, there will likely be a large number of gamblers getting in on the action.

That number will likely be even higher than it would have been in a typical year, since the race won’t have spectators this time around.

The fact that the race is on TV this year will also help drive those numbers up.

Usually, the race is blacked out on local television to help encourage Indiana residents to attend the race in person.

The 500 was televised in 2016, but only because the historic 100th running sold out of tickets first. The broadcast of this year’s race will be only the second time in the last 70 years that Hoosiers will be able to watch from home.

So between it being the first year you can bet on the race, the event not having fans, and it being live on TV, this year’s Indy 500 should be one worth remembering.

Jake Garza Avatar
Written by
Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

View all posts by Jake Garza