Considering the latest 2020 Indianapolis 500 odds, the choice is clear: Back the heavy favorite or take a flyer on one of a handful of other contenders with little separation between them.
Scott Dixon is that consensus favorite.
It’s hard to argue against staking Dixon but, at the same time, it’s also difficult to pass on the value that some other racers boast. Iowa sportsbooks will pay out handsomely if they are wrong.
Latest 2020 Indy 500 odds at IA sportsbooks
Dixon isn’t just the consensus favorite for Sunday’s race (1:30 p.m. CST on NBC), he’s that by a comfortable margin.
For example, DraftKings has him +400 to win. The next choice, Alexander Rossi, is +750 to take the checkered flag.
Dixon checks all the boxes but one. He doesn’t have a strong resume for wins in this event, having just one Indy 500 victory to his credit. In all other ways, he has earned the favorite status, however.
Dixon won the only Superspeedway event so far this season. Additionally, he has performed well in trials this week, finishing in the top three in his trim that he will use on Sunday.
When Dixon got that Superspeedway win in Texas in June, he started from the same position he will start on Sunday, No. 2. That strengthens his case for the shortest odds.
Although William Hill has identical +400 odds, PointsBet is a bit more generous right now, with Dixon at +475 to win.
There are four other contenders in the field bettors could consider before staking their claims. One of them has a great family lineage to try to uphold Sunday.
Four other Indy 500 contenders to think about and why
One of those is Rossi, who was the runner-up in 2019 in this event. His worst Indy 500 finish in his career was seventh. Additionally, he has traditionally performed best on Superspeedway courses.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, who sits +900 to win at DraftKings and William Hill but +1,000 at PointsBet, is another option. He’s finished eighth in his last two Indy 500 appearances and has had a great week of practice.
Marco Andretti, grandson of the legendary Mario Andretti, will try to become the first member of his family to win an Indy 500 since his grandfather made a name for himself in the motorsport. The younger Andretti has already made some history, winning the pole position 33 years after the elder did it for his final time.
There’s more to Andretti than just good genes, however. He had the fastest car in both days of qualifying and hasn’t finished any worse than third in any practice session.
Andretti currently sits +850 at DraftKings and PointsBet, +900 at William Hill.
The longest shot in this quartet is +1,000 at William Hill, but +1,200 at DraftKings and PointsBet. The aptly named Will Power won this event in 2018 and many experts consider him the best Superspeedway racer in the field right now.
While those are helpful factoids about individual contenders, there are some other trends Iowa sports bettors should know. One circumstance doesn’t bode well for Dixon.
Indy car trends coming into Sunday’s race
Lately, where racers start has had a strong impact on where they finish. Winners of the last three races have started out no worse than fourth.
2019 winner Simon Pagenaud sits at +900 or +1,000, depending on the Iowa sportsbook. However, there is reason to believe he may not repeat this year. Only twice in the past 66 years has a driver won back-to-back Indy 500 races.
Another more recent trend contributes to that stat. In each of the last six years, the winner of this race has done so for the first time in his career.
If you’d rather not bet on the winner straight up, DraftKings has other options. Those include odds on individual drivers to finish in the top three, markets for the top finish in each of the four groups, and props on the manufacturer and number of the winning car.
This Sunday, Dixon will show whether it was wise to take the safe bet or take a larger risk for a bigger reward. IA sportsbooks are betting on Dixon right now.