Josef Newgarden opens as early favorite to win again at Barber Motorsports Park

IndyCar PointsBet odds
James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Josef Newgarden is the early line favorite in PointsBet odds for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama as the NTT IndyCar Series opens its 2021 season Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park (3 p.m. ET, NBC).

The two-time series champion from Team Penske is listed as +440 in the odds Powered by PointsBet SportsBook. Newgarden is a three-time winner at Barber in 2015 (his first career victory), ’17 and ’18.

Six-time and defending series champion Scott Dixon, who has six runner-up finishes at Barber but has yet to win at the road course, is ranked second at +520, followed by Will Power (+560), Colton Herta (+850) and Alexander Rossi (+900).

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who will be making his IndyCar debut, is ranked 20th among 24 drivers at +8000, putting him ahead of Conor Daly, Ed Jones, Max Chilton and Dalton Kellett.

For Sunday’s Formula One race, Max Verstappen is the current favorite in PointsBet SportsBook odds to win the Romagna GP.

PointsBet lists Verstappen at +135 to win the race and he is the prohibitive favorite to earn the pole at -120.

One way to view American Odds is to move the decimal point two positions to the left. That will let a bettor know what they will make on a $1 bet, so the return on investment for Verstappen this week is $1.35. In order to make money on a driver with negative odds, a bettor must find someone to take the opposite wager in order to fade that pick.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Last week’s winner of the Bahrain GP, Lewis Hamilton is ranked second in regard to outright win odds with a +145, which is the same as his odds to win this week’s pole position. Last year’s Romagna GP marked the first time Autodromo Ferrari in Imola, Italy has hosted a race since 2006. Hamilton won the race after starting second.

Verstappen retired from the 2020 race on Lap 50 with a flat tire.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas is ranked third for the outright win at +800. Last year Bottas finished second at Imola after winning the pole. Bottas’ odds to win the pole are listed at +850.

Tied with Bottas at +800 for outright win is Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, but he is ranked fourth in regard to his odds of winning the pole at +1000.

No other driver in the field is listed at better than +6000 odds for the outright win.

Those top four drivers currently show negative odds to finish on the podium, but there are several Prop Bets that should be regarded. One of these is the likelihood of a podium finish. Pierre Gasly is currently ranked fifth on that chart with odds of +375 to finish third or better. Charles Leclerc is next with odds of +480.

The odds of Nikita Mazepin being the first driver to retire from the Romagna Grand Prix are +500.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.

Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome during the inaugural season of 1974 on a 250, which was the premiere class at the time. Houston was one of three races held that year along with events at Daytona International Speedway and the Los Angeles Coliseum. All three venues return in 2023 with the first SuperMotocross championship finale returning to the famed LA Coliseum in September.

Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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