Josef Newgarden is PointsBet Mid-Ohio favorite over Scott Dixon

PointsBet Mid-Ohio
Frank Jansky / Getty Images

After a heartbreaking end to his Road America effort, Josef Newgarden is the PointsBet favorite to win the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (11 a.m. ET, NBC).

Newgarden sat on the pole for the Rev Group Grand Prix and led 32 of 55 laps before something went amiss in his gear box on a restart with two-to-go, dropping him from the lead to 21st, the final driver on the lead lap. His odds this week are +425. Newgarden finished second in the first of two races at Mid-Ohio last year and was eighth in Race 2.

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 this week for Newgarden is $4.25. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Scott Dixon, who aims for his second win of the season and his first on a road course, is the next favorite with +525 odds. Dixon swept the top 10 in six road course races this season, but only three of these were top-fives and his best effort of third was earned in the season-opener at Barber Motorsports Park.

Ranked third, Will Power leads a sweep of veteran drivers among the top three. His odds are +700. Power has two podium finishes on road courses with a second at Barber and a third last week at Road America. Sitting in the media center after the race in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Power was encouraged by the run and believed the team is turning their season around.

Colton Herta, 21, leads a contingent of three young guns in the next three positions. So far in 2021 drivers in their 20s have posted impressive runs by scoring six of the nine victories. Herta’s win came in Round 2 at St. Petersburg. He is listed this week at +750.

Pato O’Ward rounds out the top five at +850. He has one win on an oval in 2021 and one win on a road course. His road course win came in the second race of the Belle Isle doubleheader on the heels of a third-place finish the day before.

Just outside the top five, Alex Palou is listed at +1000. Last week’s win at Road America gave him back the points’ lead as the series heads into the back half of the season.

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IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”