Alex Palou is the early PointsBet Grand Prix of Monterey favorite at WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway for the September 19 race on the 2.24-mile road course (3 p.m. ET, NBC).
Palou is the most recent winner on the circuit, taking the checkers home last week at Portland after earning the pole. He is listed with odds of +380. Palou’s Portland victory is his third of the season, with the other two also coming on permanent road courses. With his win Palou now holds a 25-point advantage over Patricio O’Ward.
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 this week for Palou is $3.80. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.
Josef Newgarden is ranked second at +475 after starting the day at +675. Newgarden’s odds shifted drastically after he paced Friday’s practice session.
Newgarden was listed PointsBet’s favorite for the Portland races with odds of +540, but finished a distant 18th. That was his third straight road course result outside the top five. Before that, he won at Mid-Ohio.
Colton Herta is ranked third with odds of +500. Herta finished sixth last week at Portland and was third at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, giving him back-to-back top-10s on road courses. His only win so far this year came on the temporary circuit in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Herta is the defending winner at Laguna Seca from 2019. Last year’s proposed doubleheader was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scott Dixon has been almost perfect in respect to road course top-10s, finishing outside that mark just once in 10 starts this year. That came at Indy, but he has finished in the top five in four of the last five races on this track including last week’s third at Portland. This week he is listed at +800, which ranked him fourth on Friday evening.
Rounding out the top-five is O’Ward with a line of +900. O’Ward scored one road course win in the Belle Isle doubleheader and has six top-10s in his last seven starts on this course type. Palou lost the points’ lead last week when his pit strategy was spoiled by an untimely caution flag.
Coming off his third top-20 of his rookie season in IndyCar, Jimmie Johnson remains a longshot with odds of +50000 (500/1). Along with Dalton Kellett, Max Chilton, and Callum Ilott, he is one of four drivers with odds that long.
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