Scott Dixon is PointsBet favorite for 106th Indy 500; Jimmie Johnson a solid dark horse

PointsBet Indy 500 Dixon
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After posting top-five speeds in every practice session and setting a pole record, Scott Dixon is the PointsBet Sportsbook favorite for the 106th Indy 500 (Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and streaming on Peacock, the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com).

Dixon was also favored in the first 2022 IndyCar oval race this March, but failed to lead a lap and finished fifth in the final rundown. In that race, Dixon boasted a line of +525; as of Tuesday evening, Dixon’s line for the Indy 500 is +540 and he has bounced around some this week. Before earning the pole, his line was as high as +775 and typically line moves this drastic are because of a combination of Smart Money going to the favorite plus a driver’s on-track performance.

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 Dixon is $5.40. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Dixon’s Chip Ganassi teammate Alex Palou sits on the middle of the front row and is ranked second at PointsBet with a line of +725. Ganassi and Team Penske dominated the Xpel 375 at Texas by taking the top seven positions on that oval. Palou was seventh. Last year, he finished runner-up to Helio Castroneves in the Indy 500.

Ranked third this week is Pato O’Ward with a line of +900. In two previous Indy 500 starts, O’Ward finished sixth in 2020 and was fourth last year. O’Ward swept the top five on ovals last year, including a win at Texas. This year, he was only 15th on that track.

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No other driver is currently listed below 10/1 for the Indy 500.

Josef Newgarden and Colton Herta round out the top five with lines of +1000.

Newgarden enters the weekend with back-to-back wins on ovals last year at Gateway and this spring at Texas. He was 12th in the 2021 Indy 500, but that was the only time in the last two seasons that he finished outside the top 10.

Herta’s 10/1 line is a little more difficult to rationalize. Herta scored just one top-10 on an oval last year, a fifth in the second race of the Texas doubleheader. He was 12th on that track this March.

Perhaps the most attractive dark horse this week is Jimmie Johnson with a line of +1800. Johnson has been fast in practice with top-five speeds in Practices 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8. He advanced to the Fast 12 in qualification and without a push coming off Turn 1 of Lap 1 of his last time trial effort, he was favored to advance to the final six. Johnson was 25/1 before qualification and has dropped to as low as 16/1 in the intervening days.

Previous Betting Lines

Round 1: St Petersburg: Colton Herta favored
Round 2: Texas: Scott Dixon favored
Round 3: Long Beach: Herta favored for second street race
Round 4: Barber: Herta still favored, but line gets longer
Round 5: GMR Grand Prix: Herta continue to be road racing favorite

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