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.

MORE: IndyCar Predictor Sports App favorites
MORE: Prequalification practice and their impact on betting lines

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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For more betting coverage, go to NBC Sports Edge

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series
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After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi