How to bet the Indy 500

Auto racing isn't like horse racing, so there are different matchups to watch

Originally Published: May 24, 2013
By Dave Tuley | ESPN Insider
Dario FranchittiJamie Squire/Getty ImagesNever bet the Indy 500? Matchups can be targeted, too.

LAS VEGAS -- When we think of the biggest sporting events in this country, the list just rolls off the tongue: the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, Stanley Cup, March Madness, Final Four. And the Indianapolis 500 ranks right up there in the discussion.

Although NASCAR has surpassed IndyCar in most metrics (attendance, TV ratings, even betting handle), the Indianapolis 500 still lives up to its "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" moniker because with a live attendance of some 400,000, including the infield, it's the best-attended sporting event in America.

And as with any big sporting event, there is also big betting interest. There are the regular odds to win as well as head-to-head matchups and some props available at the more aggressive betting shops (it's also a natural for in-running wagering during the event).

The LVH SuperBook posted its Indy 500 odds earlier this month, and there's been plenty of adjustments in the odds since.

As of Wednesday, Helio Castroneves (three-time Indy winner) and Marco Andretti (grandson of 1969 winner Mario) were the 6-1 co-favorites at the LVH. Pole winner Ed Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe are next at 7-1, with Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Will Power at 8-1. A week ago, Castroneves and Andretti were 7-1 along with Dixon and Carpenter, but LVH bookmaker Ed Salmons told me the changes haven't been as much due to money coming in as his own adjustments based on what he saw at the practice sessions and qualifying.

Dave Tuley has covered the Las Vegas race and sports book scene since 1998 and runs his own website, ViewFromVegas.com.