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Who will win the Indy 500 in 2022? Odds, expert picks & betting favorites for race at Indianapolis

Sporting News logo Sporting News 5/29/2022 Jacob Camenker

Can Helio Castroneves make history at the 2022 Indy 500? He is seeking to become the lone driver in history to win the race five times. He took home a surprising victory in 2021 and will look to repeat that success in 2022.

That won't prove easy. Castroneves is starting the race in 27th place out of 33 drivers and will face a stacked field full of former winners of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." That includes Scott Dixon, who had the fastest car not only at qualifying this year but at any point in the history of the race.

Because of the unpredictable nature of racing, there are plenty of mid-tier value picks and sleepers that bettors can trust in the 2022 Indy 500. There are also a couple of favorites that look poised to serve as safe, reliable top-five finishers in the event.

Which drivers are the best bet for the 2022 Indianapolis 500? The Sporting News has the latest Vegas odds breakdown as well as three picks who could take the checkered flag at the end of Sunday's race.

MORE: Full qualifying results for the 2022 Indy 500

Indy 500 odds to win 2022 race

For the third consecutive year, Scott Dixon (+550) opens as the favorite to win the Indy 500. Dixon finished first in qualifying and will be the pole-sitter for the race after he clocked an average lap speed of 234.046 mph during the race. That was 0.5 mph faster than his teammate, Alex Palou (+600).

Speaking of Palou, he is the favored to be the runner-up in the event while Pato O'Ward (+900) is the only other driver with better than 10-1 odds to win the race. Last year's winner Helio Castroneves (+2800) ranks middle of the pack despite his four previous victories in the Indy 500.

Another notable name within the field, Jimmie Johnson (+1600), is tied for the eighth-shortest odds to win the race. Johnson, a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, is in his first season as a full-time Indy car driver with Chip Ganassi Racing.

This will be Johnson's first time running the Indy 500 and just his second-time running a race on an oval track in the Indycar series. He ran his first oval course at the Texas Grand Prix in March and finished sixth, easily his best Indycar series finish. He will look to repeat that success in Indianapolis.

Below are the full opening odds for the 2022 Indy 500, per DraftKings Sportsbook. These odds are subject to change as Sunday's race draws nearer and nearer.

Drivers Odds
Scott Dixon +550
Alex Palou +600
Pato O'Ward +900
Rinus Veekay +1100
Josef Newgarden +1200
Will Power +1400
Colton Herta +1500
Scott McLaughlin +1600
Jimmie Johnson +1600
Takuma Sato +1800
Marcus Ericsson +1800
Ed Carpenter +1800
Tony Kanaan +2000
Felix Rosenqvist +2000
Alexander Rossi +2500
Simon Pagenaud +2500
Helio Castroneves +2800
Graham Rahal +3000
Romain Grosjean +3000
Marco Andretti +5000
Conor Daly +5000
David Malukas +5000
Santino Ferucci +6000
Juan Pablo Montoya +8000
Christian Lundgaard +10000
Kyle Kirkwood +10000
Devlin DeFrancesco +10000
Jack Harvey +10000
Sage Karam +10000
J.R. Hildebrand +10000
Callum Ilott +10000
Dalton Kellett +20000
Stefan Wilson +50000

Indy 500 expert picks

Below are three drivers that are good to bet on as winners or top-five finishers at the Indy 500 in 2022.

Scott Dixon (+550)

It may be a bit square to pick a favorite who happens to be the pole-sitter for this race, but Dixon is a safe bet to contend for the Indy 500 title. His car is in excellent shape, as he made the fastest pole run in Indy 500 history by driving it 234.046 mph during qualifying.

Beyond that, Dixon has a lot of experience at the Indy 500. This will mark the 20th time he has participated in the race and he has finished in the top 10 on 11 occasions. In his four previous races from the pole, his results have been mixed, but he earned his lone Indy 500 race from the pole and finished fourth on another occasion. So, if he has a clean run, he should be among the leaders during the race.

Dixon has run five races this season and has finished top 10 in all of them. He has yet to win or finish above fifth, but he's one of the best and most consistent drivers in the field. It's hard to recommend going against him at a track where he has so much experience. 

Will Power (+1400)

Power qualified in just 11th place for the Indy 500. That will mark his second-worst starting position of the year, but it shouldn't matter for the New Zealander. He has been the most consistent driver in the IndyCar series this year and currently sits atop the standings for the sport.

Power has finished third or fourth in each of his five races this year. He has generally started in the top seven — with one pole to his name — but even in the one race that he started from the 19th slot, he worked his way up to fourth place. He could do something similar at the Indy 500.

In 2018, Power won his first Indianapolis 500. He has had his share of struggles at the course since then, including a 30th-place finish last season, but he still has seven top-10 finishes at the race since 2008. That should give him a chance to compete for the win given the success he has had this year on the racing circuit. At 14-1 odds, he is a very nice value pick that could pay off in a big way.

Marcus Ericcson (+1800)

Here's another solid value option. Ericcson has been volatile in races this season. He has had some races where he started near the front of the pack and ended up at the back. In others, he moved up significantly and was able to make a top-10 run.

Below is a look at his starting and finishing position this season on a race-by-race basis:

Race Start Finish
GP of St. Petersburg 8 9
GP of Texas 14 3
GP of Long Beach 8 22
GP of Alabama 12 12
GP of Indianapolis (Road Course) Race 1 18 4

What does this tell us? Well, Ericcson has been known to move up and down courses throughout the season. As such, betting on him carries some risk, but it also comes with big reward potential.

Ericcson qualified with the fifth-fastest car, so he will start in fifth place. He has moved up more than 10 places in a race twice in five chances this season, so he should have a chance to jump from fifth to first in this one.

Of course, it's not guaranteed. After all, Ericcson has never finished higher than 11th place at Indy in three previous tries. Additionally, he has fallen 14 places in a race this season, so he could burn out if he gets off to a bad start. Still, given his positioning and skill set, rolling with him as a potential winner at 18-1 odds is a nice move. So too would be betting him to finish in the top 5 at +220 odds.

Indy 500 winners by year

Helio Castroneves won the Indy 500 in 2021 and in doing so, he became just the fourth driver in the history of the race to win it four times. The other three drivers to do so are A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears and Al Unser.

Castroneves is the only active driver among those four, so he has more wins than anyone else in the field. Eight former champions are participating in this year's race, including the four most recent winners, Castroneves, Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

Below is a full list of the race's winners dating back to Ray Harroun's win in the 1911 iteration of the race.

Year Indy 500 winner
2021 Helio Castroneves
2020 Takuma Sato
2019 Simon Pagenaud
2018 Will Power
2017 Takuma Sato
2016 Alexander Rossi
2015 Juan Pablo Montoya
2014 Ryan Hunter-Reay
2013 Tony Kanaan
2012 Dario Franchitti
2011 Dan Wheldon
2010 Dario Franchitti
2009 Helio Castroneves
2008 Scott Dixon
2007 Dario Franchitti
2006 Sam Hornish Jr.
2005 Dan Wheldon
2004 Buddy Rice
2003 Gil de Ferran
2002 Helio Castroneves
2001 Helio Castroneves
2000 Juan Pablo Montoya
1999 Kenny Brack
1998 Eddie Cheever Jr.
1997 Arie Luyendyk
1996 Buddy Lazier
1995 Jacques Villeneuve
1994 Al Unser Jr.
1993 Emerson Fittipaldi
1992 Al Unser Jr.
1991 Rick Mears
1990 Arie Luyendyk
1989 Emerson Fittipaldi
1988 Rick Mears
1987 Al Unser
1986 Bobby Rahal
1985 Danny Sullivan
1984 Rick Mears
1983 Tom Sneva
1982 Gordon Johncock
1981 Bobby Unser
1980 Johnny Rutherford
1979 Rick Mears
1978 Al Unser
1977 A.J. Foyt Jr.
1976 Johnny Rutherford
1975 Bobby Unser
1974 Johnny Rutherford
1973 Gordon Johncock
1972 Mark Donohue
1971 Al Unser
1970 Al Unser
1969 Mario Andretti
1968 Bobby Unser
1967 A.J. Foyt
1966 Graham Hill
1965 Jim Clark
1964 A.J. Foyt Jr.
1963 Parnelli Jones
1962 Rodger Ward
1961 A.J. Foyt
1960 Jim Rathman
1959 Rodger Ward
1958 Jimmy Bryan
1957 Sam Hanks
1956 Pat Flaherty
1955 Bob Sweikert
1954 Bill Vukovich
1953 Bill Vukovich
1952 Troy Ruttman
1951 Lee Wallard
1950 Johnnie Parsons
1949 Bill Holland
1948 Mauri Rose
1947 Mauri Rose
1946 George Robson
1945 No race (WWII)
1944 No race (WWII)
1943 No race (WWII)
1942 No race (WWII)
1941 Floyd Davis/Mauri Rose
1940 Wilbur Shaw
1939 Wilbur Shaw
1938 Floyd Roberts
1937 Wilbur Shaw
1936 Louis Meyer
1935 Kelly Petillo
1934 Bill Cummings
1933 Louis Meyer
1932 Fred Frame
1931 Louis Schneider
1930 Billy Arnold
1929 Ray Keech
1928 Louis Meyer
1927 George Souders
1926 Frank Lockhart
1925 Peter DePaolo
1924 Joe Boyer/L.L. Corum
1923 Tommy Milton
1922 Jimmy Murphy
1921 Tommy Milton
1920 Gaston Chevrolet
1919 Howdy Wilcox
1918 No race (WWI)
1917 No race (WWI)
1916 Dario Resta
1915 Ralph DePalma
1914 Rene Thomas
1913 Jules Goux
1912 Joe Dawson
1911 Ray Harroun
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