IndyCar odds: Several title contenders being overlooked

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, IndyCar (Photo Credit: Desert Sun)
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, IndyCar (Photo Credit: Desert Sun) /

There is no surprise when it comes to the 2023 IndyCar championship favorite, but there are some serious contenders who are definitely being overlooked.

Following an offseason of more than five months, the start of the 2023 IndyCar season is now just right around the corner.

The season is set to begin a week later this year than it did last year, with the opener scheduled for the first weekend of March as opposed to the final weekend of February.

Team Penske’s Will Power enters the season as the reigning champion, having won his second title in 2022, but he is not the betting favorite to win the title in 2023. He is listed second at +500.

It stands to reason, since no driver has won back-to-back championships since Dario Franchitti won three in a row from 2009 to 2011. Additionally, Power only actually won a single race last year.

But the favorite is still a familiar one, and that would be fellow two-time IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden, also of Team Penske.

Newgarden’s odds to win the title are +410. He has finished runner-up in the standings in each of the last three seasons and only has one finish outside of the top two since joining Team Penske in 2017. He led the series in wins with five a year ago, becoming the first driver to win that many races in a single season since 2016.

Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing have combined to win each of the last 10 championships, yet two of the top four drivers don’t compete for these teams. Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward is listed third at +650, with Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta close behind at +750.

The first Chip Ganassi Racing driver is only tied for fifth, that being 2021 champion Alex Palou. He is tied with Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin at +850.

There could be good value by going with the Chip Ganassi Racing team, as six-time champion Scott Dixon is listed seventh at +1100. He hasn’t finished outside the top six in the standings since 2005 and has only finished lower than fourth once in that 17-year span. Betting against Dixon is like betting against Tom Brady. Age is just a number.

Teammate and reigning Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson is listed next at +1300.

Here is a full list of odds for the 2023 IndyCar championship, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

NOTE: +410 means a successful $100 bet wins $410 ($510 payout).

  • Josef Newgarden, Team Penske: +410
  • Will Power, Team Penske: +500
  • Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren: +650
  • Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport: +750
  • Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske: +850
  • Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing: +850
  • Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing: +1100
  • Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing: +1300
  • Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren: +2200
  • Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren: +2800
  • Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing: +3000
  • Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport: +3200
  • Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing: +3200
  • Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +3200
  • Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport: +4200
  • Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +5000
  • Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing: +7000
  • David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports: +7000
  • Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing: +11000
  • Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: +14000
  • Jack Harvey, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +14000
  • Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing: +18000
  • Benjamin Pedersen, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: +20000
  • Devlin DeFrancesco, Andretti Autosport: +20000

There are two drivers for whom odds are not listed, but you probably shouldn’t let their absences affect your selections.

Those two drivers are rookies Sting Ray Robb of Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing and Agustin Canapino of Juncos Hollinger Racing. Neither one is predicted to contend for this year’s title, and both would likely be listed in the +15000 to +20000 range if they end up being added.

Next. All-time IndyCar wins list. dark

The 17-race 2023 IndyCar season is set to get underway in just under a week and a half. The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding is scheduled to kick things off on Sunday, March 5, with NBC set to provide live coverage beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss it!