IndyCar odds see surprising change after Road America

Josef Newgarden, Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo Credit: The Indianapolis Star)
Josef Newgarden, Marcus Ericsson, Santino Ferrucci, Indy 500, IndyCar (Photo Credit: The Indianapolis Star) /

Alex Palou remains the clear favorite, but there is a new second favorite to win the 2023 IndyCar championship after Sunday’s race at Road America.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou secured his seventh career IndyCar victory in Sunday’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America presented by AMR.

For the first time in his career, he is on a two-race winning streak, as he also won the inaugural race on the streets of Detroit, Michigan three weekends ago.

Palou has now won three of the last four races and four of the last nine going back to last year. He has reeled off seven straight top five finishes and hasn’t finished lower than eighth place through eight races this year. Not even halfway through the season, he has matched his career-high single season win total.

To nobody’s surprise, the 2021 series champion remains the betting favorite to win the 2023 IndyCar championship.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which is currently offering $200 to those anybody who signs up and place any $5 bet, is one of the few sportsbooks that has offered IndyCar championship odds updates the last few weeks.

The series has largely been neglected by sportsbooks in recent years, but DraftKings has begun to change the narrative.

In the latest update, there is a new driver listed second behind Palou.

To be more specific, two drivers are now tied for the spot right behind Palou. Indy 500 champion Josef Newgarden of Team Penske had been the second favorite at +400, but now he and last year’s Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing are tied for second at +550.

Palou has moved from a -180 favorite to a -300 favorite following his Road America. Here are the top five.

  • Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing: -300
  • Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing: +550
  • Josef Newgarden, Team Penske: +550
  • Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren: +1000
  • Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing: +1200

Full odds, which are subject to change, are available on the DraftKings website.

The change is a bit surprising, considering the fact that Newgarden actually made up ground on Ericsson for second place in the standings with his second place finish at Road America. Ericsson finished Sunday’s race in sixth, and Newgarden now trails him by just seven points.

The upcoming schedule includes three races at short ovals, which should favor the Team Penske driver in a big way.

Considering the fact that the 2023 season has not even reached its halfway point, Palou’s status as a -300 favorite (bet $300 to win $100) goes to show just how strong he has been over the last month or so.

He has opened up a 74-point lead — effectively a win and a half — over Ericsson in the standings, which is even more impressive than it sounds considering two factors.

First of all, Ericsson himself hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 yet this year. And secondly, Ericsson was the points leader at this point last season, and had the Indy 500 last year not been a double points race (like it wasn’t this year), he actually has more points through eight races this year (250) than he would have had in 2022 (243).

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The ninth race on the 2023 IndyCar schedule is scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 2. The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by the all new 2023 Civic Type R is set to be broadcast live on USA Network from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today and be sure to tune in!