Indy 500: Way-too-early 2024 odds prediction, top 5 favorites

The 108th running of the Indy 500 is less than six months away. Who are the early favorites to drink the milk?

Josef Newgarden, Marcus Ericsson, Indy 500, IndyCar
Josef Newgarden, Marcus Ericsson, Indy 500, IndyCar / SOPA Images/GettyImages
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Unlike Formula 1 and NASCAR, IndyCar -- and even Indy 500 -- odds are generally neglected by major sportsbooks until late in the offseason.

And on race weekends, you usually have to wait until a few hours before the green flag drops to place a bet, unless you happened to check during the roughly 30-minute pre-practice window when the odds were actually live.

For IndyCar fans, Thanksgiving is big for two reasons. In addition to literally being Thanksgiving, it marks a rough halfway point between Indy 500s (August 2020 notwithstanding). And if you're like me, you've already started your countdown to the 108th running.

With the halfway point in the books, let's have a look at what the odds might look like once sportsbooks decide to take notice of the largest single-day sporting event on the planet.

NOTE: * = not a confirmed driver/entry

Top 5 Indy 500 favorites for 2024

1. Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing: +600

Alex Palou, Indy 500, IndyCar
Alex Palou, Indy 500, IndyCar / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

At some point, you have to believe that an Indy 500 will be run in its entirety without Alex Palou getting screwed over in the pits. And when that time comes, you have to believe he is going to be in the mix to win. Finishes of ninth and fourth in 2022 and 2023 probably would have been better with more time to recover from 30th (both times).

2. Josef Newgarden, Team Penske: +700

Josef Newgarden, Indy 500, IndyCar
Josef Newgarden, Indy 500, IndyCar / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

No driver has won the Indy 500 in back-to-back years since Helio Castroneves in 2001 and 2002, but Josef Newgarden is in the midst of a historic run on ovals. And during this run, he finally won the one race that had eluded him. Keep in mind, he won it in 2023 despite another relatively "down" month of May for Team Penske.

3. Marcus Ericsson, Andretti Global: +800

Marcus Ericsson, Indy 500, IndyCar
Marcus Ericsson, Indy 500, IndyCar / Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar via Imagn

I doubt Marcus Ericsson will be listed this high up because people continue to sleep on him. But no driver since Castroneves has come as close as Ericsson to winning it in back-to-back years. After the way the 2023 race ended, he will be extra hungry in 2024, and don't underestimate his move to an Andretti Global team that actually showed promising race pace for the first time in years.

4. Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren: +900

Pato O'Ward, Indy 500, IndyCar
Pato O'Ward, Indy 500, IndyCar / SOPA Images/GettyImages

We all know how fast Pato O'Ward is at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But is he capable of making a race-winning move in the closing laps without ending his own race? In 2022, he couldn't make the move and settled for second place. In 2023, he crashed out trying -- and went on to finish the entire season winless.

5. Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing: +1000

Scott Dixon, Indy 500, IndyCar
Scott Dixon, Indy 500, IndyCar / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Scott Dixon closing out the 2023 season with three wins in four races made it clear that, although yet another bid for a second Indy 500 win fell short, he isn't ready to move over for the next generation of IndyCar stars. And until that day comes, the all-time "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" laps leader is going to be a threat.

Remaining Indy 500 odds prediction

Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske: +1200
Colton Herta, Andretti Global: +1400
Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Global: +1400
Will Power, Team Penske: +1600
Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing: +1800
David Malukas, Arrow McLaren: +2000
Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren: +2000
Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing: +2500
Santino Ferrucci*: +2500
Kyle Larson (R), Arrow McLaren: +3000
Felix Rosenqvist, Meyer Shank Racing: +3000
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +4000
Linus Lundqvist (R), Chip Ganassi Racing: +4000
Marco Andretti*, Andretti Global: +5000
Marcus Armstrong (R), Chip Ganassi Racing: +5000
Ed Carpenter, Ed Carpenter Racing: +5000
Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +5000
Kyffin Simpson (R), Chip Ganassi Racing: +10000
Tom Blomqvist (R), Meyer Shank Racing: +12500
Christian Rasmussen (R), Ed Carpenter Racing: +15000
Pietro Fittipaldi, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +15000
Romain Grosjean, Juncos Hollinger Racing: +20000
Agustin Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing: +20000
Sting Ray Robb, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: +30000

Dark horse pick to win: David Malukas

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Multiple teams have yet to solidify their driver lineups for the 2024 Indy 500, so take these odds predictions with a grain of salt. Dale Coyne Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, for instance, have yet to confirm any drivers for their respective two-car lineups. We could very well end up in a situation where there are more than 33 drivers trying to get into the 33-car field.

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