Indy 500: Kyle Larson's odds have already seen a significant shift

The Indy 500 is still more than four months away, yet Kyle Larson's odds to win have already improved. Nobody else's have.

Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR Cup Series
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR Cup Series / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Considering the fact that the 108th running of the Indy 500 is still more than four months away, it's not all that surprising that there has been very little odds movement since the opening odds were released by DraftKings Sportsbook early last week.

But one driver has already seen a significant odds improvement, and that is Arrow McLaren's Kyle Larson.

Larson is attempting to do the "Memorial Day Double" and compete in both IndyCar's Indy 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. The feat has been achieved by just four drivers, most recently Kurt Busch in 2014, and only one driver, Tony Stewart in 2001, has completed all 1,100 miles in the same day.

Kyle Larson emerging as an Indy 500 favorite?

Larson's deal involves a partnership with Arrow McLaren and his NASCAR Cup Series team, Hendrick Motorsports. His entry is officially the No. 17 Arrow-McLaren Chevrolet.

The opening odds listed the 2021 Cup Series champion and 2021 Coca-Cola 600 winner in a 15th place tie at +2500 with fellow rookie Linus Lundqvist of Chip Ganassi Racing. Larson's odds have already improved to +2000, placing him in a tie for 13th with Meyer Shank Racing's Felix Rosenqvist and Ed Carpenter Racing's Rinus VeeKay.

All things considered, the fact that Larson is locked in a tie with two drivers who started on last year's Indy 500 front row -- one of whom has been on the front row for three straight Indy 500s -- indicates that there is a serious belief that he can be competitive in his first attempt at the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

He is only listed behind 12 drivers, all full-time drivers who have significantly more open-wheel experience than he does. While this is a whole new ball game for Larson, his opening odds -- and the relatively quick odds adjustment -- show that the public believes in the driver who has long been hailed for his ability to get in and drive anything with four wheels.

Still, it would be foolish not to admit that it won't be easy for Larson, who has yet to emerge as a true "favorite".

Larson signed a two-year deal with Arrow McLaren, so he is set to return to the Indy 500 in 2025. He is hoping to learn as much as he can in 2024 to have an even better shot in 2025, but that doesn't mean he isn't trying to become the first rookie winner since teammate Alexander Rossi (+1100) won it in 2016.

The only other odds change thus far is a relatively minor one; Juncos Hollinger Racing's Agustin Canapino has dropped from +20000 to +30000. Larson is the only driver whose odds have already shortened.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Alex Palou, last year's polesitter, is the favorite at +550. Team Penske's Josef Newgarden, last year's winner, is tied for third at +800. No driver has won the race in back-to-back years since Helio Castroneves won it as a rookie and as a second-year driver in 2001 and 2002.

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DraftKings Sportsbook is currently offering fans an instant $200 (win or lose) just for signing up and betting $5 on any driver -- yes, four months before the race! Be sure to take advantage today, because this offer won't last forever.

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