IndyCar: Who is the 2024 championship favorite? Way-too-early odds predictions

The IndyCar championship odds have not yet been posted, but the season is creeping closer. Who will be the favorite to win the Astor Cup in 2024?
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The start of the 2024 IndyCar season is just under two months away, with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg set to kick things off on Sunday, March 10. Not surprisingly, sportsbooks have not yet published any championship (or Indy 500) betting odds for the upcoming 17-race season.

Coming off of a 2023 season in which he became the first five-win champion since 2016, the first driver to wrap up a title before the season finale since 2007 (2005 excluding Champ Car), and the first driver to post a worst finish of eighth place across a 17-race season since 1922, Chip Ganassi Racing's Alex Palou will undoubtedly be the favorite to win the 2024 title.

Since joining Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021, the only season in which he hasn't won the title is 2022, when his season was largely characterized by the legal battles over his driving services for the 2023 season as opposed to his actual on-track performance.

He still managed arguably the most dominant win of the modern era in the season finale at Laguna Seca, setting the stage for his dominant 2023 campaign. But no driver has won back-to-back titles since Dario Franchitti -- also behind the wheel of the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda -- won three in a row from 2009 to 2011. Can Palou end that trend?

Team Penske's Josef Newgarden won four races, including the Indy 500, last year, but he had to settle for fifth place in the championship standings, matching his worst effort since joining Roger Penske's team in 2017. It marked 13 years in a row of the Indy 500 winner coming up shy in the championship battle. Franchitti is also the most recent driver who pulled off both in the same year.

Newgarden won a series-high five races in 2022, giving him a series-high nine since the 2022 season began, but he did not win the title.

Reigning champion Will Power went winless in 2023 for the first time since 2006, illustrating just how deep the current IndyCar field is. Regular race winners Pato O'Ward of Arrow McLaren and Colton Herta of Andretti Global were also kept out of victory lane.

Kyle Kirkwood was the series' only new multi-race winner, and he won twice in his first year with Andretti Global. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's Christian Lundgaard also scored his first career win.

How will the opening IndyCar championship odds look for 2024?

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NOTE: Only the 24 confirmed full-time drivers are listed.

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing: +400
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske: +500
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing: +600
Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren: +700
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske: +800
Colton Herta, Andretti Global: +1000
Will Power, Team Penske: +1200
Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Global: +1400
Marcus Ericsson, Andretti Global: +1600
Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren: +1800
David Malukas, Arrow McLaren: +2000
Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +2000
Linus Lundqvist (R), Chip Ganassi Racing: +3000
Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing, +4000
Marcus Armstrong, Chip Ganassi Racing: +4000
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +4000
Felix Rosenqvist, Meyer Shank Racing: +5000
Kyffin Simpson (R), Chip Ganassi Racing: +7500
Pietro Fittipaldi, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +7500
Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: +10000
Tom Blomqvist (R), Meyer Shank Racing: +10000
Romain Grosjean, Juncos Hollinger Racing: +20000
Agustin Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing: +20000
Sting Ray Robb, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: +20000

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Dale Coyne Racing have yet to confirm any drivers for their two cars, and they are the only team with any remaining vacancies. However, it is highly unlikely that their driver decisions will impact who this year's championship favorites are.