No sooner than I finish discussing the fact that IndyCar has been ignored by major sportsbooks since the end of the 2023 IndyCar season does DraftKings Sportsbook drop two sets of odds for the upcoming 2024 campaign: championship odds and Indy 500 odds.
We'll get into the Indy 500 odds in a separate article in a little bit, so for now, we are going to zero in on the odds to win the 2024 championship.
But before we do, be sure to take advantage of DraftKings Sportsbook's current limited time offer: by signing up and placing a single $5 bet on any driver, you will be credited with an instant $200 (win or lose).
There was never really any doubt as to who this year's championship favorite would be. After becoming the first five-win champion since 2016, the first driver to clinch a title before the season finale since 2007 (2005 excluding Champ Car), and the first driver to finish no lower than eighth place over the course of a 17-race season since 1922, Chip Ganassi Racing's Alex Palou is on top.
No driver has repeated as IndyCar champion since Dario Franchitti, who also drove the No. 10 Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, won three in a row from 2009 to 2011.
Palou won the title in his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021, just as Franchitti did in 2009, and he still managed to finish in a fourth place tie in the standings in a 2022 season which was dominated by contract drama related to his attempted move to Arrow McLaren. That season saw him score the most dominant win of the modern era at Laguna Seca.
And it's not even Palou's dominance that has made him stand out. If you take all of his wins from his two championship seasons (three in 2021, five in 2023) and flip them to second place finishes (while promoting the runners-up to the top spot), he still ends up champion in both seasons.
The modern IndyCar field is as deep and talented as they come. But if anybody can repeat, it's the guy who has won it in two of the last three years.
2024 IndyCar championship odds: Alex Palou favored to repeat
Let's have a look at the full odds, courtesy of DraftKings.
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing: +350
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske: +450
Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren: +700
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing: +800
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske: +800
Marcus Ericsson, Andretti Global: +1000
Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Global: +1000
Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren: +1400
Colton Herta, Andretti Global: +1500
Will Power, Team Penske: +1800
Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +2000
David Malukas, Arrow McLaren: +2500
Santino Ferrucci, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: +4000
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +4000
Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing: +5000
Felix Rosenqvist, Meyer Shank Racing: +5000
Romain Grosjean, Juncos Hollinger Racing: +8000
Marcus Armstrong, Chip Ganassi Racing: +10000
Linus Lundqvist (R), Chip Ganassi Racing: +10000
Tom Blomqvist (R), Meyer Shank Racing: +20000
Agustin Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing: +30000
Sting Ray Robb, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: +30000
Kyffin Simpson (R), Chip Ganassi Racing: +30000
Pietro Fittipaldi, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: +50000
The only two full-time drivers who are not included on this list are whichever two drivers Dale Coyne Racing end up hiring. They have yet to make any confirmations about the upcoming season, but their decisions likely won't have any impact on who the title favorites are.
Overall, there are not too many surprises when it comes to the favorites, though what does stand out is the fact that, in a field of 24 full-time drivers, three Chip Ganassi Racing drivers are listed among the bottom seven.
This is a team that has won three of the last four and four of the last six championships. Though it will be tough to stop Palou and Scott Dixon, it's hard to see the rest of the team being backmarkers.
Kyffin Simpson may have been rushed to IndyCar, but Marcus Armstrong gained experience last year as a part-time driver and was impressive. 2022 Indy NXT champion Linus Lundqvist also did enough in just a handful of starts with Meyer Shank Racing in 2023 to prove to Chip Ganassi that he was worthy of a seat.
And let's not forget that Palou was picked to finish in 12th place in the 2021 season when he joined the team full-time. He won his first race, added two more wins, and went on to win the championship.
The 2024 IndyCar season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, March 10 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The race is set to be broadcast live on NBC from St. Petersburg, Florida. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!