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Indy 500 Betting Guide

Many motorsports fans believe that the Indianapolis 500 is THE greatest American race. It attracts some of the best drivers from all over the globe, and millions of people tune in to watch the action every year.

Several of those watching like to bet on the Indy 500 with real money in an attempt to profit from the race. Or at least make it even more exciting.

If that sounds like an appealing opportunity, you’ll want to know the best betting sites for the Indy 500.

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The top Indy 500 betting sites and online gambling apps offer excellent odds, great promotions, and many other benefits.

We discuss them later on in this guide, which includes tips for betting on the Indianapolis 500 and key trends related to the race.

Where to Bet on the Indy 500 Online

Many of you will have found this page as you’re wondering where to bet on the Indy 500 online.

Our team has invested many hours looking at different options on the web and evaluating important criteria like safety, odds, promotions, and more.

Here are the online sportsbooks that came out on top and why.

Best Indy 500 Betting Sites

Let’s start with the best Indianapolis 500 betting sites available online.

Before we give you the most important details about each of them, let’s take a look at some of the main criteria we used for our selection.

  • Safety and Security – You can distinguish the trustworthy Indy 500 sportsbooks online by their reputation and the security measures to protect customers.
  • Betting Odds – All of our recommended options offer excellent Indy 500 betting odds to their users.
  • The Indianapolis 500 Markets – The more Indy 500 bets are at your disposal, the higher your chances to make money.
  • Fast Payouts – If you end up winning and request a payout, your money should arrive in a timely manner.
  • Bonuses and Promotions – We want to see Indy 500 promotions and bonuses that can deliver extra value.
  • Help and Support – The customer support service of our top-rated Indianapolis 500 betting sites are always there to help you.

If you want to learn more about the process for making our recommendations, feel free to check out how we rank sports betting sites.

With the general factors cover, let’s see what each of the best sites for Indy 500 betting with real money has to offer.

BetUS – Top US Betting Site for the Indy 500

BetUS Logo
  • Established: 1994
  • US Players Accepted: Yes
  • Welcome Bonus: 100% of up to $2,500
  • Payments: Credit Cards, Crypto, Wire Transfer, Cash Transfers

If you’re looking for the best Indy 500 betting sites for US players, you should certainly consider BetUS. The company has been around since the 1990s and the main reason behind its longevity is the desire to please every customer.

You can enjoy excellent bonuses and promotions, high Indianapolis 500 odds, and many other perks like fast payments, a smooth mobile version, and reliable customer service.

The overall result is that BetUS works well and delivers high value for your Indy 500 wagers.

MyBookie – One of the Best Betting Sites for Indy 500 Props

MyBookie Logo
  • Established: 2014
  • US Players Accepted: Yes
  • Welcome Bonus: 50% of up to $1,500
  • Payments: Credit Cards, Crypto

Most Indianapolis 500 gambling sites offer limited markets, but MyBookie is one of the exceptions. The sportsbook is known for its creative approach to big events. You can enjoy some excellent Indy 500 props that are not available elsewhere.

On top of that, MyBookie has plenty of bonuses and promotions that can be used for betting on motor racing, fast payments, and great Indy 500 odds.

One of the few downsides is the somewhat limited variety of payment options, but you can use credit cards and a selection of cryptocurrencies.

Betway – One of the Safest Indianapolis 500 Sportsbooks Online

Betway Logo
  • Established: 2006
  • US Players Accepted: No
  • Welcome Bonus: 100% up to £/€/$50
  • Payments: Credit and Debit Cards, PayPal, Skrill, PaySafe, Neteller, Wire Transfers

People who prefer e-wallets as their payment option should definitely give Betway a chance. It’s one of the safest Indianapolis 500 sportsbooks online and this is only one of the perks of picking this bookie.

You can find high odds for the race, as well as various bonuses and promotions. Plus, the variety of other sports and gambling products offered by Betway is phenomenal.

The sportsbook is always trying to improve, so you can expect many new features and even more exciting betting markets in the future.

BetOnline – Top-Rated Indy 500 Betting Site for Crypto

BetOnline Logo
  • Established: 2004
  • US Players Accepted: Yes
  • Welcome Bonus: 50% up to $1,000
  • Payments: Credit and Debit Cards, Cryptocurrencies, P2P, Money Order, Wire transfer

Many gamblers nowadays prefer Bitcoin as their main payment option. BetOnline recognized that early. The sportsbook works with several cryptocurrencies and you get exclusive bonuses to use for Indianapolis 500 betting online.

The other reasons why BetOnline is a great choice for the famous race are the high Indy 500 betting odds and the good variety of markets. You can find all the traditional options and some props every year.

We’re also talking about one of the most respected US sportsbooks on the internet, so your money and personal information will be safe.

Top Indianapolis 500 Betting Apps

We know that many of you want mobile action nowadays, so we also have a list of recommended Indianapolis 500 betting apps.

They offer an excellent experience and great value on the go. You can use our top-rated Indy 500 betting apps on iPhone, iPad, Android, and pretty much any modern phone or tablet.

Here are the main features of these trusted sportsbook apps.

Bovada – Best Indianapolis 500 Betting App for the USA

Bovada mobile app
  • Established: 2014
  • US Players Accepted: Yes
  • Welcome Bonus: 50% up to $250
  • Payments: Credit and Debit Cards, Crypto, Zelle, Vouchers

Bovada has been a household name in the online gambling industry for a long time. The sportsbook has a mobile-responsive site that works well on all major devices, offering excellent Indianapolis 500 betting odds and various promotions.

You can pick between several reliable payment options and the withdrawals are much faster than the industry average.

Bovada’s app is also one of the safest to use and the company accepts American customers.

BetNow – Excellent Indy 500 Betting Odds

BetNow mobile app
  • Established: 2016
  • US Players Accepted: Yes
  • Welcome Bonus: 100% up to $500
  • Payments: Credit and Debit Cards, Crypto, P2P

There are plenty of reasons to like BetNow’s sportsbook app when it comes to betting on the Indy 500 for real money. The odds are higher than the industry average and there is a constant stream of promotions right from the moment you join the bookie.

BetNow works with cryptocurrencies which opens the door to lightning-fast payouts. You can expect your money within a day or two at the most after requesting a withdrawal.

Bodog – Top Indianapolis 500 Mobile Sportsbook for Canada

Bodog Mobile App
  • Established: 1994
  • US Players Accepted: No
  • Welcome Bonus: 100% up to $200
  • Payments: Credit and Debit Cards, Cryptocurrencies, e-Transfer, Direct Bank Transfer

If you want to place your Indianapolis 500 bets from Canada, Bodog delivers the best mobile experience. The betting app of the operator includes great odds and a solid welcome bonus.

There are more promotions that can be used for motorsports betting, so you should be able to earn extra value with almost much every wager you place.

On top of that, Bovada has a strong variety of payment options that include Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

SportsBetting.ag – Best Indy 500 Mobile Sportsbook for Crypto

SportsBetting Mobile App
  • Established: 2003
  • US Players Accepted: Yes
  • Welcome Bonus: 50% up to $1,000
  • Payments: Credit and Debit Cards, Cryptocurrencies, P2P, Money Order, Wire transfer

SportsBetting.ag has been around for a while and you need to stay ahead of the curve to survive in the online gambling industry. The company released a mobile version early and has constantly been working to keep it among the best in the business.

Using SportsBetting.ag to bet on the Indy 500 online will bring you a good variety of markets, high odds, and more than enough promotions.

If you wonder where to bet on the Indianapolis 500 with crypto, picking SportsBetting.ag would be an excellent choice. The mobile sportsbook offers exclusive promos and supports several digital currencies.

How to Bet on the Indy 500

For those of you who have placed a real money wager in your life, we’re going to teach you how to bet on the Indianapolis 500.

The whole process is fairly simple and you should get used to it quickly.

Here’s what you need to know.

Getting Started with Indy 500 Betting Online

If you want to bet on the race, doing it online makes the most sense. We recommend that you pick one of our top-rated Indy 500 gambling sites and apps first.

The next step is to open a new account (which only takes a few minutes) and make your deposit with real cash.

We have a tutorial that goes into more details about every step along the way, so check it out if you need some help.

Bonuses for Indy 500 Betting

One of the main reasons you should be betting online are the Indianapolis 500 bonuses and promotions at your disposal. All of the top sportsbooks have plenty of regular offers that can be used on the race.

You can get a large welcome bonus and then enjoy other options like reloads and loyalty clubs. The sites that use crypto usually have special deals for Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Once the Indy 500 is close, you might find exclusive promotions for the event too. Here are some examples that we’ve seen.

  • Enhanced Odds – The bookies offer boosted prices for selected drivers for a limited time.
  • Moneyback Offers – Get your money back if your bet fails to win but meets a special set of conditions.
  • Free Bets – Free bets (or bonus funds) specifically for betting on the Indy 500.

The best betting sites for the Indy 500 are always looking to get creative, so there might be even more special deals around the time of the race.

Early Betting on the Indianapolis 500

The Indianapolis 500 is arguably the biggest race in the United States, so it’s only natural that the hype starts early. Many online bookmakers offer Indy 500 sports betting odds weeks or even months before that event starts.

You won’t find many markets, but backing the potential race winner is available in most places.

There are two major advantages of betting on the Indy 500 early. The first one is that the bookmakers don’t spend as much time preparing the odds and there’s a higher chance of them making a mistake.

You can also find excellent prices for pretty much anyone outside of the obvious top contenders, especially overseas drivers that are not yet confirmed.

On the negative side, backing the favorites is probably a bad idea because the odds for them will be pretty low. You could also miss out on exclusive Indy 500 bonuses and promotions.

We recommend that you think carefully before gambling on the Indy 500 early. If you want to back one of the favorites, you should probably wait.

Another reason to avoid early betting comes with the variety of markets available closer to the race. Let’s take a look at them.

Indy 500 Betting Options

Most people only think of the race-winner option when it comes to Indianapolis 500 betting, but there are also other markets.

Here’s what the top sites out there usually offer when it comes to the biggest race in the US.

Race Winner

The most popular and obvious Indy 500 betting market. You can back any driver to win the race and that’s it. If he finishes first, you make money too. The betting sites usually have a list that includes most contestants, but they might be missing someone. If that’s the case and you want to back that driver, just contact the support and the sportsbook will usually offer odds.

Pole Position

The qualifiers for the Indianapolis 500 attract almost as much attention as the race. They take place under special rules and the show is guaranteed. All the fighters are out there for blood because a good starting place is crucial. If you want to place your wager on the pole position winner, most of the top-rated Indy 500 betting sites online will oblige.

Podium Finish

Going for a driver to win the Indianapolis 500 can be risky; backing him for a podium finish instead is a little safer. The odds can still be quite high and you just need your selection to finish the top three positions.

Head-to-Head

Some of the top sites and apps for betting on the Indy 500 offer head-to-head gambling. The drivers are grouped up in pairs and you can back one of them to finish higher than the other. It’s a fun market that allows you to focus on two specific contestants instead of going throughout the whole field.

Indianapolis 500 Props

If you want a spicier way of Indy 500 betting online, you should consider some of the props available for the race.

Here are some examples of markets that you can find.

  • Top American Driver
  • Best Former Winner
  • Best Foreign Driver
  • Top Five Finish
  • Top Ten Finish
  • Manufacturer of the Winner
  • Winning Car’s Number

As you can see, there are plenty of exciting Indianapolis 500 props for those of you looking for alternative markets.

Tips and Strategy for Indy 500 Betting

Our guide so far has been focused on how to bet on the Indy 500 and it’s time to shift to a higher gear.

For a start, it’s a good idea to explore the strategy basics of betting on sports and the IndyCar Series in particular.

Here are our main tips and tricks for beginners.

  • Look for Value – Don’t try to guess the winner of the Indy 500. Evaluate the chances of the drivers and look for good odds instead.
  • Forget Your Bias – Betting on a driver just because he’s your favorite is not the way to win money from the Indianapolis 500.
  • Set a Budget and Stick to It – There’s always a chance that you can lose, so make sure that you bet with money you can afford.
  • Don’t Listen to the Hype – Reading expert opinions is a good thing, but don’t base your Indy 500 wagers solely on what other people think. Especially in the era of social media, avoid the hype and try to stay objective.
  • Analyze the IndyCar Series Season – There are other races before the Indianapolis 500 and they should serve as the starting point of your analysis.

If you want to know more about the fundamentals that apply to gambling on the Indianapolis 500 with real cash, you should check out the following two pages.

The Indy 500 is a unique event so you should also consider the specific traits of the race if you want to be successful. This leads us to the next section.

How the Indy 500 Differs from Other IndyCar Races

The Indianapolis 500 might be part of the IndyCar Series, but we all know that it’s a special race like no other. The rules are different, the atmosphere is different, and the field is different.

You can’t ignore the unique circumstances when you bet on the Indianapolis 500, so we examine all of them here.

Double Points for the Standings

One of the most obvious differences to other IndyCar Series races is that the Indy 500 brings double the points because of its significance.

Here’s how the scoring system works.

Position Points
1 100
2 80
3 70
4 64
5 60
6 56
7 52
8 48
9 44
10 40
11 38
12 36
13 34
14 32
15 30
16 28
17 26
18 24
19 22
20 20
21 18
22 16
23 14
24 12
25-33 10
CLICK TO SEE MORE

There are even more points available during the Indy 500, distributed as follows.

  • Leading at Least One Lap: 1 point.
  • Most Laps Led: 2 points.
  • Qualifying Points: 9 points for first, 8 for second, 7 for third, and so on until the ninth-fastest driver that receives 1 point.

While the IndyCar Series has plenty of other races, the Indianapolis 500 can have a great impact on the Championship.

A pole and a win here might lead to a massive swing in the Championship standings, so all of the leading IndyCar Series drivers prioritize the Indy 500.

Different Qualifying Format

The IndyCar Series uses a strict qualifying format for oval races, but the Indianapolis 500 works under different rules.

Since the starting position is crucial and there’s even a pole position betting market, you should definitely take that into consideration.

  • Two Days of Qualifying – There are two days of qualifying compared to only one in standard oval IndyCar races.
  • Day One – The entrants that finish in positions 10-33 qualify in the corresponding position. The top 9 proceed to day 2 and the rest go home.
  • Day Two – The best nine drivers from day one go through a second session to determine the starting nine positions on the grid.
  • Qualifying Attempts – The qualifying attempts at Indianapolis 500 consist of four laps instead of two compared to other oval races.

The system has been changed throughout the years and we’ve seen tweaks in the past. Some Indy 500 editions included a shootout for the last three places. Others gave the drivers different options for additional attempts after their initial one that involved a certain level of risk.

Indy 500 qualifying is almost like a race of its own. There are more chances for the best to show their true colors, but some of the additional rules enable surprises by risk-takers.

If you want to bet on the Indy 500 with cash, you should examine the latest format on top of the core rules we already highlighted.

Top Drivers from All Over the Globe

One of the most exciting aspects of the Indy 500 is that the race attracts drivers from all over the globe.

We’ve seen drivers from Formula 1, NASCAR, the World Rally Championship, and other motorsports come to Indianapolis in pursuit of eternal glory.

Several legends from other motorsports have taken a shot at the Indy 500.

The field becomes extremely competitive as a result and you never know what’s going to happen.

You can’t afford to ignore the newcomers when betting on the race. You should certainly focus on the top IndyCar Series drivers in your analysis, but must also check the complete field and examine the chances of the other guys.

Main Priority for the Manufacturers and the Teams

The manufacturers and the sponsors involved in IndyCar racing are after publicity, and their main goal is to sell cars and showcase their brands. The Indy 500 is crucial for them because it’s the most popular race on the calendar.

Indy 500 attracts millions of motorsport fans and delivers the best opportunity for brand exposure. Everybody in the industry knows that and that’s why everyone is trying as hard as possible.

The drivers, the mechanics, and the strategists are all under immense pressure to perform at the Indy 500.

Naturally, some drivers and teams rise to the challenge, while others crumble under the pressure. The difference often comes from their mental strength, so that’s something to consider when betting on the Indy 500 online.

Drivers who are better under pressure typically do well in the biggest race of the season.

Indianapolis 500 Stats and Trends

The past is often the best predictor for the future and that applies to betting on the Indianapolis 500. The history of the event and the important stats can tell you a lot about the trends around the race.

You should always check the basic numbers, at least, and we can help by showing you some factors to consider.

Previous Winners and Betting Odds

The first thing that stands out is that the odds for the eventual winner are usually very high.

Let’s look at the last five editions of the Indianapolis 500, so you can understand what we mean.

Year Winner Odds Before the Start
2020 Takuma Sato +1600
2019 Simon Pagenaud +1000
2018 Will Power +1000
2017 Takuma Sato +2500
2016 Alexander Rossi +2000

As you can see, the pre-race prices for all winners were reasonably long. And we’ve taken only the odds after the qualifiers.

The odds prior to qualifying would likely have been higher for each of these drivers.

Top Tip
You should back more than one driver when betting on the Indy 500 winner. The odds are usually high enough to justify backing two or even three drivers.

Starting Grid

Another important factor is the starting grid. The pole position is obviously advantageous, but to what extent?

Here are the starting positions of Indianapolis 500 winners from the past 10 years.

Year Winner Starting Positon
2020 Takuma Sato 3
2019 Simon Pagenaud 1
2018 Will Power 3
2017 Takuma Sato 4
2016 Alexander Rossi 11
2015 Juan Pablo Montoya 15
2014 Ryan Hunter-Reay 19
2013 Tony Kanaan 12
2012 Dario Franchitti 16
2011 Dan Wheldon 6

The trend seems pretty clear.

Several drivers in the first half of the 2010s managed to win Indianapolis 500 from a weak position. It looks like the starting position wasn’t that big of a deal for a while.

Franchitti, Hunter-Reay, and Montoya won the race after starting 15th or worse.

More recent numbers show a change.

The latest winners came mostly from the front row of the starting grid, or the second row at worst. It looks like qualifying position matters more than it did only a few years ago, which is definitely something to consider when you place your Indianapolis 500 bets.

Another interesting observation is that the pole position winner went on to win the whole thing only once in the past ten years. Maybe the pressure is too high when you start from the front?

Manufacturers

The teams in the IndyCar Series have relied on only two engine manufacturers since 2012 which begs the question of whether one of them has the advantage over the other.

Let’s look at the engines of the winners to see if that’s the case.

Year Engine of the Winner
2020 Honda
2019 Chevrolet
2018 Chevrolet
2017 Honda
2016 Honda
2015 Chevrolet
2014 Honda
2013 Chevrolet
2012 Honda

Honda has recorded five wins so far and Chevrolet has four, so no manufacturer has dominated the Indianapolis 500 recently. Furthermore, the longest streak of victories is two.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the manufacturers. Make sure you analyze the numbers for the current season, especially for long-distance oval races that represent a similar challenge to the Indy 500.

Back-to-Back Indy 500 Winners

Winning the Indianapolis 500 is the achievement of a lifetime and repeating is something truly special. Lifting the trophy two times in a row is almost unheard of.

Here’s the short list of drivers with back-to-back Indy 500 wins.

Drivers Years
Hélio Castroneves 2001; 2002
Al Unser 1970; 1971
Bill Vukovich 1954; 1955
Mauri Rose 1947; 1948
Wilbur Shaw 1939; 1940

Just five people have managed to win consecutive Indy 500 races, and only one of them did so in the 21st century.

It’s a rare feat, suggesting you should be cautious about backing last year’s winner when you’re placing your wagers.

Only five men in the Indy 500 history have won back-to-back races.

Indy Car 500 Picks and Predictions

Each year, we deliver predictions and analysis for Indianapolis 500. Our team follows the latest news, the qualifiers, and delivers Indy 500 betting picks in our motorsports picks section.

You can see the latest entries here. We cover the IndyCar Series, Formula 1, NASCAR, and other events from all over the globe.

We also have a sports betting blog where we publish our analysis of various events related to motor racing betting and other sports. That’s where you can find odds, recommended props, and more.

Here are some of the latest posts across all sports we cover.

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