2014 Indianapolis 500 Sleeper Picks: Betting on Underdogs for Big Payoffs on Indy 500

2014-Indy-500-Odds-Free-Picks-and-Predictions2014 Indianapolis 500 Sleeper Picks: Betting on Underdogs for Big Payoffs on Indy 500: When the Indianapolis 500 goes green Sunday afternoon, the spotlight will be on big names like Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Juan Pablo Montoya. However, big names don’t always win the biggest race of the IndyCar season, and with qualifying and several practice sessions in the books, some of the potential dark horse candidates to contend in the 98th Indianapolis 500 are starting to emerge. Some of these potential underdogs are getting the type of odds that bettors may want to take advantage of this weekend. Here is a closer look at the top underdogs worth betting on.

His crash in practice no doubt contributed to his 25/1 odds to win this weekend as the wreck only raised questions about whether Kurt Busch can make a quick transition from NASCAR to open-wheel racing. However, the crash could actually be a blessing in disguise. Busch now knows exactly how far he can push his car, and it is a lot better that he found out in practice than during Sunday’s race. Aside from the crash, Busch qualified a solid 12th and has been fast throughout the practice sessions. The former Cup Series champ is fresh off a year when he carried an underfunded, single-car team into NASCAR’s version of the playoffs so his talent is undeniable. He is worth a flier at his current odds.

He is off to a solid start in 2014, and this weekend Justin Wilson will get to head to an Indianapolis track where he has enjoyed a lot of success recently. He has finished seventh or better in three of his last four starts in the Indianapolis 500, including a career-best fifth-place finish last season. Wilson is getting 40/1 odds to win this weekend, but given his solid results this year and his recent performances at Indianapolis, he could end up being an absolute steal for bettors.

It was three years ago that then-rookie J.R. Hildebrand came within one turn of winning the Indianapolis 500, and after a top-15 run in the race last season, he is going to start ninth Sunday with a car that has been solid on the practice sheets. Overall, Hildebrand has never been a force in the IndyCar Series, but as his near-win in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 suggests, he has been surprisingly competitive at the track. He is a 40/1 underdog to win this weekend, but he could end up being a steal if he makes another run at an Indy 500 win.

Bettors looking for a serious longshot in the Indianapolis 500 should consider taking a chance on Oriol Servia. He is only getting 66/1 odds to win this weekend, and while he didn’t have a great qualifying effort, he has always run well at Indianapolis. In five starts at the track, he has four finishes off 11th or better, including three straight. Servia has also finished sixth or better twice in his last three races at the track. In fact, his only bad finish at Indianapolis came in 2009 when he had a fuel pressure issue, and in that race, he led 18 laps. History says he will be in the mix Sunday, and there aren’t any other drivers getting similar odds that bettors can have the same type of confidence in.

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