2018 Indianapolis 500 Picks and Predictions: Favorites, Value Bets and Top Sleepers: One of the world’s most famous races and one of the world’s most famous tracks will add another chapter to its storied legacy this weekend with the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.
Over the years, the best drivers from all over the world have flocked to the 2.5-mile, rectangular-shaped oval to try to add their name to the Borg-Warner Trophy, and on Sunday afternoon, someone else will etch their name into history.
Even if you don’t regularly watch racing, the Indy 500 is one of those spectacles that is just worth seeing, and if you are going to be watching anyway, you might as well try to add even more excitement by trying to pick the winner.
Check out my top bets and favorite value plays for the 2018 Indianapolis 500.
2018 Indianapolis 500 Picks and Predictions: Favorites, Value Bets and Top Sleepers
Alexander Rossi (8/1)
Rossi won the Indianapolis 500 in his first attempt two years ago, and last year, he led 23 laps on his way to another top-10 finish. He enters Sunday’s race second in the standings, so he certainly has the equipment to bolster his already impressive resume at Indianapolis.
Helio Castroneves (9/1)
While he isn’t racing a full-time schedule anymore, few drivers have enjoyed as much success at Indianapolis. He was the runner-up in last year’s race, and he has three career wins in the Indianapolis 500. Castroneves has finished in the top 10 in 14 of his 17 starts in this race, leading laps in 12 of his starts.
Ryan Hunter-Ray (10/1)
Luck hasn’t always been on his side at Indianapolis, but Hunter-Ray always seems to have a fast car here. He finished third in the 2013 race and won in 2014, and Hunter-Ray has led more than 25 laps in four of his last five starts in the Indianapolis 500. Expect him to have one of the strongest cars on Sunday.
Scott Dixon (10/1)
His lone Indianapolis 500 win came back in 2008, but Dixon remains a constant force at the track. He has cracked the top 10 in 10 of his 15 starts in the event, and his 439 laps led at Indianapolis are the most among active drivers. In fact, Dixon has led more than 50 laps in the Indy 500 on five separate occasions.
Josef Newgarden (12/1)
A third-place finish in 2016 is his best performance to date in the Indianapolis 500, but this could be Newgarden’s chance to deliver a breakout performance. He already has two wins under his belt in 2018, and he enters Sunday’s race as the series point leader. Don’t be fooled by his lackluster overall numbers at Indy. There could be some value here.
Marco Andretti (12/1)
An Indy 500 continues to escape him, but Andretti is no stranger to running up front at this event. He has notched eight top-10 finishes in 12 career starts, and more importantly, he has finished third or better four times while leading double-digit laps five times.
Sebastien Bourdais (12/1)
Bourdais is still looking for a signature performance in the Indianapolis 500, but he has been trending in the right direction at the track, finishing 11th or better in each of the last three races. He’s also been fast in 2018, and after five races, he sits third in the standings with a win under his belt. Expect a career showing at Indy from Bourdais this weekend.
Tony Kanaan (12/1)
Kanaan finally scored an elusive Indianapolis 500 win in 2013, and he continues to knock on the door of another victory. He has led at least 19 laps in this race in each of the last three years, and in 16 career starts in the Indy 500, Kanaan has eight top-five finishes. These are great odds on one of the best in the business at Indianapolis.
Carlos Munoz (20/1)
Although he might not be a player for the IndyCar championship, Munoz has certainly proven he can be a major threat at Indianapolis. In four career starts in the event, he has finished in the top 10 four times. More impressively, Munoz has three top-five finishes here, including a pair of runner-up efforts. You have to like getting these odds on a driver with this type of history at Indy.
Charlie Kimball (30/1)
Kimball’s resume at Indianapolis is solid, and the arrow keeps pointing up. He has finished in the top 10 in four of his seven starts in the Indianapolis 500, and he has finished in the top five in the event in two of the last three seasons. At 30/1, I’ll take my chances.