The Indy 500 is the biggest NTT IndyCar Series race of the year. It is also known as the largest single-day spectator sport in the world. Betting on the Indy 500 is a long-standing tradition for race fans. This year with sports betting coming to New York, anyone over the age of 21 will be able to wager on the race.
Indy 500 festivities will begin on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, when the first round of practice starts. The Actual race will be on Sunday, May 30, 2021, which will conclude the nearly two-week-long event.
Best Indy 500 betting sites in New York
In New York, the first sportsbook was opened on July 16, 2019, when Rivers Casino accepted their first legal wager. Now that Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed support for online sportsbooks, we should see them available in the state of New York soon. This is great for Indy 500 fans as there is a chance they will be able to wager on the event from the comfort of their home this year.
While these sportsbooks have not launched in New York yet, they are trusted and reliable books in other states. They should also be amongst the first online sportsbooks to open in New York.
- DraftKings: DraftKings has been around since its inception in 2012 and has become extremely popular. DraftKings opened its first legal online sportsbook in New Jersey in August 2018. Since then, DraftKings has launched its online sportsbook in ten other states.
- FanDuel: FanDuel launched in July 2009 and opened its first legal online sportsbook in 2018. FanDuel has become one of the most popular online sportsbooks in that time. FanDuel currently operates its online sportsbook in ten states and should be one of the first to go live in New York.
- BetMGM: MGM Resorts International began creating the sportsbook known as BetMGM in July 2018. In 2019 BetMGM opened its first live online sportsbook in New Jersey. BetMGM has since launched its online book in nine other states. The sportsbook is one of the most popular in legal states.
- PointsBet: PointsBet is an Australian company that launched in the United States in 2019. The popular sportsbook has since become available in six states. PointsBet has gained popularity through its original PointsBetting wagering system. PointsBet has been a little slower to go live in states than other online sportsbooks, but PointsBetting makes it worth the wait.
When is the Indianapolis 500 usually held?
- Date: Sunday, May 30th, 2021
- Time: 12:45 PM EST
- Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Speedway, Indiana)
- Capacity: 257,325
- Track Size: 2.5 Miles Long
- Field Size: 33 Cars
- Pole Qualifying: Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 – Sunday, May 23rd, 2021
- Defending Champ: Takuma Sato
- Prize Purse: $1.5 Million (est.)
- Corporate Sponsor: Gainbridge Insurance Agency
- Big Machine Label Group
- Crown Royal
- NTT Data
- TAG Heuer
- & Many More
Popular bets for Indianapolis 500
There are several different bets you can place on the Indy 500. Here are some of the most popular bets:
- Race winner: This is the most straightforward wager as you simply bet on who will win the Indy 500. These bets are under a money line format and usually have favorable Indy 500 odds.
- Podium (Top-3 finish): With this bet, if the driver you choose finishes in the top-3, then you win. This bet can be less risky than a race winner bet, as a podium finish will cash. This bet also uses a money line format, but the betting odds are usually worse than a race winner bet. Most sportsbooks offer top-5 and top-10 finishes as well, but the odds decrease.
- Head to head matchups: This has become a popular Indy 500 bet over the years. This wager is based on how two drivers finish in comparison to each other. Nothing else in the race matters as this wager is only focused on the final placement of the two selected drivers. This bet is in the form of a money line bet with a favorite and an underdog.
- Futures: The Indy 500 also allows you to place future bets on the race. A futures bet is a wager placed far in advance of the actual event. These bets typically have the greatest Indy 500 betting odds as many things can occur between the bet and the event. This bet is also in money line format.
- Prop bets: Prop bets are a fun way to bet on a wide variety of things about the race. Prop bets range from top American finisher, individual racer props, which former Indy 500 winner places the highest, and many more. Check your chosen sportsbooks for their prop bet offerings for the Indy 500.
Indy 500 betting tips
Betting on the Indy 500 can seem complicated. While there appears to be much going on in the race, you can make the most out of this historical event if you do your research. Here are some tips for wagering on the Indy 500:
- Know the top contenders: The Indy 500 is usually a top-heavy race. This means that those favored often win. It is essential to know who the top racers are, of course, but it is also important to know who they are racing for. For instance, Roger Penske’s cars have won the race 18 total times. So, do research not only on the drivers but the history of the race as well.
- Watch/Analyze practice times: The Indy 500 is different from every other race. This track is quite tricky, and the best way to understand how drivers handle the track is by watching the practice. Practice starts at the track nearly two weeks before the race, so you have time to watch/analyze the practice times.
- Watch the crossover racers: The Indy 500 is the largest event in all motorsports. This means that racers from different backgrounds will enter the Indy 500. These racers are usually well-funded by top teams. They do not crossover to lose, so they typically are top-contenders.
- Track the weather: At the end of the day, this is an outdoor event, so the weather is always a factor. While this can only be done close to race time, it still is important to track as this can affect the entire race.
Past Indy 500 winners
|2015||Juan Pablo Montoya||+550
|2013||Tony Kanaan ||+1500
|2011 ||Dan Wheldon||+1000
|2010||Dario Franchitti ||+450
How long has the Indy 500 been running?
This coming year will be the 105th anniversary of the Indy 500. As there have been over 100 years since the inaugural race, there is a storied history behind the Indy 500.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built in 1909. A few years later, on May 30, 1911, the first Indy 500 was held at the track. Since then, the Indy 500 has come a long way as it has been around for some of the most significant moments in US history. Even though the world has changed, some traditions have continued every year at the crown jewel of motorsports.
For instance, the Purdue All-American Marching Band has been the host band of the event since 1919. Ever since the Indy 500 resumed after World War II in 1946 there has been the tradition of singing “Back Home in Indiana” with the Purdue band. Actor and singer Jim Nabors sang this anthem from 1972 until 2014. The Indy 500 indeed has a storied history, but this only scratches the surface of some of the traditions and fun facts revolving around the race.
Indy 500 traditions & fun facts
- The Indianapolis Motorspeedway is a massive 253 acres. The speedway is large enough to hold Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Colosseum, and Vatican City.
- J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., and Rick Mears are tied for the most Indy 500 wins of all time. Each of the racers has four wins.
- Today the Indy 500 has 33 cars that compete every year. In 1916, there were 21 cars. In192, there were 42 cars.
- The youngest winner of all-time was Troy Ruttman when he won the race in 1952 (22 years and 80 days old). Conversely, The oldest winner of all-time is Al Unser Sr. when he won in 1987 (47 years and 360 days old).
- In 1996, Arie Luyendyk ran the fastest qualifying lap ever recorded with a top speed of 237.498 MPH.
- The Indy 500 is the largest spectator sporting space in the world. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has a capacity of 257,325.
- The highest ever recorded attendance of the Indy 500 was at its 100th anniversary in 2016. There were an estimated 350,000 fans in attendance.
- In 1977, Tom Sneva became the first driver to ever hit 200 MPH at the Indy 500.
- In 2013, Tony Kanaan completed the race in a record 2 hours, 40 minutes, and 3.4181 seconds. His average speed was 187.433 MPH.
- Since 1935 the winner of the Indy 500 has been awarded the sterling silver Borg-Warner trophy. At its inception in 1935, the trophy cost $10,000. Today, the trophy is valued at more than $1 million.
Indy 500 moments to remember
The Indy 500 has so many classic moments. The race has been around for over 100 years and is filled with big moments. These are some of the biggest moments in the Indianapolis 500’s history.
The “International Sweepstakes”
In 1911 the “International Sweepstakes” was hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This was the inaugural 500-mile race of what would later become the Indianapolis 500. The track surface consisted of 3.2 million paving bricks (why it’s nicknamed “The Brickyard). Ray Harroun won the race, and he averaged only 74.602 MPH throughout the race. After the nearly seven-hour race, when Harroun exited the car, he stated, “Gee, I’m hungry.”
Milk is Introduced at the Indianapolis 500
Every year at the Indy 500 since 1956, the winner of the race drinks a bottle of milk. The tradition began after Louis Meyer asked for a bottle of buttermilk after becoming the first three-time winner in 1936. This odd choice has become a beloved tradition at the Indy 500. The only driver not to drink the milk since 1956 was Emerson Fittipaldi after he won in 1993, who chose orange juice instead.
Women at the Indianapolis 500
In 1977 Janet Guthrie became the first woman to compete in the Indy 500. She placed 29th after exiting the race with car troubles. Guthrie raced in the Indy 500 two more times. In 1978 she placed ninth while driving with a broken wrist. Guthrie paved the way for women in the sport. Since then, nine other women have started the Indy 500. Danica Patrick had the highest finish when she placed third in 2009.