The 100th running of the Indy 500, the signature event of the IndyCar season and commonly known as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, takes place this Sunday in Indianapolis.
As many as 300,000 people will jam Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch Indy 500 2016. And we Canadians have something extra to cheer for in this one as Oakville, Ont. native James Hinchcliffe will begin the race in pole position!
Hinchcliffe is already the feel-good story of this year’s race and it would be a storybook ending if he were to take the checkered flag Sunday. Last year, the 29-year-old nearly died after crashing in qualifying and having a piece of debris puncture his thigh.
However, Hinchcliffe will have to overcome a tough field that includes 2015 champion Juan Pablo Montoya. Simon Pagenaud and Will Power are the early race favourites.
Here’s what else you need to know about betting the Indy 500 this year.
What Time Indy 500 Starts, And What TV Channel
The race itself will start at approximately 12:15 p.m. eastern. Television coverage of the race, however, will begin at 11 a.m.
Canadians can watch the Indy 500 on Sportsnet 360.
How Long Does The Indy 500 Take?
The Indy 500 is 200 laps of a 2.5-mile track, which adds up to 500 miles (805 kilometres).
The race used to take as long as six hours to complete, but now the average race is finished in 3.5 hours or so.
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Canadians have a lot of great options when it comes to where to bet the Indy 500.
Pinnacle Sports (www.PinnacleSports.com) will most likely offer the best Indy 500 2016 odds; Bet365 (www.Bet365.com) and William Hill (www.WilliamHill.com) are regulated in the United Kingdom and are among the biggest sportsbooks in the world; and Bodog (www.Bodog.eu) and Sports Interaction (www.SportsInteraction.com) are sportsbooks that are located in Canada and cater specifically to Canadian players.
If you sign up at Bet365, William Hill, Bodog or Sports Interaction, you can get a bonus of $100 or more on your first deposit that you can use to bet the Indy 500for free!
Despite being in pole position to start the race, James Hinchcliffe pays +1000 to win the Indy 500 at Bet365. That means for every $100 you were to bet on Hinchcliffe, you could win $1,000.
(Hinchcliffe pays +1200 at Pinnacle Sports and Sports Interaction, so make sure to check out odds at as many sportsbooks as possible to make sure you get the best odds on your bet.)
The top 5 contenders are grouped tightly on the Indy 500 2016 odds. Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves all pay around 6:1 to take the checkered flag.
How To Read Indy 500 Odds
Before you bet on the Indy 500, you’ll want to know how to read betting odds.
Sportsbooks list auto racing odds in three main ways: Fraction odds, American odds and Decimal odds.
- Fraction odds indicate how much you’ll win per how much you bet. If a driver is 6/1, you’ll win $6 for every $1 you bet. If the driver is 13/2, you’ll win $13 for every $2.
- American odds indicate how much you have to bet on a favourite to win $100, or what you can win on an underdog if you risk $100. Favourites have a minus (-) sign in front of their odds, and underdogs have a plus (+) sign in front of their odds.
- Decimal odds indicate what your total payout (profit plus your original wager) would be if you multiply them by the amount you risk. If a driver is 5.00, you’d win $500 on a $100 bet (but profit $400, since it includes your original $100 back).
How To Bet Indy 500 2016
Betting on the race winner is the most popular and the most obvious of ways to bet the Indy 500, but you have several other options as well.
You can bet on head-to-head matchups (whether a driver will finish ahead of another driver), or props like how many caution flags will be issued during the race, etc. Sportsbooks don’t typically post all of those betting lines until race day, or maybe the day before the race.
Indy 500 2016 Odds: Who To Bet On?
There’s some Canadian bias here, but we wouldn’t put it past Hinchcliffe to win this race. He’s made an incredible comeback from last year’s crash just to be ready for the start of the season and he’s got the right frame of mind to pull off a victory. Considering he’s starting in pole position, there appears to be great value on the Canadian at 10:1 odds or better.
Montoya is the defending champion, but that doesn’t guarantee much. There hasn’t been a repeat winner of the Indy 500 since Helio Castroneves in 2001-02.
Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay have both won this race in the past three years and could be worth a look as well, paying +1000 and +1600 respectively.