I spent my early childhood living near Santa Anita Racetrack. But, I do not bet on car races. One of the main reasons is that I am cognizant of my responsibilities as a motorsports writer. I would never bet on any contest that I would be writing about.
But, perhaps you are different. Perhaps having some reasonable comments on betting odds would be entertaining. Maybe you are not a journalist. Maybe having the thinking behind some of the odds explained would make watching the race more exciting. Maybe placing a bet with your bookie Sunday’s race would be tantalizing. With that in mind, here’s a guide to the Grand Prix of Long Beach using the odds I found online.
Favorite – 3/1 Odds – Will Power #12 – Team Penske
If you’re betting to win, which my Grandpa Lovejoy always said was best bet to place, you couldn’t go far wrong by going with Willie P. Gamesters love cool names and a driver with the name Will Power is definitely appealing. Power won the race last year and in 2008 and he always seems to be the one to beat on street and road courses.
Near Favorites – 9/2 Odds – Scott Dixon #9 – Target Chip Ganassi Racing; 13/2 Odds – Helio Castroneves #3 – Team Penske and Ryan Hunter-Reay #1 – Andretti Autosport
All three are good prospects for a win. Dixon’s killer instincts are cleverly concealed by his low key personality. He’s come close to winning the first two races this year, so a win might feel like it’s due to him. DWTS Helio Castroneves is in great shape and is leading in series points and he has done it with stealth. He supposedly didn’t even realize he was leading in the points after the last race. And Hunter-Reay won the last race and has momentum going for him. Oh, and he’s the reigning IndyCar champion. Any of the three would be fairly safe bets.
After this, the odds seem to go a bit haywire. Pole sitter Dario Franchitti comes up as 9/1 even though he claimed the pole for Sunday’s race. So the Scotsman is supposed to be half as likely to win as his teammate, Dixon? I don’t think so. And former winners Mike Conway and Sebastien Bourdais come up 66/1! Bet on any of these three and chances of any of them winning are not too bad and the payoff would be fabulous. And that is pretty crazy.
At the top 6 press conference, the drivers made it clear that any of the 27 had a pretty reasonable chance to win, and perhaps that alone will show that any betting on the race would be a sucker’s bet. If you go ahead and place a wager after I’ve explained all this to you and you lose money, don’t say I didn’t warn ya!