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Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, drives during a practice session for the IndyCar Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis Monday, May 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The odds for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 favor past champions and the top in-form drivers. 

Alexander Rossi fits into both categories, which is one of the main reasons why he comes into Sunday’s race as the favorite. 

Directly beneath Rossi on the odds chart are three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, IndyCar series leader Josef Newgarden and Will Power, all of whom are capable of dominating the race. 

The favorites should generate the most buzz, but if you scan further down the odds list, there are some intriguing options worth taking a risk on.

Indianapolis 500 Information

Start Time: 12:19 p.m. ET 

TV: ABC

Live Stream: Watch ESPN or ESPN app

Indy 500 Odds (via OddsShark)

Alexander Rossi (+800; Bet $ 100 to win $ 800) 

Helio Castroneves (+1000) 

Josef Newgarden (+1000) 

Will Power (+1000) 

Ed Carpenter (+1200) 

Ryan Hunter-Reay (+1200) 

Scott Dixon (+1200)

Sebastian Bourdais (+1200) 

Simon Pagenaud (+1200) 

Marco Andretti (+1500) 

Tony Kanaan (+1500) 

Sage Karam (+2000) 

Carlos Munoz (+2500)

Danica Patrick (+2500) 

Graham Rahal (+3000) 

Robert Wickens (+3000) 

Takuma Sato (+3000) 

Charlie Kimball (+3000) 

Ed Jones (+4000) 

Gabby Chaves (+4000) 

JR Hildebrand (+4000) 

Spencer Pigot (+4000) 

Stefan Wilson (+4000) 

Zach Veach (+4000) 

Jay Howard (+8000) 

Matheus Leist (+8000) 

Zachary Claman DeMelo (+8000) 

Jack Harvey (+10000)

Oriol Servia (+10000)

Conor Daly (+15000) 

James Davison (+20000) 

Kyle Kaiser (+20000) 

Max Chilton (+25000) 

Favorite Rossi Starts in Row 11 

Rarely do you see a favorite starting in second-to-last position, but that’s the case with Rossi Sunday. 

The 2016 Indy 500 champion begins the race in 32nd position, which dampens his title contention just a little bit. 

However there are 200 laps in the race, which gives Rossi plenty of time to make up his deficit and join the leaders near the middle of the competition. 

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

We should know within the first 25 laps if Rossi’s team corrected the mistakes from practice and qualifying to put the 26-year-old in good position to thrive. 

If he begins to surge up the field once the green flag drops, it will prove his car has a package capable of working past the other 32 drivers. 

As talented as Rossi is, he’s going to face a good amount of traffic, and with the cars going over 220 miles per hour each lap, patience is required to properly navigate through the slower machines. 

If Rossi puts himself in the top 10 for the final quarter of the race, he should be able to contend for his second title in three years, a feat that hasn’t been achieved since Dario Franchitti won in 2010 and 2012.

Plenty Of Drivers With Long Odds Worth Taking A Risk On 

Betting on the favorite is a fun exercise in order to guarantee yourself of having the best chance to win money, but there are a few competitors with longer odds who might be worth a wager as well. 

Danica Patrick, who is competing in her final race, leads off the list of intriguing betting options beneath the collection of favorites.

Patrick wouldn’t have come back to the Indy 500 unless she believed she had a chance to win the race, which is plenty of motivation to go out on top. 

Defending champion Takuma Sato is even further down the odds chart at +3,000, and with a pair of top 10 finishes in the races leading up to the Indy 500, there’s a strong chance the Japanese driver could make some noise. 

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Spencer Pigot has the longest odds of the drivers starting in the top 10, as he sits at +4,000. Although he isn’t the most recognizable driver in the field, the 24-year-old could take advantage of his high starting spot and remain at the front of the competition.

Other longshot options to consider are Charlie Kimball, who has four top 10 finishes at the Indy 500, and rookie Robert Wickens, who impressed in the early part of the IndyCar series season with a trio of top five performances. 

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from IndianapolisMotorSpeedway.com.

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