There are now just 2 races left in the 2021 IndyCar season and we have ourselves a ridiculously tight race as we head to the finish line. Alex Palou took over the top spot in the driver standings with his win in Portland, but he still has Pato O’Ward and Josef Newgarden breathing down his neck. This is Palou’s championship to lose at this point, but the pressure at this stage of the season can be too much for some to take. The penultimate race of the season will go this weekend, with the drivers heading to California for the Grand Prix of Monterey. Will Palou put it away this weekend, or is this championship battle going to go down to the final race? Let’s take a look at the current favorites for this one so you can get ready to make your bets against the IndyCar odds.
2021 Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey | IndyCar Betting Analysis
Alex Palou +400
Palou has the lead and now just needs to find a way to hang on as he looks to take the championship in just his second season in IndyCar. It would be a surprise for sure, but also one that would be well deserved. After a pair of poor runs, Palou went into Portland with a lot of fans and media types already counting him out of the title race, he silenced everyone by delivering an amazing performance that saw him take the checkered flag and the lead atop the driver standings. The next two races are both on tracks that are new to him, but that has pretty much been the case all year. A win this weekend would all but seal the season.
Scott Dixon +600
When your career stats include no less than 6 driver titles, you deserve to be in among the favorites in every single race. That is where Dixon is right now, and while he has come from behind to win titles in the past, it looks to be beyond him at this stage of the proceedings. That said, he will not go down without a fight despite being the first to admit that this has been one of his most disappointing seasons in recent memory. He did finish 3rd in Portland after a couple of rough races, while also finishing 3rd his last time out on this track.
Colton Herta +500
Given how things have gone for Herta this season, it is a little surprising to see him in among the favorites this weekend. A strong start to the season, where he picked up a win in the second race of the year, has fizzled out a little, with Herta picking up just 2 podium finishes since that win. He ran 8th in Portland in the previous race, a result that dropped him all the way down to 7th in the driver standings. He looks more like a longshot to me in Monterey, but stranger things have happened.
Josef Newgarden +600
With a win at Gateway a couple of weeks ago, a lot of IndyCar fans started murmuring that Newgarden might well come off the pace and run down the two younger drivers sitting at the top of the standings, The win by Palou last week makes that a whole lot more difficult, especially with Newgarden running 5th in the Portland Grand Prix. Still, he will keep pushing until the end, but he will need a better run than his 5th place finish in 2019 in Monterey.