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Josef Newgarden favored by PointsBet at Laguna Seca, Colton Herta ranked fourth

Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe preview the IndyCar season finale at Laguna Seca, where Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, and Marcus Ericsson can win the title in the closest championship battle in history.

Josef Newgarden is the PointsBet Sportsbook favorite to win the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey (3 p.m. ET on NBC). For more details on how to watch, click here.

If Newgarden can cover the +375 odds and win, it will be his first top-five on the track. In two previous starts at Laguna Seca, he finished eighth in 2019 and seventh in 2021. A race was not run on this track in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newgarden has won three of the last 10 IndyCar races and finished in the top five on two other occasions.

One way to view American Odds is to move the decimal point two positions to the left. That will let a bettor know what they will make on a $1 bet, so the return on investment this week for Newgarden is $3.75, down slightly from last week’s +380. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Ranked second is Scott McLaughlin, winner of last week’s race in Portland. McLaughlin opened this week with odds of +420 on the strength of five consecutive top-fives. He finished 12th in last year’s edition of this race.

In third is Will Power with a line of +460. Power has only one win this season, which came on the temporary course at Belle Isle, but he has stayed in the points’ chase all season with 11 top-fives in 16 races. He was second to McLaughlin last week in Portland and also in his inaugural attempt at Laguna Seca in 2019.

The winner of both previous Laguna Seca IndyCar races, Colton Herta is ranked only fourth with a line of +600. Herta has lost some of his early season momentum and earned just one top-five in his last six attempts. That came on the Streets of Nashville as recently as three weeks ago, however, and he nearly scored another at Portland by finishing sixth.

Rounding out the top five this week is Patricio O’Ward with a line of +750. He enters the weekend with back-to-back top-fives at Gateway and Portland. Last year, he was fifth in the Laguna Seca race.

Another driver to watch this week is last year’s second-place finisher at Laguna Seca. Alex Palou is the only other driver under 10/1 this week with a line of +850.

Last year’s third-place finisher in this race, Romain Grosjean is listed at +2500.

Previous Betting Lines

St Petersburg: Colton Herta tops the list
Texas: Scott Dixon favored
Long Beach: Herta favored for second street race
Barber: Herta still favored, but line gets longer
Indy GMR Grand Prix: Herta continue to be road racing favorite
Indy 500: Dixon favored; Jimmie Johnson solid dark horse
Road America: Alex Palou is slightly favored
Mid-Ohio: Josef Newgarden tops the list
Toronto: Newgarden narrowly favored in tight field
Iowa: Newgarden still favored as he stretches betting line lead
Indy Gallagher Grand Prix: Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist lead tight field
Streets of Nashville: Newgarden narrowly edges Palou
Gateway: Newgarden remains the favored son
Portland: Newgarden holds slim margin over O’Ward

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