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Tennessee’s Josef Newgarden is inaugural Music City GP PointsBet favorite

PointsBet Music City GP

LEXINGTON, OH - JULY 04: Indy Car driver Josef Newgarden poses in his car after winning The Honda Indy 200 on July 4, 2021 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The winner of the most recent NTT IndyCar race, Josef Newgarden is the early PointsBet Music City GP favorite to win his second consecutive. If he is successful, the Henderson, Tennessee native Newgarden will give his hometown crowd something extra to celebrate in the inaugural running of this race on the Streets of Nashville.

The Music City GP will run Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Newgarden opened on Thursday with +380 odds. His win on the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course was his first of the season, but he came close twice previously on road courses with a runner-up finish at St. Petersburg and also in the second race of the doubleheader at Belle Isle. Newgarden’s bid for a victory there came up short when he was passed in the closing laps by Pato O’Ward, who had fresher tires. In the next race at Road America, a mechanical failure on the final restart dropped Newgarden to 21st.

Newgarden dominated both of those races, however, and was the favorite in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio with opening odds of +425 ahead of his victory.

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 for this week for Newgarden is $3.80. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Scott Dixon is ranked second with odds of +525. With a fourth-place finish at Mid-Ohio, Dixon remains perfect in regard to top-10 finishes on road courses. Four of these were top-fives including a best of third in the season-opener at Barber Motorsports Park. Dixon has one win on the season. That came in the first of two races at Texas Motor Speedway.

Three racers share the distinction of being ranked third with a line of +850. None of these drivers finished in the top five at Mid-Ohio.

O’Ward finished best among the drivers listed at +850 with and eighth-place finish at Mid-Ohio. That came on the heels of a ninth at Road America, but he has found Victory Lane on the twisty tracks this year in the second Belle Isle race.

Colton Herta had a two-race, top-five streak entering Mid-Ohio, but slipped to 13th. In seven road course races this year, he has three top-fives and no other top-10s. One of these was a victory at St. Petersburg in Round 2 where he had to fend off Newgarden in the closing laps.

Will Power finished 25th at Mid-Ohio, continuing a see-saw season that has garnered two top-fives, another pair of top-10s, an 11th and a 20th on the road courses.

Ranked just outside of the top five this week are Rinus VeeKay and Alex Palou with +1300 odds.

VeeKay is hoping to revisit the front of the pack after missing Road America with a broken collarbone sustained in a cycling accident and with disappointment in his last two starts. He finished 16th at Mid-Ohio and 18th at Belle Isle, which stalled the momentum he earned with a victory on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and a second in the first Belle Isle race.

Alex Palou has two previous victories this season, at Barber and Road America. He enters the weekend with three straight podium finishes on road courses, including a third in the most recent event at Mid-Ohio.

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