Lewis Hamilton heavily favored in PointsBet odds for F1 Russian GP, Max Verstappen longshot

PointsBet F1 Russian GP
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Lewis Hamilton is heavily favored at PointsBet Sportsbook to win the F1 Russian GP on September 26 at Sochi, Russia while his principal rival in the driver’s championship faces long odds after changing an engine and starting in the back.

Hamilton’s odds this week are -125, which means the only way to make money on this bet is to find someone willing to take the opposite side. Hamilton will start the race fourth. One reason for his negative line is that Hamilton has won four of seven Russian GPs.

Mercedes has been victorious in every running of this race. Valtterri Bottas won in 2017 and 2020 with Nico Rosberg taking the checkers in 2016.

After winning the pole Saturday morning, Lando Norris is ranked second with a line of +440. Starting position is considered to be important enough that the PointsBet traders improved his odds massively from +2500 last week.

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 Norris is $4.40. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

On the strength of his two wins, Bottas is ranked third with odds of +900. Bottas had a four-race streak of top-fives interrupted by results outside the top 10 at Hungary and Belgium. He rebounded with back-to-back third-place finishes in the Dutch and Italian GPs.

That leaves Verstappen ranked fourth ahead of this week’s Russian GP with a line of +1100, Verstappen will start from the rear of the field after incurring a penalty for changing engines. Since he knew he would have to start last, he did not turn in a qualification lap on Saturday. Prior to the engine change, Verstappen was listed at +440 behind the two Mercedes drivers.

Last week in Italy, Verstappen finished outside the points for only the third time this year in 14 races when he and Hamilton both retired with crash damage, an incident for which Verstappen was also penalized.

Carlos Sainz, Jr. rounds out the top five with a line of +3300. Sainz has a current top-10 streak of seven races, but only one of these was a podium finish in Hungary.

Last week’s winner, Daniel Ricciardo is listed at +4000. He has three top-fives on the season, all of which have come in the last five races.

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For more betting coverage, check out NBC Sports Edge.

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

Hawkins Supercross
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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.