Nearly 500 points higher than Verstappen, Hamilton is ranked second this week with a line of +275. Hamilton was second fastest on Friday in Practice 1 and third-best in Practice 2 after being pressured by Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez. Hamilton won the most recent Mexican GP in 2019. The 2020 edition of this race was canceled because of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 Hamilton is $2.75. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.
The last four F1 races have each been won by a different driver with Daniel Ricciardo stepping up at Monza after Verstappen and Hamilton crashed. Two races ago in Turkey, Valtteri Bottas beat Verstappen and Perez.
Still, there is a big drop off to the third ranked driver. Perez is listed at +1100 after standing on the podium in the last two races. Perez will compete in front of his countrymen this week, but his weekend got off to a bad start after crashing early in Practice 1 on Friday.
Bottas, who was fastest in the first practice session and who beat teammate Hamilton in both sessions, is ranked fourth with a line of +2000. Bottas’ win in Turkey was the culmination of four consecutive top-fives in the series. He finished sixth last week at the Circuit of the Americas. Bottas was third in the 2019 Mexican GP.
Rounding out the top five this week is Charles Leclerc, who also spun in the final turn in Practice 1 and damaged his week. Leclerc is listed at +3500. He has four top-fives in his last five starts, but failed to reach the podium with a best of fourth.
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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.
There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.
Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.
Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.
By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.
With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.
This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.
Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.
Two privateers have started the season on a high note.
Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.
The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.
Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.
In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.