Max Verstappen once more favored in PointsBet odds for Brazilian GP

PointsBet Odds Brazilian GP
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Max Verstappen is once again the heavy odds favorite at PointsBet Sportsbook to win in Formula One in Sunday’s Brazilian GP after taking the honors in 2019 and leading late in 2018 before contact with a lapped car handed the victory to Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen finished second in that race. The 2020 Brazilian GP was canceled due to challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Verstappen was also heavily favored last week and the consensus is that Red Bull Racing has an edge at high altitude tracks like Mexico City and Sao Paulo. If successful, this will be Verstappen’s 10th win of the season. The most he has earned previously was three in 2019. Verstappen shows odds of -155, which means the only way to make money on this bet is to get someone to take the opposite side.

Last week Hamilton trailed Verstappen by nearly 500 points. This week, he is a little closer with a line of +245. Hamilton won the 2018 edition of the Brazilian GP when Verstappen was involved in an incident with Esteban Ocon as he tried to lap the slower driver. That was one of 11 races won that season, a feat he matched in both 2019 and 2020. So far this year he has five wins with four races remaining. Hamilton also won the Brazilian GP in 2016.

Hamilton’s chances of winning on Sunday became more challenging after he incurred a five-spot grid penalty for changing an engine.

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 $2.45. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Valtteri Bottas is ranked third at +1000. His first win of the season came three races ago in Turkey and extended his winning streak to three consecutive years. He has not earned a top-five in two races since with a sixth at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas and a 15th last week in Mexico City.

Ranked fourth is Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez at +1500. Last week Perez became the first Mexican driver to stand on the podium in Mexico City when he finished third behind Verstappen and Hamilton. That was his third consecutive podium.

The perceived strength of Bottas over Perez is one reason that PointsBet has Mercedes favored over Red Bull in the constructors’ championship while they favor Verstappen over Hamilton in driver points. Currently Mercedes boasts -121 odds to Red Bull’s -110 as Verstappen is listed at -455 to win over Hamilton at +300.

No other driver is listed at better than 60/1 – and in fact, three drivers have lines of +6000. Those drivers are Carlos Sainz, Jr., Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc.

In last week’s Mexican GP, those three drivers all challenged for a top-five with Gasly finishing fourth, Leclerc fifth and Sainz sixth.

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For more betting coverage, check out NBC Sports Edge.

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Formula One embrace the United States

Verstappen Perez United States
Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Last week, Red Bull Racing revealed its new car, the RB19, and a new relationship with Ford Motor Co. in an event in New York City complete with drivers Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and team principal Christian Horner.

It’s the first Formula 1 team to launch in the United States for 2023, but even that small move of the needle reflects a major shift in the attitude of both F1’s management and their teams – and the extent to which the American audience has fully embraced the sport.

“It’s something fantastic and unique, for the sport to be able to break it into the U.S,” Perez told NBC Sports. “The market is huge and it’s a huge opportunity for everyone involved, for the drivers, for the team. It’s always a huge market.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Sergio Perez finished fourth in the Unites States Grand Prix, but he was first with the fans.  – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In 2023, Formula 1 will race three times in the United States and five times in North America. The Circuit of the Americas will host their 11th consecutive race in October before heading south to Mexico City. Miami returns for a second time in May on a temporary street course around the Hard Rock cafe and the third addition is in downtown Las Vegas in November.

With the Canadian Grand Prix on the schedule for June and the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, American fans are now in the ballpark of Europeans, who have eight events on the continent and one in England.

In 2022, Verstappen won every race in North America. He was kept from sweeping the hemisphere only by George Russell, who won in Brazil. That fact is less remarkable when one considers that Verstappen won 15 times in the season – nearly two-thirds of the races on the schedule.

By the time Formula arrived in Austin, Texas, for Round 20 of 23, Verstappen already had wrapped up his second consecutive championship.

“Sometimes it can be hard to replicate the season, but I think it’s the same as with the car, right? You always try to improve it,” Verstappen told NBC Sports. “And I always look at the little details that even when you have had a good race, you could have done better. And then of course you also learn from the bad races. So we always try to look for these little improvements and general experience you gain year after year.

“You try to do better, but of course it also depends a lot on the package you have.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Max Verstappen United States Grand Prix win was one of 15 for the drivers and 17 for Red Bull.
(Gongora / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Now Verstappen’s thoughts inevitably will turn to establishing a dynasty, and America will again play a pivotal role.

“I just enjoy what I’m doing,” Verstappen said.  “After the years in Formula One, when you have to be on top of your game and you gain a lot on your experience – in that sense nothing really can get to you anymore. Every year you just try to do the best you can. But a lot depends on the material around you. It’s always a bit of a guess. Start the season as fit as you can be and be well prepared. But if you don’t have the car, you’re not going to win the championship.”

Perez added two wins to Red Bull’s total, at Monaco and the Marina Bay Street course. With two of the US 2023 races on street courses, Perez hopes to close the gap on Verstappen and potentially be his chief rival for the championship.

“The strategy is clear; it is to maximize the potential of the car – and we believe we have a good car, but how good?,” Perez said “We don’t know what the competition is doing. We just give our best in building this car and we hope that it’s good enough to get us to win races.

“I think we have to work together as a team. At the same time. We both want to win the championship. It’s just having good compromise. The competition will be really strong out there, so we really need everything we possibly can get from each other.”

Formula One returns to the United States for Round 6 and the Miami Grand Prix on May 7.