After winning back-to-back in Brazil and Qatar, Lewis Hamilton has assumed the role of odds favorite at PointsBet Sportsbook to win the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s favored status is a reversal of the past three weeks when Max Verstappen was a heavy favorite for the Qatar Grand Prix, the Brazilian Grand Prix and the Mexican Grand Prix. With wins in the last two races, Hamilton has closed the gap to eight points with two races remaining. With momentum on his side, PointsBet has now made Hamilton the favorite to win the title and this weekend’s race.
Hamilton enters the race with minus odds in both categories. His line to win the Saudi Arabia GP was -200 on Wednesday with odds of winning the championship listed at -175. That means the only way to have a profitable bet is to get someone to take the opposite side.
Hamilton now has seven wins in 2021 to Verstappen’s nine, but to take the title, he may need to run the table and win the next two events because Verstappen has finished second or better in eight of the last nine races. The only time Verstappen failed to stand on the podium in that span of races was at Monza when he and Hamilton crashed as they battled for position adn failed to finish. Verstappen is listed with +260 odds to win the Saudi Arabian GP and +135 to win the championship.
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 Verstappen is $2.60 for the race and $1.35 for the championship. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.
No other driver is in contention to win the Driver’s Title.
It has been five races since a driver other than Hamilton or Verstappen won and the odds reflect as much. Valtteri Bottas took the checkers in the Turkish GP, where he faced odds of +1800. This week the traders at PointsBet are being a little more cautious and Bottas is listed at +1300. He has only one top-five finish in his last three starts, which was a third in Brazil. Prior to that, Bottas earned four top-fives and a sixth in five previous races.
Entering the weekend with a five-race top-five streak, Sergio Perez is listed at +2500. He finished third in three consecutive races from Turkey through Mexico and was fourth in his last two attempts.
There is a huge drop off to the fifth-ranked driver. Charles Leclerc is listed at +7000 for the outright win on benefit of six top-fives in his last eight starts. He was eighth in the most recent race at Qatar.
Fernando Alonso scored an emotional podium in Qatar when he crossed under the checkers third behind Hamilton and Verstappen. That had not appreciably helped his odds, however, and he is listed at +25000 for the outright win.
Esteban Ocon rounded out the top-five in the most recent GP. This week, he faces odds of +30000.
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