Lewis Hamilton is the odds favorite at PointsBet Sportsbook to win the inaugural United Arab Emirates Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, but only by the slightest of margins in what traders believe will be a closely contested finale.
On the strength of three consecutive wins and a pair of runner-up finishes immediately preceding that streak, Hamilton is listed at +105 this week. The reason he is not posted with minus odds, however, is because the driver who ties him in points has one more win during the season and an equal opportunity to take the UAE Grand Prix and Drivers Championship. Max Verstappen was listed at +110 on Saturday morning.
Those odds could switch as money continues to affect the line.
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 wager, so the return on investment this week for Verstappen is $1.10. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.
After last week’s win and fastest lap in the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Hamilton closed the gap to create the winner-take-all scenario faced this week.
After 21 rounds, Verstappen holds the lead in wins with nine to Hamilton’s eight. With the exception of a fifth in the Turkish Grand Prix for Hamilton, neither driver has finished worse than second, so it’s a fair bet one of them will win in Abu Dhabi this week. Verstappen has finished on the pole 17 times to Hamilton’s 16.
Last week Hamilton was listed at -200 to win the race and -175 for the title, but after watching the fierce battle between the Mercedes and Red Bull racers on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, traders decided it was almost too close to call.
Of course, anything can happen in an auto race. Immediately ahead of the seven-race streak of near perfection, Hamilton and Verstappen crashed at Monza while battling for the lead. Daniel Ricciardo won that race.
Valtteri Bottas won the Turkish GP two weeks later. This week, he is ranked a distant third with odds of +2500. Bottas finished third in two of the last four races, but broke an undertray in Qatar and finished two laps off the pace in Mexico City.
Sergio Perez is ranked fourth this week with odds of +2800. After Hamilton and Verstappen, he has been the hottest driver since finishing fifth in the Italian GP. He was ninth the following week in Russia and then went on to rattle off five consecutive top-fives. That streak ended last week with an accident in Saudi Arabia.
Lando Norris enters Abu Dhabi with the longest current streak of top-10 finishes at nine. Only one of these, a second at Monza, was among the top five, however. Norris is posted with +2800 odds.
Last week’s fourth-place finisher, Esteban Ocon, is an interesting longshot. He is posted at +20000 this week.
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