Max Verstappen prohibitively favored in PointsBet odds for 2022 Canadian Grand Prix

PointsBet 2022 Canadian odds
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After winning five of the first eight rounds of the 2022 Formula 1 season, Max Verstappen is this week’s overwhelming PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Canadian Grand Prix.

This week, Verstappen has minus odds of -260, which means the only way a bettor can be successful with this wager is to find someone willing to take the opposite side. Part of the reason for Verstappen’s minus line is because will lead the field to green on Sunday.

Because of the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, the Canadian Grand Prix has not been run since 2019 and in that race, Verstappen scored one of three top-fives in five starts at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. His best finish of third came in 2018.

Carlos Sainz Jr. is ranked second this week with a line of +540. He has stood on the podium four times in the first eight rounds with a pair of second-place finishes in Bahrain and Monte Carlo as his highwater mark. The best Sainz has finished in Canda is eighth, however. That top-10 came in 2018 and he also has a ninth-place finish from 2016. Sainz qualified third for the race.

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 Sainz is $5.40 for the race. For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Starting on the outside pole, Fernando Alonso is listed at +1300. Alonso has made 16 starts on this track with one win coming back in 2006. He has not finished in the top 10 in his last four attempts, however, and was running at the end of only one of those races.

Charles Leclerc is ranked fourth at +2000. He has two Canadian Grands Prix to his credit and finished on the podium once in 2019. Leclerc won two of the first three races this season, but failed to stand on the podium in his last three starts. Leclerc did make a qualification attempt after going out in the first group since he was already facing a 10-place grid penalty for changing his engine.

Ranked fifth this week is Lewis Hamilton at +2200. Hamilton earned a podium finish in the season-opening race in Bahrain and has not finished that well in 2022 since. He came close last week in Azerbaijan with a fourth, however. Hamilton has seven Canadian GP wins to his credit, including four of the last five. He is the most recent winner on this track in 2019 when he finished 3.658 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

For more betting coverage, check out NBC Sports Edge.

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Ford Mustang GT3 test has Austin Cindric dreaming of Daytona: ‘I want to drive that car’

Cindric Ford GT3 test
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Austin Cindric wasn’t the “mystery” test driver behind the wheel of the new Ford Mustang GT3 at Sebring International Raceway, but the Team Penske driver desperately wanted to be.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, an amateur sports car driver himself, made the big reveal via a Tuesday tweet that provided the first video evidence of the GT3 Mustang on track.

“I’ve watched the video in question about a million times,” Cindric said Wednesday during a Ford Performance Zoom news conference to promote NASCAR’s first road course weekend of the season at Circuit of the Americas. “Definitely exciting times for sure. I want to drive that car. It suits my experience level and also the relationships that I have.”

Ford will enter the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next season with its GT3 Mustang, entering a two-car factory effort (that will be managed by Multimatic) in GTD Pro and making customer cars available in the GT Daytona category.

That increases the likelihood of seeing more NASCAR drivers crossing over to IMSA. Cindric has been the only full-time Cup driver in the Rolex 24 at Daytona the past two years, but Ford Performance global director Mark Rushbrook has said the GT3 Mustang will provide more opportunities.

Ford has used its GT4 Mustang as a NASCAR driver development tool in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with Harrison Burton and Zane Smith combining to win the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in January.

“We’re excited about the Next Gen car and the new architecture there and the similarities between that car and GT3 and even GT4 cars,” Rushbrook said at the announcement of the Ford GT3 program in January 2022 at Daytona. “We think it’s a great opportunity and to do be able to do that in a 24-hour race and get NASCAR drivers even more time is something we need to consider taking advantage of that opportunity.”

Given his sports car background, Cindric probably still would be in the Rolex 24 regardless. He has eight IMSA starts since the 2017 season opener at Daytona, racing a Lexus RCF GT3 and Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the GT category. The 2022 Daytona 500 winner made his second LMP2 start this year with Rick Ware Racing.

But Cindric’s preference naturally would be in a Ford, particularly with sports car racing enjoying convergence and crossovers in both GT and prototype racing.

“It’s an exciting time in GT racing, just as it is now for prototype racing with a lot of new regulations and manufacturers building new GT3 cars,” he said. “And also the opportunity with WEC (the World Endurance Championship) and Le Mans and how that all lines up for that category of car. It’s definitely an exciting time. I want to be as much of a part of that as possible.”

Though those odds seemingly will increase with multiple Ford entries in the Rolex 24 field next year, Cindric said NASCAR drivers still have to put in the networking to land rides as he has in recent years.

“Now how (the GT3 Mustang) relates to specifically NASCAR drivers and how often they want to be in the Rolex, could it be an influence? Absolutely, as far as the tie-in with the manufacturer,” Cindric said. “But the challenge and the drive and the logistics of getting an opportunity for a race like the Rolex 24 will be just as challenging as it always is to find your one-off ride for the race. At least from my experience, that’s what I still anticipate.”

It turned out the “mystery” test driver wasn’t from NASCAR (Farley revealed the driver to be 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Joey Hand after a fan asked whether it was Joey Logano).

But Cindric believes there could be more Cup drivers — and perhaps himself — behind the wheel of Mustang GT3s in the future.

“There’s definitely more of a pathway than I think there would be before as far as Ford drivers are concerned,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll get the opportunity to drive that thing. It’s obviously a great looking car. That’s the first box you’ve got to check. And it’s cool (to have) a guy like Jim Farley, no doubt he’s a racer just as much as he is steering the ship for Ford. It’s cool to see he’s just as excited as the rest of us about it.”