Belgian Grand Prix 2018: Odds and Preview
Across a busy July calendar, Lewis Hamilton tightened his grip on the 2018 Formula One Drivers’ Championship and as the teams return from the summer break, the Mercedes man comes into Belgium with two straight GP wins.
Those victories in Germany and Hungary mean that the defending champion now has a 24 point lead over nearest challenger Sebastian Vettel but can he increase that advantage this weekend?
Out in Front
Hamilton would seem a logical favourite to win the Belgian Grand Prix but in fact, the English driver has the same numbers as Sebastian Vettel in the result betting this week. Vettel starts at best odds of 6/4 with William Hill and Ladbrokes to win in Spa while Hamilton can be picked up at that same 6/4 price with SportingBet.
For much of this season there has been little to choose between the two men and that’s clearly reflected in the odds but Hamilton just started to pull clear as the competition reached its halfway point and that is a pattern that we saw last year.
It hasn’t all been about two men in 2018 with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo also enjoying Grand Prix victories this season. Ricciardo’s campaign has drifted however, and his decision to leave Red Bull would make punters wary about committing.
For Belgium this weekend, Kimi Raikkonen is the third favourite at 17/2 with Ladbrokes and Coral while his Finnish compatriot Valtteri Bottas follows at a best of 9/1 with William Hill and Boylesports.
A significant gap then follows to Verstappen at best odds of 16/1 with William Hill and then we have Ricciardo at a top price of 18/1 with MarathonBet.
As always, the bookmakers have ruled out anyone outside of the ‘Big Six’ and behind Ricciardo the distant chasing pack is led by Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean who can both be backed at best odds of 1000/1 with Unibet and 888Sport.
A shock result is looking increasingly unlikely this season so let’s look at some other betting options before coming back to consider our verdict on this race.
Vettel and Hamilton may be neck-and-neck in the winner betting for Belgium but the English driver is starting to pull clear in the outright betting for the Drivers’ Championship. Punters can pick up the Mercedes number one at 2/5 with Betway and 10Bet while Vettel remains in touch at a top price of 2/1 with Boylesports.
This is essentially a ‘two horse race’ with third favourite Kimi Raikkonen fading into the distance at best odds of 250/1 with William Hill.
Things are similarly priced in the Constructors’ Championship despite the fact that Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas has chipped in with some strong finishes to tighten Mercedes’ grip on the title. Ahead of Belgium this weekend, Mercedes remain favourites at best odds of 5/11 with SportingBet while Ferrari, headed by Vettel, are on offer at a top price of 2/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral.
Red Bull fans will retain faint hopes with their team out at a best of 80/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral again while the rest are ruled out at 5000/1 and beyond.
We’ve been saying for a while that we don’t expect the favourites to be upset and if you agree with that assessment, it’s best to get on them now before their prices drop even further.
Side Bets for Belgium
The popular side markets of Pole Position and Fastest Lap had been shared around at the start of the season but these are additional areas where Hamilton has started to have more of a say. The Englishman has recorded two poles in his last three races while he returned his first Fastest Lap of the season in Germany two races ago.
For Belgium, the bookies are having trouble splitting the top two drivers once again but for the Pole Position betting, Hamilton is just ahead at 5/4 with Betway while Vettel follows at a best of 11/8 with William Hill and Coral.
The challenges start with Bottas at best odds of 9/1 with 188Bet, followed by Raikkonen at a top price of 12/1 with 10Bet. Daniel Ricciardo took pole in Monaco but his performances have tailed off since so you may want to avoid the outgoing Red Bull driver at 20/1 with Betway. Max Verstappen is also at 20/1, this time with William Hill, and then we move out to Fernando Alonso at a top price of 200/1 with William Hill again.
The fastest lap option has been far more open in 2018 so perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Ricciardo and Verstappen as the joint favourites for Belgium at best odds of 7/2 with MarathonBet and William Hill. Hamilton and Vettel follow at the same top price of 4/1 with BetFred and 188Bet, followed by Bottas at 6/1 and Raikkonen at 8/1 – both with William Hill.
Those are all the numbers so what are we backing for the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix?
Back in 2017, Lewis Hamilton started at the front of the grid and finished in first place, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo. Vettel, meanwhile, recorded the fastest lap on this same Spa circuit.
With both of the Red Bulls sharing the favourites’ berth for fastest lap, the odds setters feel that Ricciardo and Verstappen can set the pace on this surface. With weather conditions in their favour, we think they can justify their odds but with Ricciardo under something of a cloud at the moment, Verstappen is our preference in that particular market.
As for the race winner, Lewis Hamilton is developing consistency and that’s ominous for the rest of the pack. Sebastian Vettel has been inconsistent by contrast but we feel that the German is poised to respond with one of his better drives as his great rival threatens to pull clear. Vettel for the win is the tip on what will hopefully be a profitable afternoon over in Belgium.
Best Bets for Belgium Grand Prix 2018
- Sebastian Vettel to win at 6/4 with William Hill
- Max Verstappen to record the fastest lap at 7/2 with MarathonBet