Formula One 2018 Odds

Attention! Actual odds referenced are correct at time of publishing on 28/02/2018 and are subject to change.
With little more than a month left until the traditional curtain raiser in Australia, F1 fans have seen their appetites whetted by the release of 2018 cars from across the manufacturers. The breathtaking machines have been dominating the news from the world of motorsport and have only served to heighten the anticipation for the campaign that lies ahead.

With teams being confirmed and those cars enjoying their release period, this is a good time to look at the betting markets for the new Formula One season and see if we can spot some early ante post value.

Usual Suspect

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton is the reigning World Champion and having dominated the second half of the 2018 season, the Englishman starts as favourite in the Drivers’ Championship at best odds of 6/5 with Ladbrokes (Ladbrokes T&C) and Winner Sports. The Mercedes Driver is as short as Even Money elsewhere and as a four-time World Champion it’s hard to argue with those numbers.

There could, however, be some value in considering Sebastian Vettel who takes the second favourite’s berth at a top price of 4/1 with William Hill (WH T&C). The German pushed Hamilton closely until the final few races of 2017 and if he can maintain his form and if the car behaves over the course of a whole season, those odds could deliver a generous profit.

In the Hunt?

Behind the top two we have Max Verstappen who is narrowly behind Vettel at a top price of 23/5 with Sport Pesa. Vettel’s partner at Red Bull, Verstappen is just 20 years old and some will say is still very raw as a driver but he has three GP wins behind him already and many point to the Dutchman as a future World Champion.

Gaps start to appear in the market now and we come to Daniel Ricciardo who is available at best odds of 8/1 with William Hill and Unibet. Ricciardo was no stranger to podium finishes last year and now has five Grand Prix wins since his first race back in 2011. Those four would seem to be the best options as we now find some much higher prices moving through the field.

In the Distance

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso follows the chasing pack at best odds of 16/1 with bet365 and 188Bet and while Valtteri Bottas is as short as 11/1 in some places, the Finn has a best price of 16/1 with SportingBet next to his name.

That’s an interesting figure when you consider that Bottas claimed three wins last season and finished third in the Drivers’ Championship. He’s our most recent winner too having taken the last GP of 2017 in Abu Dhabi.

Other options in the distant punts section include Kimi Raikkonen at best odds of 33/1 with Betway and Winner Sports and then we move into three figures as Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg both come in at a top price of 100/1 with bet365 and MarathonBet.

Alternatives

At this early stage in proceedings, the only alternative we have to the Drivers’ betting is the market for the Constructors’ Championship. Mercedes have dominated this for so long that fewer punters are getting involved but for the record, the German manufacturer can be backed at a best price of 3/4 with Sun Bets.

Red Bull follow at best odds of 3/1 with bet365 while Ferrari are on offer at a top price of 4/1 with MarathonBet. From there, we get to McLaren at a best of 25/1 with Sun Bets and then the prices start to move out to three figures.

Mercedes have won it for the last four seasons – Red Bull won for four straight years prior to that – and based on car designs that are coming through, together with team line ups, the Germans should make it five in a row.

Options

As the first race, scheduled for Australia at the end of March, draws closer we should see other season-long markets being introduced. Betting on a top three finish should become available and total points for drivers and constructors should also be listed.

And, when each individual Grand Prix comes around, there will be result markets and a host of side bets listed for an active sport amongst all bookies.

Verdict

Max Verstappen

The Odds setters may be suggesting that the 2018 Formula One Drivers’ Championship is between three men. Hamilton is rightly at the top of the outright market having taken four world titles in recent years and, of course, the 33 year old is the reigning World Champion with the best car on the grid.

The bookies then have the two Red Bull drivers close together with the rest of the pack some distance behind. The one surprise, perhaps, is to see Valtteri Bottas so far back as he has the other Mercedes and while he won’t get preference ahead of Hamilton, that best win price of 16/1 with SportingBet would be a tempting one on Each Way terms.

As for the winner, it could well be that Red Bull step up and offer more of a threat at the top with improved machinery and remember, Vettel was very much in the hunt until the last third of 2017. In Max Verstappen, we agree with the opinion that this is a future world champion but is it too early to expect that this year?

Overall it’s tough to look past Mercedes and therefore, Hamilton is the obvious contender. However, in the same way that Nico Rosberg defied the odds in 2016, there is scope for his teammate to deliver so rather than take Hamilton’s short win price, we will look for better value and that Each Way punt on Valtteri Bottas.

Best Bet for the 2018 Formula One Drivers’ Championship

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