Max Verstappen has dominated Formula One this season, winning 17 of 20 races while already clinching his third consecutive world championship more than a month ago.
He’s the heavy, odds-on favorite to win the Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday night on the Strip, and sportsbooks are hoping the Dutch driver delivers another victory.
“We’ll be rooting for Max Verstappen to win. He’s won 17 times already, and we’re hoping for his 18th,” Caesars Sportsbook assistant director of trading Adam Pullen said. “Whenever you have an odds-on favorite, the odds are that much more juicier on the other drivers.
“People look at the odds and want a bang for their buck. The casual money will be on long shots.”
Verstappen, who has won five straight races and 15 of the past 16, is as high as a -500 favorite to win the Grand Prix, with his best price at -250 at Caesars and William Hill.
Lando Norris is the +750 second choice at Caesars, followed by seven-time Formula One world champ Lewis Hamilton at 12-1, Charles Leclerc at 18-1 and Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez at 20-1.
Perez won two of the first four races this season, and Sainz won at Singapore on Sept. 17 to end Verstappen’s record 10-race winning streak.
“We’re almost always rooting for Verstappen because there’s really no value betting on him,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “We actually have more tickets on Norris, Hamilton, Perez, Leclerc and (Fernando) Alonso (at 45-1) than we do on Verstappen.
“We actually do well to Verstappen right now. We have a lot more liability and tickets written on the other drivers.”
Caesars offers a bevy of other betting markets on the race, including the odds on the winner without Verstappen. Norris is the +250 favorite in that market, followed by Hamilton at 4-1, Leclerc at 5-1 and Sainz and Perez at +550.
Other betting markets at Caesars and other books include podium finish, top six finish, points finish, winning nationality, winning margin, winning constructor, fastest lap, fastest qualifier, odds to complete the race and not to complete the race, head-to-head driver matchups, safety car, same-game parlays and more.
Red Bull, which features Verstappen and Perez, has won 19 of the 20 races and is the -333 favorite to be the winning constructor.
Verstappen, who has had the fastest lap in eight of the 20 races, is the -143 favorite to have the fastest lap. Hamilton, who has had the fastest lap in four races, is the +850 second choice. Norris, who had the fastest lap last time out in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, is the 9-1 third pick.
Verstappen is tied for the Formula One record for most hat tricks, which is when a driver achieves pole position, race win and the fastest lap on a Grand Prix weekend. He’s accomplished the feat five times and is the +175 favorite to do so this week.
Odds on the Formula One race have been on the board at Las Vegas books for more than a year, but the bulk of the betting action is expected to take place this week.
“It’s uncharted territory. We’ll see how the hype for this race and Formula One cars racing down the Las Vegas Strip translates to betting handles,” Pullen said. “Once people get here in town, the action is going to pick up tremendously.”
The NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway generates a bigger betting handle locally than the Daytona 500, and Esposito expects a similar betting pattern for the Grand Prix.
“I expect a huge handle on Formula One,” he said.
Las Vegas Grand Prix odds
Lewis Hamilton 12-1
Guanyu Zhou 750-1
Nico Hulkenberg 750-1
Valtteri Bottas 750-1
This content was originally published here.