Ladbrokes has gone up with surprisingly big odds about the Australian Grand Prix resulting in a 1-2 for Mercedes and that bet, available at 4/51.80-1250.80-1.250.80, is the best option as the Formula One season gets the green light in Melbourne.
All the Formula One teams have conducted extensive testing and the consensus in pit lane is that Mercedes remains well ahead of the rest because this year’s rule changes are not massive and the Silver Arrows had so much up their sleeve, even at the end of the 2013 championship that they bossed.
The Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ran 1-2 in no particular order in 11 of last season’s 19 Formula One races, a dual forecast strike rate that would suggest that odds of about 3/41.75-1330.75-1.330.75 would be fair for the Australian Grand Prix. But, provided that Mercedes does not encounter any major technical difficulties, those odds may be well over the top. Mercedes ran 1-2 in 11 of last year’s 14 Formula One races in which both Silver Arrows cars crossed the finish line and one of its failures was in the final race, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when everything that could go wrong for Rosberg went wrong and he limped home in 14th after qualifying for the event on pole position. Eleven out of 14 would equate to odds around the 3/101.30-3330.30-3.330.30 mark so one would say that anything over 3/51.60-1670.60-1.670.60 definitely represents value.
Bookmakers have a history of taking chances on the opening race of a Formula One season and one thinks that is what they are doing in offering odds against about a Hamilton victory in the Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton is a driver who thrives on confidence and being the world champion will make him feel invincible. Hamilton appears to have the best car by the length of the straight and surely he holds a big psychological edge over Rosberg. Yes, Rosberg went close to winning his first Formula One title last year but Hamilton won the majority of the races and only sheer bad luck made the championship contest go down to the final round.
Almost all Formula One followers are expecting Mercedes – and, therefore, Hamilton – to take out the Australian Grand Prix and the odds of 11/102.10+1101.101.10-0.91 available with several bookmakers, including BetVictor and PaddyPower, about a win for the British driver have the potential to look absolutely huge in hindsight. Hamilton only has to look the goods in the practice and qualifying sessions to become odds on.
There is nothing like a novelty bet to mark the start of a Formula One season and there would be worse exotic punts than backing at least one Australian Grand Prix safety car at odds of 2/51.40-2500.40-2.500.40 with many bookmakers, including 888Sport, Ladbrokes and Winner. Melbourne’s Albert Park is a street circuit so it is somewhat less forgiving than conventional tracks, the Australian Grand Prix is the first race of the year so there is the potential for a breakdown or two in inconvenient places and the weather forecast is for rain.
A safety car has interrupted six of the last seven editions of the Australian Grand Prix so bookmakers are correct to quote the option at odds on but one thinks that they have not gone sufficiently far with their offers of 2/51.40-2500.40-2.500.40.
Australian Grand Prix Mercedes 1-2
14th March 06:00 GMT (Qualifying)
15th March 05:00 GMT (Race)
Where to Bet: Ladbrokes
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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