F1 Odds, Picks & Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (November 20)
Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes
Would you believe it: Mercedes actually won a race in the 2022 Formula 1 season!
In a relatively shocking upset, George Russell claimed victory last week in Brazil to give the Silver Arrows their first win of the year with Lewis Hamilton coming home P2 to secure a double podium finish.
As for our bets, it was a perfect 3-0 week. Despite their best efforts for the contrary, Alpine secured a double-points finish. Then, Lewis Hamilton came home ahead of Charles Leclerc to win that matchup. Finally, our cross-sport parlay – Pierre Gasly over Yuki Tsunoda, and the Kansas City Chiefs moneyline – hit with ease.
Those results move our season-long record to 32-31 (+4 units) as we get ready to present our final trio of picks for the 2022 season in Abu Dhabi.
Lewis Hamilton Race Winner (+250 at BetMGM)
Maybe I’m thinking too much with my heart, but I believe this race sets up very well for a Hamilton victory.
Formula 1 fans will know this is Hamilton’s final chance to keep his “win a race every season” streak alive, and what better place to do it than at the track where he wronged last year? Plus, since Mercedes installed their final upgrade package ahead of the United States Grand Prix, Hamilton has posted three consecutive finishes of P2, leaving only one way to go up.
Additionally, within that three-race span is a correlative circuit to Abu Dhabi. The Circuit of the Americas in Austin, where Hamilton finished P2 after qualifying P5, shows similar traits to the Yas Marina Circuit.
Hamilton also owns an outstanding history at this circuit. You’d have to go all the way back to 2013 in order to find the last time he failed to finish on the podium in Abu Dhabi, with Hamilton winning half of those past eight races.
As a result, I’ll back Hamilton, who’s +250 at BetMGM as of this writing, up to +225 in the outright market.
Sebastian Vettel Points Finish (-105 at BetMGM)
We backed this exact market in Austin, and I’m prepared to support it once again at a correlative track.
This season, Vettel has taken part in four races at correlative circuits – he missed Bahrain and Saudi Arabia after a positive COVID test. But, in those four grands prix – Austin, Baku, Spa and Singapore – he’s yet to finish outside the points in any.
Plus, it’s not as if he’s getting by with the skin of his teeth. In those four races, Vettel has finished P8 three times along with a P6 in Azerbaijan. Additionally, Vettel was P11 at least year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Aston Martin, which still has a chance to overtake Alfa Romeo in the constructors’ championship.
The one area of concern with Vettel is that his Saturday qualifying efforts at correlative tracks leave something to be desired as he’s qualified in the points only once in those four grands prix.
However, in what is supposed to be his final race – again, emotional angle – I’ll back Vettel to finish in the points up to -115.
Kevin Magnussen over Guanyu Zhou (+110 at BetMGM)
This is largely a price play on Magnussen against an overvalued Zhou, but I still think there are reasons to support the Dane.
Eliminate the Azerbaijan Grand Prix from the sample, and bettors will find Magnussen owns a 4-1 head-to-head advantage over the Alfa Romeo rookie in the remaining five races at correlative circuits. Plus, Magnussen finished inside the points on three of those four occasions, so we can infer this type of track suits the Haas driver.
Plus, just in the two most recent grands prix at correlative circuits – Austin and Singapore – Magnussen owns a 2-0 head-to-head edge on race day.
On the flip side, Zhou has generally struggled at these types of circuits this season. In all six qualifying races, the F1 rookie has posted finishes of P10-P11-DNF-P14-P16-P12.
Given Magnussen appears to have the higher ceiling, I’ll happily take him in an underdog spot. Plus, given Haas is trying to fend off AlphaTauri for eighth in the constructors’ championship, there’s added motivation for Magnussen.
Bet him up to -110 in this head-to-head matchup.