F1 Odds, Picks & Predictions: Early Bets for Sunday’s Saudi Arabian GP (Sunday, March 19)

F1 Odds, Picks & Predictions: Early Bets for Sunday’s Saudi Arabian GP (Sunday, March 19) article feature image

Peter Fox/Getty Images. Pictured: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany

Through the first two practices for the Saudi Arabian GP on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, ESPN), we have seen a few surprises throughout the field. What’s not a surprise is that Max Verstappen and Red Bull are once again at the top of the grid.

Fernando Alonso appears to be the only driver who could pose any threat to Red Bull, but even that seems like a long shot.

For that reason I would recommend staying away from betting anyone to win outright this week as Verstappen is the heavy favorite and no one else will have a chance unless something happens to him.

Mercedes and Ferrari both appear to still be struggling with their cars. Both Ferrari drivers will be swapping out their power units for this weekend due to the reliability issues we saw last weekend, which will result in Charles LeClerc taking a 10-place grid penalty. In both practice sessions, Ferrari struggled to keep up with the top-tier teams and will likely find themselves in the mid-pack.

It appears that for the second year running, Mercedes are not hitting the lofty goals that they have set for themselves. After one week it already sounded like the sky was falling and that Mercedes may be already giving up on competing for a title this year.

These teams struggling opens up an opportunity for some mid-pack teams to take a leap and earn a good finish as the others come back to the pack. After analyzing data from practice data, I see some opportunities when looking at both Alpine and Haas.

F1 Picks for Saudi Arabian GP

Nico Hulkenburg Points Finish

Haas wasn’t the fastest in FP1, but in the much more important FP2 session, Nico Hulkenburg ran the eighth-fastest lap of the session and had an impressive top speed on the straightaways.

Haas has struggled for the last number of years, and chances are that they won’t be contending anywhere near the top of the pack.

But Hulkenburg may be fast enough to find his way into the points.

Pick: Hulkenburg Points Finish (+200 at Caesars) | Bet to +175

Alpine Double Points Finish

Another team that impressed on Friday was Alpine. Both Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon looked fast as they both put up times in the top six in FP2, with Ocon in fourth in Gasly in sixth.

With the struggles of Ferrari and Mercedes, I think that we could see one of these drivers get into the top six this week, with both having a good chance at finishing in the points.

You could take a longer shot bet on one of these guys to finish top 6 at +500 or for one of them to finish in the points at -175. However, I like looking at their odds to both finish in the points. At DraftKings you can currently get both Alpine drivers to finish in the top 10 at +135.

Pick: Alpine Double Points Finish (+135 at DraftKings) | Bet to +130

Other Picks

If you are placing bets pre-qualifying, I would also recommend taking Gasly at -250 to qualify ahead of Lando Norris.

The McLaren cars have looked terrible thus far.

We'll also take a stab on Ocon to finish in the top six.

Other Bets: Ocon top six (+500 at Caesars) | Gasly (-250 at DraftKings) over Norris (Qualifying)

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