F1 Odds, Predictions & Picks: 2 Best Bets for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (Saturday, March 9)

F1 Odds, Predictions & Picks: 2 Best Bets for Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (Saturday, March 9) article feature image

Ayman Yaqoob/Getty. Pictured: F1 driver Kevin Magnussen

Check out the F1 odds and Saudi Arabian Grand Prix predictions and picks for Saturday, March, 9, and the second race of the 2024 Formula 1 season.

Last weekend we kicked off the F1 season at the Bahrain GP, but if you didn’t know any differently, you would have thought it was 2023 again. Max Verstappen dominated wire to wire and Sergio Perez finished second to complete the Red Bull Racing 1-2.

However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a tight battle throughout the remainder of the field. Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes all appear to head up the next tier of teams while the rest of the running order is a little more fuzzy.

The second race of the F1 season takes place this Saturday (noon ET, ESPN2) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for the fourth running of the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Here are the top F1 Saudi Arabian odds for the race winner as of Thursday, via BetMGM:

  • Max Verstappen: -450
  • Sergio Perez: +700
  • Charles Leclerc: +1200
  • Lando Norris: +1600
  • Carlos Sainz Jr.: +2000
  • George Russell: +2000
  • Lewis Hamilton: +2800

Last year Sergio Perez took home the victory as Verstappen’s mechanical issues in qualifying ended up preventing him from winning the race. Verstappen still finished second, though.

This track is one of the highest-speed circuits on the entire calendar. The cars that will excel here are ones that have low drag on the straightaways and high downforce for these fast corners. With only one data point so far this year, it’s hard to be certain whose cars will be best at this type of track. However, we can look into last week’s telemetry data to gain a better understanding of the strengths of each team.

Here are my F1 Saudi Arabian GP predictions for pre-qualifying before Saturday's race.

(F1 fans: North Carolina sports betting apps are live for pre-registration! NC sports betting goes live on Monday, March 11. Learn more.)

F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Odds and Predictions 

Has Haas Figured Something Out?

Last year Haas often could lay down the fastest speed in a weekend and perform adequately in qualifying before getting passed for the entire race. Their goal coming into this season was to improve that race pace and make them a bit more competitive overall. Based on the data from Bahrain, it appears they did this. 

Using the race pace data from Formula Data Analysis (@FDataAnalysis), Hulkenberg had the ninth-best race pace on the grid last weekend. This ranked behind the drivers from the top four teams and was just ahead of Aston Martin.

RACE PACE – #BahrainGP

VER was 0.41s/lap quicker than his teammate, on average!
SAI: same pace as PER
The McL/Mercedes battle was TIGHT: just 0.08s/lap between the 4 drivers!

Laptime change vs 2023 (s/lap):
Ferr -2.26
Merc -1.90
McL -1.89 (and fewer pits)
RB -1.86
Aston -1.24 pic.twitter.com/hqhMcdflb5

— Formula Data Analysis (@FDataAnalysis) March 2, 2024

This week we head to a track that is well-suited for Haas' low-drag setup. Last week in Bahrain, the two top speeds reached in the entire race were by Hulkenberg and Magnussen. 

On the other hand, Zhou and Bottas ranked fifth and tied for seventh, respectively, in highest speeds reached during the race and 15th and 19th in race pace. 

Magnussen is probably the lesser of the two Haas drivers this weekend, but I believe that the American team should outperform Kick Sauber in Jeddah. For that reason, I like taking Magnussen at -135 odds against Valtteri Bottas.

The Pick: Kevin Magnussen over Valtteri Bottas (-135 at BetMGM)

Verstappen's Inevitable Dominance

Max Verstappen is the dominant force in F1 right now. This is evident by him being at least -400 to win the race at most shops. This could still be a good bet, but with the possibility of mechanical failure or an on-track incident, I’d rather look at alternative ways to play this here.

If Verstappen wins, I’d expect that he wins big. Last weekend he was victorious over his teammate by an absurd 22.457 seconds. During this race last year, he was clear of the closest non-Red Bull driver by 15.373 seconds despite starting the race in 15th. Even with that disadvantage, Max still finished only about five seconds behind Perez.

In Bahrain, using the same race pace analysis as above, Verstappen was 0.41s/lap faster than Perez on average. Even with the best car in the field, he is just a superior talent and will likely outrun his teammate along with the rest of the field.

We are witnessing a historical run by Verstappen here. Barring a caution in the second half of the race or a mishap, I’d expect him to win by at least 10 seconds. 

At many books, it is around -120 to -140 for him to win by more than 10 seconds. But at Caesars Sportsbook right now, you are able to get Over 9.5 seconds at -105.

The Pick: Winning Margin Over 9.5 Seconds (-105 at Caesars)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.