Formula 1 Portugal betting preview: Let's look beyond betting the winner of the race

Nick Bromberg
·3-min read
IMOLA, ITALY - APRIL 18: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 battle for track position at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 18, 2021 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are the favorites again. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are once again the co-favorites to win on Sunday.

F1's top two drivers each have +125 odds to win the Portuguese Grand Prix at BetMGM. Each driver has won once so far this season right ahead of the other. And why would that change in Portugal this weekend?

Mercedes keeps saying that Red Bull has the faster car so far this season. But Hamilton is a seven-time champion and still the favorite for the title this year until Red Bull and Verstappen show otherwise. 

If you're betting the winner of Sunday's race you shouldn't stray beyond either of those drivers. And who you want to bet is totally up to you. We can make equally compelling cases for either driver. 

We can also make compelling cases for the bets below. Here are five bets you should consider making ahead of the race. 

Portuguese Grand Prix

10 a.m. ET (ESPN2)

Lewis Hamilton to beat Valtteri Bottas (-300)

Bottas has been way off the pace of Hamilton so far this season with F1's rule changes. It's hard to see how that changes this weekend. The ceiling for Bottas feels like it's third behind Hamilton and Verstappen. That makes this bet in favor of Hamilton tempting despite the juice. 

Mick Schumacher to beat Nikita Mazepin (-275)

It's surprising that this bet has better odds than Hamilton beating Bottas. Mazepin has spun out or crashed in each of the first two races of the season and Schumacher showed lots of promise in GP2. Yeah, the Haas cars are clearly the worst on the grid and you can't rule out a mechanical failure. But you also can't be confident that Mazepin won't lose control of his car either. 

Esteban Ocon to get a top 10 (+150)

This is a value bet. Ocon was ninth at Imola and has finished ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso in each of the first two races this season. With Alonso at -135 to finish in the top 10, take Ocon here. Especially given the other drivers with better than even odds are Sebastian Vettel (+140) and the drivers at Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas.

Valtteri Bottas to get race’s fastest lap (+450)

Yes, we discounted Bottas above. But a scenario like the one that played out in Bahrain feels plausible enough to give it a shot at these odds. Bottas ran third at Bahrain and pitted late for fresh tires and a fast lap because he didn't have a shot at catching either Hamilton or Verstappen and was ahead of everyone else by a significant margin. 

Daniel Ricciardo to finish top 6 (-120)

Ricciardo has finished seventh and sixth in each of the first two races of the season. He should be right on the precipice of another top six again this week and has the same odds as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly. Granted, there are six drivers ahead of the three at -120, but we’re not too confident of Charles LeClerc’s chances of finishing in the top six.

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