Friday, 11 March 2016

2016 F1 Betting Preview - Rosberg and Raikkonen where the value is?

We start off confused, and end up confused on a higher level. So the adage goes. And it fits rather neatly with the annual round of F1 pre-season testing. Interpreting it comes with all sorts of toxic health warnings - the headline lap times mean little; we don't know fuel loads, programmes being run or other vital details. That even with these all teams are making efforts to conceal where they are in the competitive order, and that applies equally whether they're doing well or doing badly. It never stops us trying to interpret it though. And with testing done and the opening round of the season proper a week away, from looking at F1 betting odds at netbet do we have a renewed sense of where the value is?

Nico Rosberg's odds to finally beat his team mate 
Lewis Hamilton over a season may be tempting
Photo: Octane Photography
There was little in Barcelona testing to suggest that Mercedes has been knocked fully off its pedestal and therefore Lewis Hamilton remains rightful favourite to be 2016 world drivers' champion. This is reflected in tight odds though for him to do just that - a bet on Lewis at 20/57 to bag the title doesn't even give you 150% of your stake back.

If you fancy laying some money Lewis's way then evens for him to win no more than 11.5 rounds this year looks better value - he got 'only' 10 wins last season and you'd think this campaign will be more competitive, although on the other hand there after 21 rounds this time rather than the 19 then.

Nico Rosberg by contrast gets fairly tempting odds. For him to continue his good end of 2015 form and win the ultimate prize in 2016 you can back him at 29/10. Maybe even better value is 5/6 on him to get more than 5.5 wins, which would be to match his total from last year at least (which was six) and with two more rounds to do it in.

Many analyses post testing suggested however that Ferrari could be with, or nearly with, Mercedes; and therefore 5/1 for Sebastian Vettel to take the crown looks tempting. Particularly if Hamilton and Rosberg are in a close fight, as Seb could sneak between the squabbling pair who are busy taking points off each other. While 40/1 for Seb's team mate Kimi Raikkonen to take the title for himself is a very inviting medium-range punt. Yes we know about Kimi's recent struggles but the SF16-H may have finally the responsive front end that he craves, and he looked confident in the car in Barcelona.

Testing though didn't give us much sense of there being a great deal of point in betting on anyone other than Mercedes or Ferrari for titles, and this too is reflected in the odds which go out dramatically at that point. If you fancy a long shot, then 100/1 on Valtteri Bottas is the most sensible. Testing suggested Williams will likely start the campaign as best of the rest, and there was some optimism emanating from the squad. For the likes of Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo it looks even in a generous estimate that they'll cede too much ground in the championship race as their cars are getting up to speed early in the year.

Due to the odd placing system,
it may be worth betting on Rio Haryanto
being the top Manor in the table
Photo: Octane Photography
There also are interesting head-to-head odds available for which team mate finishes higher in the world championship in each of the 11 squads. And with the same considerations as above 4/1 for Kimi to get ahead of Seb in the final table looks generous.

Otherwise odds on two of the English pilots to win out over their respective team mates - Jenson Button at 8/5 and Jolyon Palmer at 12/5 - appear among the better value.

An intriguing one is at Manor, as the probability is that team won't be a regular scorer, therefore whichever driver has the highest single placing will likely decide who is ahead in the table (e.g. one P12 would beat any number of P13s). It therefore is a measure that could be decided in large part by chance than who generally is on top, possibly by a solitary good placing on a day of high attrition. With this, 8/5 on Rio Haryanto to get ahead of Pascal Wehrlein looks pretty good value.

All odds quoted in this article were accurate on the NetBet website at 2000 GMT on Friday 11 March 2016.

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