Wednesday 24 May 2017

Monaco GP Betting Preview - Lewis's to lose?

This column, by accident or design (more likely the former), seems to be on to something. The last betting preview, for the Spanish Grand Prix just passed, played quite the blinder, featuring the odds for the correct race winner and pole sitter, as well as highlighting punts on the pole winning margin and for Daniel Ricciardo to finish on the podium that also came in.

Is Lewis Hamilton the man to lay your money on?
Photo: Octane Photography
Now we have Monaco - a place associated with games of chance. Perhaps appropriate to its F1 race given that event's madcap reputation. Yet as explained in my event preview Monaco's status as being a place where the unusual happens can be overstated, and may be this time.

Some think Ferrari's shorter wheelbase than the Mercedes's will serve it well at the sinewy track, but using the common guide of speed in Barcelona's final sector last time out Mercedes in fact looks on top and Lewis Hamilton especially so. Lewis can be got at 13/10 to win and 7/5 to get pole. Both look good value.

Plus if you like to use what's happened in the past as a guide (and I've heard it said that gamblers who know what they're doing do), the Scuderia hasn't won in Monaco for 16 years...

You also would be well advised to avoid backing Valtteri Bottas - while his odds are long his Monaco record is also distinctly iffy.

As for the rest, it's easy to forget too that last year in Monaco Daniel Ricciardo took pole and should have won the race too, and this track should suit the Red Bull more than just about any other, although this time the team arrives with even more of a deficit to make up than 12 months ago. Still the Aussie being available at 2/1 to finish in the top three looks very good value, while if you fancy more of a long range punt you can get 16/1 on him to win and 12/1 on him to get the pole.

Probably you should keep you money away from Max Verstappen though, as while he's fast here in previous visits he's also not kept his car out the barriers for all that long.

Jenson Button returns for one weekend only
Photo: Octane Photography
Force India also looks good both from Barcelona's final sector times and from its previous at the Principality. Last year Sergio Perez got on the podium (albeit aided greatly by inspired calls in a wet-to-dry race) as well as got seventh here in 2015. You can back Checo to get into the top six this time at 11/10, and his team mate Esteban Ocon at 5/2 to do the same. Ocon may well have finished ahead of Perez indeed in Spain had he used his DRS on his last qualifying run.

And you can make really good on this assumption by backing Force India for a double points finish at 13/8. After all, the squad's managed this in every round of 2017 thus far.

While for one weekend only we have gentleman Jenson Button returning to McLaren while Fernando Alonso is off at Indy. And to celebrate this a number of Jenson specials are available (including 1000/1 for a pole and win double...). His getting up to speed for his flying visit may be tricky, but even money available for him to be classified looks tempting, as if Jenson can be counted on for anything it's staying out of trouble. Likely it's a matter of whether his fragile machine can last...

Safety cars are a frequent feature in Monaco races too, with an 80% chance. In the past three Monaco visits there hasn't been more than two safety car periods in a single Grand Prix (not including safety car starts as they are not for the purposes of these odds). You can get 5/2 for there just to be one appearance this time (note this includes any Virtual Safety Car periods) and 2/1 for there to be two.

All odds quoted in this article were accurate on the Oddschecker website at 2115 GMT on Tuesday 23 May 2017.

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