F1 betting, odds: Max Verstappen heavy favorite to win third Imola race in a row

Verstappen is a whopping -225 favorite to win the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

IMOLA, ITALY - APRIL 24: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium  during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 24, 2022 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Max Verstappen will is eyeing a three-peat at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Assuming the event isn't completely washed out, the rest of the F1 grid figures to be chasing a pair of Red Bulls through the Italian countryside this weekend.

It may very well take more time to say the full name of the event – the "Qatar Airways Gran Premio Del Made in Italy E Dell'Emilia-Romagna" – than it will to decide its winner.

Two-time event and series defending champion Max Verstappen is the only driver to enter with minus odds (-225), while his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez has the next-best odds at +275 according to BetMGM. No other driver enters the weekend with better than 14-to-1 odds.

Red Bull’s performance advantage this season certainly plays a role here – Verstappen and Perez have alternated wins over the first five grands prix of the season and finished 1-2 four times – but the recent history at Autodromo Enzo E Dino Ferrari does as well.

Since the circuit in Imola rejoined the F1 calendar in 2020, Verstappen has won both races that he has finished there and he has led 124 of a possible 189 laps over the three events. Verstappen has never started at Imola lower than third on the grid. In his two seasons at Red Bull, Perez has qualified second and third, respectively, and finished second last year.

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have the next best odds, each entering the weekend at +1400 and are the only other drivers in the field with wins at Imola. Alonso is the most experienced driver at the track with seven starts since his career began before the circuit dropped off the calendar. Alonso won the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix on the way to his first drivers championship, while Hamilton won the first race back there in 2020.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell is +2200 to win along with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Carlos Sainz in the other Ferrari enters the weekend at +3300. No one else boasts more than 100-to-1 shot.

Here are a few bets we like for the weekend. As always, wait until as close to race time as possible to lock in your wagers.

Both Ferraris to finish in the top 10 (-250)

• They're racing at the brand's namesake track so there will be plenty of motivation to show up and show out for the Tifosi but, as we’ve seen from Ferrari in the past, great expectations don't mean great results. That said, each time this season both cars have been running at the end of the race, they've been solidly in the points, including the last two races on the trot.

Charles Leclerc to win pole (+275)

• The Ferraris have good one-lap pace this season but tend to fall away in the races. Leclerc won the first three poles of the season at Bahrain, Jeddah and Melbourne, respectively, before ceding the road to the Red Bulls.

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton on the podium (+300)

• Hamilton gets around Imola pretty well and with Mercedes bringing its first significant upgrade package of the season, this is an enticing proposition at 3-to-1.

Valtteri Bottas to finish in the top 10 (+500)

• If not for a very high-profile incident with the Russell, who would ultimately replace Bottas at Mercedes, in 2021 the Finnish driver would have already accomplished this all three times he’s raced there. Bottas has never started lower than eighth on the grid at Imola and hustled his Alfa Romeo to a fifth-place finish last year.