2024 Australian Grand Prix Odds: Favorites, Sleepers to Catch Verstappen

Red Bull's Swept the First Two Races of the Year

Two races down, 22 to go in the 2024 Formula 1 season. Red Bull looked dominant in the first two rounds with consecutive 1-2 finishes for the first time since May 2023.

Three-time defending champion Max Verstappen won both races from pole position to continue his run at the top of the sport. It’s no surprise to see him lead the 2024 Australian Grand Prix Odds across the board.

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2024 Australian Grand Prix Odds: Favorites for Victory

  • Max Verstappen (-550)

No one’s come close to catching Verstappen in the first two races of the year. He won by 22 seconds in Bahrain and by 13 seconds in Saudi Arabia in two very different types of tracks. Bahrain stresses the rear tires more than most tracks on the calendar while Saudi Arabia’s fast, sweeping corners test the limits of front-end grip.

Australia’s more like Saudi Arabia in its characteristics than Bahrain. This means the field might be a bit closer than Bahrain but a mechanical failure looks like the only way to keep Verstappen off the top step. He’s often too far ahead to be involved in any collisions that could drop him down the order as well.

  • Sergio Pérez (+750)

The street track aficionado returns to where his Formula 1 career began in 2011. Perez’s finished second in each of the first two races after starting farther down on the grid at lights out. He hasn’t shown the pace to trouble Verstappen at any point and it’d be a surprise to see that happen here.

The next F1 race where that could happen is likely Miami in May. For now, banking on a Perez win requires Verstappen to have an incredibly unlikely issue.

  • Charles Leclerc (+1100)

Leclerc bounced back from a brake issue during the race in Bahrain to stand on the podium in Saudi Arabia. He was still 18 seconds down from Verstappen and five seconds down from Perez in that one.

Leclerc won this F1 race two years ago from pole position but he couldn’t repeat that last season with a first-lap retirement. The Ferrari will likely fare more like it did in Saudi Arabia than in Bahrain. That means Leclerc should be close in qualifying but likely won’t have the pace to keep up in the race.

Pole Position Odds

  • Verstappen (-175)

He’s been less dominant in qualifying than the races but Verstappen is still two for two in pole positions in 2024. That’s unlikely to change this week but not impossible.

  • Leclerc (+250)

Leclerc’s started second in both Formula 1 races in 2024, He’s been three-tenths of a second behind Verstappen in both qualifying sessions. That’s the same gap as second to ninth in Bahrain and second to fifth in Saudi Arabia. Qualifying will likely be when Leclerc’s closest to Verstappen but pole position here is too tall a task.

  • Perez (+700)

It’d be even more surprising to see Perez secure pole position. He’s been off the pace in qualifying compared to Verstappen and Leclerc and his track record here isn’t strong enough to buck that trend.

Podium Finishers

Oddsmakers like Verstappen (-800), Perez (-275), and Leclerc (-165) to fill out the podium as they did in Saudi Arabia. But there are a few drivers who could shake up that order behind Verstappen.

  • George Russell (+225)

Russell’s been the fastest Mercedes driver to start 2024 with fifth place in Bahrain and sixth in Saudi Arabia. He couldn’t hold on to his third-place start in Bahrain, though. This weekend and the circuit’s characteristics could be better for him and the Mercedes package. Fewer long straights with many medium-speed corners could be the setup that keeps him near the front.

  • Lando Norris (+335)

The McLaren package has struggled at high speed in 2024. Saudi Arabia exposed some issues with the MCL38 but those types of corners won’t be an issue as much in Australia. Norris’ strategy call didn’t work out in Saudi Arabia but he could have better luck here and catch teammate Oscar Piastri in the Formula 1 standings.

Points Finishers

Verstappen, Perez, and Leclerc lead the Formula 1 odds for points finishers as well at -1400, -1200, and -1000, respectively. Oddsmakers also like Russell (-900), Lewis Hamilton (-900), Fernando Alonso (-800), Norris (-800), Oscar Piastri (-600), Oliver Bearman (-300), and Lance Stroll (-275) to round out the top 10.

There is at least one driver who could break into that five-team group in Melbourne.

  • Alex Albon (+120)

Albon was one of many drivers who missed out on a points finish in Saudi Arabia thanks to Kevin Magnussen’s extreme defense of 11th place. Albon’s raced well in Australia in limited running, though. He went from 20th on the grid to 10th in 2022 and qualified eighth last year before a crash took him out after six laps. If he has another solid qualifying, he could make up enough places at the start and stay in range for points.

2024 Australian Grand Prix Odds: Predictions for the Weekend

The 2023 Australian Grand Prix was one of the most chaotic finishes of any race that season. It’s unlikely to repeat in that way once again.

One thing that will repeat as it has in 19 of the last 20 races is a Verstappen victory. It’s hard to imagine anyone catching him at this point in the schedule. He’ll sweep pole position and the race win. Leclerc and Norris will join him on the podium with Albon getting past Stroll for a points finish.

For Formula 1 news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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