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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Betting Pick: Unexpected Finish to Uneven Season

Verstappen Rules But Ferrari Steals the Final Race

Long F1 Betting Odds on Ferrari’s Duo

Max Verstappen once again has short odds at -400 to win as Formula 1 caps off its 2023 season in the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. This was the scene where Verstappen controversially won his first title back in 2021 and he has won three straight here. However, the best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix betting pick lies with the red team: Ferrari. Given their strong push in recent F1 races, the team will finish strong.

🏁 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 🏁

Location: Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Streaming: ESPN

The F1 Season For Chalk

Should Ferrari’s drivers win this race as we’re picking, it will be just one of two major upsets for the season. Verstappen has won all but three races and the other two were won by his teammate, Sergio Perez. That was back when Verstappen did not have such short odds and could be bet at lines like +150 or even +200.

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But given the predictable F1 results, Verstappen’s line of -400 roughly indicates an 80% probability that he wins this race. He’s won 85.7% of this season’s races so that line is a good value if we’re being cheeky. We digress as Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc at +1600 and Carlos Sainz at +2200 are the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix betting picks.

It Starts in Qualifying For Ferrari

While he has not won a single race F1 season, Charles Leclerc has continued to crush it in qualifying. The Monegasque racer has won pole position in three of the last four races. His five poles are just behind Verstappen’s 11, which seems laughable if we put them side to side. But if you look at the odds: Verstappen at -175 and Leclerc at +350, this feels too wide.

Ferrari has done a tremendous job in upgrading and it now has a car that nearly rivals Red Bull’s. We saw Leclerc overtake Perez in the final moments of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. And the Ferrari man has typically been strong in qualifying where he can push the Ferrari to its limits.

And other than Leclerc, Sainz has also won a few poles for himself. In fact, the Spaniard won both pole position and the Singapore Grand Prix. Between him and Leclerc, Ferrari is the only constructor to have won qualifying outside of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in Hungaroring.

As such, betting on Ferrari at +250 to have the qualifying winning car is not a bad underdog shot to take for F1 this weekend. The Yas Marina Circuit is a course that lends to Ferrari’s blistering straight-line speed. The Red Bull duo edged Leclerc and Sainz last season. But that was then.

Bet Ferrari, Bad Luck, and All

Even with all the bad luck plaguing Ferrari, the constructor has managed to fight its way to potentially finishing behind Red Bull in the Formula 1 standings. It is four points behind Mercedes. In Las Vegas last week, Ferrari saw both Leclerc and Sainz finish in the top six for the fifth time in the last eight races.

The team could have had a one-two finish had things aligned better for them. Verstappen and George Russell had a little incident that produced a safety car, which allowed Red Bull and the rest of the grid to pit to cut Leclerc’s edge. Sainz also had to battle back due to serving an undeserved 10-place penalty due to an accident in practice.

That’s just a sample of what Ferrari goes through on a regular basis. In three of the last eight races, one of the two drivers either got disqualified or failed to even start. But they have been consistent in finishing in the top six. A more “safe” Abu Dhabi Grand Prix betting pick is for both cars to finish in the top six at -150. That is the next shortest to Red Bull at -300.

But if you’re laying that juice on a pick like that, we might as well go for it: a Ferrari driver will win the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. We can bet on Leclerc at 16-1, Sainz at 22-1, or one of the two (+850) to do it. Either way, Ferrari is worth riding with.

Yas Marina is Due For an Upset?

Since the Yas Marina Circuit debuted in 2009, the course has seen very few upsets. Kimi Raikkonen’s winning in 2012 with Lotus is the only notable one as Red Bull and Mercedes have dominated with their short betting odds.

And the Pick is…

The circuit is one where Ferrari can show its ability to start fast, set the pace, and build a lead with several long straights. Overtaking is not too frequent in this course though so Leclerc and/or Sainz should do well in qualifying to hold off Verstappen. It’s worth a shot. Bet: Ferrari as the Winning Car (+850).

For F1 betting news, F1 odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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