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Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix betting preview: Can Max Verstappen repeat at the Red Bull Ring?

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Austrian Grand Prix

9 a.m. ET, ESPN

Can Max Verstappen make it 2-for-2 in Austria?

The points leader is a big favorite (-150) ahead of the second of two consecutive races at the Red Bull Ring. And it’s easy to see why oddsmakers have anointed him as the likely winner. Verstappen was dominant in the Styrian Grand Prix. He won the pole and led all 71 laps of the race on the way to a 35-second win after Lewis Hamilton pitted late in the race to score a bonus point for fastest lap.

Hamilton (+200) and Mercedes made the decision to chase that bonus point because Verstappen was uncatchable. Only four of the 20 cars that started the race finished on the lead lap.

The victory was Verstappen’s fourth of the season and increased his points lead to 18. Hamilton can only surpass him in the points standings with a win if Verstappen finishes seventh or worse.

It’s not impossible to envision Mercedes making some gains ahead of Sunday’s race. The team will likely be more competitive than it was a weekend ago. But Red Bull should make some strides too. This is still Verstappen’s race to lose. And it’ll be a huge surprise if it’s not a driver named Verstappen or Hamilton winning the race. Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas are tied for third favorite at a whopping +1200.

Here are some bets we like for the race weekend. All odds are via BetMGM.

Max Verstappen to post the fastest lap (+165)

We might as well take something Verstappen-related that has some good odds, right? If you believe that Mercedes will be closer to Red Bull then the team probably won’t be able to go for fastest lap late in the race while chasing Verstappen. Verstappen was consistently the fastest — and had the fastest lap — until Hamilton’s late stop at the Styrian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen to finish in the top 3 (-275)

We thought about going with a Hamilton bet here but Verstappen's odds are better than Hamilton’s (-350). Both drivers seem like virtual locks for top-three finishes, so go with the guy with the faster car and better return.

Daniel Ricciardo to finish in the top 10 (-250)

Ricciardo had a poor first race at Austria but his car was dealing with power problems. McLaren teammate Lando Norris was fast all weekend and so was Ricciardo when his car was working well. We think he rebounds and scores in the points on Sunday.

Both Mercedes drivers to finish top 6 (-250)

Every other team outside Mercedes and Red Bull has a positive return on a dual top-6 bet. But that’s because Mercedes and Red Bull drivers are expected to occupy four of the top six spots in some order. Take the better odds with Mercedes here.

Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas to all finish top 3 (+225)

Why not, let’s go for a repeat of the Styrian Grand Prix with our final bet. We’re confident in the previous four bets so the idea of more than doubling our bet here with the same drivers finishing in the top three is worth a shot.

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