Formula 1: After Lando Norris' Miami win, Max Verstappen is a smaller favorite than usual ahead of Imola

Max Verstappen enters the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as a smaller favorite than he’s used to being in the wake of Lando Norris’ Miami Grand Prix win.

Verstappen is -350 at BetMGM to win Sunday's race (9 a.m. ET, ESPN2) after Norris became just the second driver outside of Verstappen to win a race in 2024. Verstappen has been larger than a -350 favorite ahead of the green flag of every race this season. And he's only opened as a smaller favorite once. That happened when he was -250 in the days before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The three-time defending Formula 1 champion has won four of six races so far this season and should be the driver to beat at Imola. He won by over 16 seconds in 2022 ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and won the 2021 race by over 20 seconds after Lewis Hamilton pitted late to get the race’s fastest lap. The race wasn’t run in 2023 because of flooding in the region.

Norris is the No. 2 favorite ahead of the Grand Prix at +700. He got the first win of his career in Miami as McLaren has rivaled Ferrari as Red Bull’s biggest competitor since the middle of the 2023 season. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at +800 is the only other driver with better than 10-1 odds to win.

Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz is the only driver other than Verstappen and Norris to get a victory this season. He won the Australian Grand Prix after Verstappen had to retire early because of brake issues. Sainz is +1200 to win on Sunday ahead of Perez at +2000 and Norris’ teammate Oscar Piastri at +2500. Piastri is set to have the same upgrades to his car that Norris had at Miami.

The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell is at +8000 along with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. Mercedes hasn’t made the leap it hoped to have in 2024 as Hamilton and Russell have failed to score a podium this season. Russell is seventh in the points standings and Hamilton is ninth behind Alonso in eighth.

Verstappen is also favored to win the pole for Sunday’s race. If you’re looking for even better value, you can get Verstappen at -200 to start first ahead of Leclerc at +350 and Sainz at +700.

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