F1 2022 United States Grand Prix preview and best bets: Verstappen keeps on rolling

Max Verstappen drives for Red Bull Racing
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Matt Selz


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Circuit of the Americas (or COTA as it’s colloquially known) hosts the United States Grand Prix for F1 this weekend. While the 2022 F1 World Championship battle is officially over, having ended with Round 18 in Japan, Round 19 of the schedule will still hold a great race at a great venue like COTA.

Our handicappers will have F1 picks and predictions all season long!

COTA Track Layout and betting strategies

Circuit of the Americas is a purpose-built Formula 1 track in Austin Texas that is made up of the designer’s favorite parts of other F1 tracks from around the world. It’s also a massive elevation change style track with Turn 1 being 130 feet higher than the start-finish line and the front stretch being almost entirely uphill.

There are plenty of different combinations of sections on this track between high-speed corners, long straights, and sharp low-speed corners. That combination of track sections and DRS zones should give plenty of passing chances throughout the long lap that is COTA. With the long laps, it allows for some interesting pit strategies and ability to pit without losing a lot of track positions. It’s also a track that will see a fair amount of overtaking during the race as well without needing to find spots through pit strategy. Cars with the best speed will find their way to the front of the pack as well.

F1 United States Grand Prix outright winners

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing. 

Max Verstappen (-240)

Yes, he already won the title. Sure. But he still wants to win races and keep his historic season going with a shot at the most wins in a single season still very much alive. He’s won 12 times this year, the record is 13, and there’s still four races left to be run. While he does have elite speed again, that hasn’t much mattered this year as they always put it together for race day anyway regardless of where he’s starting.

Lewis Hamilton (+550)

The final major update for Mercedes for 2022 has been added to the cars this weekend at COTA. It’s already seemed to make a difference for the Silver Arrows. Even with FP2 being mostly dedicated to a Pirelli tyre test, Hamilton was still right there timing wise with Verstappen across both of the first two free practice sessions. All of the talk from Mercedes for a while has been noting their focus on 2023’s car, however they have been running fast enough to get Hamilton a win this year. Hamilton loves this style of track as well and at similar tracks this year is where the speed for Mercedes has shown up.

Carlos Sainz (+1200)

Are we really betting on Ferrari again? Yep. It’s the habit we can’t quit for better or worse. Sainz has had speed in his car…again. He outran Verstappen in both FP1 and FP2 even during the tyre test. If he can just finish a race without an issue, he’s certainly got the speed to be running up front all day. It’s never been a question of speed with Ferrari all year, it’s just been strategy and reliability which I think hold up this weekend now that the season is ostensibly over in terms of title fights.

Best prop bets for United States Grand Prix

Odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing. 

Lance Stroll top-10 finish (+130)

So this one isn’t only based on the speed Stroll showed during FP1 and FP2. It’s also based on leverage of lines in the market. Stroll has an 11.9 average finish this year through the first 18 rounds of the F1 schedule. His teammate Sebastian Vettel has an 11.3 mark. Yet, Vettel is at -150 for this same prop. So not only did Stroll outrun Vettel in the first two practices while having nearly the same average finish, we’re also getting a boost in return. If you were to bet $10 on Vettel at -130 it returns $16.66 total, that same $10 bet for Stroll nets you $23.

Pierre Gasly top-10 finish (+175)

Prior to Japan, a disaster of race for him, Gasly finished top-10 in 3 of 4 races with the only miss being a P11 finish. He has top-10 speed again, at least that’s what he showed handily at FP1 and FP2. He’s looking to keep a strong finish going in 2022 before switching teams for 2023 and a top-10 at COTA will do just that.

Ferrari Fastest Lap (+175)

If Ferrari isn’t going to win, they certainly have the speed in the cars to go after a late-race fastest lap to salvage an extra point for the Constructors title. That’s really the only thing that goes into this bet. That and the fact that they’ve combined for six fastest laps this year compared to Red Bull’s eight. With a pretty decently even split given all the turmoil for the Scuderia this year, getting a +175 line compared to Red Bull’s -120 is nice leverage too.

McLaren double top-10 finish (+150)

The mojo of Horse McHorse is going to power this bet. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Daniel Ricciardo came riding in on a horse on Thursday and the VIP credential for the equine said Horse McHorse on the badge. McLaren hasn’t been consistent this year to be sure, however the speed has consistently shown up for double points finishes for Lando Norris and Ricciardo at tracks similar to COTA. That speed has shown up once again. Norris was squarely in the top-10 in FP1 and Ricciardo’s FP2 time, not during the tyre test, would’ve put him in the top-five for FP1 had he run it.

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