Lewis Hamilton is a value bet heading into next weekend's United States Grand Prix (Image via Corbis Images)

If you enjoy the odd punt here and there on Formula One, then you may like to consider a contrarian approach for your bets at the end of the season.

The fact is that – if you look at your Formula One history – the last couple of races of the season often throw up anomalous results, particularly when the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championship titles are all sewn up, as is the case this year.

This gives the leading constructors and drivers a chance to relax – maybe just a little! – and for those behind to do all they can to make the whole season look a little more successful, and to perhaps experiment a little in the process…

So – yes – if you had to stake your life on the last two F1 races (the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas on 15-17 November and the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos on 22-24 November) you’d undoubtedly back Sebastian Vettel to win them both.  But, thankfully, you don’t have to stake your life on the result and the more interesting value-based bet may well be the English driver Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton is currently a best-priced 20/1 to win at Austin and these odds look far too generous for anyone who really studies the sport. They certainly don’t truly reflect the 28 year-old Mercedes driver’s realistic chances. His realistic odds are, perhaps, better reflected in the pole position market which has Hamilton at around the 10-1 mark after the two Red Bull drivers Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber. The pole position may, in itself, be a shrewd bet – though for a really exciting ride, go for the outright win.

There isn’t a great deal to choose between the top drivers and Hamilton and Mercedes are desperate to make up the gap with Red Bull. Lewis Hamilton was said to be “mystified” by the lack of pace his Mercedes demonstrated in the Abu Dhabi GP which saw him finish a distant and disappointing seventh. But there’s every chance this was a glitch which Mercedes will be keen to put right – and if it was as anomalous as we expect it to have been – this has only helped his odds widen to a level which offers excellent value.

Also, the Austin Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is very different to Abu Dhabi so the results generated may also be very different. All in all, Hamilton is well worth a value bet if you enjoy an outsider now and again.

Also, if you click here for 32Red casino you should be able to qualify for a free bet (as long as you haven’t registered with the site before) of $32 for each $10 deposited. If you play your cards right (and maybe literally so) you should be able to follow a careful strategy betting on games like roulette which offer close to a 50-50 chance of winning and, therefore, come out with a free stake for your value-based Formula One punt. Good luck!

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.