The Formula 1 world championship race is incredibly tight with just eight races to go, after Nico Rosberg won last weekend’s Belgian GP.
Victory at Spa helped the German driver to close the gap on team-mate Lewis Hamilton to just nine points, with Hamilton finishing third after starting at the back of the grid.
Rosberg’s victory ended Hamilton’s run of four straight wins, which had helped the Briton to establish a strong lead at the top of the standings.
This weekend’s Italian GP should see the pair go head-to-head and it is all to play for heading into the last few races of the season.
Hamilton is the favourite to claim the title and he is also the favourite to win at Monza – he can be backed at 20/23 to win the race and 4/23 to win the championship once more.
“I’m really enjoying the battle out there right now,” said Rosberg, who had a 43-point lead over his colleague after just four races of the campaign and is now priced at 15/4 to win the title.
“Spa was about as good as damage limitation can get,” said Hamilton, after battling back from a 60-place penalty awarded due to needing new engine parts, to claim a podium finish last week.
Monza usually produces great drama and this weekend is unlikely to be any different, but where does the betting value lie for the race?
Where does the betting value lie?
Hamilton has won the Italian GP in each of the last two years, so he is going for a hat-trick this time out, while victory would be his fourth in the race in total.
By contrast, Rosberg has never won here so his odds of 7/4 are not particularly appealing, especially considering how much more impressive Hamilton’s performance was in Belgium.
Away from the big two, Daniel Ricciardo is certainly of interest after three successive podium finishes and back to back second places.
Clear in third in the standings, Ricciardo may lack the pace of the Mercedes pair but he has been very consistent in the last few weeks and odds of 17/10 on him to be on the podium again appeal.
Like Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel has won this race on three occasions, although the German has struggled for speed for much of the season and can only be considered an outside bet here.
While 16/1 on Vettel to win the Italian GP is only worth taking on for those happy to take a big risk, the 7/4 on him to finish on the podium for the first time since June’s European Grand Prix stands out as decent value for this weekend’s race.
Vettel finished sixth last weekend despite tangling with Max Verstappen on the first corner, an incident that resulted in the German needing repairs, but he looked quick thereafter.
Only two men – Nelson Piquet and Michael Schumacher – have won the Italian GP on more occasions than Hamilton and Vettel, so history could be on the cards at Monza on Sunday.
Hamilton remains the most likely victor in the field despite Rosberg’s win in Belgium a week ago.
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