World Cups capture the imagination of the public like few other events. Even the most casual football observer can be swept up in the excitement of a national team when the tournament only comes around once every four years.
Understanding Motor Sports Betting
When it comes to motor sports there's only one thing we're really interested in, and that's the Formula 1 season. Over the course of the season there are a myriad of variables, permutations, twists and turns which take us from the Melbourne grand prix in March through to the season finale in Brazil in November.
If each race is like a thriller novel in its own right, then the season altogether must be like a fine trilogy. Of course these factors together mean only one thing - we're spoilt for choice when it comes to having a flutter and placing some bets!
The Grand Prix
In terms bets on a per-race basis your best chance of making money in an individual race is to back a driver to finish on either the podium or to finish in the points. I personally find backing the race winner isn't worth the risk.
A little bit of research beforehand can really pay dividends in this situation. Before a particular Grand prix you should check the type of course and take into account history. For example, the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have dominated the tight, narrow track of Monte Carlo that is the Monaco Grand Prix, so should always be backed for at least a points finish.
It's also worth taking into account the weather conditions in the run up to a race before making any bets. Fernando Alonso is a famously brilliant driver when the conditions become more challenging. Aside from this, the main thing to consider when the weather takes a turn for the worse is to remember that anything can happen - safety car, crashes, restarts, time penalties - the form book often gets thrown out of the window.
The Bigger Picture - Back The Constructors' Championship
Over the course of the long season the big money is obviously on the Drivers' Championship. This season the usual suspects for the title are still around: Vettel, Alonso, Button, Raikkonen, Hamilton etc. but you're not likely to find good value here.
It may make sense to back a driver who you are confident in, perhaps a driver you have studied extensively in qualifying and practice (giving you an edge over the bookies). But what's to stop you backing an outsider? Sergio Perez is one to keep an eye on, and maybe one to back before the bookies take notice.
For the uninitiated, however, the Constructors' Championship could offer better value in the betting market. The reason for this is due to the illusory predictability of the market. Red Bull have dominated for the past 3 seasons, yet Ferrari still remain the most feared team. They've retained the combination of Alonso and Massa, and as only 3rd favourites (behind Red Bull and McLaren) they could be a great value bet.
Remember - Bets are in-play and dynamic
Let's say you back Button for the Driver's Championship before the season starts. He might have a flying start and be leading after the 4th Grand Prix in Bahrain. By this point the bookies will have taken note. If you don't think he'll hold on for the rest of the season, simply sell your odds at lower odds to when you bought them (on F1 betting sites). This way you can guarantee profit either way.
The same principle applies during the race. Let's say you've backed Hamilton for a podium finish, however during the race you notice his split times are getting longer and don't agree with his 3-pit stop strategy. Back another driver in-play!