A long domestic season comes to an end today with the one day show piece final at Lords between two of the best limited overs teams in the game. Somerset will be determined to underline their one day credentials after a disappointing end to their T20 campaign while Surrey will be buoyant after sealing promotion back to division one of the County Championship.
As far as the betting is concerned, this is a very close game to predict and a quick look at the odds backs that up.
As the first ball of this match approaches, betting on Somerset will return a best price of even money with Sporting Bet, Bet Fred and Blue SQ while a gamble on Surrey to lift the trophy could get you as much as 10/11 with Sky Bet, Ladbrokes and Victor Chandler.
You can also find odds on Somerset at 10/11 and that tells you that the bookies are finding this almost impossible to call. At this time of year, much could depend on the toss and if weather doesn’t intervene, the team who bats first and gets runs on the board could seal this match.
Overall, we’re moving slightly towards a Somerset win so will recommend taking a small bet at even money.
Throughout this English summer we’ve been giving recommendations for the highest scoring batsmen in these one day matches and after a big hundred in the week, we would suggest taking a gamble on James Hildreth to head the run charts for Somerset.
If you agree, betting on Hildreth will get you a best price of 11/2 with Stan James.
Having failed to predict Australia’s win over Sri Lanka in the first test in Galle last week, we head on to the second test match in this series which starts on the 12th of September. It’s shaping up to be a battle that is hard to predict but that can mean some great betting opportunities.
Let’s straight away have a look at the odds for the next game and a gamble on Sri Lanka to win here and level the series is available at a best price of 12/5 with Bet 365 while betting on an Australia victory could get you as much as 11/5 with Stan James. If you foresee a stalemate in this match, Totesport are offering 6/4 for the draw.
Even though Australia won, they weren’t terribly convincing in the batting department during the first test while their opponents Sri Lanka were poor all round. You also have to factor in a substandard pitch which the ICC have taken a dim view of and this would have been another contributing factor in the low scores from both sides.
None of those facts make this game any easier to predict but with Australia looking to have far more potency than Sri Lanka in their bowling attack, our strong recommendation is to bet on a second away win in this series.
While neither side look to be playing at their best, Michael Clarke’s side seem to have the greater capacity to take 20 wickets on a regular basis and that’s where you should be placing your money.
Looking at the opening matches of this year’s Rugby World Cup, it’s been difficult to spot anything that remotely resembles a close contest. From a betting point of view, unless you are one of those gamblers that likes to bet on racing certainties, there aren’t a great deal of options to be had.
Early games include New Zealand v Tonga where most bookmakers have stopped taking money on the All Blacks, as well as France v Japan and Australia v Italy.
The problem is that shocks are rare in rugby and while Italy would contest any suggestion that they should be included with the game’s minnows, over eighty minutes they will have little chance of defeating the mighty Wallabies.
Overall, this game between South Africa and Wales looks to be the most closely contested fixture but even here, there is a strong betting bias towards the South African side.
At the time of writing, betting on South Africa to win this game is available at a best price of 2/11 with Sporting Bet while a gamble on a victory for the Welsh comes in as high as 6/1 with Bet Fred. Incidentally, betting on the draw can be found at 33/1 with a number of bookmakers.
In the recent ‘friendly’ internationals against England, the Welsh showed that they will be nobody’s pushovers in this tournament and if you think they have the capability to beat the South African’s, a price of 6/1 is very good value indeed.
Overall however, it looks as if South Africa will be too strong and perhaps the best option is to bet on Wales to be leading at half time, only for their opponents to claim the game in the second half. If you think this is an option, a bet here will get you a best price of 13/2 with Boyle Sports.
After a few attempts, we finally scored a winner last weekend by suggesting a bet on Thomas Bjorn, (albeit along with several others) to win at the European Masters last weekend. After an incredible last round of 62, Bjorn lifted the trophy in a tournament where he began as a 55/1 option.
This underlines that you can make some serious money by betting on golf but it also highlights just how difficult it is to predict a winner.
This week, the European tour takes in the KLM Open and once again, the world’s top two golfers, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy are present and as always, they head the betting leaderboard by a comfortable margin.
At the time of writing, these two players are joint favourites and a bet on either of them will return a best price of 8/1 with a choice of several bookmakers. This highlights another issue with golf betting and while Westwood and McIlroy are always short odds to win any tournament, the eventual victor, just like Thomas Bjorn last week offers far better value.
So looking further down the list, where are the most likely outside bets for the KLM Open later this week?
Peter Lawrie has often been in contention without securing a breakthrough but if you think he can win here, most bookmakers are offering 50/1.
Meanwhile, Pablo Larrazabal is another who has enjoyed a successful year and at a price of 55/1 with Bet 365, he is our tip for an outside each way bet to win the KLM Open this weekend.
As far as the men’s singles tournament at Flushing Meadow is concerned, there have been a number of changes in the betting since we last looked at this tournament. With injury concerns over the health of Rafael Nadal in particular, how are the bookmakers viewing the situation with regards to the tournament winner as we head into the second week?
Turning straight away to the betting, a clear favourite is emerging in Novak Djokovic and a bet on the Serbian can currently get you a best price of 9/10 with Unibet. Meanwhile, Nadal has drifted out to second favourite and if you want to take this particular gamble, you can get as much as 9/2 with Victor Chandler and Boyle Sports.
The surprise for many may be the fact that Andy Murray has emerged ahead of Roger Federer in the betting and a gamble on Murray is available at a best price of 6/1 with Bwin while a bet on Federer will currently get you a best return of 7/1 with several bookmakers including Sporting Bet and Victor Chandler.
It’s likely to be some time before it’s worth even looking beyond these four players for a major title and as far as the current betting is concerned, it’s probably right that Novak Djokovic should be such a clear favourite.
However, it could be a little early to write off the tennis career of Roger Federer and he still has a wealth of support, much of which believes that he has at least one more Grand Slam in him before he retires.
Our recommendation though is to opt for Djokovic and if those odds of 9/10 aren’t very tempting, you can always look to place a handicap before placing your bet.
Anyone who loves their sports betting is looking forward to the Olympics with great anticipation and while we will have to wait a while for odds to be published for the major events, there are some early bets available including some very interesting ones.
If you want to bet on who will light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony for London 2012, there are prices available with a wide set of options.
The clear favourite here is one of Britain’s greatest ever Olympians – Steve Redgrave – who won gold medals at five consecutive games from 1984. If you think Sir Steven, as he is more correctly known, will be the one to light the flame, you can currently get a best price of 8/11 with Stan James.
Dame Kelly Holmes is the second favourite at 7/1 with the same bookmaker while former Decathlon Gold Medallist Daley Thompson is available at 10/1 with William Hill.
As you would expect with bets of this kind, there are some amusing options and if you fancy a gamble on Eddie the Eagle Edwards, one of our less successful Olympians, you can get impressive odds of up to 500/1.
Essentially this is a fun bet but there is an opportunity to make some money here and a good recommendation may be David Beckham. England’s international footballer will become an Olympian himself if he is selected for Britain’s football team and if you think he is the man to light the Olympic flame, Stan James will offer as much as 33/1 for this particular outcome.
The rain ruined the first game in this five match series but there were signs that India will be a tougher prospect than they were earlier in the summer in the five day game.
As world champions in the 50 over format, you would expect India to be more of a challenge for England’s side and there were plenty of signals during the rain curtailed match in Durham to suggest that M S Dhoni’s team will take this series.
However, as far as betting is concerned, England are slight favourites so there are some good opportunities in the second game at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.
At the time of writing, betting on England will return a best price of 8/11 with Sky Bet, Sporting Bet and Victor Chandler while a gamble on India is available at 6/5 with Paddy Power, Blue SQ and Totesport.
We would definitely recommend betting on India here and the only doubt lies with the weather once again. If the rain returns, a shortened game may be more of a lottery but overall, it looks like an Indian victory.
To make things a little more interesting, we would also take M S Dhoni himself as India’s highest run scorer and a bet here will get you as much as 10/1 with most bookmakers. As for England, it could be time for Eoin Morgan to get a big score and if you agree, a gamble on England’s adopted Irishman will return 9/2 with Sporting Bet.
Finding value in the opening matches at Flushing Meadow is always going to be difficult as the seeding system often sees a wide gap in betting odds between two players in most games.
Looking down at the list of matches today, it’s hard to ignore Andy Murray from a patriotic perspective so let’s have a quick look at the betting here.
Currently, gambling on Murray to win will get you a best price of 1/41 with Unibet in his match with Somdev Devvarman while odds of 25/1 with Bet 365 await any gamble on his opponent. Clearly there is no real value there so you may want to consider a handicap bet to make things a little more interesting.
The key on most occasions with this type of bet is to look for the shock result. Yesterday we saw Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova crash out in the women’s singles but as far as the men are concerned, there doesn’t seem to be a surprise on the cards just yet.
Elsewhere, we’ve previously championed giant American John Isner and touted him as a possible long shot bet to progress to the later stages of any tournament. Isner could have a good chance here and his next match sees him take on Marcos Baghdatis. This won’t be an easy game for the American but he is favourite and a bet on Isner will currently get you a best price of 4/11 with Blue SQ and Bet Fred.
We’ll keep tabs on this tournament as it progresses and if we spot some great betting opportunities, you will be the first to know.
It’s obvious that we like our cricket betting here as there are so many options to consider before staking your money. Perhaps more than any other sport, cricket offers the chance for the student of the game to look through form and statistics and to really use their judgement before placing a bet.
With the English ‘summer’ slowly drifting away, if you’re a cricket betting enthusiast, there’s no need to worry as markets are now opening up all over the world starting with this test series in Sri Lanka.
Both sides were fairly evenly matched in the recent one day encounters so how are the odds for a test series win shaping up?
At the time of writing, betting on Australia to win overall will return a best price of 15/8 with Stan James while a gamble on Sri Lanka to take the series outright is available at 2/1 with either Coral or Betfair. If you’re thinking of betting on a stalemate, Bet Fred will offer you 9/4 for betting on a drawn series.
Those odds back up most opinions that suggest this is going to be close to call. Both sides are suffering after the loss of key personnel and while Sri Lanka are really missing Murali, Australia have yet to adequately replace those legends of the game, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.
With home advantage, Sri Lanka may just edge this but it’s going to be tight. Our advice therefore is to take the 15/8 price but if you want to extend those odds further, why not look at betting on a 1-0 series win for the home side which is available at 4/1 with most bookmakers.
The four golfing majors may be over for 2011 but there are still some important tournaments to be played out, particularly on the European tour where the battle for serious prize money continues. September tees off with the Omega European Masters in Crans-Montana, Switzerland and from a betting point of view, there are some very interesting options.
At this time of year, the field can thin out a little as some of Europe’s top golfers concentrate on the PGA tour in the US but there is still a good group of top players lining up in Switzerland this week, including US Open winner Rory McIlroy and world number two Lee Westwood.
At the time of writing, those two players dominate the betting and McIlroy is favourite at 9/1 with BlueSQ while a gamble on Lee Westwood will return a best price of 10/1 with the same outlet.
Other notable bets here include Martin Kaymer at 20/1 with Bet365 and Coral, the in-form Simon Dyson at 34/1 with Unibet and recent winner Thomas Bjorn at 55/1 with Boyle Sports and Bet Fred.
Any of the above names could be very good value for an each way bet, particularly Dyson who has been fairly consistent in Europe this season.
However, as we’ve said many times, gambling on golf is as close as you can get to playing the lottery as far as sports betting is concerned so where is the outsider who will lift the trophy?
British Open Champion Darren Clarke could be a good bet at 70/1 with Boyle Sports while in form Oliver Wilson is extremely good value at 90/1 with ToteSport.
As always, it’s tough to call and on the whole, we prefer each way bets with golf so any of these could offer very good value in Switzerland this week.