Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Republican of Ireland vs Wales (World Cup Qualifier)

Friday night will see an in form Republic of Ireland side battle it out against an unpredictable Wales side in World Cup qualification group D. Republic of Ireland currently top the group with 10 points
from 4 games and on the hand Wales sit 3rd in the group with 6 points from 4. Both sides have been playing very well on the international stage but Wales have been struggling to find wins,
although to be fair to them this could just be that luck hasn’t been on their side as they’ve drawn
their last 3 matches. However the Welsh side are unbeaten since their Semi Final loss to Portugal
in last summer’s Euros and they are scoring on average a very respectable two goals per game.
Ireland on the other hand have found winning ways and are unbeaten in 5 since they lost to France
in the Euros.

The Irish boys boast a similar record to Wales as they’ve scored 11 goals in their
last 5 games. Therefore, despite the general concensus, I see this game being something of a goalfest. With Gareth Bale on the pitch anything can happen and I certainly wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him get on the score sheet. For the Irish the pace and finishing abilities of Shane Long should never go unnoticed and so in my opinion he’s most likely to bag a goal for his team. Overall with both sides averaging 2 goals scored a game since the Euros it wouldn’t be unreasonable to take a punt on there being 2.5 goals.

Selection: Republican of Ireland vs Wales  +2.5 goals (6/4 generally available)

Monday, 13 March 2017

2.50 Cheltenham, Thursday, March 16

Despite suggestions that in the absence of Don Poli, also owned by Gigginstown Stud, Empire Of Dirt could run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Gordon Elliot’s 10-year-old will run in the Ryanair Chase on Thursday, all being well. Last year’s Brown Advisory Plate winner joined the Co. Meath trainer in October and has run just twice since, comfortably winning the Grade B Troytown Handicap by 4 lengths from subsequent Grade A winner Abolitionist at Naas in November and going down by three-quarters of a length to Sizing John in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown last month. He shouldn’t be unduly inconvenienced by dropping back in distance and is fully effective on the prevailing good to soft going, so could be good value against ante-post favourite Un De Sceaux, who steps up in distance on ground that may be a shade faster than ideal.

Selection: Cheltenham 2.50 Empire Of Dirt to win (4/1 generally available)

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Rugby Union - England's Winning Run

Later today (4pm) at Twickenham England take on Scotland in the six nations. It's bound to be an exciting encounter, and with England at 1/5 and Scotland at 51/10 to win, England are expected to come out on top.

If they do win  though, this won't be just any old win, it will mark the 18th win in a row for this England rugby union team. This perfect record under Eddie Jones will equal New Zealand's record of 18 consecutive wins. Here are 17 previous wins:


  October 2015
    World Cup
    Uruguay 60-3
    
    February 2016
    Six Nations
    Scotland 15-9
    
    February 2016
    Six Nations
    Italy 40-9
    
    February 2016
    Six Nations
    Ireland 21-10
    
    March 2016
    Six Nations
    Wales 25-21
    
    March 2016
    Six Nations
    France 31-21
    
    May 2016
    Test
    Wales 27-13
    
    June 2016
    Tour of Australia
    First test 39-28
    
    June 2016
    Tour of Australia
    Australia 23-7
    
    June 2016
    Tour of Australia
    Australia 44-40
    
    November 2016
    Autumn international
    South Africa 37-21
    
    November 2016
    Autumn international
    Fiji 58-15
    
    November 2016
    Autumn international
    Argentina 27-14
    
    December 2016
    Autumn international
    Australia 37-21
    
    February 2017
    Six Nations
    France 19-16
    
    February 2017
    Six Nations
    Wales 21-16
    
    February 2016
    Six Nations
    Italy 36-15



Saturday, 4 March 2017

David Haye vs Tony Bellew

Like buses it's been a while since we've had a decent heavyweight boxing match to watch and now several turn up at once. The other obvious big fight, arguably the biggest in years being Joshua vs Klitschko of course, but that's a little while off yet, so it's time to focus on David Haye vs Tony Bellew.

Predictably the build up to this fight, has been pretty firey. The theatrics may well sell tickets but they're little more than a side show really, as most fighting fans just want to see the action on the night.

The odds as of now, to win the fight are David Haye 1/5, and Tony Bellow 4-1. To me that sounds about right. It's a nice payday for both, and at a level that Haye is comfortable with, as he gradually ups the quality of the opposition in order to place himself in the gravitational field of the likes of Joshua or Klitschko, who would very likely be a level too much for him. Much in the same way, this match up may well be a level too far for Bellow, but I can't and don't blame him for taking the fight, and he'll definitely give it his all.

If I was looking to place a bet on this, it must be said that there isn't a great deal of value in the odds-on Haye win bet. Therefore, I'd most likely go for round betting of Under 4.5 rounds at 11/10. This covers both the likely outcome of an early(ish) Haye win, but also covers the outside chance of Bellow causing an early shock. It's more likely than not to go this way in my view. I'll be watching anyway, though down the pub, as I can't bring myself to shufffle £16.99 in Murdoch's direction. Cheers!


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Rugby Union: Scotland versus Wales, Saturday, February 25

Wales are marginal favourites to beat Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday in the Six Nations but, after Jonathan Davies’ misdirected clearance with less than four minutes remaining undid all the good work of the preceding seventy-six against England at the Principality Stadium, 11/10 about the home side may not be a bad bet. Scotland number eight Josh Strauss suffered a kidney injury during the spirited 22-16 loss to France at Stade de France two weeks ago and joins captain Greg Laidlaw in missing the remainder of the tournament but, even with injuries, Scotland may have enough skill and finesse to cause Wales problems. Lack of muscle, and experience, in the scrum is an obvious cause for concern for Scotland, but we’ll see.

Selection: Scotland to win outright (11/10 with bet 365)