Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Rio 2016

What an Olympics it's been so far. My highlight has to be the fairytale ending of the pole vault competition. How Thiago Braz da Silva pulled that one out of the bag I will never know. Great for Brazil too as they're not exactly brimming over with track and field stars. I must say though, that I did feel bad for silver medallist Renaud Lavillenie getting booed. That behaviour falls well outside of what you'd expect and hope for and goes completely against the spirit of the olympic games.

To be honest I've not even had a bet these olympics. I have just been enjoying taking as much of it in as I can. There are some fairly heavily odds ons anyway (Bolt at 1/14 to win the 200 meter final) so not, on the surface of it, a miriad of decent odds betting opportunities.

Of the remaining events, I'm most looking forward to seeing Mo Farrow run again. His gutsy performance after taking a fall in the 10,000m, should give him a bit of confidence going into the 5,000m, especially if he can stay on his feet this time around! I'll be cheering him on! For those thinking of having a bet on the race, he's currently 1/5, with Abrar Osman at 12-1 alongside Caleb Ndiku. Muktar Edris is 13-1.


Monday, 18 July 2016

4.45 Nottingham, Tuesday, July 19

In the 4.45 at Nottingham on Tuesday, Always Resolute has been in cracking form since returning to action on the Flat in May, winning three of his four starts and looks far from impossibly handicapped, despite a 5lb rise in the weights for winning at Chester last month. He’s reunited with 7lb claimer Ben Robinson, who won on him at Ripon three starts ago and, while he’s yet to win on going faster than good, he’s been placed on the prevailing good to firm going a couple of times.

The son of Refuse To Bend has been tried just twice over 2 miles, finishing a never-nearer sixth of 14, beaten 7 lengths, behind Magic Circle at Haydock last September (when with Timothy Jarvis) off a mark of 65 and beating Diamond Joel by 1½ lengths at Chester off a mark of 73 on his most recent start for his new yard. That latter piece of form represented a career-best effort and, while Musselburgh isn’t as sharp as Chester, the sharp, flat track should play to his strengths once again and he looks a decent bet to continue his winning sequence.

Selection: Nottingham 4.45 Always Resolute to win

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Euro 2016 - Football's Coming Home

What a remarkable few days of football we've had. It's great to see England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland all through to the knock off stages of Euro 2016. Some failed to dazzle on their way there (England as per usual!) while others really gave it their all. I must say that the performance on Wednesday by the Republic of Ireland against Italy really was the cherry on the cake. Talk about leaving it all on the field. The celebrations afterwards  from the fans made for such a great sporting moment.

It would be amazing to see all four teams make it through the first round of the knockouts, but aside from being very unlikely in normal circumstances, it's impossible due to the fact that Wales and Northern Ireland are due to meet. That's a pity in one sense, but on the other hand at least one of them will be progressing to at least the quarter finals and in the easier side of the draw too! England are in the other side of the draw and have some tough games down the line if they can overcome the tournaments surprise package, Iceland.

Current Odds for games involving  England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland:

Saturday 25th June: Wales  17/16    Draw 21/20   Northern Ireland   41/10
Sunday 26th June: France  7/15    Draw 16/5     Republic of Ireland 21/2
Monday 27th June: England  4/7  Draw 56/19   Iceland   8/1

No doubt the patriotic pound will find its way to people lumping onto England at 4/7, but for impartial observers the real dream result would yet another Republic of Ireland win, this time against hosts France. Of course that can't be said to be particularly likely, but we can dream. No bets for me this time around, I'm just enjoying the tournament!



Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Euro 2016 – Top Goalscorer

Having scored in all three Group B games, including from two direct free-kicks, Gareth Bale finds himself joint favourite, at 5/1, alongside Spanish striker Alvaro Morata to become the top goalscorer at Euro 2016. Wales were heavily reliant on the world-class talent of Bale, who scored seven of their 11 goals, in qualifying and the 26-year-old ran rings around aging central defenders Sergei Ignashevich and Vasili Berezutski in the 3-0 demolition of Russia in the final group game.

Victory in Toulouse meant that Wales leapfrogged England to win Group B and will play a third-place team from Group A, C or D in Paris on Saturday in the last 16. Wales’ manager Chris Coleman will, no doubt, be keen to avoid Germany, Croatia and possibly Poland, but other possible opponents include Albania, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, and Turkey, all of whom can be considered rank outsiders to progress to the latter stages of the tournament.

Wales have other attacking options, but the individual brilliance of Bale seems sure to provide more memorable moments and, whoever they play in the last 16, he looks a decent bet to become top goalscorer.

Selection: Gareth Bale – Top Goalscorer Euro 2016 (5/1 with NetBet and bwin.com)

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

England vs Wales (Euro 2016)

england vs wales
I watched today's clash between Slovakia and Russia with interest, in part to see how the Welsh and English performances would stand up in comparison. What a fun game to watch it was with Slovakia dominating for the majority of the watch, but Russia going into do-or-die mode for the last fifteen minutes. It wasn't enough for Russia though, leaving them with it all to do in their final match against Wales. Wales of course, also need to impress in at least one of their other two group games and it's certainly hard to count them out when they've had such a determined start.

England's game against Russia was one sided enough to have confidence that they'll make it through the group, but as with everything involving England it often feels like a bit of a struggle along the way. They're understandably firm favourites against Wales at 4/7 (the draw is 57/17 and Wales to win is 13/2). I tend to steer clear of odds-ons but I can well understand why some would place their patriotic pound on England in hope of doing the business. The same can be said for Wales supporters really, as they have a right to be confident of the teams abilities and will have something else to cheer about too if their 13/2 bet comes up!

HT-FT England at 5/4 is perhaps the bet to go for if you're confident of England putting in a good performance from the off. Also, with all of these low scoring games so far I (still) fancy a bit of a goalfest, so once against will add Over 2.5 goals into the mix.

In some ways it's a win-win. England 'should' win, but if they turn in a flop performance, Wales are likely through the group and I'll become an honourary Welsh Dragon for the rest of the tournament. Tune in to the game on BBC, Thursday at 2pm!

Selections:  England HT-FT@ 5/4  Over 2.5 Goals @ 11/10