Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Abu Dhabi Championship, Thursday, January 19

The so-called “Desert Swing” on the European Tour gets underway on Thursday, with the Abu Dhabi Championship in the United Arab Emirates. World ranked number 3, Dustin Johnson, makes his debut in Abu Dhabi but, on a course where distance from the tee is typically more important than accuracy, the reigning U.S. Open champion should make his present felt. “DJ” finished tied sixth at SBS Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii two weeks ago and his greens in regulation percentage of 76.39% is none too shabby, albeit based on just eight rounds on the US PFA Tour so far this season.

Selection: Dustin Johnson to win outright (6/1 generally available)

Monday, 9 January 2017

Two Teams Clear Favourites to Reach EFL Cup Final

Manchester United are not having the best of times this season. The Red Devils are sixth in the Premier League table at the moment, with 21 points from 14 matches, nine points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.
With leaders Chelsea 13 points clear of United, Jose Mourinho’s side’s chances of winning the Premier League title this season looks slim.
United, though, do have a great chance of winning a major trophy this season, as they have reached the last four of the EFL Cup. The Red Devils will face fellow Premier League outfit Hull City in the semi-finals, the first leg of which will be held at Old Trafford.
In the latest bet365 EFL Cup betting odds, Mourinho’s side are backed at 6/5 to win the competition formerly known as the League Cup.
United have won the League Cup four times - in 1992, 2006, 2009 and 2010. In 1992, they drew with Middlesbrough away from home in the first leg and won the second leg 2-1 at Old Trafford.
In 2006, the Red Devils drew 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in the first leg of their semi-final tie before winning 2-1 at home in the second leg.
United actually lost the first leg of the semi-final tie against Derby County away from home in 2009 but came back to get the better of the Rams 4-2 at Old Trafford in the second leg. A year later, Manchester City defeated United 2-1 in the first leg on 2010, but the Red Devils won 3-1 at Old Trafford in the return leg.
United clearly have not fared well in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final ties in the year in which they have won it. However, it is hard to see the Manchester club struggle against Hull at Old Trafford in the first leg in January.  The Tigers, whose odds of clinching the EFL Cup are 14/1, are second from bottom in the Premier League table at the moment and have already conceded 29 goals in the league.
Mourinho’s side should be able to get the job done in the first leg, and then they should face Liverpool in the final.
Liverpool will face Southampton in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup this season, the first leg of which will be played at St. Mary’s Stadium.
The Reds have a very strong record in the League Cup, having won the competition a record eight times - in 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2001, 2003 and 2012.
The Merseyside outfit, who are second favourites to win the competition this season with odds of 6/4, lost to Manchester City after extra time in the final during the 2015-16 campaign.
2012 was the last time Liverpool won the League Cup. Back then, they beat City 1-0 in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium and drew 2-2 at Anfield in the second.
Last season, the Reds won the first leg against Stoke City 1-0 away from home but lost the second leg at Anfield 1-0 before going on to win the semi-final tie 6-5 on penalties.

Southampton, whose odds of winning the EFL Cup are 6/1, will fancy their chances given Liverpool’s defensive weakness. Jurgen Klopp’s side have conceded 18 goals in the league already this season.
Given that the Saints are a better team than Hull are, this tie will be more competitive, but Liverpool should still manage to come out on top as they will have home advantage for the second leg.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Australian Open, Monday, January 16

The opening Grand Slam tournament of 2017 will once against take place in Melbourne with the Australian Open where those who really put the work in during the off-season get rewarded in scorching-hot conditions in the Australian city.
Andy Murray starts the New Year as the world number one for the first time in his career. The British player had a superb campaign in 2016 where he won Wimbledon and the gold medal in Rio at the Olympics. He also reached the final of the Australian Open and French Open where he was beaten on both occasions by Novak Djokovic.
Murray sealed his number one spot in the world rankings at the end of this year with his first success in the ATP World Tour Finals in London. He defeated Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 in an impressive performance in the final event of the calendar year.
At 13/8 in the outright market for the 2017 Australian Open, Murray looks to be the best bet in the men’s draw. He is also one of the tips from oddschecker in their 2017 New Year accumulator as they think the world number one will make a flying start to the campaign.
Murray has been to the final of the Australian Open more often than any other Grand Slam. Sadly for the Brit, he has been beaten in all five of those finals. The fact he has been runner-up on five occasions should give backers of the world number one confidence though as it clearly suggests he is always in great shape for the opening major of the year.
During the off-season, Murray has been training with his team in Miami. He missed the ceremony for the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year in Birmingham in order not to break his training camp. The British player is expected to make his opening appearance of 2017 I the Mubadala World Tennis Championship which will work as ideal preparation for Melbourne.
The biggest threat to Murray will of course be Djokovic again. It is difficult to predict what kind of form the defending champion will return to next season but on the evidence we have seen in recent months, Murray definitely has his number going into the 2017 Australian Open.
Kerber Can Defend Her Women’s Crown
Angelique Kerber goes into the women’s Australian Open next month as the defending champion as she defeated Serena Williams in the final in 2016 to claim her maiden Grand Slam title.
That success in Melbourne last January really did kick-start a huge year for the German. She won her second Grand Slam title in New York when she beat Karolina Pliskova, while she was also runner-up at Wimbledon where Williams gained revenge for her defeat in the Australian Open.
At the age of 28, Kerber is at the peak stage of her career so there is no reason as to why she can’t improve her Grand Slam tally in 2017. She is 4/1 to defend her title in Melbourne which is a generous price given how well she played last year.
Kerber is now the number one ranked player in the women’s game. She was the runner-up at the WTA Championship finals in Singapore as Dominika Cibulkova beat her to the title on that occasion. There was also a silver medal in 2016 in Rio at the Olympics where the German lost in three sets to Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig.
We could be set to see another big year from the world number one in 2017. Her confidence is sky high and she has been the most consistent player on the tour over the last 12 months.
Serena Williams tops the outright market for the women’s Australian Open at 7/4 which is a short price given she has only won this tournament once in the last six years. There is no question if Williams brings her top game, she will be difficult to beat, however, Kerber no longer needs to fear the American as she has proven she has what it takes to beat the 22-time Grand Slam winner.
Andy Murray to win men’s 2017 Australian Open (13/8 with Boylesports)
Angelique Kerber to win women’s 2017 Australian Open (4/1 with Skybet)

Monday, 19 December 2016

The X Factor 2016 Voting Results

As is now customary on TellyBetting,  I've once again listed the week by week breakdown of votes for The X factor. It's always interesting to see how far off the mark, or otherwise, we've been all series with our predictions. It doesn't look like the bookies got it far wrong for The X Factor 2016 to be honest.

Matt Terry won the vote more times than not, but was essentially fighting it out with Saara Aalto towards the end. 5 After Midnight put up a good performance all series too, to be honest. All three acts were realistically in with a shout of winning.

Vote 1
Matt Terry - 22.2%
5 After Midnight - 13.3%
Emily Middlemas - 11.9%
Honey G -10.9%
Sam Lavery -9.8%
Relley C -7.8%
Gifty Louise -6.6%
Ryan Lawrie -6.2%
Saara Aalto -5.3%
Freddy Parker- 3.4%
Bratavio -2.6%

Vote 1 Lifeline
Freddy Parker- 52.0%
Saara Aalto -38.5%
Bratavio -9.5%

Vote 2
Matt Terry -19.5%
5 After Midnight - 15.6%
Emily Middlemas - 11.0%
Honey G - 9.3%
Sam Lavery -8.8%
Four of Diamonds - 7.3%
Relley C - 6.6%
Gifty Louise -6.4%
Saara Aalto -6.4%
Ryan Lawrie -4.6%
Freddy Parker- 4.5%

Vote 2 Lifeline
Ryan Lawrie -37.9%
Saara Aalto -32.0%
Freddy Parker- 30.0%

Vote 3
Matt Terry -17.8%
Saara Aalto -13.7%
Emily Middlemas - 11.9%
5 After Midnight - 11.5%
Honey G - 9.4%
Sam Lavery -8.1%
Gifty Louise -7.9%
Ryan Lawrie -7.4%
Relley C -6.2%
Four of Diamonds - 6.1%

Vote 3 Lifeline
Ryan Lawrie -37.9%
Relley C - 36.0%
Four of Diamonds - 26.1%

Vote 4
Emily Middlemas - 18.7%
Matt Terry -18.7%
Saara Aalto -11.3%
5 After Midnight - 10.6%
Sam Lavery -10.1%
Honey G - 9.2%
Ryan Lawrie -8.7%
Gifty Louise -6.6%
Four of Diamonds - 6.1%

Vote 4 Lifeline
Ryan Lawrie -41.2%
Gifty Louise -35.0%
Four of Diamonds - 23.8%

Vote 5
Matt Terry -16.7%
5 After Midnight - 15.5%
Emily Middlemas - 15.3%
Ryan Lawrie -14.1%
Honey G -11.6%
Saara Aalto -9.4%
Four of Diamonds - 8.9%
Sam Lavery -8.5%

Lifeline Vote 5
Sam Lavery -46.1%
Four of Diamonds - 27.3%
Saara Aalto -26.6%

Vote 6
5 After Midnight - 19.0%
Saara Aalto -18.4%
Matt Terry -16.7%
Emily Middlemas - 13.4%
Honey G -11.7%
Ryan Lawrie -11.1%
Sam Lavery -9.7%

Vote 7
Matt Terry -21.1%
Saara Alto -20.1%
5 After Midnight - 17.5%
Emily Middlemas - 16.8%
Ryan Lawrie -13.3%
Honey G -11.2%

Vote 8
Saara Alto -23.7%
Emily Middlemas - 22.6%
Matt Terry -21.2%
5 After Midnight - 20.3%
Honey G -12.2%

Vote 9
Saara Aalto -28.8%
5 After Midnight - 26.6%
Matt Terry -22.5%
Emily Middlemas - 22.1%

Vote 10 Freeze
Saara Aalto -35.3%
Matt Terry -33.4%
5 After Midnight - 31.3%

Vote 10 Final
Matt Terry –48.5%
Saara Aalto –40.4%
5 After Midnight – 11.1% (Left after vote freeze)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Barnsley versus Nottingham Forest, Friday, November 25

Barnsley have drawn their last three Championship matches, failing to score in the last two, but still look worthy of support against a Nottingham Forest side that has conceded 30 goals this season, 16 of them away from home. Indeed, the Reds’ 2-0 victory against Ipswich at Portman Road last Saturday evening was their first away win, and first clean sheet, of the season.

Although ultimately frustrated by a Wigan Athletic side playing without a recognised striker at Oakwell last Saturday, the Tykes dominated possession and may well do so again against Forest, whose away record is better than only Blackburn, Burton Albion and Rotherham. Forest boss Philippe Montanier says he is aiming for a top ten finish in the Championship, but acknowledges that his side needs to keep improving and, on this occasion, Barnsley, at 2.58 with Marathon Bet, get the nod.

Selection: Barnsley to win (2.58 with Marathon Bet)