26th March, 4pm
A quick update on the England game tonight. England can now be backed at the frankly astounding price of 2.12. If you haven’t got your bet on yet, then get involved, this is a value price!
25th March, 12pm
I hope you followed the advice last week, those that did had 20-1 winner with the 8-0 victory stroll that was the England v San Marino game. The scathing assessment of this waste of time of a football match was spot on, and the highligh for San Marino was managing to win a single corner in the second half! Laughably uncompetitive, at least we got to see a relentlessly professional attacking performance from England, who were 5-0 up by half time. At that point I was a little concerned that my maximum pick of 10-0 might not have been enough, but fortunately they did let up very slightly towards the ends, with the last goal coming with 20 minutes left.
The highlight of the game was an absolute screamer from Ashley Young, the sort of strike that would have troubled any keeper, let alone a part-timer! A nice big winner in the bank, and onto the next game.
Tomorrow England are on the second leg of this weekends qualifying trip around Europe, with a tougher match in prospect against group leaders Montenegro. Lets start by having a look at the odds:
The home side are quite a long price, but I still won’t be backing them. They might be the best of a poor bunch, but this really isn’t the sort of team England should be struggling against if they have any sort of aspirations for next years World Cup in Brazil.
I think the price on England has been inflated here at least in part due to the result against them last time out. England were leading 2-0 but some sloppy play just before half time saw Montenegro get back into it. Then at 2-1 a routine tackle on Rooney lead to him lashing out and England were down to 10. This invited a Montenegro side in need of the draw to pressure England for the last part of the game, and this was telling with the eventual last minute equaliser for the hosts.
This time round things are different. The game comes mid-group stage and we are a long way from deciding anything just yet. England will be in fine spirits after their Friday night stroll, whereas Montenegro are on the back of a toughly fought game in Moldova, a game they had to play for 30 minutes with 10 men.
I think the price on England is marginally better than fair, and for me its worth a punt. A win here would leave them nicely set for qualification, and I suspect Hodgson will have them thinking a win is a must.
I’m going for a tenner on it. Enjoy the game, at least it will be closer than Friday!
Tuesday 26th March, 8pm. World Cup qualifier.
Montenegro v England, England to win. £10 @ 1.82
21st March, 12pm
Thanks to Noel for this thoughts during Cheltenham week. We got off to a flyer, literally! Hurriance Fly was our first pick and strolled home an easy winner. Unfortunately our second bets weren’t so successful, our main pick was Tony McCoys ride, but he couldn’t quite work his magic this time. He did give us a good run for our money, but couldn’t quite pull it off as Sir Des Champs tired in the closing stages. A great festival though, and we still turned a profit which can’t be bad!
We’re back to our more regular sport of football today. This weekend sees World Cup qualifying continue, with England in action tomorrow and Tuesday, as per the latest whims of UEFA. Both games are away from home, with the banker against San Marino up first, then a much more difficult trip to Montenegro on Tuesday, in a game that could well decide who finishes top of the group.
I refer to the San Marino game as a banker, this really is as uncompetitive as international football gets today. The part timers would be better suited playing in a standard such as the Blue Square Premier, yet they will again be facing a team of seasoned internationals. Maybe one day UEFA will stop wasting everyones time with this sort of mis-match, but for now we might as well enjoy the goals that will undoubtedly come.
As they did at Wembley, San Marino will set up to keep the score down. All they can realistically expect to achieve is keep the margin of victory as low as possible. To illustrate this, take a look at the match odds:
San Marino 190
Seriously. 69-1 for a draw, and to me thats not even a good price. If they did play this game 70 times, England would win 70 times, not 69. Still, if you want a lucky quid on that, then good luck to you, you might as well throw it in the bin.
So you can probably gather that I’m not going to be tipping San Marino for an upset here! Instead I’m going to take the same approach as I have done before, and attempt to cover the most likely correct scores. Previously in this sort of bet we have taken out a cover bet, i.e. San Marino to score, but this time I’m not going to waste any money on that. If you think there’s a danger someone will scream one into the top corner from 35 yards then feel free to cover it. But for me, we’re going to start at 5-0 and work our way through to 10-0. The following prices are currently available:
If we place £2 on each outcome we are laying out £12, and any one of these results would be money back at worst. Anything from 7-0 upwards is a decent profit. I can’t see England getting more than 10, the main question is whether or not they make 5. They should do though, and we might see a few goals towards the end as the part timers tire.
I won’t say I’m hoping for a decent match, as it will pan out like a defence against attack training session. So lets hope for plenty of decent goals!
Friday 22nd March, 8pm. World Cup qualifier.
San Marino v England, various correct scores, £2 for each bet:
England to win:
15th March, 12pm
Thanks to Noel for his first tip on the Cheltenham Festival, Hurriance Fly ran a nice tiday race amongst the field then accelerated away towards the end before strolling over the line a few lengths clear. A great value bet at just over 2/1, hopefully you got in on the action!
Our man is at it again today, so without further ado, lets hear his thoughts.
Welcome to Gold Cup day. The final day of Cheltenham looks certain to be a good one, with high quality racing throughout the afternoon with the Gold Cup itself chief amongst the action at 15:20. I’m going to have a look at this and one other race a little later in the day.
Starting with the Gold Cup, at the time of writing there have been a couple of withdrawls, so we are down to a field of 9 horses. If you believe the bookies, the field can be separated into three distinct groups. We’ve got 4 runners in contention, 3 at fairly long odds, and 2 rank outsiders. My thinking is that this is a race that will be won by one of the top 4 horses, and there’s one in particular that I like the look of.
With Tony McCoy onboard it has to be Sir Des Champs. You’ve been living on a desert island if you’re not familiar with McCoys career, he has won everything going (including the Gold Cup before) and is the most successful jump jockey of all time by a huge margin. If form and experience count for anything, A.P. has got it in spades.
Price – At the moment I’d be snapping the hand off any bookie still offering 4/1, I expect it to have shortened by the off. We’re on a profit for Cheltenham after the opening bet, so lets stick another ten spot down here.
Later on in the afternoon I’ve got another little tip for you. The 16:40 race is a medium length run with a large field. I fancy taking a little each way value for a decent runner here. This is the sort of race that might well be won by a longer priced ride. I’m looking at Ma Filleule with Jeremiah McGrath onboard at slightly better than 10/1.
If McGrath brings his perfect game he’ll be amongst the front runners in the closing stages. My slight worry is the endurance of this ride, and even if leading early he could get caught in the latter stages. We can’t just back this outright, so we’ll take this one each way as a little insurance policy.
Enjoy the last day of the racing.
Cheltenham – Day 4. Gold Cup, 15:20
Sir Des Champs to win. £10 @ 5.0
Cheltenham – Day 4. 16:40
Ma Filleule each way. £2 EW @ 11.0 (total bet £4)
Thanks for reading, good luck and lets hope we spank the bookies!
12th March, 12pm
Wow. Has a referee ever provoked such outrage?! The Champions League match between Man Utd and Real Madrid was living up to its billing last week, until the spectacle was snatched away in incredible fashion by the ref. It’s a real shame when a decision like this ruins the game, but that was exactly what it did. United were on the ropes immediately after Nani walked, and Real took advantage in clinical fashion, with 2 quick goals killing the tie. In all fairness to United, they still managed to muster a response, and it took a couple of quality saves from the stand-in Madrid keeper to prevent a rousing last few minutes. United understandably furious, and it wasn’t much good for us either, the ref cost them the place in the quarters, and us our bet.
Still, as harsh as the decision was, this is the tightrope you walk in European football. Not many in England will agree, but Nani did give the referee the decision to make. And boy did he charge into the limelight. That result most likely ends any English interest in this seasons Champions League, barring of course a miraculous comeback from Arsenal tomorrow, who lost the home leg 3-1 to Bayern Munich. Fingers crossed.
This week we’re taking a long overdue break from the football, with the emphasis well and truly on the racing. In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last few weeks, it is of course the Cheltenham Festival! A cracking few days of racing starts today, and we’re certain its going to be a good one.
The good news for the punters is that the bookies are out in force with enhanced free bets, new promotions and specials, meaning this really is a great week for a bet. The biggest news from last week came from Coral, who have gone to the incredible price of even money for Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase. If you haven’t yet got in on the action, check out our specials page for more info.
As we’re going to concentrate on the racing this week, our normal man in charge of tipping is going to take a break. Taking his place at the helm we have a certain mystery guest as our tipster! We’ll call him “Noel,” but rest assured that he knows the indsutry and he knows his way around the racing. So what does he have for us today? I’ll pass him the keyboard.
Welcome to Cheltenham week. I’m delighted to be dealing out the tips this week, hopefully my sixth sense will be well and truly tuned in for us to make a few quid!
I’ve been looking forward to this week for quite some time, and really have a strong fancy for a number of horses this week. So without further ado, I’m going to straight to my tip for today, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that we are looking at the Champion Hurdle. This year sees a reasonably small field of just 9 runners, but it is still sure to be a great race.
If you believe the bookies, there are only 3 horses with any sort of realistic claim to this race. We’ve got Hurricane Fly as the favourite ahead of Zarkandar then Rock On Ruby. There are a few runners in the middle and a couple of rank outsiders. They might attract some money, but they won’t be troubling the bookies today. I simply cannot see past Hurriance Fly. It’s won it before and its going to do it again. An absolute class apart, with an excellent trainer/jockey combo to seal the deal. Priced at marginally better than 2/1, this is a strong bet for me.
Cheltenham – Day 1. Champion Hurdle, 15:20 (might be slightly later due to the weather)
Hurricane Fly to win. £10 @ 3.25
Enjoy the racing!
4th March, 12pm
We’re into March and the football season is now well and truly into the business end of things! There are some huge games coming up this week, with the battle for the Premier League and the Champions League quarter final places taking centre stage.
Tonight and tomorrow are a couple of prime examples. Lets have a look at the fixture list:
Tonight, Premier League
Aston Villa v Manchester City.
Tomorrow, Champions League round of 16 second leg
Manchester United v Real Madrid.
Don’t tell a City fan this, but their game is a nice warm up to the main event tomorrow! The return leg of what has been billed as one of the biggest matches in European football. Perfectly poised at 1-1 after a cracking first match, we’re expecting another belter tomorrow. Lets check out the odds for both:
Aston Villa 8
Man City 1.5
Man Utd 3.3
Real Madrid 2.32
You don’t often see those sort of odds on Man Utd in a game they most likely need to win!
So where are we going for our bet?
A bit of both. You’ll note the odds on Man City as 1.5. If we add this into a double, we are adding a 50% boost to the odds from the other match. I simply can’t see anything other than a City victory tonight, they are playing an inexperienced Villa side who are struggling towards the foot of the table. City absolutely have to win, and I expect them to swat Villa aside with relative ease. They are too strong for them, and they will have too much for them all over the park. I’m going to stick my neck out here and declare that City are nailed on, and we’ll take the 1.5x our stake into our second bet.
So onto Tuesday and the hotly anticipated second leg between Manchester United and Real Madrid. This is a game that is unlikely to disappoint. United generally have the best of things at home, but Real look to be hitting form at exactly the right point of their Champions League season. Their early season away form has probably already cost them any chance of retaining the Spanish title, but they have recently put this behind them. We can expect Real to set up to keep things tight at the back, but ready to spring the sort of devastating counter-attacks that saw Barcelona put to the sword at the Nou Camp last week.
United will have to look to win the game, Ferguson has already said he expects Real to score, so a score draw means extra time or Real are through. I think Fergie might just be able to mastermind this one, or at least will ensure that United are good enough to avoid defeat. On this basis, we are going to place two bets, both of which are doubles. Only one of them can win, but that would be good enough for a nice return.
Monday 4th March. 8pm. Premier League.
Aston Villa v Man City.
Tuessday 5th March. 7:45pm. Champions League last 16, second leg.
Man Utd v Real Madrid.
1. Man City and Man Utd to win. £5 @ 4.95
2. Man City to win, Man Utd to draw. £5 @ 5.55
Enjoy these great games!