Weekly Sports Betting Preview
So, after 62 matches and thirty days, we finally reach the nineteenth World Cup Final this Sunday.
First up, however, is the match that no-one wants to play in, never mind to win. The third/fourth place play-off takes place in Port Elizabeth on Saturday night with Uruguay and Germany playing for pride. Joachim Loew’s side are 8/11 to prevail in this one – but frankly, anything could happen.
It was 6/5 before a ball was kicked in South Africa that a new name would be added to the illustrious roll call of World Cup winners in 2010. If you took those odds then you are already celebrating a profit as neither the Netherlands nor Spain are previous world champions and so we will have an eighth name added to that select list on Sunday night.
The Netherlands are bidding to become the first team since Brazil in 1970 to lift the trophy having won every World Cup match within 90 minutes, and are 11/4 to do so. They would certainly be a popular winner.
With just ten days to go until the 139th Open Championship at St Andrews, the European Tour get their chance to make their final preparations for the year’s third Major at the Scottish Open. Loch Lomond is one of the world’s most beautiful courses and, ahead of the Open, a strong field will be competing for the £500,000 first prize.
I tipped Martin Kaymer to retain his Open de France title last weekend and without double bogies on the 15th and 18th he would surely have at least made the play-off. The German is attempting to become the first golfer to retain the Scottish Open title although he faces strong competition from fellow European Tour players Miguel Angel Jiminez (a winner in Versailles last week), Luke Donald and US Open champion Graeme McDowell.
Other Major winners in the field include the 10/1 favourite and world number Two Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els – a 12/1 chance.
After their excellent one day series win over Australia, England will be looking to continue their recent run of superb form in limited overs cricket as they continue their NatWest one day series against Bangladesh this weekend.
After the first match at Trent Bridge on Thursday, Andrew Strauss’ side take on the Bangladeshis in Bristol on Saturday and at Edgbaston on Monday. England are 1/33 to win the series, and Eoin Morgan looks good value at 7/2 to be the home side’s top series runscorer.
Saturday also sees England’s women take on New Zealand’s women in the NatWest Women’s One Day International Series at Taunton.
With the European close season now upon us, the focus for the next few weeks turns to the Southern Hemisphere sides as the fifteenth Tri-Nations begins this Saturday.
There is a mouth watering opening clash at Eden Park in Auckland as the reigning Tri-Nations holders, South Africa, take on New Zealand. The Springboks ended the All Blacks recent domination of this tournament last year and Graham Henry’s side will be keen to avenge their 29-32 defeat in the corresponding fixture from last season.
This should be a great game, and the Kiwis can re-establish their place as the world’s best side with a win in this one.
It is ‘as you were’ at the top of the Superleague after the weekend’s action with both Wigan and Warrington recording comfortable victories. Wigan beat bottom side Catalans Dragons 34-16 whilst the Wolves won 30-10 at the Crusaders. Both have the opportunity to keep their good form going this weekend with the Warriors facing Salford on Friday and Warrington welcoming Castleford on Sunday.
Leeds narrowly won the battle of the ‘big two’ when they beat St Helens 28-24 last Saturday although they face a tricky test at Hull KR on Friday night. Saints can consolidate their third place by beating the struggling Catalans Dragons.
After the world number Ones won the singles at Wimbledon last week, there are a couple of low key events in the tennis calendar this weekend with most of the big guns taking a break.
Nicolas Mahut is the 8/1 third favourite for the ATP tournament in Newport, USA – assuming that is, he has recovered from his marathon defeat to John Isner in that record-breaking Wimbledon match. Sam Querry and Mardy Fish lead the betting in this one.
The WTA Tour is in Bastad for the Swedish Open with Italy’s Flavia Pennetta the top seed. France’s Aravane Rezai is the world number 20 and looked confident in her opening 6-4 6-2 win over Lilia Osterloh of the USA.
Even though Newmarket’s July Festival might be over by the weekend, there is some high quality racing on Saturday.
The weekend’s most interesting meeting is at York where the John Smith’s Cup (3:05pm) is the highlight. Rebel Soldier is the 4/1 ante-post favourite, but this race is typically a difficult one to call and with candidates including Imposing, Wigmore Hall, Forte Dei Marmi and Ransom Note, it promises to be an interesting race.
There is also a good seven race card at Ascot with the highlight being the Group 3 Summer Mile (3:25pm).
Chester also hosts two listed races: the seven-furlong City Plate (2:15pm) and the five-furlong City Wall Stakes (3:20pm).
Elsewhere there is racing from Nottingham, Hamilton Park and Salisbury.