Playing the Odds
Welcome to our weekly column where we try and seek good value in some longer odds bets.
When you have backed a golfer at 16/1 to win a tournament, seeing them at the top of the leaderboard with four holes to play is a great feeling. That’s how I felt on Sunday as Martin Kaymer negotiated the back nine in Versailles…until double bogeys on the 15th and 18th hoes meant he finished T6 – not even good enough for an each way profit.
Still, I correctly identified three of the World Cup semi-finalists for an 8 point profit. Not bad!
1pt Spain to win the World Cup Final 1-0 at 5/1
Spain’s 1-0 win over Germany not only carried them to their first World Cup Final but it also broke a world record. The Spanish have now not conceded a goal in international knockout football for six matches – they beat Italy, Germany and Russia to nil in Euro 2008 and have now seen off Portugal, Paraguay and Germany in South Africa without conceding.
For that reason, I am going to back Vicente del Bosque’s side to yet again gain success on the back of a mean defence. Spain haven’t looked like scoring a hatful of goals in the World Cup, and whilst the Netherlands have won all their games so far, they have conceded at least one goal in their last four matches.
World Cup Finals are rarely a feast of attacking, free-flowing football and so I am going to back Spain to snatch a narrow win in Johannesburg on Sunday.
1pt e/w Jensen Button to win the British Grand Prix at 13/2 (e/w 1/5 places 1,2,3)
The British Grand Prix is one of the biggest days in the UK sporting calendar, and after Donington Park’s failure to prise the race away from Silverstone, the teams will return to the Northamptonshire course this weekend.
Since David Coulthard recorded back to back wins in 1999 and 2000, we have only had one British winner of the race. That man was Lewis Hamilton, who goes into the 2010 event at the top of the driver’s championship. Before you race to back Hamilton, however, remember that he had a nightmare at Silverstone in 2009, qualifying in 19th position before eventually finishing 16th, a lap behind the winner Sebastian Vettel. Vettel is the 11/5 favourite for this race.
With Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso also in the mix, it’s a tough race to call. However, I am going to back a British winner as I think Jensen Button could finally win his home Grand Prix in 2010. The reigning world champion is just 6 points behind Hamilton in the driver’s championship and his smooth driving style will suit the new, extended Silverstone circuit.
Damon Hill reckons that this race could be a classic. “I don’t think it’s possible to call the championship right now,” Hill said. “Thankfully it’s an open championship and that’s what we want to see. I’m really looking forward to this event at Silverstone – I think it will be better than it ever has been before.”
It would be great to finally cheer a home victor after the disappointment of the World Cup and Wimbledon, and I back Button at 13/2.
1pt e/w Martin Kaymer to win the Scottish Open at 16/1 (e/w 1/4 odds places 1,2,3,4,5,6)
I backed Martin Kaymer to retain his Open de France title last weekend, and I am going to do the same as the German heads to Loch Lomond to defend the Scottish Open title he won in 2009.
With four holes to play in Versailles, it looked like the German was on course to record a stunning victory, but double bogeys at the 15th and 18th cost him dear and he ended up finishing T6. This weekend, the 25 year old bids to become the first man to retain the Scottish Open title and, with an extra place available on each-way betting, he represents great value.
It is a slightly stronger field than in France, but the tall German likes the Loch Lomond course, shooting 15 under par on his way to victory last year. His form is good – 8th at the US Open and T21 at the BMW Open before his T6 in France – and so it’s about time that the long time 2009 Race to Dubai leader lifted another title.
Back Kaymer to make history and retain his title at 16/1.
Performance to date: -32.75 points