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May 30th, 2012 by Paul
Saturday’s Investec Derby will be the 233rd time this race has been run and the winner of the 2012 Derby will grab a large chunk of a prize fund worth around £1,325,000… Making it Britain’s richest race.
This year, only a dozen of the best flat three year olds around will descend upon Epsom Downs to contest for the most prestigious prize in horse racing.
2000 Guineas winner, Camelot, looks convicingly as the potential Derby winner – unbeaten in his 3 outings so far – he sits at odds-on across all the betting firms with Paddy Power offering best odds of 4/6.
Such is the premise, that Camelot will win The Derby, certain bookies are now running a book on who’ll win The Derby without Camelot!
Is it really that cut and dry that Camelot will win The Derby!
32 years ago was the last time an odds-on favourite won The Derby – that was Shergar back in 1981.
Another figure who thinks it won’t be Camelot’s day is trainer Andrew Balding who looks after Bonfire – Camelot’s biggest threat. Bonfire won the Betfair Dante Stakes earlier this month and looked in commanding form. Balding states that “Bonfire, like many top racehorses, has an individual streak which separates him from the herd.” In other words, this horse has the temperament of a teenager but if channeled properly could be a potential Derby winner.
Which leads us back to Camelot – who is trained by Aidan O’Brien – and is one of 5 horses put forward from the O’Brien stable – the bets are on for him to win The Derby and the Triple Crown but Bonfire could light the way and shock the bookies for this Gold Cup.
Bet Now on The 2012 Investec Derby
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The Derby Betting Odds Last Updated: 30/05/2012 (Betting Odds Correct at Time of Writing)
May 25th, 2012 by Paul
Most things happen in cycles and by the time it takes our planet to cycle round the Sun we’ll be ready to sit down tomorrow night and enjoy (depnding on your viewpoint) the Eurovision Song Contest.
Since way back in 1956, this annual international singing (cough) event has given us (well, some of us) hours of enjoyment as we watch the entrants battle it out to become an instant star across the Eurozone.
Back in 1974, Abba, won the Eurovision for Sweden with their famous hit ‘Waterloo’. Since then, Abba have enjoyed worldwide success that has spanned 5 decades.
It’s interesting to map out Sweden’s winning achievements within the Eurovision contest… Since that 1974 win, Sweden have repeated their success in 1984, 91 and 99 – it’s almost cyclical!
Also take into account that Sweden’s latest effort ticks every box in the sort of song category that usually does well in the competition – it’s an anthemic Eurovision entry just waiting to be awarded the prize.
Politically, Sweden haven’t done much to upset any of the other Euro countries either… Which always helps in the voting.
It’s no surprise, then, that the bookies have made “Euphoria” by Loreen as the favourite to win Eurovision. Most likely competition will come from the Russian ‘grannies’, Serbia, Italy and even ol’ Engelbert Humperdinck as he tries to swoon his way to victory on behalf of the UK.
Bet Now on The 2012 Eurovision Song Contest
May 24th, 2012 by Paul
This Saturday night we have the prospect of a tantalysing fight between two very hard hitting boxers. Carl Froch will step into the ring against unbeaten IBF Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute.
For Froch, it’s a quick entry back in to big time boxing after he lost his WBC Super Middleweight to Andre Ward back in December.
2 losses and 2 wins in his last 4 encounters for Carl Froch (28-2, 20 KO’s) has smudged his fight record somewhat… Combined with the fact that Froch is pushing his mid-thirties, the bookies have him as the underdog in this contest, despite the fight taking place in Froch’s own backdoor – the Capital FM Arena.
The Romanian born Canadian, Lucian Bute (30-0, 24 KO’s), shunned the Super Six World Boxing Classic, thus opening up a can of worms for the fighter with many claiming he was preferring to ‘pick his fights‘ than sign-up to the Showtime boxing tournament – where all fighters had to agree to fight whoever was put in front of them… Ironically, it was this competition which made Froch a household name in America.
To counter the criticism, Bute arranged to fight Froch with his main goal of dispatching the Brit to set-up a lucrative fight against Andre Ward.
There’s no question who the faster fighter of the two is, but Bute does tire, considerably, when it comes to the end of a fight and with Froch’s hard jaw there might still be quite a bit of boxing left to be fought when the match enters the later rounds.
Prediction : My head says Bute, my heart hopes its Froch… Bute will dominate the early rounds, however, the longer the fight goes on, and if Carl is up for this fight (with home backing you’d think so) then there could be an upset on the cards… But Froch has to survive that early onslaught from Bute and the prospect of a KO is high on the cards.
Bet Now on The Carl Froch v Lucian Bute Fight
May 18th, 2012 by Paul
It’s billed as the ‘richest game in football’, a potential £40+ million awaits the victors of this years Championship Play-Off between Blackpool and West Ham…
Both clubs are looking to bounce straight back up to the Premier League after being relegated in the 2011 season.
Bookies have prompted for West Ham as favourites to win the match, taking into consideration the Hammers finished the league in a higher position plus soundly beat Blackpool twice this season home and away (4-0, 4-1).
Sam Allardyce has no real injury worries to contend with, and will have a full strength squad to pick his starting eleven from. Perhaps the biggest criticism of the Hammers this season is their change of style – gone is their attacking flair which West Ham teams have been reknowned for throughout the years – in its place is a more patient build-up play – it might not win big Sam a host of admirers in the stands but it has ensured the East London club a 3rd place finish and one last crack at gaining promotion through the play-offs.
Blackpool should never have went down last season, but they did, and to their credit, Ian Holloway has picked his honest team up off the ground and got them playing again. They finished the league run-in losing just once in their last 11 games (falling to Reading away) and the Seasiders overcame a confident Birmingham in the play-offs.
Seasoned professionals pepper the Blackpool team alongside the youthful pairing of Tom Ince (son of Paul) and Matty Phillips (who has grabbed 12 goals this season and a call-up to the Scotland squad to play the USA next week).
Prediction : I’m going to go against the grain here, preferring Blackpool to once again seal the deal and take the Seasiders up to the Premier League (Best bet of 7/5 from Sportingbet for Blackpool to win promotion).
Correct Score : Blackpool 2 West Ham 1 (Best bet of 12/1 from Paddy Power for Blackpool to beat West Ham 2-1.)
First Goalscorer : I’m going for West Ham to score first and that Ricardo Vaz Te will grab the Hammers goal (Best bet of 6/1 from Boyle Sports for Vaz Te to find the back of the net first in the game).
May 16th, 2012 by Paul
It’s is the most eagerly awaited Scottish Final in years, a City derby that can rival the intensity of an Old Firm clash… The all-Edinburgh Cup Final between Hibs and Hearts takes place this Saturday at Hampden Park, Glasgow and it promises to be a cracker.
Both Hibs and Hearts last met in the Scottish Cup Final a mere 116 years ago back in 1896 and in that game the Jambos won the final 3-1. Hearts have gone onto win the Scottish Cup a further 5 times since that famous capital city derby final – their last Final win was back in 2006 when the team from Gorgie Road needed penalties to overcome the now defunct Gretna FC.
Hibs last won the Scottish Cup back in 1902 – they’ve managed 8 Final appearances since then without any joy – their last Final was back in 2001 when the Hibees suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of a Henrik Larsson inspired Celtic.
Hearts go into the 2012 Scottish Cup Final as standout favourites. A top 6 finish in the SPL plus also winning all three Edinburgh derbies this season has made it easy for the bookies to prefer Hearts as Scottish Cup betting favourites.
Pat Fenlon, Hibernian’s manager, has been involved in a relegation battle for the major part of the season. He has seen his Hibs team put in some ‘awful’ displays this season, especially at home – winning just twice in 19 games – however, the Leith outfit have been better on their travels and must prepare in the same manner for Saturday’s big game.
Fenlon has whisked his Hibs players off to Dublin this week, away from the pressure that the build-up to the Scottish Cup Final brings. Yet with nearly 25,000 Hibees travelling through from the capital and crammed into Hampden come kick-off, Fenlon will be hoping that his players embrace the Hampden ‘roar’ after the isolation of Dublin.
It’s likely that this will be Rudi Skacel’s last match in a Hearts strip. The talismanic Czech midfielder has not been offered a new contract and with Hearts seeking to cut their budget ahead of next season it’s probable they’ll not be able to afford the skilful Skacel’s wage demands.
Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, a lifelong Hearts fan will be making his way to Hampden on Saturday alongside 25,000 other Maroon fans. It’s certainly going to be a spectacle and it is a Scottish Cup Final that has captured the imagination of the Scottish people.
As for predictions, I’m going to predict the Scottish Cup will finish 1-1 and Hearts will win on penalties.
BetVictor are offering best betting odds of 5/2 that the Scottish Cup will finish in a draw
BetVictor are offering best betting odds of 11/2 that the correct score will finish 1-1
Paddy Power are best betting odds of 8/13 for Hearts to lift The Scottish Cup
Blue Square are best betting odds of 10/1 that Hearts will win the Scottish Cup on penalties
May 11th, 2012 by Paul
Manchester will once again become home for the Premier League Trophy for the next year, at least… But which part of the Mancunian capital will be it’s final destination is the big question which will be answered this Sunday!
Manchester City are in pole position as we encounter the last day of the season. 90 minutes of football separate the blue half of the City from their biggest footballing achievement in almost 44 years – To claim themselves as Premier League Champions… Everyone inside the Etihad Stadium on Sunday will relish with absolute vigour.
In what has been a topsy turvy and often controversial season for Man City it must be heartening for Roberto Mancini to see thing come together at just the right time.
Or will it…
Enter the QPR factor – here’s a team that are clinging onto their Premier League status by their fingertips. 2 points clear of Bolton who go to Stoke on Sunday requiring a minimum of a win and hope QPR lose or their stint in England’s top division will be over.
It’s possible that QPR can stay up if they draw at the Etihad on Sunday even if Bolton win at Stoke… A goal difference of 9 goals in QPR’s favour might see the London club ‘park the bus’ and infuriate City.
Then you have City’s rivals Manchester United coiled to pounce if anything other than a win against QPR is the outcome.
So it’s Man City’s title to lose and to become Champions of England in one of the toughest leagues in world football all they have to do is score one more goal than QPR on Sunday and they’ll forever be remembered as legends within the City ranks.
May 9th, 2012 by Paul
Sebastian Vettel pegged his first win of the 2012 F1 Grand Prix season by winning in Bahrain a fortnight ago – by collecting those precious 25 points it propelled the German to the top of the 2012 Drivers world championship standings.
Vettel now sits a meagre 4 points ahead of Brit, Lewis Hamilton (49) and fellow Red Bull driver, Mark Webber (48). The Spanish Grand Prix is the first of the European F1 races and the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona is a happy racetrack for the Red Bull outfit.
Vettel won the Spanish Grand Prix in 2011, with British pair of Hamiltion and Button taking up the other top podium places. Webber came 3rd in 2009 and also won here in 2010.
Barcelona is such a track that heralds more winners from the leading pack at the beginning of a race than any other. The driver on pole position has gone onto win the Spanish Grand Prix in nine of the last ten seasons.
Which makes you think the race qualification for the Circuit de Catalunya is of high importance… Well, it was, until last year, when Vettel won the race after starting 2nd – disproving the myth that you need pole to win in Barcelona.
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May 4th, 2012 by Paul
Caretaker Manager, Roberto Di Matteo battles for silverware in the first of Chelsea’s up-and-coming Cup Finals this weekend. The FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool will be a welcome break from the rigours of the Premier League for both teams.
Chelsea start as pre-match favourites and must be glad that their £50 million pound striker, Fernando Torres has found some slick form and started scoring goals once again. However, Chelsea suffered at home to Newcastle mid-week and their hopes of finishing fourth in the League sank with that defeat. Now, only by winning the Champions League can they qualify for Europe’s top tournament next season.
It’s interesting to note that should Chelsea win the FA Cup, then Roberto Di Matteo will become the third Italian manager in three consecutive years to have won the competition outright (Mancini with Man City in 2011 and Ancelotti with Chelsea in 2010).
Liverpool’s form at the moment has been utterly terrible… Languishing 8th in the Premier League, they’ve only won 2 games in 8 matches out with FA Cup results.. Yet, despite this being possibly their worst ever finish in the Premier League since it began 20 years ago this season could see the Merseyside side club become double cup winners.
Kenny Daglish needs a better return from his strikers… Luis Suarez has played extremely well in patches while Andy Carroll has a huge question mark hanging over him as big as the Mersey itself.
Money Back From Paddy Power if Suarez Scores.
Money Back From Blue Square if Torres Score First.
May 2nd, 2012 by Paul
Newmarket is the focus of attention in the Horse Racing calendar this Saturday as the 2,000 Guineas Stakes heralds in the start of the Flat season Classics.
Twenty two horses have been confirmed for the Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (1m) with a purse of around £376,500 (around nearly two thirds of that going to the winner). The bookies favour Racing Post Trophy winner Camelot heavily in the ante-post 2000 Guineas betting odds.
Camelot, owned by Aidan O’Brien, is the odds on favourite after his debut successes in the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Maiden (1m) and the Racing Post Trophy (1m). Despite his short odds it’s worth noting that previous Racing Post Trophy winners haven’t done that well in the 2,000 Guineas.
Irish contender, Born To Sea (3yrs) drops in at around 8′s with most firms. This is his first appearance in any of the Classics and the half-brother of Sea The Stars looks fanciable after winning the Blenheim Stakes (6f) last season in his debut race. He followed this up with a well run race in the JRA Killavullan Stakes (7f) finishing just 1½ lengths behind winner Nephrite.
Abtaal is another around 8′s in the Guineas ante-post betting – neither his trainer nor jockey have ever won a race. Ran close in the Prix De Tancarville Stakes (5f 212y) and just edged out by Sofast. Angus Gold, the owner’s racing manager, feels Abtaal will stay a lot further and is primed for the one miler at Newmarket on Saturday.
Trumpet Major knotched up his first victory in the Craven Stakes (1m) a few weeks back and looks in great form. Some might feel that the respite period between the Craven Stakes and the 2000 Guineas is too slim (16 days in total) for him to perform at his optimal best.
From the rest of the field, 3yr old colt Power, another of Aidan O’Brien’s, looks strongest to win the season’s first Classic.
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