Week in Sport Betting Preview 03 February : Six Nations, FA Cup, Premier League Darts and FA Cup action
- 3-9 February
We are into February and there is all sorts of sporting action to enjoy this month from across the globe, but plenty here in the UK as well. There may be a winter break coming up in the Premier League but the football action does not stop. England’s cricket tour of South Africa continues, there is UFC action from the US, snooker and darts in England and, a lot of people’s highlight at this time of year – the Six Nations.
World Grand Prix Snooker 3-9 February
The Coral Series begins in Cheltenham with the World Grand Prix, which features all the big names in the game, however, it throws up a strange draw as the seeding is based on the one-year money list rather than the world rankings.
Hence we see first round matches like John Higgins vs Stuart Bingham and Mark Williams vs Barry Hawkins. With this in mind we have to find a form player with a favourable draw and that man is Shaun Murphy who looks to have a relatively decent quarter, although there is no real easy draw here.
Murphy has been one of the most consistent players this season, winning the China Championship, reaching a couple more finals and reaching the German Masters semi-final last week. He is more than capable of reaching another final and is unlikely to fall in the perilous first couple of rounds that are just best of seven frames. He has also won this event before and reached a two more quarter-finals so he will be at home in Cheltenham.
South Africa vs England First ODI – Tuesday 4 February
England enjoyed a wonderful Test series win over South Africa, bouncing back from 0-1 down to win it 3-1 and carry all the momentum into the shorter format. Now they are into the format in which they are world champions and will be full of confidence of beating their hosts again.
The bookies certainly think so and England are prohibitively short priced to win the first ODI, so we should look elsewhere. The argument that someone is ‘due’ is not always convincing, but Joe Root is definitely due a big score. He continually teased throughout the Test series, getting a string of starts without going on. He hit 226 in the Test series with New Zealand as recently as November and made 91 in the most recent tour match in South Africa. He hit three half-centuries in the Tests and can go big in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Liverpool vs Shrewsbury – Tuesday 4 February
This is a tricky one to call because it is basically Liverpool reserves against Shrewsbury, or possibly Liverpool under-23s against the League One side. No senior players will turn out for the Reds and Jurgen Klopp will not even manage the team. The youth side will take on the Shrews, just as they did against Aston Villa in the League Cup quarter-final and got tonked 5-0.
However, Shrewsbury are not Villa. They are 14th in League One and have followed up the draw they managed to set up this replay with defeats to Gillingham and Rochdale, without scoring a goal. They will need to raise their game, and they will, but there is still more talent in the Liverpool side. This is a great chance for the Shrews to win at Anfield, the best they will ever have, but you just can’t turn down the Premier League side at odds-against, given the quality of their youngsters.
Premier League Darts – Thursday 6 February
There are a few tempting prices on night one of the Premier League Darts in Aberdeen, but none more so than for Nathan Aspinall to down the local hero, John Henderson. The Scot is competing as one of the Challengers this year but faces a tough task against the UK Open champion.
Henderson will have the crowd on his side, and in doing so he picked up an unlikely draw against Michael van Gerwen last year, but he is nowhere near the player Aspinall is and we can’t expect the crowd to always get him over the line. The Scots will be something of a leveller for the Highlander, but Aspinall is far too good to turn down at EVENS given how he has been streets ahead of Big John over the last 12 months or so.
Scotland vs England Six Nations – Saturday 8 February
England and Scotland had thoroughly disappointing starts to their Six Nations campaigns, with the English being comprehensively beaten by France and the Scots tossing away a good chance and losing to Ireland.
Both will see this as the perfect chance to bounce back, with Scotland completely motivated at home to their old rivals and England because they should really be beating the Scots. Eddie Jones’ side probably will win, but it definitely will not be easy. This time last year at Twickenham this match finished 38-38, while Scotland won the year before at Murrayfield.
It will be tight, and Scotland are well worth backing with the handicap on their side.
Jon Jones vs Dominick Reyes UFC 247 – Saturday 8 February
Arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time is in action on Saturday in Texas as Jon Jones defends his UFC light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes. As with every opponent he takes on, Jones goes in as the runaway favourite due to his outrageously well-rounded skill-set.
He has never been beaten, only suffering one defeat via disqualification over 10 years ago, and another victory being turned into a no contest. Reyes has a legitimately perfect record, though, winning all 12 of his professional bouts. His last four wins have come against impressive names, but Jared Cannonier, Ovince Saint Preuz, Volkan Oezdemir and Chris Weidman would all lose to Jon Jones.
Reyes has knockout power, but Jones almost never gets hit. The champ has developed a way to dominate fights without really having to do a lot and taking very little damage. It has not been thrilling, but he churns out wins. Six of his last eight fights have ended in decision wins for Jones and we can expect the same on Saturday night.
- Shaun Murphy is second on the one-year ranking list
- Murphy is one of only four players to win the Grand Prix since it became a ranking event
- Liverpool are unbeaten in 42 Premier League matches
- Shrewsbury have only won one of their last 10 games in all competitions
- Joe Root averages 51.36 in ODIs
- Root has more ODI centuries than any other England player in history
- Nathan Aspinall is 23 places ahead of John Henderson in the world rankings
- England have not beaten Scotland in their last two meetings
- Jon Jones has more than twice as many wins as Dominick Reyes has fights
- Jones has won by decision in six of his last eight fights