Archive for January, 2017

28 Jan
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(28th & 29th Jan)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, the Sportsman’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

Things are getting oh so interesting as we head into week 20 of the calendar, with just two points separating the front three at the top of the table, though leaders Real Madrid do have a game in hand.

Points on the board is what its all about though, and this week’s headline suggestion is second-placed Sevilla, who can do themselves a world of good by returning home from Barcelona with all three points in the bag having beaten Espanyol.

The pair clash at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat at 3.15pm on Sunday, in a game that would take Sevilla temporarily top of the standings if they can emerge victorious and unscathed.

Things are getting very exciting for the Andalusian outfit, on the back of a run which has seen then take maximum points in the league (five wins from five) since December 11th, whilst scoring 13 goals in their last four in all competitions.

They’re up against a side who seem to be meandering their way to yet another mid-table finish, gaining hard fought wins against the lesser lights, but lacking the quality to win at home to the big boys.

Sevilla have proved dab-hands at winning the Europa League in recent times, and have a seemingly eminently winnable two-legged Champions League encounter against Leicester City upcoming in February, but in the meantime they can keep their title push rolling with a win against Espanyol.

Back Jorge Sampaoli’s team at 6/5 with bet365.

The game that follows is the north coast clash between Athletic Bilbao and struggling Sporting Gijon (5.30pm), where Bilbao ought to take the beating, but make zero appeal in the regular match odds at 1/3.

They’re looking for revenge after losing the reverse fixture 2-1 at El Molinon back in August, but are going much better now, whereas Sporting are beginning to look cut adrift down at the bottom, alongside Granada and Osasuna.

This is 7th against 18th in a match where Bilbao are looking to get back to winning ways after drawing their last three in the league, but it’s also worth noting that Sporting often score despite their poor form, finding the net at least once in six of their eight games since the end of November.

I’m looking for an entertaining home win, one which would mean a payout for the 12/5 offered by Hills about Bilbao to win and both teams to score.

Finally, if you’ve been following this column in recent weeks you’ll know we’ve done very nicely indeed by correctly forecasting games to end all square, and that’s very much the hope for Eibar at home to Deportivo La Coruna at the compact Ipurua Municipal (Saturday, 5.30pm).

This game represents 10th against 16th in a game where both sides are on minus goal difference for the campaign.

What’s more, Eibar had a tough game in midweek in the Copa de Rey against Atleti (2-2), while Depor have drawn their last five in all competitions, including two away from home in La Liga.

This could very well be more of the same, something about which any of Fred, Victor or Skybet are offering a decent looking 23/10.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

5.30pm Saturday – Eibar and Deportivo La Coruna to draw @ 23/10 (Betfred, BetVictor or Skybet)

3.15pm Sunday – Sevilla to win away to Espanyol (NAP) @ 6/5 (bet365)

5.30pm Sunday – Athletic Bilbao to win at home to Sporting Gijon and both teams to score @ 12/5 (Hills)

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Posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago

27 Jan
2017

Aso The Way To Go At Cheltenham

The loss of Ascot last Saturday was a gigantic nuisance on the day, but if every cloud has a silver lining then the resultant bonus is a nine race card at Cheltenham seven days later, featuring the likes of Un De Sceaux and Thistlecrack, as well as a star-studded support cast.

One race that really catches my eye is the 2m 5f handicap chase at 1.10pm, the latest in a string of valuable races at this track at around the same distance, continuing the theme struck by the November and December Gold Cups, plus the valuable race won by Shantou Flyer on New Year’s Day.

Up seven pounds, Shantou Flyer is back for more under top weight, but the one I see running a massive race is the Venetia Williams-inmate, Aso.

He loves it here, having finished down the pecking order in the Arkle last March as a 66/1 outsider, before returning to bag place money in the aforementioned feature races pre-Christmas.

He’s done better since, winning at Chepstow last time out, and really seems to be getting his act together under conditional pilot, Charlie Deutsch.

A fast run big field barging match seems exactly Aso’s cup of tea, and in a 13-horse race in which he’ll be kept company by stablemate Tenor Nivernais, he holds a mighty chance of at least being in the three.

He looks fairly priced at 8/1 with bet365.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bet at Cheltenham:

1.10 – Hugo’s Restaurant Barbados Trophy Handicap Chase – 5 Aso (each way) @ 8/1 (bet365)

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Posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago

19 Jan
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(20th – 22nd January)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, the Sportsman’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

The opening fixture of Week 19 might not be the most glamorous game ever served up by this great country, but Friday night’s face-off between mid-table dwellers Las Palmas and Deportivo La Coruna in Gran Canaria is nonetheless attractive.

It’s 10th against 15th, with goal differences of -2 and -5 respectively, a hint at a low scoring draw if ever there was one.

Las Palmas, coached by Quique Setien, drew three straight in all competitions at the start of last month, whereas Depor, led by Gaizka Garitano, have drawn all four matches in 2017.

You can get 5/2 about this one finishing all square with any of Betfred, BetVictor, Betway or Hills.

On Saturday afternoon, another game that looks cherry ripe to end all-square is the 5.30pm kick-off at the Estadio Municipal de Santo Domingo, also known as the home of 12th placed Alaves, UEFA Cup runners-up in 2001.

They entertain a low-scoring Leganes outfit, one who’ve steadied the ship and pulled away from an increasingly isolated bottom three, drawing four of the last five league games.

Another stalemate looks likely, an outcome chalked up at 9/4 by Paddy Power.

Later on, Saturday evening’s ‘Derbi de la Communitat’ at El Madrigal ought to go the way of Villarreal, who can’t halt the mini revival of local sparring partners Valencia.

You can argue that Villarreal draw too many games (seven out of 18 so far) to heave themselves up into the Champions League places, but even so they’re only a good result behind fourth placed Atletico, and this is a prime opportunity for them to rub their neighbours’ faces in it.

Valencia rewarded their fans with a nervy 2-1 win against Espanyol last weekend, but this’ll be far, far tougher, and Villarreal can keep up the pressure on Real Sociedad and Atletico above them.

Betfred are 19/20 about a home win.

Finally, how a rampant Sevilla side lost to Granada seven weeks ago is a complete mystery, but it’s unlikely the team who ended Real Madrid’s unbeaten run will be so forthcoming when they travel to bottom side, Osasuna (Sun, 11.00am).

The hosts looks punch drunk and will be fearing a hammering here, give that Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla have scored 25 in their last seven in all competitions.

Rather than back Sevilla to win at 4/7, try the Andalusian side at 7/4 to win to nil, a price available with BetVictor, Coral or Skybet.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

Fri 7.45pm – Las Palmas v Deportivo – Draw @ 5/2 ( BetVictor)

Sat 5.30pm – Alaves v Leganes – Draw @ 9/4 (Paddy Power)

Sat 7.45pm – Villarreal v Valencia – Home Win @ 19/20 (Betfred)

Sun 11.00am – Osasuna v Sevilla – Sevilla To Win To Nil @ 7/4 (BetVictor)

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Posted 3 months ago

18 Jan
2017

No Win No Fille

Following a double at Ayr on Tuesday Welsh trainer Evan Williams has his string in great nick at present, and he looks to have a terrific chance to add to his season tally at Ludlow on Thursday, with his Robin Des Champs mare, Fille Des Champs, appearing to be a major danger in the hands of Adam Wedge.

She lines up in the mares’ handicap hurdle at 3.00pm, full of confidence after a breakthrough win in just her second ever handicap, a success achieved at Ffos Las last month.

Stepping up in trip that day to two and a half miles on testing ground, she just got better and better the further she went, and this extra half mile on an easy track like Ludlow should be more than okay.

She gets weight from all six rivals and can capitalise.

Good luck!

Thursday’s best bet at Ludlow:

Racing UK Mares’ Handicap Hurdle – 7 Fille Des Champs (win) @ 11/4 (BetVictor)

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Posted 3 months ago

13 Jan
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own (14th and 15th January)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, Betting Directory’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

A glut of attractive fixtures are the hallmark of week 18, notably the visit of record-breakers Real Madrid to Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan, less than 72 hours after the teams met in thrilling Cup action on Thursday night at the same venue, in a match that pits first against second on Sunday evening, while at the opposite end of the pile there’s a degree of gory fascination at play, as 19th placed Granada welcome bottom team Osasuna to Los Carmenes earlier on the same day, with both basement sides yet to reach double figures in terms of league points gained.

Both will be an excellent watch, but neither fixture makes it into this week’s betting recommendations, which kick-off with the ‘Draw and both teams to score’ option in Saturday night’s Deportivo La Coruna versus Villarreal clash.

This represents 15th against 5th at the Riazor, an intimidating stadium right on the beach in La Coruna, one which evokes Pittodrie-esque images in mid-winter, with the wind howling in off the Atlantic.

Both sides are superb at finding the net, but Depor have drawn their last three in all competitions, while this excellent Villarreal outfit have drawn three of their last four, including conceding a last gasp equaliser last weekend against Barca, a stroke of blush-sparing genius from the boot of Lionel Messi.

Villarreal have the edge on quality, but this is a tough trip from east to west against an improving opponent, and my suspicion is they’ll be happy to return home with a point.

Depor to draw with Villarreal in a game where both teams find the net is available at nearly 4/1, 18/5 to be precise, with either Betfred or BetVictor.

Moving on, Sunday’s five fixtures look absolutely tremendous, not least the early kick-off (11.00am) in which Espanyol can heap more misery on Valencia by winning away at the towering, but currently vulnerable, Mestalla.

In recent times this resilient Espanyol side have been good enough to win on their travels against Alaves, as well as grind out a point in the Vicente Calderon against Atletico.

Valencia sit in a precarious 17th, and this could be a miserable first league game in charge for new boss Voro Gonzalez.

Espanyol looks generously priced at 3’s with any of bet365, Betfred, BetVictor, Ladbrokes or Hills.

Next up it’s Celta Vigo against Alaves, 9th against 12th at the Balaidos, where Celta put the aforementioned Valencia to the sword in the Copa Del Rey on Thursday night, completing a 6-2 aggregate victory!

This opposition will be far tougher though; draw specialists Alaves will undoubtedly once again to be hard to break down.

With that in mind, the draw looks a cracking wager at 14/5 with either Betfred or BetVictor.

Lastly, it might be getting greedy by going for a fourth selection, but then it’s hard to overlook an Eibar side who simply love to punch above their weight.

They travel to struggling Sporting Gijon in the 5.30pm kick-off, and might well be able to do enough to depart El Molinon with all three points.

Eight places above their hosts in the league, don’t forget Eibar have very recently beaten Sporting home and away in the Copa Del Rey, and meet a team on a run of four straight defeats!

Eibar are 7/4 with Hills to make that five.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

7.45pm Sat – Deportivo v Villarreal – Draw & Both Teams To Score @ 18/5 (Betfred or BetVictor)

11.00am Sun – Valencia v Espanyol – Away Win @ 3/1 (bet365, BetVictor or Ladbrokes)

3.15pm Sun – Celta Vigo v Alaves – Draw @ 14/5 (Betfred or BetVictor)

5.30pm Sun – Sporting Gijon v Eibar – Away Win @ 7/4 (Hills)

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Posted 3 months, 1 week ago

06 Jan
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(Spanish Football Bets, 7th & 8th January)

Spanish football’s elite top flight, La Liga, is undoubtedly the dominant force in European football in recent times, providing five of the last six finalists in the Champions League, as well as five of the last eight winners.

It doesn’t stop there either, with teams from Spain also ruling the roost in Europe’s second tier tournament, the Europa League, taking four of the last five editions, highlighted by triumphs for goal happy Sevilla in 2014, ’15 and ’16.

Enthused by a domestic league bursting with quality and rivalry, Betting Directory’s Tom Lee, a regular visitor to Spain and its football grounds, takes a weekly look at the best bets on the fixture list…

Back in league action on week 17 of the calendar, the first round of games since the Christmas break, it’s debatable which sides will be suited by having had a Cup game in the Copa del Rey to ease them back into the ebb and flow, and which will be best suited by coming into these matches as a fresh side?

Not that they’ve had any choice in the matter, but Friday night’s sole fixture pits well-rested Espanyol against a trigger happy Deportivo La Coruna, one who only played 72 hours ago.

So is it as simple as back the home win and support the locals at the Cornella-El Prat?

Things are rarely simple where Depor are concerned; they leak like a sieve but score for fun!

If you don’t believe me watch the clips online of their recent 4-3 defeat at Malaga, their even more recent 5-1 home win against an otherwise rock-solid Real Sociedad, plus their agonising 3-2 defeat against Real in the Bernabeu.

As recently as Tuesday night they shared four goals with a quality Alaves side, and have it in them to get something in Barcelona.

Ninth placed Espanyol are good, but they’re not great, and I can see this one being shared as a draw out in an encounter where both teams score, something about which both Fred and Victor are offering a tempting 19/5.

By the time Depor do return to the north west to catch up on some sleep and a glass or two of Estrella Galicia, they’ll be able to tune into Saturday’s early kick-off, featuring leaders Real Madrid at home to 19th placed Granada.

An unbeaten team with seemingly limitless resources and a goal difference of +26, against a side battling relegation who have a figure of -19 in the same column. Hmmmm.

Granada are a well run club from a stunning city which boasts the Alhambra amongst its distinctive Moorish architecture, but it’s unlikely that piece of info will save them from leaving the capital with their 10th defeat of the season in the bag.

Since we last saw them in La Liga action Madrid have won the Club World Cup against Kashima Antlers, and were as ruthless as ever against Sevilla in midweek Copa del Rey action.

BetVictor go a seemingly generous 20/21 about Real to win to nil.

Lastly, the other game I want to touch on this week is Celta Vigo against Malaga, which is 13th against 11th on Sunday evening at the Balaidos.

Celta capitalised on disarray at Valencia in midweek to runout easy winners in the Copa, but they’ll find this tougher agasinst a capable Malaga side who’ve drawn three of their last five in the league.

I see this finishing in another stalemate, an eventuality about which Betfred are top price at 18/5.

Good luck!

This weekend’s La Liga recommendations:

Fri 7.45pm – Espanyol v Deportivo – DRAW & Both teams to score @ 19/5 (Betfred or BetVictor)

Sat 12.00pm – Real Madrid to win to nil vs Granada @ 20/21 (BetVictor)

Sun 5.30pm – Celta Vigo v Malaga DRAW @ 18/5 (Betfred)

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Posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Betting Tips Archive

January 2017
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Dec   Feb »
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Today's NAPS from leading Racing Journalists

1:50 Warwick View Result
Midnight MerlotMelissa Jones (Gloucestershire Echo)
2:20 Warwick View Result
Atlantic StormGarry Owen (Daily Record)
2:30 Pontefract View Result
AbushamahMoorestyle (Daily Star Sunday)
Red TeaChris Wright (Liverpool Echo)
2:50 Warwick View Result
Robin Of LocksleyChris Goulding (Scottish Express)
The Tourard ManRob Wright (The Times)
Thumb Stone BluesWise Owl (Belfast Newsletter)
3:05 Pontefract View Result
Another Wise KidPaul Kealy (Weekender)
Edward LewisNewsboy (Daily Mirror)
Rockavon (Sunday Mail)
The Duke (Yorkshire Post)
JudicialEbor (The Press, York)
Line Of ReasonMarlborough (Daily Telegraph)
Robin Goodfellow (Daily Mail)
Northgate LadGlendale (The Scotsman)
3:25 Warwick View Result
Contre Tous- (Racing and Football Outlook)
3:55 Warwick View Result
Big Casino- (The Guardian)
Morney WingRory Delargy (The Irish Field)
4:10 Pontefract View Result
Star CatchJeffrey Ross (Glasgow Evening Times)
Lee Sobot (Yorkshire Evening Post)
Patrick Weaver (The Star)
Mercury (Daily Post)
4:50 Kempton View Result
Captain PeacockThe Scout (Daily Express)
5:00 Warwick View Result
Gortroe JoeFortunatus (Sheffield Star)
5:30 Warwick View Result
Mr MercurialFarringdon (Morning Star)
5:35 Lingfield View Result
Frank CoolSteve Simpson (Blackpool Gazette)
5:40 Pontefract View Result
Miss SheridanJason Heavey (Sunday Express)
5:45 Windsor View Result
Next ChallengeKarl Hedley (Irish Post)
SwiftsureWest Tip (Western Morning News)
6:05 Lingfield View Result
MossgoTemplegate (The Sun)
6:15 Windsor View Result
EnglishmanKeith McHugh (Oldham Evening Chronicle)
6:35 Lingfield View Result
ShargiahWhistler (Sunday Telegraph)

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