Archive for March, 2017

31 Mar
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(1 April)

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…

We resume, not before time it has to be said, with a much anticipated 29th week of the season, one which comes after the widely unpopular international break, a seemingly unnecessary pause in the action which frustrates fans and disrupts momentum.

No-one that I know cares about Honduras playing Finland in some meaningless kickabout, whereas just about anyone who enjoys sport can surely appreciate the pressure and intensity of the business end of the Spanish season, one which sees both Real Madrid and Barcelona facing nine games apiece in the month of April!

Back to them later though, as in the hunt for some attractive prices and a winnner to two, it’s to the far north and Osasuna we’ll head, with bottom the team welcoming Bilbao giants, Athletic Club, to El Sadar (Sat, 3.15pm).

Based in Pamplona, the home team are running rapidly backs towards the Segunda, having amassed just 11 points so far, with a goal difference of minus 39.

To be fair to them, they have been having a right go in recent weeks, trying to mask their chronic lack of quality with a string of spirited displays, and in doing so finding the net in four of their last seven – including against the league leaders, Real!

Yet another defeat looks likely, but they might well score during the 90 minutes, so rather than take the miserly 4/7 about the away side, why not have a bash at Bilbao to win and both teams to score?

It’s a far more appetising 12/5 with either Hills or bet365, and could very well come to fruition.

Next up, the game that follows on Saturday afternoon sees Real Sociedad play improving Leganes in San Sebastián (5.30pm).

The survival instinct has well and truly kicked in for the side who are used to being overshadowed by their near neighbours Real and Atleti – Leganes come from a Madrid satellite town situated just 11km from the city centre of the capital – with a win against Granada topped up by battling draws against Sevilla and Malaga in recent weeks.

Those confidence restoring points have come at a valuable time, earning them a five point cushion above 18th placed Sporting Gijon.

Furthermore, they may well be meeting Sociedad at a good time; the hosts have lost their last two and were also held 2-2 at home by Eibar at the end of February.

I fancy Leganes to scrap their way to another point here, with the stalemate available at 5/2 with any of Betfred, BetVictor, Coral, Hills or Paddy.

Finally, back to (near) the top of the table on Sunday night, where Barcelona could very well be chasing a five point gap as they travel to strugglers Granada (7.45pm), with Madrid at home to Alaves earlier in the day.

Defeat is out of the question against the seemingly doomed southerners, and Barca to win to nil at 7/5 with Paddy Power looks the way to go.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

3.15 Sat – Osasuna v ATHLETIC BILBAO – Away Win & Both Teams To Score @ 12/5 (bet365 or Hills)

5.30 Sat – Real Sociedad v LEganes – DRAW @ 5/2 (BetVictor or Paddy)

7.45 Sun – Granada v BARCELONA – Barca to win to nil @ 7/5 (Paddy Power)

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Posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

31 Mar
2017

Tom’s Tips, Saturday 1st April

Saturday’s Best Bets – 1st April

3:55 Stratford – Asum
5:05 Stratford – Ballycoe

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Posted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

24 Mar
2017

Saturday’s Racing Bets (25th March)


Saturday’s Best Bets
2:40 Kelso – Eminent Poet @ 6/1 with Bet Victor
2:50 Bangor – Atlantic Storm @ 5/2 with Bet Victor

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Posted 7 months, 4 weeks ago

17 Mar
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own…(Sun 19 Mar)

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…

Undoubtedly the game of the weekend is Sporting Gijon at home to Granada, two teams rooted deep in relegation mire, desperately trying to find a spark from somewhere.

It’s 19th against 18th, with both looking in an increasingly hopeless position, the gap between Granada (who’ve been showing plenty of fight in recent weeks but precious little quality) and 17th placed Leganes, a yawning six points.

It’s too tough to call, though clearly a draw is no good for either, unlike the team they’re pursuing, with Leganes looking good for at least a point at home to Malaga on Sunday morning.

Their home game is 17th against 16th, both sides struggling to find any fluency, but even if Granada win, Leganes can maintain a four point advantage by sharing the spoils.

Malaga have been poor in recent times, but often score, so a share of the spoils (at 9/4 with the Betfair Sportsbook) looks to be the way to go.

Later in the day, a rejuvenated Deportivo La Coruna look the nap bet to take all the points against Celta Vigo at the Riazor (5.30pm).

The departure of former boss Giazka Garitano has had an immediate impact, with his replacement, ex-West Brom and Real Betis man, Pepe Mel, installing a new found belief and momentum.

A yield of eight points from a possible 12 is much more like it, especially as three of them came in last weekend’s shock win against Barcelona!

The Riazor has always been a very tough place to visit, but that’s especially true if you’re fellow north west team Celta, on the back of their gruelling Europa League trip for Thursday night’s game against Krasnodar.

Progress in Europe and an element of fatigue may turn out be a distraction for Celta, leaving Mel and his re-energised players to secure another valuable win.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in La Liga:

Sun 11.00am – Leganes v Malaga – DRAW @ 9/4 (Betfair Sportsbook)

Sun 5.30pm – DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA v Celta Vigo – Home Win @ 6/5 (bet365, Betfred, Betway, Boylesports, Stan James or Unibet)

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Posted 8 months ago

16 Mar
2017

Cheltenham Gold Cup Day Picks 2017


2:10 County Handicap Hurdle – Wait For Me @ 18/1 (each way)
2:50 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – The World’s End @ 10/1 (each way)
3:30 Gold Cup – Sizing John @ 8/1(each way)
4:50 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle – Coo Star Sivola @ 16/1 (each way)

The suggested Yankee pays 32,000/1! All bets quoted are with bet365 (QUICK BETSLIP)

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Posted 8 months, 1 week ago

15 Mar
2017

Cheltenham Festival 2017 Day Three Tips


1:30 JLT Novices’ Chase – Top Notch @ 4/1
2:10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle @ Presenting Percy 8/1
2:50 Ryanair Chase – Empire Of Dirt @ 3/1
3:30 Stayers Hurdle – Shaneshill @ 12/1
5:30 Kim Muir Challenge Cup – Southfield Royale @ 8/1

All odds quotes are courtesy of bet365 – Go straight to BETSLIP

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Posted 8 months, 1 week ago

14 Mar
2017

Cheltenham Festival 2017 Day Two Tips

Tom Lee Day Two Cheltenham Festival Tips

All odds quoted from bet365 (£200 Cheltenham Festival deposit match)

Neon Wolf – Neptune Novices Hurdle @ 15/8
Acapalla Bourgeois – EW RSA Chase @ 6/1
Peregrine Run – Coral Cup @ 10/1
Top Gamble – EW Champion Chase @ 40/1
Cause Of Causes – Cross Country Chase @ 7/2
Bakmaj – EW Champion Bumper @ 18/1

Back the selections here >

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Posted 8 months, 1 week ago

13 Mar
2017

Cheltenham Festival 2017 Day 1 Tips

Ballyandy – Supreme Novices Hurdle @ 7/2
Altior – Arkle Chase @ 1/4
Singlefarmpayment – Ultima Handicap Chase @ 7/1
Petit Mouchoir – Champion Hurdle @ 15/2
Vroum Vroum Mag – David Nicholson Mares Hurdle @ 11/4
Martello Tower – EW in the National Hunt Chase @ 12/1
Gold Present – Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase @ 9/1

A 20p Heniz (£24 total stake) returns £207,000! BETSLIP

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Posted 8 months, 1 week ago

11 Mar
2017

In A Liga Of Its Own (11th & 12th March)

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…

If Friday night’s seesaw seven goal thriller between Espanyol and Las Palmas is anything to go by, week 27 on the Spanish top flight calendar could be a highly enjoyable one.

Sandwiched inbetween Champions League and Europa League commitments for the select few, there’s also the small matter of Sunday morning’s Basque derby at the Anoeta, as Real Sociedad welcome Athletic Bilbao, both of whom will be disappointed if they’re not playing European football of some kind in 2017/18.

It’s there where we’ll kick-off, with fifth against seventh as well as local bragging rights at stake, as the local Basque provinces of Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia go head-to-head.

Athletic overcame their great rivals 3-2 at San Mames back in October, and it’s highly likely there’ll be goals again.

The hosts have taken seven points from the last nine available, while the visitors have netted six in the same period.

In a match of the magnitude, with local pride at stake, it’s often seen as more important not to lose than to gain all three points, which suggests the ‘Draw and both teams to score’ option sounds tempting, especially at the 15/4 available with BetVictor.

Later on, Sunday evening’s game sees Real Madrid entertain Seville side Real Betis in a must win encounter at the Bernabeu.

Although they’ve got a game in hand Real could be four points adrift of Barca if Luis Enrique’s team win earlier on that afternoon away to Deportivo La Coruna, meaning there’s no room for slip ups from Zinedine Zidan’s men.

It’s unlikely there’ll be any to be fair, with Madrid on a high after their Champions League victory in Naples in midweek.

Betis had a tough game in getting a point in La Coruna 24 hours later, and could very well struggle here.

They’re a hard team too call, Betis, taking a point off Barcelona in January and battling ferociously two weeks ago in the Derbi Sevillano, but it’s unlikely they’ve got the quality to keep Madrid at bay.

I was present for the corresponding fixture in Madrid in late summer 2015, when Madrid ran amok in a 5-0 canter, and it may be another stroll for the home side.

Madrid to win to nil at 10/11 with Paddy Power gets my vote.

Lastly, soon to be relegated Osasuna have conceded 21 goals in their last six games, losing all of them in the process.

That sequence is unlikely to end happily when they entertain the miracle team of La Liga, Eibar, on Monday night.

Eibar, the shoestring minnows, are now so used to punching above their weight, they’re beginning to look like they fit in here in the top flight, and a trip to El Sadar holds absolutely no fears for them.

Expect them to hammer another nail into Osasuna’s coffin with a win on the road – 11/10 are the odds of reward with any of bet365, Fred, Hills or Stan James.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets:

11.00am Sunday – Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao – DRAW & BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE @ 15/4 (BetVictor)

7.45pm Sunday – Real Madrid v Real Betis – MADRID TO WIN TO NIL @ 10/11 (Paddy Power)

7.45pm Monday – Osasuna v Eibar – AWAY WIN @ 11/10 (bet365, Betfred, Hills or Stan James)

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Posted 8 months, 1 week ago

10 Mar
2017

Gardiners World At Hereford?

British jumps racing’s Champion Jockey, Richard Johnson, shuns the big money card at Sandown Park on Imperial Cup day, choosing instead to focus on a healthy looking book of rides at his local venue, re-opened and thriving Hereford.

Chief among his mounts could be the Dai Rees-trained Gardiners World, who returns to a circuit where he is unbeaten in two visits, with the nation’s number one rider on board for the first time.

The duo face six rivals in the track’s Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (2.50pm), a contest which also features recent winners Freddie’s Portrait and Crown Hill.

The best of that trio will hopefully turn out to be Gardiners Hill, who clearly loves it here on the constantly turning right handed track, and will relish the prevailing Soft ground.

Beaten last time out at Plumpton when reappearing quickly, he’ll be much happier after a 26 gap between races, and can maintain his 100% Hereford record.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bet:

2.50 Hereford – 188bet Novices’ Ltd Handicap Chase – 4 Gardiners Hill (win)

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Posted 8 months, 2 weeks ago