World Cup betting preview…

THERE’S reason to be optimistic about making money from this World Cup and those are words I haven’t uttered in at least four years.

The timing of the tournament is perfect because I’m so out of luck at the moment when I logged on to the Internet last night a message popped up saying, “There are NO girls in your area looking for you.”

The first thing you need to know about this World Cup is that there are only four teams who can win it. The second, is that the team who will win it are third favourites.

The big four, Brazil, Germany, Spain and France are the only countries that can possibly win this tournament.

This is a fact underlined by the fact Argentina (who barely qualified) are fifth in the betting, Belgium (who were beaten by Wales in the Euros) are sixth and England (who have absolutely no chance) are seventh.

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La Roja, unbeaten in their last 20 matches, will be an exceptionally difficult team to beat.

They can be bought at 41.5 with Spreadex, a great price which will show a profit if they reach the semi finals. The make up is 100 for winning, 75 for runner up, 50 for losing semi-finalist, 25 for losing quarter-finalist, 10 for last 16 and 0 for being knocked out at any other stage.

Spain have the best defence in Russia, the best midfield and at the pinnacle of their attack is Costa, a name synonymous with power, Premier League goals and overpriced coffee.

They also have a decent draw. If things go to plan they should collide with Argentina in the quarter-finals, a team they thrashed 6-1 a few short months ago.

Brazil, as ever, will pose a potent threat with all that attacking flair at their disposal. I really like the look of a Brazil/Spain final, something that has a very decent chance of happening should both teams win their group, as is likely.

Germany are always there or thereabouts but look a little off form.

France’s depth of talent is frightening, but despite all the flair they often flatter to deceive at the back of tournaments. If they couldn’t beat Portugal on home turf at Euro 2016 there’s no reason to believe they can win in Russia.

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An international football tournament wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t some form of dumb animal tipster passing themselves off as a psychic using a well known system known as pot luck.

Annoyingly, I’ve been overlooked.

The Russians have conjured up a deaf cat called Achilles.

If you don’t fancy any of my tips, you can always ask Achilles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bellew v Haye – who wins and how?

BEFORE we look at the David Haye v Tony Bellew fight from a punting perspective, it’s worth acknowledging the important role of two men in making this a BIG money bout.

Those two men are Tony Bellew and Eddie Hearn.

Bellew’s career earnings as a boxer far outstrip his boxing ability.

That’s no disrespect to Bellew, who is a world class operator.

Bellew’s bigger talent lies in his innate ability to pick an opponent, inniate a feud and then allow Hearn to package it, present it – and get us to pay for it.

Bellew has been involved in two money spinning Pay-Per-View fights and he’ll be getting paid handsomely again on Saturday.

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Let’s not forget he somehow managed to create an unlikely rivalry with Nathan Cleverly.

Their first fight was pretty non-eventful. Bellew, a late replacement for Jürgen Brähmer, was pretty much dead at the weight, and lost a fairly forgettable contest.

There seemed little appetite for a rematch, yet strangely one was made three years later. Even stranger was the fact that with no title on the line, it was made into a PPV offering.

Why did people pay to watch that contest?

More pertinently, why did I pay to watch that contest?

The fight was so bad it had everyone reminiscing fondly about Bellew’s two soporific bouts with Isaac Chilemba.

Haye, a dominant Crusierweight and legitimate Heavyweight champion, has long held a high profile. Like Bellew, he’s never been shy when it comes to creating hype around an event.

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Bellew spotted the money in a potential domestic bust up – and Haye saw easy pickings.

Thus a match was made.

The fact that Haye hadn’t fought for the best part of five years and that Bellew had never campaigned at heavyweight before, didn’t stop Eddie Hearn serving up another PPV, with both fighters hissing and snarling in all the right places in the build up.

The Hayemaker was last seen in earnest stopping Dereck Chisora in an entertaining fight at Upton Park in 2012.

Well, that’s not strictly true, Haye did have two ‘fights’ in 2016 with two hand-picked opponents, Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergiaj, both were fittingly broadcast on the Comedy Channel, Dave.

Both opponents, hopelessly over matched, lasted a combined total of three minutes, in what was effectively a one-sided beatdown.

Okay,  so to this weekend’s fight – will it be REPEAT (Haye rupturing his Achilles’ tendon again) or REVENGE?

Bellew’s shock victory in the first fight has at least provided punters a decent price about Haye avenging that defeat – and I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t.

Perhaps, ‘amazed’ is the wrong choice of wording.. Haye’s body, although looking aesthetically pleasing, appears to be crumbing under him.

His chin will be fine in this fight, whether his shoulder, bicep, Achilles’ or any other body part holds up, well, nobody knows for sure.

There is a danger Haye suffers another sort of bodily malfunction during the bout, but I’m prepared to take that risk. He was able to compete on one leg for a good five rounds. and had won the first five rounds of the first fight, despite looking as bad as he’s ever been.

If you look at Haye’s legs in the first fight you will notice his calf muscles were virtually non-existent.

This tells me he was carrying an injury going into the fight. There is no way he could have put in any serious amount of running or skipping in camp. Those are the two core exercises for any boxer.

I wonder how much sparring he’d undergone because in the first five rounds, on two functioning legs, his typical strengths – speed, timing and movement were beyond rusty.

In fact, he looked horrendous. He looked a shadow of the fighter he once was and there is a reason for that.

He is a shadow of the fighter he once was.

If Haye beats Bellew he’ll be looking for one final payday. I’m not sure that would be a good idea. Against a young legitimate heavyweight I fear things won’t end well.

There’s no doubt Haye underestimated Bellew’s speed and movement in the first fight.

The Hayemaker mistakenly believed he’d turn up and blow Bellew away. Haye showed no regard for his opponent.

I expect Haye to get back to the basic fundamentals this time round. Box behind the jab, look for openings, and be patient. By his own admission Haye fought angry in the first fight and looked like a novice.

The hiring of trainer Ismael Salas looks a shrewd move. The Cuban master has trained 19 World Champions and will no doubt have reminded Haye of the boxing ability he’s always possessed..

I firmly believe Haye will connect cleanly at some point and when he does the fight is done and dusted.

Bellew’s been floored by light heavweights (Ovil Mckenzie and Adonis Stevenson) and at Cruiserweight he was dropped by Makubu.

Haye still hits hard, way harder than any of those guys. If he connects with Bellew on the button. the fight and the night is over.

Haye won’t be anywhere near as bad as he was in the first fight, and assuming he has both legs functioning for the whole fight, he will connect.

I still think, but for the leg injury, as badly as he performed, Haye would still have knocked out Bellew in the second half of the contest.

On the fixed odds 4-5 for Haye to win by way of KO, TKO or disqualification is more than fair price.

On the Spreads I will be buying Haye at 32.5 with Spreadex.

The market makes up at 50 for Haye to win by by way of KO, TKO or disqualification.

The market is 25 for the draw and 0 if he loses. As ever, only bet what you can afford.

Also, on the undercard I’m surprised Jamie Cox is the bookies’ underdog against John Ryder. I have Cox winning that one.

Both are all actoin fighters who like to trade. I’ll be surprised if it goes the distance.

Whyte v Browne -Who Wins And How?

THERE’S no doubt in my mind that Dillian Whyte beats Lucas Browne on Saturday night.

The main question is whether the bout goes to the scorecards or if Whyte finishes his foe inside the distance.

Well, perhaps the more pertinent question is, “what the hell was Browne doing attacking trees with a golf club?”

This extraordinary revelation emerged from a rather eventful episode of The Gloves Are Off, with Browne recounting his habit of tree-bashing as a way of letting off steam in his younger days.

Apparently Lucas’s first introduction to combat sport occured when his father asked him to return the set of clubs he’d lent him.

Browne seems an affable individual – if not the brightest candle on the cake.

If popping down to the chemists and asking for, “the strongest pre-workout you got,” doesn’t sound the smartest move in the world,  agreeing to fight Daniel Cormier in his sixth fight MMA fight was an act of downright madness.

Browne would have been better off taking a three wood to the person who convinced him to take on the future UFC Light Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Sadly, no video footage of the fight exists on the Internet. But as you can probably  imagine, Cormier ended the fight swiftly, brutally and, entirely predictably, inside the first round.

Whyte was his usual brooding, menacing self when sitting opposite Browne for the informal chat hosted by Johnny Nelson.

Whyte does seem to be a person in a perpetual state of anger. His tombstone will probably read, “What Are You Looking At?”

If Brixton is a tough neighbourhood to grow up, then Whyte’s househould appears to be an even more hazardous zone.

Whyte revealed he still regularly settles disputes with his 6’7” brother by way of  bareknuckle fight instead of, for example, reasoned argument.

If there is a third, younger, smaller brother in the Whyte family, my heart goes out to him.

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But let’s get back to the original question – how does Whyte win the fight?

I pretty much always side with the better boxer when it comes to a boxing match and in terms of ability Whyte is streets ahead of his opponent. The 1-3 about him ending victorious, in my opinion, is still decent value.

But you don’t get fat backing 1-3 shots and that’s why the clever money (and mine) will be going on Whtye to win by KO, TKO or disqualification, at a surprisingly beefy 5-2.

Browne is putting all his faith in a KO and believes he has 36 minutes to land one bout-ending blow on Whyte’s chin.

Browne looks like he’s spent more time pumping weights than working on his cardio with this strategy in mind.

By his own admission, Browne’s not the best boxer on the planet and at the age of 38 he’s not going to get any better. His chances of winning depend almost entirely on landing a big shot early in the contest.

I don’t believe he will be able to live with Whyte’s workrate and as Browne’s tank empties the Brixton man will take brutal advantage.

The best name on Browne’s resume is Ruslan Chagaev, even though the Russian was 37 and way past his best it’s still a good victory. Watching the fight back, Browne actually displays decent footwork, as well as a few choice uppercuts.

He looked a lot lighter though, and it’s worth remembering he was floored and practically out on his feet at the end of round six, before being saved by the bell.

That scrap was two years ago and the subsequent inactivity won’t have helped his cause. A ‘keep busy’ fight last summer against Matthew Greer would have done him little good. Greer had lost more fights than he’d won and was blown away in two rounds.

Whyte looks in the shape of his life, hits plenty hard enough himself, (let’s not forget he wobbled AJ ) and has wide variety of punches in his arsenal.

Dillian got his tactics all wrong when he chose to brawl rather than box Dereck Chisora. I’ve no doubt if a rematch were to be made, he’d win handily.

Whyte failed to impress in a subsequent fight against the durable Robert Helenius and the South London man knows he needs win in style against Browne to set up a potential big money match up with Deontay Wilder.

You can buy Whyte’s performance at 28 with Spreadex. This means, if he wins by KO, TKO or disqualification you make 22 times your stake.

If he wins on points you lose three times your stake and if he loses, well,  you say goodbye to 28 times your stake.

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Remember, only bet what you can afford to lose.

Groves v Eubank: Who Wins And How?

George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr has all the ingredients do some serious numbers on ITV Box Office.

You’ve got two fighters with huge profiles, in a domestic dust up, in a ‘pick’em’ fight – with a world title on the line.

To the victor goes the spoils, as well as another huge PPV purse against Callum Smith in the summer. That’s if the Liverpudlian gets past Juergen Braehmer, which of course he will, barring a robbery of Millennium Dome magnitude in Nuremberg.

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As mouthwatering as this match up is, and as healthy as the boxing scene seems to be in Britain right now, it feels as though fans are entering a new era. An era which expects us to stump up for around six or seven pay-per-view fights a year.

Long gone are the days when only the international superfights warranted that additional surcharge. The likes of Hagler v Hearns, Mayweather v Pacquaiao and Bellew v Cleverly II

But I’ll gladly part with £16.95 to watch this intriguing encounter. With Groves and Junior you’ve two fighters who can hardly be accused of lacking self-belief.

Both men are completely convinced they will have their arm raised on Saturday night with Eubank installed as a marginal favourite with the bookies

Groves is a promoter’s dream, rarely in a dull fight he possesses the firepower to end a fight with a single punch and yet the perception lingers that he has an air of vulnerability around his whiskers.

There have long been question marks over the Londoner’s stamina and given his opponent is one of the fittest fighters on the circuit many believe Eubank’s relentlessness will see him take over in the second half of the fight.

Eubank’s chin, although untested at top level, looks like it’s been carved from the same block of granite as his father. If he can’t be stopped will he keep coming until he eventually swarms all over his opponent?

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Groves, on the other hand, has fought at a higher level and at a heavier weight. He unquestionably carries the meatier dig of the two men.

You can see why this fight has split opinion down the middle.

Eubank Senior has added fuel to the fire with some ill-advised comments regarding the referee needing to protect his son’s opponents. It was inevitable that Senior would command centre stage at some point. Up until now his presence has been restricted to  posturing and preening at press conferences.

His instinct to polarise public opinion continues as does his long standing quest to integrate himself into the landed gentry. It is a mission matched only by his new-found desire to be known as ‘English,’ a nickname nobody addresses him by.

Given that Frank Warren constantly referred to him in the plural (Eubanks) it’s difficult to see his preferred new moniker gathering any traction.

For me, the key factor as to who wins this fight has been largely overlooked.

Groves is by far the better boxer, and in a boxing match this has to be considered a significant advantage. The Hammersmith man picked up two ABA titles in a distinguished amateur career, winning 66 of his 76 amateur fights.

In the pro ranks he boxed brilliantly – and with unwavering discipline – when outpointing James DeGale for the Commonwealth and British super-middleweight titles back in 2011. That’s James DeGale the Olympic gold medalist.

Chris Eubank Jr will come to realise, no matter how fast, how furiously or how frequently he hits static objects in the gym, landing a glove on Groves won’t be anywhere near as easy – and a whole lot more painful.

The first time Junior ran into a slick boxer, Billy Jo Saunders had the fight in the bag by the half-way point. Mind, to call BJS a slick boxer is to do him a major disservice. The WBO middleweight champion practically has a PHD in pugilism in comparison to Eubank – and it showed on the night. It’s a skill set that was earned and learned the hard way, fighting all round the world against the cream of the crop.

Groves has shown some vulnerability in the past, but the plain fact is he’s only been beaten by two men -and knocked out by one. Both Carl Froch and Badou Jack are bigger men and better boxers than Chris Eubank Jr.  The former is a multiple world champion, the latter a current two-weight kingpin.

There’s nothing in Eubank Jr’s resume to suggest he hits anywhere near as hard as those two guys. The Avni Yildrim stoppage was impressive, and has been replayed ad infinitum, largely because it’s the only piece of footage the WBS actually owns, and partly because it’s a rare one-punch put away from the Brighton brawler.

Yildrim is no George Groves. If the Londoner sticks to the plan, moves his feet, pumps out that spearing jab, capitalises on all the natural advantages he has in reach and size, then he wins comfortably.

An increasingly frustrated Eubank could even get caught walking on to a big right hand, the same one that scrambled the senses of Carl Froch in their first fight.

The logical call is Groves on points, by a handy margin but don’t rule out a KO.

On the spreads a buy of Groves at 17.5, with our preferred spread betting partner Spreadex is advised, The market makes up at 50 if Groves wins by KO, TKO or disqualification, 25 if he wins on points and 0 if he loses.

Only bet what you can afford.

West Ham look ripe for the picking…

WHERE is this weekend’s FA Cup upset going to come from?

Wigan look the prime candidates to pull off a shock when they welcome West Ham to the DW Stadium.

The Premier League outfit struggled to see off another League One team Shrewsbury in the last round, taking a replay and extra-time to eventually prevail whereas Wigan thrashed Bournemouth 3-0 in their replay.

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That was after the League One leaders were two goals to the good to away from home with only a stoppage-time equaliser sparing Bournemouth’s blushes in the first game.

Given that maintaining West Ham’s Premier League status is David Moyes priority it would be safe to assume his team will be heavily rotated, especially having lost key players Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic to injury last week.

The Latics are looking to reach round five for the first time since a semi-final penalty shoot-out exit to Arsenal four years ago, 12 months on from stunning Manchester City to win the competition.

The Hammers started a host of their second string in the Shrewsbury replay, giving the likes of Byram, Burke, Oxford, Cullen and Martinez a chance to impress.

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Moyes has no choice, with his heavily depleted squad, than to rotate even more this weekend in order to protect and  preserve their Premier League status.

A buoyant DW stadium and a confident Wigan are very well priced at 7-4 in the fixed odds betting and even more attractively on the spread betting market.

We suggest buying Wigan to win the match at 35.7 with our preferred spread betting partner, Spreadex. The market settles at 100 so a Wigan win would return a 64.3 point profit.

Remember to only bet what you can afford.

Grigor The Great

IT’S incredible to think Roger Federer won last year’s Australian Open after a six-month lay off. He was 20-1 at the start of the tournament, not that many were tempted by the price.

What’s even more shocking is seeing the 36 year-old Swiss maestro chalked up as the 15-8 favourite this year.

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It’s easy to say his chances have been boosted by withdrawals and injury concerns around the other top players, but that is to do the 19 -time Grand Slam winner an injustice.

By adding another two Slams to his collection last term he did more than surpass expectation, he defied logic. The Fed Express has reached an age where he should be slowly derailing. He should be playing exhibition matches, presenting awards or providing punditry, not dominating his younger rivals.

It’s not as if Federer was handed his success on a plate last season.

This year’s draw hasn’t been kind to Federer. He has a potential meeting with Milos Raonic early on and then his US Open conqueror Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarters. At 36, there’s no guarantee his body will hold up were he to be involved in a series of back-to-back gruelling, stamina-sapping five setters.

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It’d be madness to rule out Federer from winning again but there does seem to be value found elsewhere given there are so many doubts surrounding the fitness of the men who usually scoop the Slams.

Nadal has never won a grand slam without completing a pre-tournament event whilst Djokovic doesn’t even know himself if his arm will hold out. In any case, the Serb looks to have a desperately difficult draw with a possible quarter-final against Marin Cilic and maybe Fed in the semis.

I’m tempted to take a chance on 22 year-old Aussie bad boy Nick Krygios at a beefy price but I’m put off by an ongoing knee complaint (his not mine).

I think Krygios will reach the fourth round where he will be knocked out by the more reliable Grigor Dimitrov.

The Bulgarian world number three has won two of the three matches they’ve played even though Kyrgios has the more recent win in Brisbane last week.

Dimitrov could face either Jack Sock or Kyle Edmund in the quarters. If Nadal doesn’t make it to the semis then Dimitrov will be favourite to reach the final.

A buy of Dimitorv at 17.5 is advised with our preferred Spred Batteing company spreadex id advised. (Winner gets 60 points, runner up 40, losing semi finalist 20, losing QF 10, Round of 16, 5).

Remember, only bet what you can afford to lose.

The ‘Must Have’ Midweek Spread Bet

WHERE is the best midweek value bet in the Premier League I hear you ask…

It was a weekend which saw Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United drop points in the title race, a title race that saw Manchester City slip 11 points clear of the pack.

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Start engraving the trophy now. The rest of the ‘Big Six’ are fighting for a spot in the top four.

Chelsea (2-5), Spurs (1-4), Liverpool (2-9) and Man United (2-7) are all priced up at prohibitive odds as they take on Premier League fodder in Huddersfield, Brighton, West Brom and Bournemouth.

It’d be a shock if any of the above fail to win but I feel the best value of all the midweek matches may well lie with Arsenal, who are  very reasonably priced at 4-6 to beat West Ham in the fixed odds betting.

The Hammers have shown enormous improvement under David Moyes, notably their narrow defeat to Champions elect, City and a hard fought victory over Chelsea at the weekend.

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Arsenal were admittedly disappointing this weekend against Southampton, however against Man United the weekend before I thought they were sensational going forward, carving out an incredible 33 shots on goal. They may have lost 1-3, but for the brilliance of David De Gea and some terrible individual errors in their own backline, things could have turned out differently.

I feel the Gunners will soon put in the sort of performance on the road that they did at Goodison Park, where they put five past Everton.  West Ham could well  bear the brunt of the backlash for Arsenal’s disappointing performance against Southampton.

Given that the Gunners look far from secure at the back, the bet to exploit looks like the ‘over/under 2.5 goals market’.

Spreadex go 52.3-60 in this market. The market makes up at 100, meaning that if you buy at 60 you can make 40 times your stake. Conversely you can also lose 60 times your stake so make sure you only bet what you can afford.

I can see goals in this one, particularly if Arsenal score first as it will mean West Ham will be forced to commit players forward and leave themselves vulnerable to Arsenal’s quick-fire, precise passing counter attacks.