Our weekly review of the latest betting news, with five things for you to consider, including betting on this Sunday’s Chelsea v Arsenal Community Shield at Wembley.
1. Champion Froome cut for SPOTY
Chris Froome is the big mover this week in the betting for Sports Personality of the Year after claiming his second victory in three years at the Tour de France. The Team Sky rider was a 10/1 shot as recently as July 14th but is now a best price of just 7/2 with Betfred after securing the title on the Champs Elysees on Sunday afternoon. Froome was overlooked altogether the last time he won the Tour de France when Andy Murray, Leigh Halfpenny and Tony McCoy filled the podium, despite the fact that the award went to Bradley Wiggins following his success in 2012, when there was greater competition from a whole host of Olympic gold medal winners. Last year’s winner Lewis Hamilton is the joint favourite at 7/2 as he heads for another F1 drivers’ championship, with the now-retired McCoy at 5/1. Murray could be the next mover to look out for if he can lead Great Britain to a first Davis Cup title in 79 years. The Davis Cup has never caught on in this country, but that’s down to the absence of a competitive British side and it will be big news if they can defeat Australia in their forthcoming semi-final. Murray can currently be backed at best price 16/1 with Sportingbet, but will hit single figures if Britain reach the final.
2. Back Red-hot Gunners at 21/10
The first major football betting event of the season takes place next Sunday at Wembley as Premier League champions Chelsea take on FA Cup winners Arsenal in the Community Shield. Arsenal beat Manchester City with ease in this fixture a year ago and are likely to be well backed again after some very impressive performances in pre-season, which have seen them produce some flowing football to blow away both Everton and Lyon. Chelsea are the favourites at best odds of 7/5 with both Bet365 and Betfred, but Ladbrokes are offering a clear best price of 21/10 about the Gunners which looks set to come under some pressure.
3. Open winner Johnson among PGA contenders
The final golf major of the year is just three weeks away and there are some interesting prices available in the early betting for the US PGA Championship, especially as it’s far from certain that second favourite Rory McIlroy will be able to compete following his ankle injury. Jason Day, who narrowly missed out at The Open last week, is the first to catch the eye at best odds of 20/1 with Bet365. The Australian looks like a major-winner in waiting. Bubba Watson is a two-time major winner having twice won at Augusta and he missed out to Martin Kaymer in a play-off the last time this tournament was held at Whistling Straits. Watson is a 25/1 chance generally. Open champion Zach Johnson, who also won the Masters in 2007, finished third behind Kaymer and Watson yet is available at 50/1 with Bet365, while the ever-consistent Matt Kuchar, who shared 10th place with Day five years ago, is also available at 50s with Sky Bet.
4. 12/1 Afobe to lead Wolves promotion bid
Benik Afobe is the market leader in the Sky Bet Championship Top Goalscorer betting, but after hitting 32 goals in all compeititions last season the former Arsenal youngster still looks a good bet at 12/1 with Ladbrokes and Betfred. Afobe was on loan at MK Dons in the first half of last season before moving to Wolves for around £2m in January. The 22-year-old needed little time to settle at the higher level and scored 13 goals in 20 starts for Kenny Jackett’s side, as they finished the campaign with a flourish by winning nine of their last 15 matches. Wolves look sure to go well again this season – they could be worth an interest at 5/1 for promotion with Coral – and will score plenty of goals, with Afobe well supported by Nouha Dicko, who helped himself to nine goals alongside his new strike partner.
5. In-form Bairstow appeals at 7/1
After a humiliating defeat in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, England are now tied at 1-1 with Australia ahead of the third Test, which gets under way on Thursday at Edgbaston. We highlighted Australia’s supreme batting prowess in our series preview and it showed at Lord’s, where England managed to take only 10 wickets in 198 overs across the two innings. Alastair Cook’s men are likely to face the same problem again in Birmingham and that’s why the tourists are odds-on to win the match, at a best price of 10/11 with Ladbrokes and William Hill. England have reshuffled their line-up, with the out-of-sorts Gary Ballance left out and replaced by his Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow. Ian Bell, whose form is also giving cause for serious concern, will bat at number three. Another Yorkshireman, Joe Root, is the favourite to be England’s top run scorer at 3/1 with Stan James and Ladbrokes, with Bairstow a 7/1 chance with Ladbrokes. Bairstow has hit hundreds in his last three first class matches including an unbeaten double-century against Durham a month ago.