Our weekly review of the latest betting news, with five things for you to consider, including Arsenal’s odds to win the Premier League for the first time since 2003/04.
1. Punters rush to back Gunners for title
Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield has convinced many punters that the Gunners can finally launch a serious bid for the Premier League title and a run of bets has forced several bookies to cut their price on Sunday evening. Bet365 have gone as short as 7/2 on Arsene Wenger’s men, who for once look to be free from injuries as they approach the start of the campaign. Most others have cut Arsenal to 4/1, but you can still get 9/2 with Betfred and Ladbrokes. Chelsea remain favourites, but their price has eased to 7/4 with Coral. Manchester City are a best price of 11/4 (generally), while neighbours United can be backed at best price 11/2 with Ladbrokes.
2. England 3/1 for 3-2 Ashes win
England won an extraordinary third Ashes Test against Australia by eight wickets within three days last week, but the loss of key bowler James Anderson for the fourth match in the series could be a crucial blow. England take a 2-1 lead in the Trent Bridge Test, beginning on Thursday, but they are a available at best odds of 5/2 with Stan James to win in Nottingham. Australia, who failed to demonstrate any of their famed batting prowess at Edgbaston, are the 5/4 favourites with Betfred, Coral and William Hill. Incidentally, England’s results in their last seven Tests now reads WLWLWLW and if they continue that sequence through to the match at the Oval later this month they will secure a tense 3-2 victory. They are 3/1 with Bet365 to do so.
3. Back Finn to shine again at Trent Bridge
With Anderson out of the picture for the Nottingham Test, Steven Finn looks a bet at 11/4 (generally) to be England’s Top Bowler. Anderson has always enjoyed the conditions at Trent Bridge and Finn should be able to get the ball to swing there too. He will be full of confidence after taking 8 Australian wickets at Edgbaston, where Stuart Broad had to settle for just 3. Mark Wood, whose injury last week allowed Finn his chance after a two-year absence from the England set-up, should come back in and the Durham man can be backed at stand-out odds of 7/2 with Ladbrokes.
4. McIlroy’s PGA hopes hit
If you’re interested in betting on the final golf major of the year, the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, then keep an eye out for news of Rory McIlroy’s recovery from the ankle injury which kept him out of the Open at St Andrews. McIlroy has confirmed he will not be fit to defend his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational title next weekend and time is running out for him to get back on the course ahead of the PGA. Should he miss out, then prices for several of the leading contenders will shorten as the markets readjust. The likes of Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose will all go off at shorter prices than are currently available.
45. Celtic vulnerable in Azerbaijan
Celtic left it late to secure a 1-0 win over FC Karabakh in their Champions League third qualifying round tie last week, but they have left themselves vulnerable for the return leg in Azerbaijan on Wednesday. Celtic were beaten at this stage by Legia Warsaw last season, only to be reinstated, before then going out to Slovenian champions Maribor 2-1 on aggregate. St Johnstone and Aberdeen have already shown how difficult trips to the far east of Europe can be for Scottish Premiership clubs and the bookies make Celtic only marginal favourites for their away tie, at a best price of 7/5 with Ladbrokes. Karabakh were 1-0 aggregate winners over Montenegrin champions Rudar Pljevlja in the last round and will almost certainly be patient. Take a chance on the hosts to win 1-0 in the 90 minutes and take the Bhoys all the way to penalties. BetVictor are offering odds of 15/2 on the 1-0 Correct Score.