Our weekly review of the latest betting news, with five things for you to consider, including the bookmakers’ reaction to the opening weekend of the 2015/16 season.
1. Gunners out to 11/2 after first day wobble
Sky Bet have made a significant move in their Premier League title betting following Arsenal’s opening day defeat to West Ham, pushing the Gunners out from 3/1 early on Sunday to a top industry price of 11/2. It’s a price which stands clear of the rest of the field, with several firms still offering Arsene Wenger’s side at 4/1. Manchester United are the only club to lose on the opening day of the Premier League season and go on to lift the title (in both 1992/93 and 1994/5). Chelsea are the 2/1 favourites, with their odds eased after Saturday’s slip up against Swansea, with United now 5/1 after their narrow win over Tottenham. Manchester City, who face West Brom on Monday night, are the 9/4 second favourites, in from 3/1 in midweek without having kicked a ball.
2. Coutinho screamer forces Liverpool price cut
Liverpool’s opening match of the campaign at Stoke was a pretty uninspiring encounter but the Brazilian Philippe Coutinho settled it in the Reds’ favour with an isolated moment of class late on. It was the perfect start for Brendan Rodgers, who had seen his side lose 6-1 at the same venue in their last league match in May, and it sparked a big switch in Liverpool’s price in the ever-popular Top Four Finish market. From 11/4 in the ante-post betting, Liverpool are now a best price of 9/5 with Paddy Power, with William Hill going as short as 11/8. Arsenal, who were 1/9, are now a best price of 2/7 with BetVictor.
3. Rose cut as Furyk catches the eye
Justin Rose is the big mover in the betting for this week’s US PGA Championship, despite missing out on victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where Ireland’s Shane Lowry emerged on Sunday to take the title. Rose was a 25/1 chance on Saturday for the year’s fourth major, which begins at Whistling Straits on Thursday, but the best available odds now are the 20/1 with Paddy Power and Ladbrokes. All the indications are that Rory McIlroy will compete this week, causing market leader Jordan Spieth’s price to ease, with the American now 13/2 with Sky Bet. Jim Furyk, who shared third place with Rose at Firestone, continues to go under the radar despite being no. 4 in the golf world rankings and he looks a great each-way price at the 50/1 offered by Coral.
4. Punters keen on England
After wrapping up a remarkable win in the fourth Test at Edgbaston to regain the Ashes – a fourth successive home series win over Australia – England are already being well backed to win the fifth and final match, which gets under way at the Oval a week on Thursday. Several firms have been forced to cut England’s price after a run of bets on the news that Australia may make significant changes to their line-up, with several established players under threat of the axe following their failure to land series odds of 2/5 (England were 4/1 with Paddy Power before a ball was bowled). The hosts are now a top price of 11/8 with BetVictor and Ladbrokes to win this match, while Australia are 13/8 with Betfred and the draw 7/2 with Bet365.
5. Wolves and Afobe up and running
Birmingham, Charlton and MK Dons produced eye-catching results on the first weekend in the Sky Bet Championship 2015/16, but it was Wolverhampton Wanderers who made the first major move in the title betting with their 2-1 win at Blackburn. Despite the loss of 15-goal winger Bakary Sako, Kenny Jackett’s side look a decent bet for promotion to the Premier League at 4/1 with Bet365. They are in from 18/1 in the ante-post betting to 12/1 (generally) to win the Championship following their win at Ewood Park, which featured a goal from Benik Afobe, who was our 12/1 pre-season tip to be the division’s top goalscorer. It was Afobe’s 14th goal in 21 starts since his move from Arsenal and he’s now available at best odds of 9/1 to top score with Ladbrokes and Coral (as short as 15/2 elsewhere).