Our weekly review of the latest betting news with five things for you to consider, including contrasting fortunes for the Welsh rugby and football teams.
1. Injuries cause Wales to drift
Wales have been eased for rugby union World Cup glory after their victory over Italy in their final warm-up match came at a heavy price, with Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb both being stretchered off with injuries which look certain to rule them out of the tournament. Wales face both England and Australia in Pool A, with only two of those three going through to the quarter-finals, and their chances of success will be significantly diminished without their best full-back and scrum-half. From odds of 16/1 last week, Wales are now available at 25/1 with Paddy Power, who also offer the best odds of 5/1 on them to win Pool A. They are now 6/4 with Sky Bet to qualify for the last eight.
2. Draw enough for Coleman’s Wales
There is better news for Welsh football fans, with Chris Coleman’s side all-but sealing qualification for Euro 2016 last week – their first international tournament since 1958 (where they lost 1-0 to Brazil in the World Cup quarter-finals, with a young Pele scoring). Sunday’s goalless draw with Israel may have been frustrating, but it leaves Wales needing to beat Andorra to confirm their place in France. Spurred on by the goals of their superstar player Gareth Bale, the Welsh have soared into the top 10 of the Fifa rankings and rewarded fans who were sharp enough to snap up the 12/1 for them to qualify initially offered by BetVictor 18 months ago. From odds of 750/1 to win the tournament, Wales are now a best price of 66/1 with Sportingbet (just 50/1 elsewhere).
3. England 10/1 for ODI fightback
England are out to 10/1 (Unibet) to win their one-day series against Australia after losing their first two matches, and they will need to recapture the barnstorming form their showed when they beat New Zealand in the last two matches of their limited overs series to secure a 3-2 win earlier in the summer if they are to prevail. The attempted fightback starts on Tuesday at Old Trafford, with England a best price of 6/4 with Sky Bet to win the match. It’s a strange way to end an Ashes summer – to play the main event and then the sideshow, rather like finishing the Premier League season and then kicking off the League Cup – but perhaps the perceived injustice surrounding Ben Stokes’ dismissal on Saturday might just spark a memorable fightback.
4. Rooney 6/5 to hit 50
After his penalty in San Marino on Saturday drew him level with Sir Bobby Charlton on 49 goals for England, Wayne Rooney needs just one more goal to set a new record of 50. With England having already qualified for Euro 2016, it’s the Wembley marketing department’s dream that Rooney has the opportunity to reach that half century in Tuesday’s game against Switzerland, which has been rendered otherwise meaningless. The Man United striker may have gone 10 Premier League games without a goal, but he has scored 8 in his last 9 for his country and will be heavily backed at 6/5 with Bet365 to score that all important goal in 90 minutes.
5. Iceland triumph as Holland slump
By Sunday night, 3 teams had confirmed their places alongside hosts France in the Euro 2016 finals, with the Czech Republic and England both set to compete for the eighth time and Iceland securing entry for their first ever international tournament. It’s a reward for careful long-term planning and investment for the Icelandic FA, but it’s also a huge surprise that they have come through a group in which Holland are currently languishing in fourth place. Exactly one year before booking their place, Iceland were 1000/1 to win next summer’s finals – they are now a top price of 80/1 (BetVictor), the same price as the Czechs (Bet365). England are the fifth favourites at best price 12/1 (Paddy Power), with world champions Germany the 3/1 favourites (generally).