We review the latest betting news and highlight five things to consider.
1. Money coming for Rocket
Ronnie O’Sullivan is proving a popular bet for the snooker World Championship following the surprise second round exit of defending champion Mark Selby at the hands of qualifier Anthony McGill. O’Sullivan has impressed in his early matches at the Crucible and is now 13/8 across the board to take the title, while 24-year-old McGill, tipped as a future world champion, is in to 20/1 with Bet365 and Ladbrokes
2. Newcastle decent continues
It’s been another miserable weekend for Newcastle United in the Premier League, as they suffered their seventh successive defeat. They are now just five points above the relegation zone and if not for their bright period in the autumn they would be heading for the drop. As it is they should just about survive, but tumbling odds – they are now 20/1 to go down – tell the story of how badly the second half of the campaign has gone. They will be a short price for relegation next season.
3. Deadly trio set to shine
There’s little to choose between the three favourites in the Champions League betting following Friday’s semi-final draw, with Barcelona the market leaders ahead of their last four clash with Bayern Munich, who thrashed them at the same stage two years ago on their way to the title. Lionel Messi’s injury contributed much to a miserable performance from Barca on that occasion but he’s fit now and looking deadly alongside Neymar and Luis Suarez. With Real Madrid not firing as well as they did this time last year, Barca can go all the way.
4. Bath look the value
Bath have a wonderful home record in the Aviva Premiership this season and their handsome win over London Irish at the Rec on Friday means they are closing in on securing home advantage in the semi-finals. Defending champions and league leaders Northampton are the rightful favourites in the Grand Final betting, but Bath, whose thrashing of Leicester early in the campaign was a real statement of intent, are worth an interest at 9/4.
5. Nadal clay dominance set to end
There were further signs last week that the King of Clay is losing his grip on his crown, with Rafael Nadal beaten for the second time in a matter of months by Fabio Fognini in Barcelona. The Spaniard has won the French Open title in nine of the last 10 years but will arrive at Roland Garros next month as second favourite behind Novak Djokovic at odds of 11/5 with BetVictor, a price which would have been almost unthinkable when he lifted the trophy 11 months ago. Meanwhile, Fognini can be still be backed at 125/1 with Stan James (as short as 50/1 elsewhere).