Our weekly review of the latest betting news with five things for you to consider, including Champions League group betting, plus the odds for Saturday’s big fight.
1. Gunners must go for goals in Greece
After a weekend of upsets in the Premier League, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea will be determined not to be on the end of another shock in a big week in the Champions League for English clubs. Of the three, Arsenal are most at risk of elimination as they head to Greece needing to beat Olympiakos by two goals, or by a one-goal margin if the score is 3-2 or above. It’s a tough ask for the Gunners, particularly with Alexis Sanchez injured, but they are certainly equipped to give it a good go. There are some attractive prices available on scorelines that would suit Arsene Wenger’s side, such as the 11/1 on offer from BetVictor for a 2-0 away win or the 21/1 from the same firm for a 3-0 Arsenal victory. United are also in danger as they go to Wolfsburg and they could be forced to shed their conservative approach if PSV take an early lead against already-eliminated CSKA, which would leave United staring at a third place finish. Over 2.5 Goals looks an interesting prospect in Germany at 11/10 with BetVictor, Betfair or Paddy Power.
2. Arsenal’s title odds fall as City continue to falter
Arsenal were the main beneficiaries of a weekend which saw Man City, Man United, Tottenham and Liverpool all drop points and allow Leicester to move clear at the top of the Premier League. The Gunners survived a few scares against Sunderland before sealing a 3-1 win which leaves them as Leicester’s nearest challengers and they have been shortened to 5/2 to win the title for the first time in 12 years. City, so poor in their 2-0 defeat at Stoke as they struggle to cope with a host of injury problems, remain the 6/4 favourites on the basis that their squad will be the strongest if they can get Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure back on the pitch for the busy festive programme, although they certainly are not playing like champions right now. As for Leicester, the bookmakers are finally beginning to take them seriously, with their title odds now at a best price of 33/1 with Coral. They host Chelsea next Monday.
3. Unbeaten Brighton yet to convince punters
Brighton showed their character once again on Saturday as they fought back from two goals down at home to Charlton to secure a 3-2 win and stretch their unbeaten start to the campaign to 19 games. In a notoriously tough and unpredictable division, it’s rare to see any team go unbeaten for such a long time, but even with 11 wins and eight draws to their credit the punters are still wary of backing Chris Hughton’s side. With a superb home record of eight wins and two draws, the Seagulls sit two points clear at the top of the league, yet they are third in the betting behind Middlesbrough and Derby, the pre-season favourites for the division who sit second and third respectively. While some firms go 7/2 that Brighton will go all the way and clinch the title, Coral are offering odds of 5/1. We’ll know more about their prospects after next week’s visit to Derby.
4. Joshua heads another Saturday fight fest
There’s another huge night of boxing on Sky Box Office on Saturday as Anthony Joshua takes on his bitter rival Dillian Whyte at the O2, with his British and Commonwealth titles at stake. Joshua, who is hoping to challenge Tyson Fury for his world heavyweight titles, is also bidding to maintain his unblemished record of 14 wins from 14 fights since turning pro on the back of his gold medal success at the London Olympics. Joshua no bigger than 1/14 in the fight betting and 1/8 to win by KO, TKO or disqualification, both at Ladbrokes (who offer 10/1 for him to win on points), while Whyte is 8/1 with Coral to win. Also in action on a high quality undercard are Chris Eubank Jr, Paulie Malignaggi and Tony Bellew.
5. Leishman cut for Troon after Sun City success
There has been a flurry of bets for Marc Leishman to win next summer’s Open Championship at Royal Troon after his brilliant performance to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in South Africa. The Australian, who considered quitting the sport eight months ago when his wife became seriously ill, beat Henrik Stenson by six shots to top a strong leaderboard and claim his maiden European Tour title. With back-to-back top five finishes at the Open he has proved his liking for links golf, hence the rush to back him for next July’s event. From 100/1 with most firms, his price is settling around 66/1, although Bet365 and Betfair are both holding steady with 100s. Rory McIlroy (13/2 with Betfred) and Jordan Spieth (7/1 with Ladbrokes) remain favourites to lift the claret jug in Scotland.