Our weekly review of the latest betting news with five things for you to consider, including Leicester’s ever shortening odds to win the Premier League title.
1. Foxes evens with BetVictor after North London draw
Saturday’s draw between Tottenham and Arsenal was a major boost for Leicester and they took full advantage by winning at Watford later in the day, courtesy of Riyad Mahrez’s fine goal. Incredibly, the one-time 5000/1 shots are now close to going odds-on in the betting for the title having stretched their lead at the top of the table to five points, with Steve McClaren’s hapless Newcastle up next. BetVictor have moved the Foxes to even money, although Ladbrokes, who cashed out one supporter’s £50 bet for £72,000 on Saturday, offer best odds of 5/4. Spurs and Arsenal are next in the betting at 3/1 and 5/1 respectively, while Man City are now a 6/1 chance with Paddy Power.
2. Blues must shake drawing habit
Chelsea face a tough task if they are to progress in the Champions League, with Paris St Germain at just 2/5 to qualify for the next round as they prepare to defend a 2-1 first leg lead at Stamford Bridge. Interestingly, in the competition’s history half of the teams who have played the second leg at home after losing 2-1 away have gone through and half have been eliminated. That statistic suggests that Chelsea may well have a better chance than those odds imply, but their form at Stamford Bridge this season tells a different story. The Blues may be unbeaten in the Premier League since Guus Hiddink returned for a second spell as interim manager, but their only wins in their last 12 home league games have come against the division’s current bottom four, who are all so poor they have been cast adrift by everyone else. Stoke, Manchester United, Everton, West Brom and Watford have all left West London with a point in the last six games and a draw would be sufficient for PSG, who knocked Chelsea out of last season’s competition after tying both legs.
3. United 14/5 for more Anfield joy
The more eagerly awaited tie of the week takes place on Thursday night as Liverpool host Man United in the Europa League. This is always a hotly contested fixture, but there is something about the element of European competition that adds an extra spice to this two-legged tie, not least because winning the Europa League increasingly looks like being the most likely route to next season’s Champions League for either side. United went to Anfield in January and came away with a scarcely deserved 1-0 win, but they have a habit of nicking results on Merseyside and have won on three of their last four visits to this venue. With many of their experienced players returning from injuries, Louis Van Gaal will not need to rely on youth for this huge tie and we can expect the visitors to keep things much tighter than their rivals City managed in the Premier League last week. Liverpool are 6/5 to win on the night, with United priced at 14/5 with BetVictor.
4. Hosts India clear favourites for T20 World Cup
The Twenty20 World Cup gets under way this week with England playing their opening match against New Zealand on Saturday. England’s performances in their two recent T20 defeats to South Africa have dampened the enthusiasm about their prospects in India a little and their odds have drifted slightly to a best of 7/1. This is the sixth edition of this tournament and the previous five have produced five different winners, including England in the West Indies in 2010. The last two have been played in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and the results add weight to the theory that the nations of the sub-continent should thrive in the conditions, even over a few hours. Sri Lanka have played in each of the last two finals, losing to the West Indies in one before beating India in the other. Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka have each won one title and between them account for seven of the 10 finalists. India are the 9/4 favourites with Stan James, while Pakistan are at 12/1 with Paddy Power and Sri Lanka out at 18s with Coral.
5. Chisnall a threat to MVG in Nottingham
It’s week six of Premier League Darts, with this week’s action on Sky Sports from Nottingham. Michael Van Gerwen and Phil Taylor are tied at the top of the league after the first five weeks, each having taken eight points from their five matches and both will be in action against players at the foot of the table on Thursday. Taylor takes on Robert Thornton, who has a lowly three-dart average of 85 from his four games, which have yielded a single draw. MVG’s opponent Dave Chisnall looks more likely to spring a surprise. He has been a little unfortunate so far, losing three of his five matches despite boasting the best three-dart average outside of the top two, while he has won 26 and lost 27 of 53 legs. Only Van Gerwen has thrown more 180s and while the Dutchman’s standards don’t often slip, he was beaten by James Wade in week one and so Chisnall could be a solid handicap bet. He’s 8/11 at BetVictor with a +3.5 leg start on the handicap, or 5/4 at Paddy Power with +2.5.