Our weekly review of the latest betting news with five things for you to consider, including plenty of Cheltenham Festival special offers to get stuck into.
1. Spurs 9/4 for title after win at Villa
There have been enough bizarre twists and turns already this season to rule out some more over the closing weeks, yet it’s tempting to say that the Premier League title scrap is now down to a two-horse race between Leicester and Tottenham, after Spurs ended their mini dip in form with a 2-0 win at Villa on Sunday. Leicester go into Monday’s clash with Newcastle as even money favourites, with Tottenham breathing down their necks and available at best odds of 9/4 with Bet365. Arsenal are at 11/2 as they look to bridge a minimum 8-point gap, but on recent evidence you wouldn’t fancy them to beat Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. Manchester City haven’t won back-to-back Premier League games for an incredible five months and are now out to 14/1 with BetVictor. With a derby match on Sunday, their focus must be on guaranteeing Pep Guardiola arrives at a Champions League club in the summer. Spurs still look the pick of the bets.
2. Bookies battle to attract Cheltenham business
Bookmakers will be fiercely competing for your business this week at the Cheltenham Festival in an effort to gain customer loyalty ahead of the Grand National and end of the football season, including the European Championships featuring three home nations and the Republic of Ireland. Every firm will be making attractive offers to lure punters into opening accounts before Tuesday’s first race – as sign-ups during Cheltenham week can provide a major uplift in turnover over the following weeks and months. So check out all of the daily money-back offers, boosted prices and new account specials listed on the right.
3. Adventurous United should suit Sturridge
Liverpool blew Manchester United away in the first leg of their Europe League tie last Thursday, yet they only had two goals to show for their efforts thanks to the skills of David De Gea. The tie should be over and the lack of an away goal for United means Liverpool are no better than 1/8 to qualify – a goal at Old Trafford should enough to finish the job. At 2-0 there remains some room for doubt, although United will have to do what they have failed to do at home all season and come flying out of the blocks. That is alien to them under Louis Van Gaal and could play into Liverpool’s hands, as they will be able to hit on the counter-attack. Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring in the first leg and can do so again on Thursday at 11/2 with Paddy Power.
4. Clarets as short as 8/15 for title after surging clear
As their challengers crumble, Burnley have raced into a seven-point lead in the Championship and are now as short as 8/15 to win the title and an instant return to the Premier League. Sean Dyche’s side haven’t lost since Boxing Day and have won 11 of 14 games since then, including each of the last six. It’s anybody’s guess who joins them, with Middlesbrough losing 3 of their last 4, Hull winning only 2 of 7 and Derby squandering a three-goal lead at Rotherham on Saturday, as they continue to struggle under the weight of pressure that spending £25m at this level brings. Don’t rule out Brighton, though, who have been revived by the signing of former Leicester man Anthony Knockaert, who has given them some much need drive and invention. The Seagulls, who have lost only one of their last 10 and have kept four successive clean sheets, are 5/2 for promotion with Coral.
5. England 4/11 to complete Grand Slam in Paris
England are on the brink of a first Six Nations Grand Slam in 13 years after securing the Triple Crown with a nervy victory over Wales at Twickenham on Saturday. Eddie Jones’ side appeared to be cruising to a fourth straight win before a late Wales fightback slashed the margin of victory to just four points, but they held on and head to Paris next Saturday as a 4/11 chance (Coral) to make it five wins from five. This is far from a vintage France outfit, but they have won both of their home games in this tournament and have beaten England on three of their last four visits to the Stade de France, and that should serve as sufficient warning to the newly-crowned champions. Their hosts can be backed at 13/5 with Betfair.