Our weekly review of the latest betting news, including Saracens odds of securing a remarkable double, plus the chances of Crystal Palace lifting the FA Cup.
1. Victorious Saracens 10/11 for glorious double
After winning the European Champions Cup, Saracens’ Premiership title odds have been trimmed by several firms as they close in on a superb double. Mark McCall’s side have dominated the regular domestic season and won every game in Europe, with Owen Farrell’s seven successful kicks giving them a 21-9 victory over Racing 92 in Lyon. When they lost their first European final against Toulon two years ago they were unable to shake off their disappointment in the play-offs, compounding it with a last gasp defeat to Northampton. This time around some bookmakers have cut them to 4/5, but Paddy Power have gone the opposite way, easing them from 5/6 to 10/11.
2. Eagles a real threat to favourites United
Man United are odds-on favourites to win the FA Cup in 90 minutes on Saturday, but don’t rule out an upset as Crystal Palace prepare for their second final, having also faced United in 1990. Palace’s most eyecatching performances this season have come away from home – they have recently drawn at West Ham and Arsenal, but going further back they won away at Chelsea and Liverpool and in this competition they eliminated both Southampton and Tottenham on their own grounds. The Eagles looked very assured in their Wembley semi final against Watford and should put up a real fight – Paddy Power offer 4/1 that they win it in 90 minutes.
3. World number one Day backed for forthcoming majors
After his impressive win at the Players Championship, world no.1 Jason Day’s odds have been shortened for the forthcoming US Open and also the Open at Royal Troon, which follows a month later. The Australian was already the bookmakers’ favourite for next month’s US Open at 9/1, but is now a best price of 8/1 with Coral (as short as 11/2 elsewhere). Day put in his best Open performance to date at St Andrews last year, finishing in a share of fourth place, and he’s no bigger than 10/1 with Coral for July’s championship. At the moment that would appear to be a better bet than either of the two favourites, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, both at 7/1.
4. 5/2 Serena bidding for fourth Paris win
Serena Williams is 5/2 favourite with William Hill to win the French Open and add to a haul of four titles, plus a runners-up finish and semi-final appearance in her last six Grand Slam’s. She’s won at Roland Garros in two of the last three years, yet the clay court major has always been the hardest for her to win, with three victories compared to six at each of the others. Serena exited in the first round in 2012 and the second round in 2014, so if she slips up again, who could take advantage? Perhaps last year’s semi-finalist Timea Bascinsky, who has now broken into the world’s top 10 – the winner of last month’s Morocco Open is 40/1 with Paddy Power.
5. Headingley may offer Sri Lanka early hope
Parts of Great Britain were reportedly colder than Minsk over the weekend, so that must mean that England are about to embark on a summer of Test cricket. On Thursday Alastair Cook’s side begin a three-match series against Sri Lanka at Headingley, with four matches against Pakistan to follow later in the summer. England are no better than 1/7 to win the series, with the tourists available at 25/1 with Paddy Power. However, those odds could appear a little extreme after a few days’ play in Leeds. Headingley is where England have their worst record of their six regular Test venues and it is where they were beaten by Sri Lanka by a margin of 100 runs just two years ago. On that occasion it was Sri Lanka’s dangerous bowling department that did the damage and, with a weak batting line-up, it is their bowlers who hold the key once again. England’s superior batting should see them prevail over the course of three Test matches, but it could be a sticky start.