We review the latest betting news and highlight five things for you to consider.
1. Djokovic continues to shorten for French Open
As the French Open approaches it is looking increasingly unlikely that anyone can prevent Novak Djokovic from winning the men’s title, with Roger Federer the latest to fail to get to grips with the Serb in the final of the Rome Masters. Djokovic beat Federer in straight sets and although Andy Murray has impressed on clay so far this season, Rafael Nadal’s latest defeat on the red stuff means the world no. 1 is now as short as 8/11 for the Roland Garros title and no better than 5/6 with William Hill.
2. Boro still the value in play-offs
It’s a little surprising to see Norwich as favourites for the Championship play-offs given the way Middlesbrough outplayed them in both league meetings this season, including a recent 1-0 win at Carrow Road which was much more convincing than that scoreline suggests. We mentioned before the first leg of the semi-finals that Boro were a big price and that still looks to be the case, with Ladbrokes, Sky Bet and Coral all offering them at odds of 11/10 to be promoted.
3. Strike with Ballance
Gary Ballance has made a very promising start to his England Test career in quite a difficult environment and he should be backed to shine again in the series against New Zealand, which gets under way on Thursday. Ballance has scored over 1,000 runs in his first 11 Tests at an average of 62 and made substantial scores in three of his six innings in the recent series in the West Indies, while he also scored a century against India at Lord’s – the venue for the first match against New Zealand – last summer. Some firms have him at 7/2 to top score for England, but Betfred are offering stand out best odds of 9/2.
4. Swedes lead Eurovision betting
Sweden have a proud record, if that’s the correct terminology, in the European Song Contest having won the competition five times and they are the favourites to do so again next weekend at best odds of 2/1. Italy are a close second at 9/4 in places, while guests Australia are 11/2 with BetVictor. The UK are, as usual, friendless and available at 50s, while outsiders France, Cyprus and Israel are shortening and Spain are proving popular at a big price. If you’re looking for some value then consider Estonia at 12s with Ladbrokes – the consensus is more like 9/1 and Stan James have cut them to 11/2.
5. Wait for Suarez offers
Barcelona are firm favourites to beat Juventus to win the Champions League on the first Saturday in June, at best odds of 4/6 in the match betting with Ladbrokes. Luis Suarez has been magnificent, providing Barca with an extra element of menace going forward that was perhaps lacking when Pedro was in their front three. Suarez may well feature in one of the bookies’ most popular offers of the year – the Score and Win Double price boost, which most firms have been offering. It’s certainly a selection to look out for as it may well feature a significant increase in odds.