Our weekly review of the latest betting news, including Wales’ hopes of reaching the Euro 2016 semi’s, plus a live contender for next month’s Open at Royal Troon.
1. Victorious England cut for World Cup
England’s rugby union side completed an historic series whitewash against Australia on Saturday morning, with a 44-40 win in the third Test in Sydney. England were a 10/1 chance before the series began to win all three matches, but inspired by their Aussie coach Eddie Jones they thoroughly deserved their success. We mentioned last week that England’s odds have been cut for next year’s 6 Nations Championship as they seek a successful title defence, but it’s also worth mentioning that their price is shortening for the next World Cup, which takes place in Japan in 2019. Such is the impressive start England have made under Jones that they are in from 10/1 two months ago to a best price of 13/2 with Stan James, with several firms going as short as 9/2. Keep an eye out for prices for them to be Team of the Year in the BBC’s Sports Personality awards too, although none are currently available.
2. Stenson backed for Troon after German triumph
After claiming a three-shot victory at the BMW International Open in Germany, Henrik Stenson is being well backed for next month’s Open Championship. Stenson has never won a major, but he has consistently been a contender in the last few years – prior to withdrawing from this month’s US Open after an opening round of 69, he had finished no worse than 40th in his previous 13 major championship appearances. He has performed well at the Open too, finishing in the top 3 on three separate occasions, including being runner-up to Phil Mickelson at Muirfield three years ago. The statistics show that the Swede is the third most accurate driver on the European Tour this season, which should stand him in good stead for Troon, with Coral and Betfred still offering 33/1.
3. New Vardy deal a coup for Foxes
With Europe’s top players spending the summer in France, there has been precious little big transfer activity involving the top Premier League clubs so far. However, one of the biggest coups is surely Leicester’s success in keeping Jamie Vardy out of Arsenal’s grasp. He would have been a huge loss had he chosen to head to the Emirates and it’s worth remembering that not only did Leicester win the league, they won it with two games to spare, and there is no reason to suggest they can’t make an impact next season too. The Foxes are a best price of 11/2 with BetVictor to finish in the top 4.
4. Can Wales nullify brilliant Belgians again?
Wales have reached the Euro 2016 quarter-finals where they meet a well-fancied Belgium side for a place in the last four. With several big-name Premier League stars in their line-up Belgium will be strong favourites, but Wales have had some outstanding performers in this tournament, and not just their talisman Gareth Bale. The Welsh defence, which conceded only 4 goals in qualifying, has been resolute, Joe Allen has dictated the play superbly from a deep midfield role and Aaron Ramsey has also excelled. Before you make your mind up which way to bet on Friday’s quarter-final, consider the two results between the nations in qualifying – Wales held Belgium to a 0-0 draw in Brussels, before a Bale goal gave them a 1-0 win in Cardiff.
5. Big money flows into political betting
You might think political betting is something of a niche interest that wouldn’t attract too much money, but more than £100m was traded on the outcome of the EU referendum on the Betfair exchange alone, underlining just how big it has become. With the uncertain political situation now at the forefront of many people’s thoughts, every firm is offering odds on who will become the next Conservative Party leader following David Cameron’s resignation. Boris Johnson was the early odds-on favourite, but news that many in the party are eager to keep him out of the top job has seen his price drift a little and he’s now at even money with Ladbrokes. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is seen as the most likely alternative and is an 11/4 shot with Coral, with Leave campaigner Andrea Leadsom 9/1 at BetVictor and little-known Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb, at 12s with Coral. Crabb is an interesting choice thanks to his council estate upbringing, which makes him a completely different animal to the Eton elite and may make him appeal to those hardest hit by the government’s austerity programme.