Our weekly review of the latest betting news, including odds for both this weekend’s big fight and the much awaited Old Firm clash at Celtic Park earlier on Saturday.
1. Brook steps up for Golovkin fight
There’s an eagerly awaited fight at the O2 Arena on Saturday night and big money is already changing hands on the outcome of Kell Brook’s middleweight fight against Gennady Golovkin. Brook, the IBF welterweight champion, has stepped up two divisions to take on Golovkin, who is unbeaten in 35 pro fights, all at this weight, and is the 1/6 favourite with Coral to make it 36. Paddy Power offer the best odds of 5/1 on Brook, who is unbeaten in 36 bouts and ranked as the number one welterweight in the world and while there are huge questions about his ability to step up for this challenge, the bookmakers will see plenty of support for the Sheffield fighter, who is 12/1 with Paddy Power to win by KO, TKO or Disqualification, while Golovkin is available at 13/2 with Sky Bet to win by a decision.
2. Market unmoved by England’s narrow win
The Sam Allardyce era began with a 1-0 win for England over Slovakia, but Adam Lallana’s 95th minute winner in Trnava papered over the cracks of a pretty humdrum performance from the team conquered by Iceland at the Euros. England under Big Sam will have done little to alleviate the concerns of supporters who endured the torment of Roy Hodgson’s inglorious exit, but they at least stole the three points at the death, making their path to the finals in Russia a little more straightforward. However, it has not sparked a rush of money for them to win the World Cup, as a convincing win would have done – however illogical that might seem. England are a best price of 20/1 with Betfred, which still seems remarkably short at this stage.
3. Old Firm Derby returns
Up in Scotland, Celtic host Rangers in the first league derby in more than four years on Saturday in a midday kick-off televised on Sky Sports 2. Rangers hold the recent bragging rights after winning last season’s FA Cup semi-final on penalties, but they are 9/2 outsiders with Bet365 and Ladbrokes to win at Parkhead, with Celtic available at a best price of just 8/13 with Betfred. The Hoops have only lost three league games at home in the last three seasons and have beaten Rangers in each of their last five meetings at Celtic Park (all comps) without conceding a single goal. Brendan Rodgers’ side are best odds of 19/10 with Coral ‘To Win To Nil’ again.
4. 11/4 Hull the pick for Super League crown
Hull FC narrowly defeated Warrington to win the rugby league Challenge Cup last week, but the two teams had contrasting fortunes this weekend in the Super 8s as Hull slumped to a heavy defeat at St Helens and the Wolves edged out Catalans in Perpignan. With three games left to play, including a meeting between the two leaders at the KCOM Stadium at the end of the month, Warrington lead the standings by a single point from Hull, with Wigan tucked in a further two points behind. The Warriors must also face Warrington in two weeks’ time and some bookmakers cannot separate the three title favourites in the betting, with Paddy Power offering 5/2 about all three. That’s the best price available for Warrington and Wigan, but Hull can be backed at 11/4 with Bet365 and that looks to be the pick at this stage – their three wins over Warrington this season must give them a psychological edge and they host Wigan on Friday, having also beaten the Warriors twice this season.
5. In-form Noren ready to prove his class
After claiming his second European Tour victory in the space of two months, Alex Noren is set to jump up the golf world rankings when they are released this week. The Swede won the Omega European Masters for the second time when he beat Scott Hend in a play-off on Sunday, to follow on from his win at the Scottish Open in July. In between he was runner-up at the Paul Lawrie Match Play event, taking his earnings to around £1m in just 8 weeks. Injuries have blighted Noren’s career in recent years – he managed only two appearances in 2014 and missed another 4 months last year – but he has the ability to make a significant impact provided he can remain clear of injury. The next step would be to make a name for himself in the majors – his best result to date was a share of ninth at the Open in 2012, and he is 125/1 with Bet365 for next year’s edition at Royal Birkdale.