Saturday is a bumper day of sport and of special interest if you are Irish. The rugby team is in action against Canada at Lansdowne Road, the soccer team travel to Austria for a crucial World Cup qualifier and ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor is over in New York attempting to make history against Eddie Alvarez – but how will the Irish fare in their respective quests for victory? Let’s take a closer look at all three.
Ireland v Canada
First up we have the rugby. A much changed fifteen line up at Lansdowne Road against Canada after a history making win against the All Blacks in Chicago last weekend. Although the Ireland side is littered with debutants and inexperienced players, it has enough familiar faces present to steady the ship and you can be sure the Irish tails will be up after their aforementioned hammering of New Zealand.
With the new team looking to make their mark, I’ll side with them to cover a handicap of 36 points at Betfair Sportsbook. That’s odds-on, so make it the first leg of a Saturday Irish treble.
Austria v Ireland
Any result other than a loss will do just nicely in Ireland’s quest to qualify for the World Cup in Russia – and I expect them to get just that.
There is no doubt that they can win this match on their day, but let’s play it safe seeing that it is away from home and back Ireland/Draw on the ‘Double Chance’ market at 4/5, so that we will collect so long as The Boys in Green don’t lose in Vienna. Again, the price is short so this is leg 2 of our treble with Betfair Sportsbook.
Conor McGregor v Eddie Alvazez
Last but by no means least, we have the main man Conor McGregor fighting Eddie Alvarez in New York, where he attempts to become the first man in UFC history to hold belts at two different weight classes.
As much as I would love to hate McGregor, I simply can’t. You often get the brash talk from sports stars but he just takes it to the next level. As well as that though, he actually backs it up. People will question whether he can be as strong at this weight as when beating Aldo in the lower division. But he stepped up a division higher than this for his last two fights against Nate Diaz, losing the first when apparently getting his training all wrong, before righting that wrong and claiming redemption in the re-match.
Looking at those fights, along with the win against Aldo, makes me think that this weight is where he belongs. He just looks a natural at it, whereas when he fought Aldo he looked like a crystal meth addict (admittedly one with a sledgehammer left hook). Against Diaz he looked like David facing Goliath, but as I say this looks just right. Unlike most people since McGregor has taken the UFC by storm, I won’t be ranting on about the striking, grappling, take downs etc, quite simply it is boring and these people are idiots. I will simply say, that to my mind, Alvarez face looks worn and I think if McGregor lands a left hook then the Americans face will end up like a scene from one of the Saw films.
‘Mystic Mac’ tells us that he wins this in the first, so let’s back that at a stand-out 3/1 with BetVictor, but for the sake of our treble let’s play it more cautiously and make our last leg – McGregor to win in rounds 1, 2 or 3 at 11/10 with Betfair Sportsbook.
|Ireland (-36), Ireland/Draw, Conor McGregor (Rounds 1,2,3)||Colm Treble||6/1||Betfair|
|Conor McGregor Round 1||Round Betting||3/1||BetVictor|
BetVictor Gold Cup
It would be a shame to sign-off without mention of our equine friends and there is a big race at Cheltenham for us to take a brief look at. The BetVictor Gold Cup at 14.25 is a tough handicap chase run over two and a half miles and my idea of the winner comes in the shape of the favourite, MORE OF THAT, a horse that I actually despise.
I will despise him even more if he flops here. There is reason for all of this animosity of course and that is that he beat Annie Power close home in the World Hurdle here back in 2014. In fact, More Of That is the only horse to have beaten Annie when she has stood up. That alone shows the class of horse we are dealing with and the mere fact he isn’t top weight in this handicap shows how much, potentially, he could have in hand. Although he is favourite, he is still a big enough each-way price at 9/2 with the sponsors, who are offering SIX places. As a result, he’s a big each-way bet for me – we even have Barry Geraghty on board to kick start this November Paddy’s Day!
For those who like a punt at bigger odds, side with Buywise at a tasty 18/1 at Betfair.
|More Of That (ew)||2.25 Cheltenham||9/2||BetVictor|
|Buywise (ew)||2.25 Cheltenham||18/1||Betfair|