We highlight five things to consider based upon on last week’s sporting action and the latest betting news.
1. Sterling 16/1 for Real deal
Liverpool’s defeat to Manchester United on Sunday makes it increasingly likely that they will miss out on next season’s Champions League and may also increase the chances that Raheem Sterling will see his future elsewhere after the summer.
With Liverpool now as big as 7/2 with Ladbrokes to finish in the top four, Sterling has yet to agree a new contract and will not be short of big money offers should he decide to move on. Several firms are already betting on his next club, with Man City an 8/1 chance with Paddy Power and Real Madrid 16/1 with the Irish firm.
2. 15/2 United a big price to finish second
United’s win at Anfield showed just how far they have come since the early stages of the season and increasingly they are dominating matches, albeit without playing with any obvious style. Louis van Gaal’s side are now just two points behind Man City in second place and one behind Arsenal, and with an Old Trafford derby to come in three weeks’ time they are right in the mix in the Premier League without Chelsea betting. Their price of 15/2 with Betfred in this market looks too big, despite Arsenal’s surge in form.
3. Real pushed out for Champions League repeat
Bayern Munich are the 15/8 favourites to win the Champions League after the draw for the quarter-finals gave them perhaps the easiest task of the leading contenders. The Germans will face Porto in the last eight, while Barcelona tackle Chelsea’s conquerors PSG and Real Madrid face city rivals Atletico – who beat them 4-0 in La Liga last month.
Perhaps the most interesting price in the revised betting is the 4/1 available about Real retaining their crown – the biggest price they have been throughout the competition, having opened at 7/2 back in September and been as short as 5/2 in the intervening period.
4. Confident India the pick at 5/1
India and New Zealand are the two teams with a 100 per cent record at the Cricket World Cup after winning their first seven games in the competition and they are 9/2 with Sky Bet to meet in the final in Melbourne. New Zealand host South Africa in their semi-final while India face co-hosts Australia in the last four and at 5/1 outsiders to win the tournament they could be the pick of the bets at this stage. India have been gaining momentum throughout and they have a good recent record in ODIs, having won the Champions Trophy in 2013. With five batsmen averaging 49 and above they will certainly pose a threat to the Aussies.
5. BOD backs Irish for World Cup glory
Brian O’Driscoll says Ireland should reach at least the last four of the World Cup after their second successive RBS 6 Nations triumph, which they achieved in the most captivating of circumstances on Saturday when there were tries galore across the final round of games. Holders New Zealand are the 6/4 favourites for the World Cup, with hosts England next at 4/1. Ireland, meanwhile are available at 10/1 with Ladbrokes and that remains the pick of the bets.