Monthly Archives: November 2017

Rugby League World Cup Final 2017 Preview

Rugby League World Cup Final 2017 Preview

The Rugby League World Cup comes to a conclusion on Saturday December 2nd as England line up against Australia in the final. The showpiece event takes place at 04:30am GMT in Brisbane and unsurprisingly, the hosts are odds-on favourites for the match.

who will win the 2017 rugby league world cup final
Australia do battle with England in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final in Brisbane!

The best price available on the Aussies to wrap up yet more silverware on their own patch is 1/7 which is available with Betvictor at the time of writing. Even the most optimistic England fans will take some persuading to back England at around 7/1 although anything can happen in sport…

The differing nature of their respective Semi-Final successes makes this an interesting prospect which will hopefully not be as one-sided as the betting is currently suggesting. Australia made extremely light work of Fiji winning 54-6 as they cruised their way into their 4th World Cup final. Fiji has previously seen off New Zealand and did take the lead but the turnaround didn’t take long to materialise and the Aussies were soon into their usual destructive rhythm.

England were involved in a far more competitive, edgy, nervy affair as they triumphed 20-18 over Tonga. Those travelling English fans were left biting their nails and praying for the final whistle as Tonga staged an impressive fight back but Wayne Bennett’s side did just enough to stave off any late drama. A late Andrew Fifita try was controversially ruled out after an alleged knock-on was spotted and there was a collective sigh of relief on the English bench and brows were heavily wiped. With a little help from the officials, they did just about enough to book their place in their first final since 1995 but will need to improve significantly to prevent the hosts from lifting the trophy once again.

Jermaine McGillvary, Gareth Widdop and John Bateman all scored early tries for England although hooker Josh Hodgson limped off after 23 minutes and he will miss the final as a result. He’s sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury and Bennett will be required to shuffle his pack prior to this tie which is far from ideal. He’s started four of their five games in this tournament so far and will be missed against the holders. James Roby is likely to be the man to replace him and he is confident he can step up in this pressure match.

Sean O’Loughlin also picked up an injury but could shake it off in time for the final. He will face a late fitness test but the England camp are yet to comment on his status. Even Wayne Bennett admitted his side are rank outsiders for this tie and responded with ‘probably not’ when quizzed about whether his side had enough to overcome the all-conquering Kangaroos. He conceded his side have a lot of work to do ahead of this tie but they have a week to prepare and meticulous planning could the key. Bet365 have priced England up at 11/10 on the +18 handicap and this would have landed in three of their last four meetings with this opposition across all competitions including earlier in the tournament.

Australia were utterly dominant during their previous World Cup final running out 34-2 winners over near-neighbours New Zealand and another whitewash is not out of the question. The 10/11 for -18 on Australia is likely to be far more popular and there has already been plenty of money coming in for the Kangaroos. Bennett was quick to praise his defence following the game and they will be key once again. It is going to need a gargantuan effort from every single player on the pitch if they are to turn the tables on the Aussies.

Bennett, who coaches in the NRL knows all about the opposition but possessing knowledge and the ability to stop them are two very different things. Tongan head coach Kristian Wolff admitted the draining nature of the dramatic 80 minutes will have taken plenty out of England and they could struggle to pick themselves up in time for the final but conceded that they ‘could trouble Australia’ and ‘make it a real contest’.

Valentine Holmes is the man to watch for Australia and has been priced up as 5/1 joint favourite by Betfred to score the opening try following his unforgettable display against Fiji. He managed a haul of six tries in a virtuoso performance which saw his growing reputation receive yet another boost and England can’t afford to give him too much space in Brisbane. He is playing just his fifth World Cup game and has sent the records tumbling with his 12 tries in the tournament so far. He was joined on the scoresheet by veteran Billy Slater and Dane Gagai.

Australia have not only excelled in the final third, they’ve also been defensively solid although the scrappy and avoidable nature of Suliasi Vunivalu’s 60th minute try will have irked head coach Mal Meninga and his staff. It was the only blot of Australia’s otherwise pristine copybook. These sides met at the beginning of the group stage as both teams were still finding their feet in the tournament and unsurprisingly Australia ran out 18-4 winners despite England getting off to a bright start in the match.

The margin of victory and nature of that performance suggests this contest could be a lot closer than the bookmakers are suggesting but England must ensure they keep both their discipline and concentration throughout. If either of those aspects drop throughout the 80 minutes, they are extremely likely to be punished by a confident and in-form Australian team.

It looks set to be yet another mouth-watering battle and although many England fans will be cheering on their side, those who remain at home will be hoping their side can make it worth the early start. Australia are looking to continue their dominance in this competition and they are helped by having the home advantage here. They also possess the in-form Valentine Holmes who will be looking to add to his 12 try haul with yet more wizardry. England are not without a chance but it won’t be easy for Bennett’s men.

Rugby Union Home Nations Autumn Internationals

How will the home nations fare during the Autumn Internationals?

The Autumn Internationals are well-underway with many of the home nations in action at the end of November and beginning of December.

Wales

Wales have two remaining games with back to back fixtures at the Principality Stadium as they take on New Zealand and South Africa. Warren Gatland’s men face the world champions and will aim to end their unwanted winless streak against the All-Blacks. The Welsh haven’t been victorious against these opponents in 29 attempts and are priced up at 10/1 by the majority of bookmakers to end that run at the Principality Stadium. 1953 was the last time they upset the side from the Southern Hemisphere and despite a narrow victory over Georgia here recently, very few fans are confident of success.

New Zealand are priced at 1/7 for success in Wales yet again and they’ve won 15 times here since their dominance in this fixture began. The hosts will not be helped by the absence of some key figures including Liam Williams, Jonathon Davies and Sam Warburton. Five of the six absentees toured New Zealand with the Lions during the summer and coach Gatland has expressed his concern at the physical toll the game has on his players at the top level.

The visitors aren’t at full strength either and have a number of players on the sidelines. Brodie Retalick has been rested for this tie but Israel Dagg, Owen Franks and Dane Coles won’t play any part. New Zealand’s biggest absentee is Kieran Read and his absence should give Wales hope of breaking that unwanted record. They still remain frustratingly tough to break down and battled back to win 22-17 at Murrayfield on the 18th November.

If Wales aren’t successful against NZ, they have the chance to bounce back against South Africa on December 2nd. The visitors were hammered at the Aviva Stadium on the 11th of November but bounced back with a narrow success over France. The performances of Dan Biggar and Owen Williams have given Welsh fans plenty of reason for optimism and they will go into this game believing they give the world champions a run for their money.

Ireland

Ireland will kick off at 5:30pm against Argentina at the AVIVA Stadium and will fancy their chances of beating the South American outfit. Despite beating Italy on their own patch, they were roundly defeated at Twickenham in front of 81,000 and a similarly hostile atmosphere awaits them on Saturday evening. Adam Byrne looks set to make his debut for Ireland and it’s a terrific chance for the Leinster man to stake a claim for a regular starting spot. James Ryan could also start this test but they will be without Robbie Henshaw who has picked up an injury and won’t feature here.

These sides haven’t met since 2015 when the Pumas defeated Ireland 20-43 at the Quarter Final Stage of the World Cup and this is a decent chance for the hosts to exact revenge. The squad is much changed from that bitterly disappointing outcome and this is a fresh side who are determined to impress head coach Joe Schmidt. The Kiwi, who has led his side to two Six Nations triumphs will be hoping a number of his young side can add competition for places by impressing in this fixture. They have been made the 2/13 favourites for this tie with Argentina priced up as 67/10 favourites with a number of betting sites. They named a more experimental team against Fiji for the narrow success but Cain Healey and Rory Best will be at the heart of this side as they line up against the Pumas.

England

Twickenham will host England’s final Autumn International as the hosts welcome Samoa to West London. Eddie Jones has revolutionised the team since his arrival and he is hoping to continue his unbeaten home record on November 25th. The head coach has won 12 out of 12 at Twickenham so far and he will be expected to name a strong side for this fixture.
England are as short as 1/40 to seal another victory here with their opponents priced at an ambitious 40/1 to spoil the party and ruin Jones’ perfect record here.

They were dominant throughout against Australia and Argentina and a similar performance is expected here. Twickenham will be roaring on the home side and hoping they can make eight wins from eight against Samoa. Jones’ will be without Dylan Hartley who will be a big loss for England but a number of players will be given the chance to shine in this fixture. Jamie George impressed against Australia and looks set to continue his run in the side whilst George Ford and Chris Robshaw will co-captain the side here. Henry Slade and Ellis Genge will be given the chance to impress. Eddie Jones is likely to hold onto his imperious record here but bigger tests await in the future.

Scotland

Scotland face a stern test a Murrayfield as they host Australia on November 25th. After beating Samoa, the Scots battled admirably against the world champions New Zealand but eventually came up short. They didn’t let their opponents see much of the ball and it worked for the majority of the contest and a similar approach may work effectively against the Aussies.
Scotland have been priced up as outsiders at 24/13 with the visitors as short as 8/13 for successful north of the border.
Another stern test is expected with the Australians hurting from their defeat at Twickenham just seven days ago. The game is unlikely to be as cagey as the contest with the Kiwis and an entertaining 80 minutes awaits fans who have been lucky enough to secure a ticket for the game.

Scotland beat a weakened Wallabies in Sydney back in June but they have a number of key players back for this tie and it may not be quite so straightforward for the Scots. Alex Dunbar has been ruled out of this tie after failing to recover from a blow to the head against New Zealand and will be replaced by Peter Horne for this tie. Other than that, Gregor Townsend is likely to name an unchanged side from the narrowly defeat to New Zealand with Zander Fagerson being passed fit for this encounter.
Stuart Hogg was superb against NZ last weekend as he bamboozled the world champions and the home fans will be hoping that performance wasn’t a one-off from the full-back. His opposite number Israel Folau caused problems for Townsend’s men when they met in June and will be one man to keep an eye on.

Betting On Football

Guide to Betting on Football

Betting on football is an extremely popular past-time and many punters place a bet on a weekly basis. There are numerous competitions and several different bets available with online sportsbooks and it can be a little overwhelming for newcomers. Our guide will help you understand some of the basics of successful football betting.

Key Terminology

Win/Draw/Win – This is the basic football betting market which is also displayed as 1, X, 2. This requires choosing one of three outcomes with the draw nearly always the biggest price of the trio.

Accumulator – This is a bet consisting of several different teams. Typically, these will be formed of Win/Draw/Win bets (see above) but any kind of football bets can be assembled to form an accumulator. In order to win, all of these selections need to be correct.

Ante-Post – This is a bet which is placed pre-season and winning swill not be paid out until the campaign has concluded. These are commonly based on sides to win the division, be promoted or relegated. If you don’t mind waiting nine or ten months to collect your winnings, ante-post markets are perfect for you!

Favourite – The side who are most fancied to win. Some teams cannot be separated with the home and away team beginning at exactly the same price.

90 minute betting – This is always the case when it comes to matches in the league. However some matches in cup competitions, major competitions and play-offs can also feature extra time (30 additional minutes)

Over/Under – One of the many markets which have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years is the Over/Under market. This is most commonly set at 2.5 Goals but other options include 1.5 and 3.5.

Markets

All bookies will have the major leagues such as Premier League, Championship, La Liga and Serie A priced up on a weekly basis but many online betting sites will have amateur divisions, reserve football and friendlies all priced up too.

If a match is high-profile or being shown on TV, there are likely to be more markets available on each game. As well as the 1X2 market, there will be Over/Under, Both Teams to Score, Handicap and HT/FT markets. The latter requires a side to be winning at the 45 minute mark AND when the final whistle sounds.

Many online bookies have launched request services in which punters can pick their own elaborate bets and they often combine many of these markets.

bet on football in the UK
Typical football betting slip!

Goalscorers – Not every site offers goalscorer markets but the majority will price up players in the top divisions around Europe. Each player will have a price to score the first goal of the match, the last goal of the game and to score at any point during the 90 minutes. The latter is usually a much shorter-price particularly for strikers. The likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo usually begin at short prices and they can also be backed to score two or more during the game.

Corners/Cards – These are usually lumped together on betting websites but offer alternatives to bettors who may struggle to predict the outcome of the contest. It is possible to bet on the total number of corners or the team to have the most corners and the same markets are available for cards. Booking points are set at 10 for a yellow, 25 for a red.

Correct Score – As simple as it sounds! Bigger odds are on offer if you can correctly predict the final score. It is possible to narrow the options down by betting on this market once the match has started.

5 Minute Markets – Another recent trend is for punters to predict what will happen during a small period of the match. Options in the 5 minute market include corners, throw-ins, penalty, card and goal.

Handicaps – This is a very popular market which is often deployed in seemingly one sided affairs. If the home team are overwhelming favourites, the handicaps allow a better way of backing them. -1, -2, +1, +2 are some of the most common handicap values. If you backed Manchester United -1, they would need to win by two clear goals in order for the bet to land. (If the match finishes 3-0, take -1 from their score and they still win 2-0). +1 is usually used to back outsiders if there is a suspicion that they may cling on for the draw.

Double Chance – This is a good way of narrowing down the options and is often used to support outsiders in the market. It is often displayed in the form of 1X or X2 and gives punters two selections as opposed to one but often at restricted prices.

In-Play Betting

Betting on football is no longer restricted to just punting before the match gets underway. There is now the option to get involved once the game has kicked off. This is ideal for those who are watching the match on TV or following it through the bookies’ live streaming service.

If you’ve backed the home side but they’re under the cosh in the early stages, it is possible to back the away side half way through the match instead. Some punters can’t pick a winner pre-match so they wait for the first 10 minutes to see how the match plays out.

Most online bookmakers have stats on each match which explains where the ball is on the pitch, number of corners, shots on/off target and dangerous attacks.

Leagues/Competitions

With the rise of TV coverage, it is easier to keep across a range of divisions and it is always advised to follow a league for a while before betting on it. Top leagues such as Premier League, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga take place August-May each year whilst others such as the MLS (USA), League of Ireland and Allsvenskan (Sweden) play through the summer months so there is always some football taking place.

The World Cup and European Championships take place every four years and remain extremely popular betting heats.

Types of Bet

We’ve already talked about accumulator bets which are a terrific way of keeping across all of the fixtures at the weekend. These require EVERY single bet to win in order to land the prize however many online sportsbooks now offer insurance if you are unlucky enough to miss out by one selection.

Accumulators can occasionally land at big odds and often it only takes two or three of these to be successful during the course of the season in order to make a profit however they’re extremely hard to get right. They are the subject of many hard-luck stories as a last-gasp equaliser denies punters yet again or one of the ‘bankers’ fails to win at home and some bettors prefer to stick with singles.

Single bets require just one selection and are much easier to land however bigger stakes are required in order to make a consistent profit. Doubles consist of two selections, trebles consist of three whilst anything above four is generally considered an accumulator.

Permutation bets such as Trixie (4 bets) and Yankee (11 bets) are great ways of ensuring some kind of return if one selection fails to land. Each selection will multiply to potentially return huge profits but they require greater stakes (4 or 11x stake).

Tips and Advice

It is vitally important to follow football in-depth before leaping in and placing a bet. Study the leagues, follow the patterns of results and get to know the manager’s styles. Most people know the Premier League but it can be extremely useful to follow a division which the bookmakers may have little knowledge of.

Follow live betting markets and study how each price changes depending on the action and this is handy for in-play betting.
Don’t expect to get rich quick backing accumulators as they are extremely volatile and it’s difficult to predict multiple teams all top win. Keep stakes small when it comes to multiple betting.

Singles are generally the best way of beginning and the handiest way of making a profit longer-term.
Always check the team news ahead of a match and if a side has key players absent (injured, suspended or called up to the International team), it’s probably best to avoid backing them.

NEVER bet with your heart! ALWAYS bet with your head. If you are backing teams because you want them to win, you will never make a profit, plus it’s often best to avoid betting on your own team (unless you’ve spotted that the opposition are overpriced). There are plenty of stats sites online which can be used to procure information which will be handy for betting.

Finally, have patience! Successful football betting takes time and dedication and it won’t come within the first month. Also, you don’t need to bet on every match or place a wager every single day. Some nights, there is very little action of note and many punters are guilty of sniffing out a bet for the sake of it! Don’t do this. Only place a bet if you are adamant it is in with a chance of landing.

Although betting on football is extremely popular, there is a growing interest in betting on eSports. This entails placing bets on people playing video games, yes, you read that correctly! In fact, this trend is growing very quickly and some pundits even predict that it will eventually outgrow gambling on real, live sporting events. If you are intrigued, why not check out www.esportsbookies.com they have a great site with all the relevant information you could require.

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

The 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

The Brazilian Grand Prix took place on November 12th at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace with Sebastian Vettel taking top honours. It was only the German’s third victory at the track, a circuit where he hasn’t enjoyed much luck during the three previous outings and he was pleased to end the four year wait for victory in Sao Paolo.

Vettel didn’t have it easy and required a nifty manoeuvre to edge past Valtteri Bottas at the opening corner in order to secure his first title since the summer break and earn himself 15 points in the process. The Ferrari driver clocked up a time of 1:31:26.262 but despite this success, he must still be smarting from letting the 2017 driver’s championship slip through his fingers. With just a couple of races remaining, it lays down a marker ahead of next season with bookies such as Betfred pricing the German up as second favourite at 3/1 for the 2018 Championship.

bet on the GP season

Vettel’s failure to challenge Hamilton into the final weeks of the season weren’t helped by his crash in Singapore and his engine problems in Japan and he’ll be hoping to bounce back next season. He could salvage yet more pride at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which takes place on November 26th with Paddy Power pricing him up at 13/5 for success in the UAE.

Valtteri Bottas

The aforementioned Valtteri Bottas started in pole position and was leading for a large part of the race in Brazil but couldn’t hold off the challenge of Vettel who pulled out a terrific move to glide past the Mercedes driver. The Fin was just 2.7 seconds behind the German driver to pick up 2nd place for successive races. It was the 28 year old’s 6th 2nd place of the season which moved him onto 280 points and left him 3rd in the driver’s championship. He has been priced at around 14/1 with the majority of bookmakers to make an unlikely bid for the 2018 championship but any slip-ups from Vettel or Hamilton and Bottas could be waiting to pounce.

There were two Finnish drivers on the podium at the end of this years Brazilian Grand Prix with Kimi Raikkonen picked up third place coming in four seconds behind his countryman. Consistency has certainly been a strong point of the flying Finn’s season with a hat-trick of third place finishes as the season comes to a close. He is yet to win a race on this season’s calendar but remains fifth in the driver’s championship going into the final race of the campaign. He is a chunky 33/1 for next season’s title and best price 20/1 with 10Bet to finally get off the mark for the season in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen has a bright future in the sport and although this wasn’t his greatest afternoon, he did clock the fastest lap of the race. The Red Bull driver clocked up 1:11.044 finishing 5th overall and narrowly missing out on a podium position. The young Dutchman has been priced up as third favourite for the title next season and can currently be backed at 4/1 with Bet365 for next season’s championship with many Formula 1 punters expecting him to come on leaps and bounds ahead of the 2018 campaign.
The 20 year has had a relatively successful season this time around with victories in Malaysia and Mexico and many believe he will kick on and will be vying for the title in 12 month time.

Daniel Riccardo received a 10 place grid penalty ahead of this contest but despite this setback, he still managed to finish 6th in the Brazilian Grand Prix and can be pleased with his afternoon’s work. He is 14/1 for success at Abu Dhabi, this GP gets underway on November 26th.

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton’s work is already be done this season after he wrapped up the world title in Mexico despite only finishing 9th. The Brit has enjoyed an exceptional season once again and has already been installed as the early favourite for next season’s Driver’s Championship. Betfred have priced the Stevenage-born driver at 6/4 to retain his title next year and this price is likely to shorten during the off-season.

Hamilton put in an exceptional performance in Brazil to finish 4th despite being handed a poor start. It may have been Vettel who picked up the prize but Hamilton stole the show with his dominant performance to creep through the field and almost steal a place on the podium.

Hamilton made an error in qualifying which he described as ‘horrible’ which saw him crash into the barriers and was forced to start the race from the pit lane as a result. He only finished a second behind Raikkonen and described his own performance as ‘actually more than I could have hoped for’ as he overtook the drivers one by one to creep up the field in an attempt to make up for his loss of control in qualifying.

There is very little to play for in the final few weeks although Hamilton will be keen to end the season with a flourish and has been priced up as favourite to take the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi where he is priced at 17/20 with 888Sport to pick up yet another victory.

He has 62 Formula One successes to his name and is second on the all-time list and admits it would be nice to overhaul Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 although it isn’t his sole target. He still has many more seasons left in him and he’ll be hoping to make 2018 another successful campaign.

There were many drivers who didn’t finish the race with Lance Stroll, Marcus Ericssen, Pascal Wehrlein and Pierre Gasly all failing to complete the circuit with the latter the 12/1 favourite to be the first driver to retire in Abu Dhabi as the curtain comes down on the 2018 Formula One season.