Monday, August 26, 2013

Pulev In Line For World Title Fight

Kubrat Pulev is hoping to get a shot at either Wladimir Klitschko or Alexander Povetkin after beating Tony Thompson on Saturday night in Germany.

The Bulgarian defeated the 41-year old on points when a unanimous decision went his favour. The judges scored the bout 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111.

The victory ensures Pulev still remains unbeaten so far in his career after 18 professional fights and will now become the IBF’s mandatory challenger. He could get meet the champion as early as next year in a bout that is sure to excite fans who love to bet on boxing.

Thompson, who had stopped Britain’s David Price back in June, is likely to miss out on another world championship fight following the defeat, despite doing his reputation as one of the toughest fighters in the division no harm.

It was the American who actually started the better of the two boxers in the early rounds of the main event. However, Pulev stepped up his work rate from the fifth round and was hitting his shots cleaner.
The majority of the fight was fought from close range which meant neither man were able to strike a telling blow, making it tough for punters who were keen to use their in-play bet offer.

There was a few warning signs for the Bulgarian in the seventh round though, where Thompson landed a couple of solid shots onto his chin, but he recovered well to regain control in the final few round of the fight.

Earlier in the evening, Arthur Abraham picked up a points victory over Willbeforce Shihepo. The former WBO super-middleweight champion was beaten by Robert Stieglitz on his last outing, but the 33-year old was able to bounce back with the win over the journeyman.

There was also success for Juergen Braehmer who defended his European light-heavyweight belt. The German had to work but got the verdict by the judges after 12 tough rounds against Stefano Abatangelo.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Good Start Key for Burns

Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns may have set his sights on snatching the England no.10 jersey ahead of the next World Cup but the 23-year-old knows that club form must come first if he is to become a fixture in the national side.

Burns made his debut for England in their famous victory over the All Blacks last December and since then he has impressed whilst starting at number 10 in both of their games on tour in Argentina.

For Burns, his first three England caps are just the start and his unbeaten run in an international shirt has only whetted his appetite for more success.

 "I have huge ambition with England over the next two years with the World Cup coming,” Burns said "Of course I want to be involved in those autumn internationals,” he added, looking forward to England’s games against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.

Despite his lofty ambition to oust Owen Farrell from the England starting line-up, Burns knows that any success at international level will only come as a result of another successful season with Gloucester and, after missing out on the play offs last year despite being well fancied in the rugby betting, a good start will be crucial.

“I know that [international recognition] comes off the back of playing well for Gloucester, so that's my main aim and my main focus,” the man from Bath said."Hopefully I can get a good start. I definitely want to keep pushing but I'm not looking at anything other than getting a good start."

Burns certainly came out of the England tour to Argentina with a lot of credit but he still has some way to go to displace Owen Farrell.

Another solid season could see Burns move further into Stuart Lancaster’s thoughts but for the moment he is right to concentrate on success with Gloucester.

If Burns can regularly produce his best form then punters who bet on rugby feel Gloucester will be hard to stop as they look to make up for last season’s disappointment.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Japan struggling ahead of Confederations Cup

Japan’s hopes of clinching an unlikely title at the 2013 Confederations Cup later this June already appear in tatters after the squad fell to a second defeat within a week on Thursday night.

The Japanese national side played a friendly against Bulgaria in Toyota as preparations for two World Cup qualifiers and failed to impress sports betting fans during their 2-0 loss.

The defeat came four days after a disappointing 2-1 qualification loss to Jordan, which means they cannot secure safe passage to next summer’s World Cup until later this week.

In fact, they couldn’t have had a worse preparation heading into games against Australia and Iraq and even if they win these two fixtures are unlikely to find much success out in Brazil.

Japan are set to book their place in the World Cup and will use their Confederations Cup experience this summer to acclimatise to the South American conditions. They face Brazil, Mexico and Italy in Group A and are favourites to finish bottom on Betfair’s sports odds.

Yet winning is not everything at the Confederations Cup and the experience of Brazil’s varying conditions is far more important for head coach Alberto Zaccheroni. They play in Brasilia, Recife and Belo Horizonte – three completely different cities that cover a huge expanse of the country.

This will put Japan in good stead for the World Cup next year, regardless of the results. Should they beat Australia and Iraq this week they may go on to prove an upset against Mexico and the hosts, although second place in Group A behind Italy is the most they can hope for.

Betting fans are advised not to back Japan for glory this summer and instead consider how far they can go in one year’s time. That’s what Zaccheroni will be most focussed upon and the results should show at the World Cup.

Not interested in the Confederations Cup? Check out the latest odds on Champions League on the Betfair website.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kaymer still Basking in Ryder Cup Glow

Former world number one Martin Kaymer will head to this year’s US Open knowing he will probably still be reminded about how his nerve-tingling five-foot putt on the 18th green broke American hearts in last year’s Ryder Cup at Medinah.

The German, who spends the majority of his time in the States playing on the US PGA Tour, has admitted he has found himself persona non grata with a lot of American fans following his exploits for Europe last year.

"A couple of times in the gym and once when I went out for dinner there were guys that came out and said, 'I didn't really like you before but now I really hate you'," the 2010 PGA champion revealed ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"If it comes down to crucial moments in the last two or three holes of tournaments I am prepared well because I know I did something very special a few months ago. The belief I gained from the Ryder Cup has been very valuable."

While the Ryder Cup experience was a real high point for Kaymer last year, it was one of only a handful of occasions in 2012 in which the German star will have been happy with how he had performed. 

It’s been something of a similar story for Kaymer so far this year. Still without a tournament victory since the end of 2011, Kaymer will go into this year’s US Open with a relatively lowly ranking of 32 in the world.

But the 28-year old will be more than aware of the fact that a strong showing at Merion could catapult him right back into the Open Golf Betting Tips, and breathe new life into a career that has appeared to have become a bit stuck in the mud.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Geography of Poker

The game of poker will evolve differently depending what country you originate from. This is true whether you are playing live or online, such as in a Betfair 5 card draw event. Understanding this can give you an edge when creating a read on the player types sitting at your table.

The Global Poker Index (GPI) is the universally recognised poker ranking system. It was first created as part of the doomed Epic Poker League (EPL) and now belongs to Alexandre Dreyfus, the former CEO of Chiligaming.

The GPI also has a country ranking system and at the top of that list with just under half of the 300-top players in the world is the United States.

So, it goes without saying that the game in the States is much tougher than say the game in Italy. There is a steeper tradition and more people have played the game for longer.

The Scandinavians are notorious for their super aggressive playing style, in Asian countries there is this happy go lucky gambling attitude and in France there is more of a calling station vibe to their play.

If you are readless at a table then it does you no harm to start out with the default country settings. If playing against someone from Sweden then consider him, or her, a loose aggressive player until they give you reason to believe otherwise.

Another thing you should keep an eye out for is the fundamentals of a poker player’s game. There is a huge difference between someone who knows how to navigate their way through a tournament field and those that don’t. The limited skills and experience should shine and it will also help you formulate some good reads.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

NBA votes to keep Kings in Sacramento

The Kings will stay in Sacramento rather than move to Seattle after the NBA ruled that the team should remain where they are. The decision brings to an end a saga which began in January when the family of George Maloof, which owns a majority interest in the team, looked at the possibility of moving the team to Seattle after failing to persuade the city of Sacramento to build a new arena. The Maloofs reached a deal to sell the team to a local investment group led by Seattle hedge fund manager Chris Hansen. The city of Seattle has been without its own basketball team since the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. However, the mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson, vowed to start a campaign to keep the Kings in California’s capital and he put together a team that promised to match Hansen's bid. The group also persuaded the city council to back a proposal for a new $450million arena. NBA Commissioner David Stern is pleased that a resolution has been found, saying to NBA betting news reporters: "It's nice to see two great cities so interested in an NBA franchise, but the winner here is Sacramento. “It is my expectation that we will now be able to reach a deal with the Maloofs.” Last month, a committee of NBA owners voted that the team should stay in Sacramento, but Hansen vowed to fight on, raising his bid for a controlling interest in the Kings to $406million, which valued the team at $625million. Punters who bet on NBA always favoured the status quo, which is how it has prevailed. Meanwhile, Johnson believes the construction of a new arena will create jobs and provide more economic development opportunities for Sacramento but accepts that Seattle deserves a team of its own, saying: "They know what it feels like to lose a team. We just don't want that to happen to us."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Surprise Candidates in the NCAA

Each and every season we have a few teams that emerge and make a noise in the NCAA that you would not have considered as contenders but when you look back the signs are there; they may have laid good foundations the year before and built on those or they may have added a missing piece of the jigsaw.

So are there any teams that meet that criteria this year, we think there are, and although you could have some question marks over these three that we have selected they do have the talent to emerge and thrive.

As NCAAB betting fans know, the Virginia Cavaliers have the potential to be one of the elite teams in the country with a team that has experience and well defined roles and most important the players take care of the ball, have shot discipline and are tough to score against.

The Cavaliers also have one of the best players in the ACC in Joe Harris and he is the fulcrum of the side that they can play around although they will need to find a replacement for point guard Jontel Evans who was the heartbeat of the side defensively. If the Cavaliers get consistent point guard play, we feel they will finish in the top four in the ACC and be a dangerous team in the NCAA tournament.

LSU look like a side that has momentum, they had 19 wins last season with 9 coming in the SEC; their victories against Missouri, Arkansas and Alabama sent a message that these were no paper Tigers but a young and talented team that is athletic enough to compete within the conference.

They have a good anchor offensively in Johnny O’Bryant and he was playing as well as anyone in the SEC at the end of last season. Around him he has plenty of talent in Anthony Hickey, Andre Stringer and Shavon Coleman and the Tigers’ top-10-ranked freshman class will provide even further strength in depth and this team has the potential to go to the Sweet 16.

If you are looking for a side that could really breakthrough then look no further than the Arizona State Sun Devils especially after they won 22 games last year. ASU are one of the fastest-playing teams in the West.

The Sun Devils averaged 72 points per game last season, and we expect them to play even faster next season especially with explosive players like Jahii Carson on the court, and his dynamic skill set is backed up by a good supporting cast plus the Sun Devils have two transfers they expect to contribute; Brandan Kearney from Michigan State and Richie Edwards from Valparaiso.

Both are skilled and can make shots, fitting perfectly into the Sun Devils' system. We would expect the Sun Devils to make the NCAA tournament this season and cause a few surprises when they get there especially with Carson, one of the best point guards in the country.

We are sure that there will be other surprise teams to emerge over the season but as things stand these three have as good a chance as any of breaking the out when the new season starts.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Guest Runs Excellent Hunt Cup Trial

Excellent Guest finally got his head in front in a big handicap when coming fast and late to land the valuable Betfred Victoria Cup at Ascot at the weekend, in the process running the perfect trial for the Royal Hunt Cup, and delighting fans who placed a Royal Ascot bet.

Trained by George Margarson, the six-year-old had fallen to a mark of 93 after ending last term on a low note in finishing last of the 33 runners in the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket having run little better on his previous outing. 

Margarson had endured a series of near misses with the gelded son of Exceed and Excel in top handicaps over the last few seasons and had begun to wonder if he would ever land a decent prize.

Ridden in the 26-runner Victoria Cup by Tom Queally, Excellent Guest was held up for much of the straight seven-furlong contest before making good headway in the final quarter mile. Running on strongly well inside the final furlong, he burst through to hit the front and then stayed on well to hold another fast finisher, Bertiwhittle, by half-a-length.

Second in recent seasons in the Bunbury Cup, the Royal Hunt Cup, and the Buckingham Palace Handicap, Excellent Guest was certainly not winning out of turn and delighted his handler who is already looking forward to returning him to the fray at Royal Ascot next month for another crack at the Royal Hunt Cup over an extra furlong on the straight mile.

The 25/1 chance was landing his fourth win from 26 career starts and is a half-brother to the yard’s Imperial Guest who suffered a fatal injury at Kempton in January having proved a standard bearer for Margarson in recent seasons, including wining a valuable heritage handicap at Glorious Goodwood. 

In Excellent Guest, it appears that the Newmarket handler has a ready-made replacement for his much missed stalwart, a point that Betfair pundit, Jamie Lynch, has supported in recent days.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Djokovic return Game the key to Clay Success

Novak Djokovic has always been known for his ability to return even the world’s fastest serves with consummate ease and last weekend this gift proved the difference between winning and losing yet again.

Facing Rafael Nadal in the final of a tournament the Spaniard has won eight times before must be a daunting task but when you’ve got a return master at the other end of the court the balance of power evens somewhat.

This is what fans betting Betfair enjoyed on Sunday afternoon as Nadal and Djokovic clashed for the Monte Carlo Masters final and few of us expected the result we witnessed.

Djokovic was simply too dominant for the Spaniard and bounded to a 5-0 first-set lead before taking the opener 6-2. Although Nadal fought back hard to force a second-set tie-break, Djokovic’s dominance on single points proved the difference between the pair as he won the second and the championship on a 7-1 mini set.

What gave Djokovic the edge on Sunday was his ability to return serve and if he keeps this up he is the logical choice to win the French Open later next month.

Djokovic only made 62% of his first serves compared to Nadal’s 72%, yet the Serb won 63% of his first serve points, while Nadal only won 55% of his.

So, despite having a better serve Nadal failed to make it count, and this was because Djokovic is the master at retuning.

His reaction to serves is second to none and because he possesses at 6ft 2” frame he can stretch across the court in a flash and excavate those impossible balls. The 2013 Australian Open champion won 40/78 return points to Nadal’s 23/61 and that is where the pair differed.

If Nadal is to win the Roland Garros crown he must improve his return game or find an extra 10mph in his serves. That is unlikely to happen and so betting fans should back Djokovic to win the clay slam this summer.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Burleson injury news great for Lions fans

Detroit Lions fans concerned their offense lacks the spark needed to succeed in the NFC North next season will be pleased to hear injured wide receiver Nate Burleson is way ahead of his scheduled recovery time.

Burleson broke his leg in late October during Detroit’s 13-7 defeat to the Chicago Bears and was immediately ruled out for the rest of the 2012 season. The Lions arguably suffered from his absence, winning just two games after that Chicago game, but now fans can look forward to his return.

"The great news is I'm healed up," Burleson told NFL AM. "I just got news from my doctors that the bone is good. I'm running and jumping three months ahead of schedule."

Indeed, to be three months ahead of the recovery date is great news for both Burleson and Lions fans who bet on NFL, for there is a real chance of healthy competition growing within the team over pre-season training.

Burleson will tussle with veteran receiver Calvin Johnson once more this year and there may even be a surprise draft pick hidden up Detroit’s sleeve come the 2013 Draft this week.

If the Lions can bring in a young WR to learn off Burleson then the 31-year-old’s job of keeping his place will be tough but nonetheless rewarding.

Detroit needs competition in offensive positions as 2012 demonstrated and the departure of Titus Young certainly hasn’t helped things. Despite making the 2011 playoffs the team crumpled to a 4-12 season last term, finishing bottom of the division, and head coach Jim Schwartz needs to get this pack going again if they are to defy the NFL betting odds that are tipping them for another year of struggle.

Hopefully Ryan Boyles can return from injury as good as ever and if Schwartz can add another WR before August Detroit should possess a dangerous forward threat.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Djokovic revels in surprise win

Novak Djokovic admits he did not expect to win the Monte Carlo Masters after going into the tournament with an injury cloud hanging over him. The Serbian was a major doubt after damaging his right ankle on Davis Cup duty just a week before the start of the event in Monaco. The world number one decided to play and was clearly not 100 per cent fit during the early rounds. However, his decision ultimately paid off as he worked his way through to Sunday's final, where he ended Rafael Nadal's incredible stranglehold on the Monte Carlo Masters with a 6-2 7-6 (7-1) victory. Nadal had held the title for eight years and entered the Masters 1000 showpiece protecting a 46-match unbeaten run. The clay-court king had no answer in the early stages as Djokovic took a firm grip on the contest. "The first six, seven or eight games were unbelievable. It's the best I can play on clay - well, it's the only way you can win against Rafa" said Djokovic, who lost finals in 2009 and 2012. The win will boost Djokovic's confidence as he prepares to avenge last year's French Open final defeat to Nadal at Roland Garros next month. He regards taking the risk to compete in Monaco as the "best decision of my life". "I cannot be happier than I am at this moment, knowing what I've been through the whole week – trying to recover and make my decision to play," added Djokovic. "If somebody had told me 10 days ago that I'd be winning the trophy, I wouldn't have thought it was realistic." The 25-year-old will continue his preparations for the second Grand Slam of the season at the Madrid Open in May. Don’t forget to head over to bet365 for all the latest tennis betting news odds, tips, advice and expert opinion, as well as their frequently updated promotions, including their latest in-play bet offer.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Higgins Picks up Early Defeat Once Again

Mark Davis took the biggest scalp of this year’s Betfair World Snooker Championship with a 10-6 victory over former four-time champion, John Higgins, much to the joy of fans who placed free bets online.

The pair also met in the UK Championship earlier in the season where Davis came out on top that day too, 6-5.

The man from Hastings was forced to qualify for the Crucible despite finishing inside the top 16 following the cut-off point for the World Championship. This was due to Ronnie O’Sullivan’s decision to defend his title even though he had not played one tournament on the circuit so far this season.

Davis led the opening session against the Scot 6-3, despite trailing 0-2 in the early exchanges. Breaks of 96, 85, 69 and 68 helped him to secure an advantage over night.

When the players returned on Monday afternoon, the world number 16 held his nerve to complete the upset 10-6. A break of 87 in the 16th frame was enough for him to progress into the second round where he will now face either Stuart Bingham or Sam Baird.

The 2012/13 season has been the best of Davis’ career so far. He reached his first ranking semi-final in the Wuxi Classic back in June. Wins over Ding Junhui, Jamie Burnett and Dott helped him into the last four. His run eventually came to an end in a final frame decider against Bingham.

Following his success in China, he continued his momentum into the Australian Goldfields Open where he went as far as the semi-final once again. He opening up with a 5-2 win over the talented youngster Jack Lisowski.

A victory over home favourite Neil Robertson followed as did success over Martin Gould. However, he was denied a spot in the final by the eventual winner Barry Hawkins.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mickelson’s Masters Preparations hit Snag

Phil Mickelson’s hopes of landing a fourth Masters title were dealt a blow following after the 42-year old opted out of playing in a warm-up event ahead of the first major of the year.

Mickelson has always liked to play the week before a major, but the left-hander decided against playing the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio because the tournament did not offer the right conditions in which he could prepare for what he will come up against at Augusta.

Previously, the final event before Augusta was the Shell Houston Open at the Redstone GC Tournament Course, but a switch in the schedule saw that event moved forward by a week, throwing off Mickelson’s preparations for the Masters.

He was fourth in Houston before his impressive third place at Augusta last year and also played there the week before winning the 2010 Masters.

Before that, the pre-Masters event had been the BellSouth Classic at Sugarloaf - which was another tournament prepared with Augusta very much in mind - and Mickelson won there before his 2004 Masters success.

Mickelson has admitted to US Masters betting pundits that he is concerned by his lack of competitive action in the run-up to the season’s first major, especially taking into consideration the unforgiving nature of the course at Augusta.

"I find when I take a week off I come out just mentally not sharp. The more I play, the sharper I get, and usually the second or third tournament is when I play my best,” revealed Mickelson.

"So that's why I like to have a tournament before a major, because a major's penalty for a miss is so severe, you've got to be sharp on each shot right from the gate."

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Rascal to meet Smith in Germany

Dave Chisnall’s opening round clash against Michael Smith in the European Darts Trophy is the pick of the games in the evening session of the competition on day one.

Smith has just recently reached the final of the World Youth Championship, where he hit a nine-darter during his qualification to the final. He will now face Ricky Evans in May at the 02 Arena.

Chisnall was voted the PDC newcomer of the year in 2012 after a successful transition from the BDO. Not only did he reach the semi-final of the UK Open but he picked up wins in Players Championship in Barnsley, Crawley and Reading.

At the 2013 World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, the man from St Helens equalled his personal best in the tournament where he was beaten in third round by Australian Simon Whitlock 3-4.

Since then he reached the final of the first UK Open qualifier but lost to the in-form Michael van Gerwen 2-6.

The Hammer Andy Hamilton takes a break from the Premier League when he takes on Gareth Pass in the second game of the evening.

Hamilton has been in really good form in recent weeks with two wins over the 16-time world champion Phil Taylor and his recent success over Whitlock in week 7 of the Premier League in Cardiff. The man from Stoke is on course for another Play-Off appearance at the 02 Arena.

Also in action on Saturday evening in Germany is Robert Thornton who will be looking to bounce back from his defeat to Adrian Lewis last Thursday.

The Thorn has held his own in his debut season in the Premier League but suffered a setback in the Welsh capital when he went down 5-7 to the two-time world champion. 

Check out the darts betting on Betfair for all the latest from the Premier League.