Free betting tips and previews
Here you will find free betting tips and previews from the hottest betting experts online collected and compiled in one place. Same as in the Tiltbet betting app on AppStore.
Here you will find free betting tips and previews from the hottest betting experts online collected and compiled in one place. Same as in the Tiltbet betting app on AppStore.
OBSESSIVE European football fan Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) runs the rule over the brand new Ligue 1 season, picking out his favourite ante-post punts ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
PSG picked up their third treble in four seasons to dominate French football once more and Les Parisians are tiny 1/8 (BetVictor) favourites to seal a sixth Ligue 1 title in seven seasons in 2018/19.
The capital club clinched the Ligue 1 crown by 13 points, and while Les Rouge-et-Bleu flopped in European competition once more, they remained utterly dominant domestically as they amassed 93 points with 29 victories alongside a tally of 108 goals. And the margin of victory could have been more had PSG not eased off in the final furlong – triumphing just twice in their final seven outings.
Even so, Unai Emery was shown the exit door and the abrasive but talented Thomas Tuchel has taken up the reigns in Paris. Expect the runaway leaders to be more tactically flexible – the German has been trialling a three-man defence in pre-season – and to saunter towards another league title.
The likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar are only likely to improve on last season’s output and Les Parisians are rated as the second-shortest outright jolly in French football history. The last time they went off shorter – at 1/10 in 2016/17 – they were toppled by Monaco.
Last term was always going to be mightily tough for Monaco to retain their title having lost the heartbeat of their team in the summer. Leonardo Jardim again proved himself a canny operator by guiding the principality club to second spot ahead of Lyon and Marseille with Les Rouges et Blancs losing only six games along the way.
However, the departures of Fabinho, Joao Moutinho and Thomas Lemar could easily catch up on Monaco now. The emerging Ronny Lopes, Keita Balde and new additions Aleksandr Golovin and Jean-Eudes Aholou will ensure they remain competitive but plenty of development is required if Les Monegasques are to mount a challenge.
Lyon were pipped by Monaco in the Without PSG market last time out and Les Gones could look like handy 10/11 (10BET) value for a Top Three Finish. At the time of writing, Nabil Fekir remains at the Groupama Stadium and his influence is key if the former dominant force of French football is to progress.
The captain scored 18 goals and made seven assists as Lyon plundered 87 goals. Along with Mariano Diaz, Memphis Depay and Bertrand Traore, the Les Gones attack was a constant menace and should look even stronger following the returning Martin Terrier after a solid spell with Strasbourg.
Lyon beat each of their top-four rivals on home soil last season, and while Mouctar Diakhaby’s departure hits the defence hard, there’s more than enough talent to suggest this side are well capable of achieving a second successive top-three finish.
Marseille missed out on Champions League qualification by just a single point and concluded the campaign with a Europa League silver medal. Rudi Garcia’s group were held back by a series of draws and poor performances in the matches that mattered against Ligue 1’s leading lights.
Croatian centre-half Duje Caleta-Car is the club’s major addition with moves to sign Mario Balotelli still far from complete. Should Balotelli arrive, L’OM could also appeal at 10/11 (Betfred) for a Top Three Finish, although asking Florian Thauvin to repeat last season’s remarkable heroics – 22 goals and 12 assists – might be tough.
Nevertheless, more investment is required with Les Phoceens’ squad needing to be bulked out if Marseille are to avoid a repeat of the disruption from injuries and suspensions that hit them hard in the latter stages of last season.
Fifth-placed Rennes earned a Europa League berth last term following a strong finish under the astute leadership of Sabri Lamouchi. Les Rouges et Noir suffered a sole reverse in their final 14 games and should Brittany boys enhance their record at their Roazhon Park home, the 19-point gap to fourth should be closed.
SRFC lacked a free-scoring striker and so the arrival of Jordan Siebatcheu has excited supporters after an excellent campaign in Ligue 2 with Reims. Joris Gnagnon’s big-money deal away is a blow but Damian Da Silva is a capable replacement and Clement Grenier a potential match-winner should he stay fit.
Rennes boast a talented starting XI and the squad to consistently compete towards the upper echelons of Ligue1 with experience, youth, pace and muscle in abundance. They look an excellent even-money shot with Unibet to scoop a Top Six Finish.
Saint-Etienne won just six Ligue 1 games going into deepest January but overcame a turbulent opening stanza under Oscar Garcia to finish comfortably in seventh under Jean-Louis Gasset. Les Verts were beaten only three times in the second half of the season and more serene progress is anticipated.
Sainte have impressively captured Timothée Kolodziejczak and Wahbi Khazri this summer, while Yann M’Vila has committed his future to the club. Promising right-backs Saidy Janko and Ronael Pierre-Gabriel have moved on and Remy Cabella has yet to return but a more consistent top-half effort should be on the cards.
Elsewhere, Bordeaux improved immeasurably under Gus Poyet’s watch although the Uruguayan has been embroiled in an ongoing internal feud with the club’s board. The new ownership has yet to significantly strengthen the squad and the sale of Malcolm makes Les Girondins a less threatening proposition.
Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira faces a tough introduction to management at Nice with key men Jean-Michael Serri, Alassane Plea, Maxime Le Marchand and very probably Mario Balotelli leaving the Allianz Arena this summer.
Under the excellent Lucien Favre, Les Aiglons failed to hit the heights of 2016/17 and struggled defensively. So with the likes of Wylan Cyprien, Pierre Lees-Melou, Allan Saint-Maximin currently called upon for goals, a campaign of regression could be around the corner unless Vieira proves his credentials from the off.
The Ligue 1 relegation markets always appeal. With only two automatic spots up for grabs – third from bottom plays off over two legs with Ligue 2’s third-place team – there are often chunky prices to be had pre-season.
Newly-promoted Nimes (7/4 Bet365) head the betting but there’s little desire to support a side that’s expected to impress with their free-flowing, attacking football. Such an offensive approach is unusual in France’s top-tier and the Crocodiles have the ability to survive on their return to the top-flight.
Amiens (5/2 10BET) were chalked up as relegation favourites following their back-to-back promotions 12 months ago but finished eight points above the drop-zone. Losing Gael Kakuta and Harisson Manzala could prove fatal but the minnows are built from the back and their rock-solid defence makes them an unappealing punt at the prices.
So instead, support Strasbourg at 7/2 (10BET) and Caen at 12/1 (SkyBet) to suffer Ligue 1 demotion when May rolls around.
Strasbourg followed back-to-back titles with survival although the famous French club finished just a point above the bottom-three as they completed their campaign with just three victories from 20 outings. A dreadful defence and awful away record proved their main downfall.
In the off-season, the Alsace club have lost their two standout stars – defensive midfielder Jean-Eudes Aholou and winger Martin Terrier – and you have to now question where the dynamism and invention will come from. Stephane Bahoken was the team’s top scorer with seven but he’s also departed.
Meanwhile, Bakary Kone, Dimitri Foulquier and Kader Mangane have all moved on to leave the backline looking exposed. Stefan Mitrovic has arrived to plug a gap at centre-half, while Adrien Thomasson and Ludovic Ajorque flesh out the forwardline but it could be another tough term for Strasbourg.
Caen are also expected to toil towards the bottom end of the table and look far too big at 12/1 (SkyBet) to drop out of the top division. SMC survived by the skin of their teeth last season – by one point following a dreadful spell of seven defeats in 10 winless games to conclude the campaign.
Head coach Patrice Garande has departed after six years and incoming boss Fabien Mercadal has no previous Ligue 1 experience and gets the gig having led Paris FC in his previous role. The new manager has plenty of work to do with the squad losing a number of key elements in the summer.
Caen scored just 27 goals in 2017/18 – comfortably the lowest in the league – and top scorer Ivan Santini is no longer about. Nobody else scored more than five goals in the group and centre-half star Damien Da Silva has also headed to the exit, just two of five starters to leave SMC this summer.
The Normandy outfit have brought in Enzo Crivelli and Casimir Ninga to spearhead their challenge but neither are prolific, nor consistent performers in the top-flight. With problems mounting at the both ends of the pitch, Caen will do well to improve on their rotten displays last term.
Edison Cavani (5/4 Bet365)) is the market leader having scooped the prize in the last two Ligue 1 seasons but there’s little appeal at almost even-money.
The Top Goalscorer award has been won by a PSG player in six of the past seven seasons and so supporting Neymar at 7/4 (Betfair) looks a better value option.
The Brazilian brat is likely to dominate set-pieces and penalties, play more often for his club in 2017/18 and was scoring at an average rate of one ever 94 minutes when he did decide he fancied a game under Unai Emery.
Ligue 1 2018/19 – Rennes to finish in the top-six (1/1 Unibet)
Ligue 1 2018/19 – Strasbourg to be relegated (7/2 10BET)
Ligue 1 2018/19 – Caen to be relegated (12/1 SkyBet)
Ouch, what a bad beat we took yesterday. We backed the Philadelphia Phillies as major underdogs on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks. I really liked getting to back a first-place team like the Phillies with an ace like Jake Arrieta on the mound, getting a bunch of dog money. The game went according to plan most of the way as Arrieta was dominant. All told, Arrieta pitched eight shutout innings, allowing just three hits along the way.
The game hit the bottom of the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 2-0. Philly brought in their closer Seranthony Dominguez, and he immediately got lit up. Dominguez got touched up right away and quickly allowed the DBacks to tie the game up. The Phillies were able to get Dominguez back out of the game quick enough to preserve the tie and send the game into extra frames. But the DBacks eventually took the win on a David Peralta walk-off home run in the bottom of the fourteenth inning.
This is my least favorite way to lose a bet. I don’t mind if I make a pick that was just completely off base and lose. But when you nail almost every factor of the game only to see the closer come in and give the game away, it hurts, especially when we were in line for a big dog money payout. What can you do, we will shake it off and move on today as we look at the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets.
The Cincinnati Reds are in New York City Tuesday for game two of a three-game series with the Mets. This game features two teams that are out of contention at this point of the season and are just playing out the stick on what has been a long and disappointing year. The Reds, while playing fairly well after a very slow first month of the season, unloaded some major talent at the trade deadline and are expected to really fall off here down the stretch. The same could be said about the Mets, as winning likely won’t be a major part of the equation the rest of the way out for New York.
Starting tonight for the Reds is Sal Romano (6-9 5.12 ERA), and for the Mets, it is Jason Vargas (2-7 8.23 ERA). The Mets are small -108 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Citi Field in New York City.
There just isn’t much good that can be said about Jason Vargas this year. After making the All-Star team last season with the Kansas City Royals, he has been a complete and utter disappointment this season for the Mets. Vargas has not pitched more than five innings in any of his eleven starts and has a sky-high ERA of 8.23. The Mets are 2-9 in games where he starts this season. In fact, Vargas has pitched fewer than five innings in six of those starts, that is pretty brutal when you are struggling to even make it out of the fourth inning as a starter.
Cincinnati starter Sal Romano has had similar struggles this year for the Reds. Romano is just 6-9 with a 5.12 ERA. That is the highest qualified ERA in the National League right now. The second-year right hander just hasn’t been good at all this year. He has had similar struggles this season as Vargas as he just doesn’t get very deep into games. Romana has gone six innings, or fewer, in twenty of his twenty-two starts this season.
Sometimes when I see a number, I just don’t understand it. That is what happened when I looked at this game total of just nine runs this morning. Sal Romano has been the worst starting pitcher in the National League this season. Not a bad pitcher, the worst. At least as far as qualified pitchers go, that have actually pitched all season long.
And Jason Vargas has been worse! Way worse. So, you can see why I was surprised to see the total as so low. And then imagine my excitement when the morning action actually moved this line down even further, to where it stands now at just eight and a half runs.
I understand that both the Mets and Reds are both going to be without a couple of their best hitters. The Mets lost Cespedes to injury and the Reds lost Duvall to a trade. And that both of these lineups weren’t all that good, to begin with. But Jason Vargas might just give up nine runs by himself! And if not, Sal Romano seems to always give up several runs as well. I don’t just like the over in this game, I love it.
So, I will take the over eight and a half runs and hope that Vargas and Romano are up to their usual tricks and both get lit up tonight. Give me the over eight and a half runs at -116 tonight in New York City!
PLACE YOUR BET
Last night didn’t go quite as planned. Noah Syndergaard (31 fantasy points) got about half the points Trevor Bauer did, while Yankees and Mariners stacks weren’t quite as explosive as I expected.
The good news is that lineup was good enough for me to cash, so if you used my MLB DFS picks in a bigger entry GPP, you may have had a fun night.
It wasn’t an amazing outing, though, so the aim is to get even higher in the standings come Tuesday. Let’s dive into FanDuel’s huge 14-game main slate:
SP: Chase Anderson – San Diego Padres ($7.6k)
Mad Max leads the way tonight but he’s really pricey and he gets a dangerous (and motivated) Braves offense. I’m not sure this is the slate to pay up for him, while none of the other elite arms really call out to me.
Carlos Carrasco should be fine against the Twins, but they did rough him up earlier this year and he tends to have most of his issues at home at Progressive Field. I see Zack Greinke’s home splits and upside against the Phillies, but Philadelphia can also be tough to shut down. Even if he has a good night, I’m not sure he’ll be worth his staggering price tag.
There are a few intermediate options to consider and maybe a couple of dives, but I’ll just roll out Chase Anderson at home against the Padres.
San Diego is bad in general but they specifically struggle against right-handed pitching. With a 22% whiff rate against righties and very little reliable pop in this type of matchup, things project well for Anderson, who dropped 40 fantasy points on them earlier this year.
Anderson has issues with contact and isn’t always sharp at home, but he’s a good price and in too good of a spot to ignore on this slate. If you must pay up, Mad Max is the guy I’d target. I’m just seeking value on this slate and he’s really not the way to get it.
C/1B: Jesus Aguilar – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.4k)
I also like Ryan Zimmerman ($3.1k) here, but Aguilar is in a hitter’s park and has nasty splits (.389 wOBA, .269 ISO) against left-handed pitching. Clayton Richard can be tough at times and he does induce a lot of ground balls, but Aguilar has the lowest ground ball rate (32%) of Milwaukee’s projected starters.
Richard could make Aguilar whiff every time up, but his strikeout rate (16%) isn’t scary and his splits (.342 wOBA, .171 ISO, 43% hard hit rate) against righties do not favor him in a steep park downgrade.
2B: Jeff McNeil – New York Mets ($2.7k)
McNeil is dirt cheap at a position I routinely hate. I don’t feel like spending top dollar on 2B tonight, so I’ll drop down to the Mets slugger who is quickly rising thanks to a hot .364 batting average. McNeil also just donged last night and will be at home against the beatable Sal Romano.
Romano isn’t a scary arm and he specifically has issues against left-handed hitters (.388 wOBA, .230 ISO, 35% fly ball rate, 41% hard hit rate). A full Mets stack from the left side is certainly in play tonight and will go overlooked, but I’m targeting a one-off thanks to McNeil’s hot hitting and nasty splits (.470 wOBA, .267 ISO) against right-handed throwing.
3B: Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals ($3.8k)
I love Rendon’s power (.296 ISO) against southpaws, so I’m game for trying him out even though he’s facing the talented Sean Newcomb. The Braves lefty comes in red hot, but he’s struggled a bit over the past month and this is a huge game (and series) in D.C.
SS: Manny Machado – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.9k)
I don’t normally go out of my way to target Sean Manaea, but he does give up some contact to the right side of the plate and Manny Machado is always worth a shot. Machado comes in at a discounted price and also happens to wreck left-handed pitching (.386 wOBA, .221 ISO).
Teammate Chris Taylor ($2.6k) is an amazing value if you can’t pay up for Manny here.
OF: Teoscar Hernandez – Toronto Blue Jays ($3.2k)
There are a lot of eye-popping splits to exploit on this massive slate. Hernandez has cooled off remarkably over the past month or so, but he still mashes lefties (.291 ISO) and gets one in Drew Pomeranz that can be gotten to.
Pommy is undoubtedly a talented arm, but he serves up a ton of contact (.409 wOBA, .255 ISO, 37% fly ball rate, 37% hard hit rate) to the right side of the plate. A Jays stack from the right side isn’t at all crazy, but I’ll limit my exposure to Teoscar tonight.
OF: Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers ($3.1k)
Braun is always a roll of the dice, but he pieces together a fun two-man Brewers stack. The Brew Crew is a viable three or four-man stack, too, but I’ll stop here and really would limit my exposure to the right side of the plate.
Aguilar is easily the top Brewers masher to eye here, but Braun’s splits against southpaws (.229 ISO) are also quite fun.
OF: Nicholas Castellanos – Detroit Tigers ($3k)
Castellanos is another guy with awesome splits (.466 wOBA, .245 ISO) against left-handed pitching and he remains too cheap to ignore. He could be heating up, too, as he donged in his last game and has four hits over his last four games.
He’ll get Andrew Heaney, who is a talented arm in a pitcher-friendly park, but also gives up loads of contact (.192 ISO, 39% fly ball rate, 41% hard hit rate) to righty bats. I’m not stacking Detroit hitters here, but one or two are worth a look and I’m certainly not paying up for Heaney in this spot.
Util: Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies ($4.2k)
There is so much value on the board tonight that I don’t even think you need to go out of your way to force would-be elite bats into your lineup. You also can comfortably get to Mad Max or another elite arm if you sacrifice in a few spots and pick the right value bats.
That being said, I do like Blackmon in this spot. He comes in ice cold (1 for his last 19) and there are a ton of games on this slate, so I love the idea of him being really low-owned. He’s still in Coors against Jameson Taillon, who is way less effective against lefties. Blackmon’s splits (.366 wOBA, .246 ISO) and this park make Chuck a really fun play.
I know I’m playing with fire by testing out Chase Anderson in Miller Park, but his matchup with the Padres is obviously great and using him opens up room for all of the bats I covet.
I’m only forced to take one dive, yet McNeil doesn’t really feel like a big risk given his matchup and the way he’s been swinging the bat.
Overall, I’ve got lots of power in this lineup and very favorable matchups. Hopefully it all leads to a big finish and also gets you in the green. Thanks for reading and good luck with your own daily fantasy baseball picks tonight at FanDuel!
PLAY THIS LINEUP
NRL analyst Chris Thomas (@SolidPunts) is heading Down Under on Thursday morning in search of value as the North Queensland Cowboys meet regional rivals Brisbane Broncos in Townsville.
What a special night it will be in Townsville as future immortal Jonathon Thurston captains the North Queensland Cowboys in his last ever Queensland derby.
JT’s men will take on a Brisbane Broncos side led by one-club man and skipper Sam Thaiday in his 300th game in a Brisbane shirt.
Fittingly, the tie will take place in Townsville, Thaiday’s hometown where he grew up with dreams of pulling on the Cowboys’ jumper.
The Broncos come into this game having abandoned their questionable team selection choices in recent weeks. Darius Boyd is back where he belongs in the no. 1 jersey with the youthful Jamayne Isaako returning to the wing
Elsewhere, the Broncos are set to give Origin U20’s prospect Gehamat Shibasaki a debut in the centres and even with JoshMcGuire out and Tevita Pangai Jr. a doubt should have enough to come through this one.
The Cowboys make only one change to the side that lost 26-20 to the Roosters last week with Corey Jensen replacing the injured Shaun Fensom.
The Cowboys have had a horror season and are driven in a desperate battle to avoid the wooden spoon in Thurston’s last season as a player.
This has inspired the Cowboys to kick-on somewhat in recent weeks but they’re still very patchy and with only one win at home in their last five, are very vulnerable to the visitors.
What’s disappointed most is how close the Cowboys have been in their losing efforts with 10 of their 15 defeats being by 10 points or fewer.
Brisbane, meanwhile, have a great record of winning close games helped by the goalkicking of Isaako, but have failed to put teams away convincingly with nine of their 11 wins arriving by the 1-10 margin.
With the Broncos best priced at just 4/6 (BetVictor) to win this there’s a lot more value to be had utilising the Winning Margin markets and the 12/5 available (Bet365) on the Broncos to win by 1-10 definitely looks the way to go here.
North Queensland Cowboys v Brisbane Broncos – Brisbane Broncos to win by 1-10 points (12/5 Bet365)
DISCLAIMER: ODDS AND ARTICLE UPDATED 07/08/2018, 17:11.
With six meetings set to take place on Wednesday, including a race card on the south coast at Brighton, we have three tips for readers.
Bright Saffron to Win and Each Way @ 4/1 – BET NOW
Brighton’s three-day festival kicks off today and the opening race of the meeting can go the way of the George Scott-trained Bright Saffron.
The selection registered a fair effort when finishing fourth in a classified stakes over 1m at Yarmouth (good-to-firm) last time out, with that effort marking her first outing since having three quick runs in novice/maiden company on the all-weather in January and February.
The selection takes a marked drop in grade compared with the Yarmouth contest and given that she is bred to appreciate this sort of trip, she can record her first victory on her first start in handicap company.
Trainer George Scott is in good form at present and he comes into this event with a 33% strike-rate (3/9) in recent weeks which is a further pointer to the selection’s chances, while the application of cheek-pieces for the first time should see the daughter of Champs Elysees sharper than on her previous outings.
Classic Pursuit to Win and Each Way @ 5/2 – BET NOW
Classic Pursuit has been in great form in recent times and comes into this 5f sprint handicap chasing a hat-trick of victories.
The change in headgear appears to have suited in recent times with the switch back to blinkers for the first time since March last year bringing about a success when chasing the early pace prior to a good ground victory over this course and distance in a ten-runner field at the end of last month.
A further success over this distance, this time at Nottingham on good ground, followed with the son of Pastoral Pursuits making all and pulling clear of his five rivals for a relatively easy success under seven-pound claimer Theodore Ladd.
Ladd is again in the saddle here and the seven-year-old is effectively a pound well in under his ten-pound penalty, given that he is expected to race off a one-pound higher mark for all future engagements.
Michael Appleby’s yard is a stable going well at present with Classic Pursuit’s two victories among seven for the yard from 33 runners in the last two weeks and he will be looking to improve on his 21% strike-rate in that period.
Mutaabeq to Win and Each Way @ - BET NOW
Trainer Dermot Weld had a very quiet Galway by his standards, registering just three victories at the big meeting last week.
His representative in this competitive conditions race is the Teofilo colt Mutaabeq, a winner on debut when victorious in a 1m2f contest on yielding ground at Ballinrobe last month.
The selection overcame adversity having stumbled just over a furlong from home prior to leading and ultimately drawing clear for a comfortable success in a 12-runner field.
Related to a number of winners, including the stable’s dual winner Adool, he is out of the Group 3 winner Khulood and he looks capable of maintaining his unbeaten record in what looks a competitive small-field affair, with the extra half furlong he is set to encounter here likely to suit.
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We picked up the win last night when we backed the Seattle Mariners as they played against the Texas Rangers. The Mariners had this seemingly wrapped up as Wade LeBlanc cruised through the first six innings, allowing no runs on just one hit and the M’s had built up a 3-0. LeBlanc gave up a hit to the leadoff hitter in the seventh inning, and Seattle decided to pull him in favor of the newly acquired Adam Warren.
Warren came into the game and immediately tried to give it away. He walked the first batter he faced, gave up an RBI double to the next batter, and then hit the third with a pitch. With that, Warren’s day was done, and by the end of the inning, the Rangers had tied the game up at three. The Mariners were able to gut it out though and won the game in the twelfth inning on a Ryon Healy RBI single, and we cashed our ticket. They made us sweat it out more than we probably should have, but either way, we won the bet and will get right back at it today as we break down the game between the Houston Astros and the San Francisco Giants.
The Houston Astros are in San Francisco Tuesday for game two of a quick two-game series with the Giants. The Astros took game one last night in a stunning comeback as they trailed the entire game and were down to their last out before Marwin Gonzalez hit a three-run homer to give them the lead in the ninth inning. Giants starter, rookie sensation Dereck Rodriguez, pitched seven sterling innings, allowing no runs on just three hits, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the game for him, and he ended up with a no-decision.
Starting today for the Astros is Dallas Keuchel (9-9 3.61 ERA), and for the Giants, it is Madison Bumgarner (4-4 2.97 ERA). The Astros are -107 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at seven runs. First pitch is scheduled for 12:45 PM PST from AT&T Park in San Francisco.
If you don’t follow the Astros close you might have looked at Dereck Rodriguez’s stat line last night and been surprised. How did this mighty Astros offense struggle so badly against a rookie pitcher? But if you had taken a look at the lineup that was actauly on the field last night, you would have realized that the heart and soul of this lineup is missing. Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Carlos Correa are all on the 10-day DL right now and did not play.
The Astros are still playing well without their best guys, but the bats have noticeably quieted down a bit, and understandably so. This depleted Astros lineup will have their hands full tonight when they must face Giants ace, Madison Bumgarner.
Bumgarner had a late start to the season as he was injured, but now that he is all stretched out, he is back to his dominating ways. Bumgarner has yet to give up more than four runs in any start this season and has allowed two runs or fewer in seven out of his eleven starts on the year. Madison has been just about unhittable at home this season as he is sporting a 2.01 ERA at AT&T Park, while his road ERA is over two full runs higher at 4.44.
That has been the case for most of this Giants team this season. Great at home, terrible on the road. On the season, the Giants are nine games over .500 at home and a dismal nine games under .500 on the road. If the Giants got to play all their games at home this season, they would be a World Series contender. Instead, they are mostly out of the playoff chase as they are buried in fourth place in the NL West Division.
The Astros will turn to Dallas Keuchel today as they look to complete the sweep. Keuchel really struggled for much of the season, and his nine losses are amongst the league leaders. But recently he seems to have dialed it back in. Keuchel has won seven out of his last eight decisions, and in July he went 4-1 with a 1.65 ERA. The Astros will need Keuchel to continue this hot pitching as they just got the bad news that fellow starter Lance McCullers will be out until the playoffs start with an injury.
What a great pitcher’s duel we have on our hands tonight. Don’t let that ugly record for Keuchel fool you, this guy is elite and is back to pitching well after a slow start to the season. I just don’t see how this Astros lineup, that is a shell of its former self, is going to be able to score against the Giants today.
They couldn’t score against Dereck Rodriguez yesterday, and I don’t expect them to score much against Madison Bumgarner today. The game will likely be a similar one to last nights, a low scoring, tight affair. But I just can’t pass up on the value of backing the Giants as home dogs. San Francisco has shown all year long they are a great home team and with their ace on the mound, I expect a full effort from them tonight.
As a general rule, I stay away from betting the under on a game total of seven or below, it is just too hard to stay under that low of a number, but it wouldn’t shock me at all if this were another very low scoring game. But in the end, I think the Giants will find a way to win this one tonight. Give me the San Francisco Giants as small home underdogs tonight in game two at -103!
PLACE YOUR BET
Managing Chelsea has to be one of the toughest jobs in the business. Just 14 months after landing the club the Premier League title, Antonio Conte was given the boot. Things started falling apart for Chelsea early last season and there were big question marks over whether or not the Italian was actually going to last the entire season. He did and he managed to get them the FA Cup title as well. But that wasn’t enough and out the door (eventually) he went. In comes former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri now to bring his flair to the English top flight.
The style of Sarri is comparable to that of Pep Guardiola’s. But will Chelsea have the quality left in their squad to fully implement the plans for the Italian? This is a huge summer for the Blues because there have been heavy transfer market rumours around the likes of Willian, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. If even most of them go, with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and PSG knocking on the door, then Chelsea’ plans of success for the forthcoming season could be scuppered.
The Blues are 11/8 at William Hill* (betting odds taken from August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm) to be the Top London Club for the Premier League 2018/19 season and that will be down to Sarri. His Napoli side, who were a thrill to watch last season, almost upset Juventus’s reign in Serie A last term. But again we have to look at the personnel. Sarri’s style, much like Guardiola’s is a physically demanding one and we can see big problems in that for the Blues particularly in midfield. They look really short in there despite the arrival of playmaker Jorginho. It may be a season where Chelsea have to put a lot of trust in some of their youngsters like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham and the promising forward Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Another issue that they could have is in the goalscoring department. If you look at the Premier League Top Goalscorer market for the forthcoming season, you see big threats from the other big six in the league, but Chelsea’s main man Alvaro Morata is out there at a huge 33/1 price* (betting odds taken from August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm). He looked totally lost last season and out of his depth in the Premier League and his pre-season wasn’t all that much better. But the Blues don’t really seem to have a backup plan in place to compensate. Again, that all gets worse if Willian and Hazard depart.
Manchester City 4/6
Man Utd 7/1
* (betting odds taken from William Hill on August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm)
This is going to be a tough season for Chelsea who will be taking part in this season’s Europa League with those awkward Thursday night arrangements. Their primary goal for the season will be to get back into the top four of the Premier League and back to the UEFA Champions League and they are 4/6 odds to do that* (betting odds taken from August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm). If they sacrifice the Europa League their odds of doing that will be increased. The big issue for the Blues is just what kind of squad they are going to be lining up with.
There hasn’t been much activity from them so far aside from midfielder Jorginho and their ambitions are going to be severely tested when the big offers for their big players start rolling in. Are Chelsea going to have to end up being a selling club? To that end, Sarri does tend to operate with just a few central figures to his plans and plug the gaps around them, but he’s not a manager who has really given youth a big chance in his career. Hazard, Kante and Courtois are irreplaceable and the house of cards could fall if they depart.
The Blues open their account against Huddersfield away from home on the opening weekend of the season. Chelsea have won just one of their last three opening fixtures to a league season (D1 L1). Chelsea are 8/15 to land the victory in that one, but then they go follow that up with a big test. They play host to London rivals Arsenal on August 18th in a tough match up for them against an Arsenal side who are pretty much in the same boat as they are.
The back end of the season isn’t all that bad for the Blues really. From the start of March, they only have to face two of the other Big Six in the league (Liverpool and Man Utd) in their final ten matches of the term.
The quality of the squad just doesn’t appear to be there for the Blues at all. Sales could impact that further and further as well. Sarri’s style demands a lot of physical exertion and output and we don’t see the current Chelsea midfield with the likes of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas, Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater fitting into those plans all that well. You get the feeling that the club won’t get a better time to really tear up their blueprint and just go for youth.
The Sarriball style can deliver a lot of attacking thrills as we saw from the powerful Napoli attack last term. We just don’t see Chelsea starting the season with the squad to pull it off though and cannot pass up the chance of 6/5 odds on them to NOT finish in the top four* (betting odds taken from August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm).
With the Premier League kick-off just days away, the race for the coveted top spot will begin in earnest, but for those managers that fail to sparkle in the early stages of the campaign are sure to be under the microscope from the board, and there's no doubt that the First Premier League Manage To Be Sacked Odds will change as the season clicks into top gear.
Leicester City boss Claude Puel is the 9/2 favourite with Paddy Power to get the sack first and win the Sack Race, and the Foxes board showed when sacking Premier League title winner Claudio Ranieri that they are not shy in giving managers' their P45, while Rafael Benitez's tenure at Newcastle United is constantly propelling into the spotlight, and the former Liverpool boss is often having disagreements with the club's owner Mike Ashley, and that pair's relationship could crumble early on.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has looked a disgruntled figure for most of the season, and his negativity to all things United is sure to come to an abrupt ending at some point this season, and at 7/1 with Unibet for the first manager to leave his post then it would be no surprise to see the Red Devils on the search for a new boss by the end of the season.
Javi Gracia (Watford) and Mark Hughes (Southampton) are another couple of managers that could be looking for a new job by Christmas if they fail to hit the ground running, as both will be desperate to avoid potential relegation from the Premier League, and they are 8/1 and 12/1, respectively.
A team that could struggle in the top-flight this season is Cardiff City, who were superb in winning automatic promotion last season from the Championship, but the Bluebirds could be destined for the drop come the end of the campaign, and they too could be looking for a manager switch during the season.
Neil Warnock worked wonders to earn promotion last season, but he has struggled when pitting his wits against high profile managers in the Premier League, and he may just find it too tough to shine at the Cardiff City Stadium, and the Bluebirds may have to sack him to maintain their status, so at 12/1 with William Hill he is a great bet to be the first sacked.
*Odds correct as of 7th Aug, 14:08. Odds are subject to change.
DISCLAIMER: ODDS AND ARTICLE UPDATED 07/08/2018, 16:19.
The fourth and final Major of the season gets underway in Missouri this week and James Mason believes Alex Noren has a great chance of walking away with the US PGA Championship.
Previous course form goes out of the window this week at Bellerive Country Club, with the last notable tournament away from the senior tour held in Town and Country being the 2008 BMW Championship.
It was in 1992 the course hosted the US PGA Championship for the first time - Nick Price going on to lift the trophy - and almost the entire field from 26 years ago will not be taking part this week.
Alex Noren to win @ 55/1 - BET NOW
World number 13 Noren has been in fantastic form this year and added a 10th European Tour title to his collection last month with victory at the Open de France - the course which will host the 2018 Ryder Cup.
The Swede followed that win up with a tie for 17th at the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie before he ended up in a share of 31st at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club last time out.
One of Noren's main strengths at the moment is his putting and he sits fourth on this season's PGA Tour statistics for strokes gained from putting, behind only Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and Greg Chalmers.
With Bellerive known for its large and undulating greens, being in form with the flat stick will be absolutely crucial to success and this is an area the 36-year-old has been thriving in this season.
Throw in the fact Noren averages just shy of 300yards in driving distance and is 14th on scoring average this season at 69.820, he looks to be a great each-way shout at 55/1 to break his Major duck.
Charl Schwartzel - Top South African @ 9/2 - BET NOW
Seven South African players will be in the field this week and Louis Oosthuizen is currently the 2/1 favourite to finish higher than his compatriots at the end of the tournament.
However, Schwartzel has been rediscovering the form that helped him to 2011 Masters glory and he heads to Bellerive on the back of a brilliant final round at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
The 33-year-old, who has three top-10 results to his name this season, carded a seven-under-par 63 to finish in a tie for 31st and that performance would have boosted his confidence-levels significantly ahead of the US PGA.
Branden Grace, Dylan Frittelli, Brandon Stone - who won the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open last month - Justin Harding and Johan Kok are the other five South African players in the field.
Dustin Johnson - First-Round Leader @ 20/1 - BET NOW
The first-round leader market always offers good value and world number one Dustin Johnson is a juicy price at 20/1 to top the leaderboard at the end of play on Thursday.
Johnson birdied seven of the opening 10 holes on the final day of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before he ran a little cold in the closing stages, eventually carding a six-under-par 64.
The American is dominating the PGA Tour statistics this season, starting with top-10 finishes as his record of 10 from 15 events this season is nowhere near close to being overtaken.
He also leads the FedEx Cup standings, strokes gained tee-to-green, strokes gained in total whilst his scoring average is the best at 68.601, highlighting the type of form he is in.
If Johnson putts well this week, he has a great chance of winning and it would be no surprise to see him start the tournament off in red-hot form following that Sunday display at Firestone.
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Incredibly, after just one match, League 1 Blackpool have parted company with manager Gary Bowyer. The situation at Bloomfield Road is unique to the Tangerines but it just shows how tenuous a manager’s position is. This is a not a job for life, as no doubt a few Premier League managers will find it in the coming months – but which of the 20 top-flight clubs will be the first to blink?
CLAUDE PUEL (a best 9/2), often criticised for his unspectacular style of football, is the bookies’ favourite to be the first to get his cards. The Leicester City boss has lost Riyad Mahrez and England’s World Cup star Harry Maguire may have his head turned by offers from bigger clubs. Puel was rumoured to be close to the chop a couple of times last season and may not survive another poor run by owners still dreaming of another fairytale title challenge.
JOSE MOURINHO seem to enjoy a love-hate relationship with Manchester United’s supporters. He’s become an increasingly remote figure in the last 12 months and never seems short of something to complain about. United have struggled to bring in new players this summer and it doesn’t sit well with Mourinho that United are comparative paupers compared to arch-rivals City. That said, Mourinho has spent plenty since his arrival at Old Trafford but it hasn’t bought substantial silverware and he’s even managed to fall out with some of his big-money signings. The Portuguese coach is only 7/1 with 888sport to suffer the third-season curse that seems to afflict many Premier League managers.
MARK HUGHES was awarded a three-year contract after guiding Southampton to safety last season but he’ll be lucky to see out the full term if the Saints start this season as badly as they started last term. Hughes has shipped out several players accused of causing dressing-room unrest last season but has not replaced them with the same quality. In fact, it’s fair to say that the Southampton squad almost has a Championship look about it already. The Welshman is no stranger to the sack and BetVictor have taken a chance pricing him up at 12/1.
RAFA BENITEZ is 6/1 with BetVictor but did a fine job on Tyneside last season on limited resources. However, the continuing saga over a proposed sale of the club means that there is still next to nothing in the transfer kitty and the Spaniard will have to perform miracles again to secure another season in the Premier League. The sack may be unlikely but Rafa may simply run out of patience with Mike Ashley and leave anyway.
Claude Puel 9/2
Rafa Benitez 6/1
Jose Mourinho 7/1
Javi Gracia 8/1
Mark Hughes 12/1
Neil Warnock 12/1
Manuel Pellegrini 20/1
Roy Hodgson 20/1
Marco Silva 22/1
Nuno Espirito Santo 22/1
Chris Hughton 25/1
David Wagner 25/1
Eddie Howe 25/1
Slavisa Jokanovic 25/1
Sean Dyche 33/1
Mauricio Pochettino 50/1
Maurizio Sarri 50/1
Unai Emery 50/1
Jurgen Klopp 100/1
Pep Guardiola 100/1
No Manager To Leave 100/1
(Odds Correct at 3.00pm August 7)
This really is a fresh start for the Gunners this season as the Arsene Wenger era has ended and the Unai Emery one begins. Emery is known as being a much tougher task-master than Wenger ever was and it will be interesting to see how that plays itself out this season. The Gunners could only finish down in sixth place last season behind fellow Londoners Spurs and Chelsea and the Gunners are 5/2 at William Hill* (betting odds taken from August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm) to be the Top London Club this season. They certainly have some ground to make up on the aforementioned two.
The first big moves that Emery addressed at the club was fixing a defence that was, by and large, a shambles last season. As well as spending a fair chunk on new goalkeeper Bernd Leno, Emery has gotten the experienced right back services of Stephan Lichtsteiner along with Greek centre-half Sokratis coming in. They have a bit of extra grit and steel with the signing of Lucas Torreira who could turn out to be a hugely important signing for them in terms of providing an edge of combativeness.
The Gunners had a soft underbelly last season and were exposed time and time again. They were bullied on the road posting a shocking W4 D4 L11 record for the season away from the Emirates so they need that grit and power to keep them ticking over. It is a tricky situation for Emery as he will be under pressure right from the off to bust Arsenal out of the mediocrity that they fell into under Wenger. Unfortunately with the power of Manchester City and Liverpool at the moment, their chances of winning the league in the near future look slim.
They do have a big goalscoring asset in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is a very appealing 6/1 odds option* (betting odds taken from August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm) in the Top Goalscorer market for the Premier League 2018/19 season. After joining Arsenal back in the January transfer window, he fired off ten goals in thirteen league games for Arsenal which didn’t get as much attention as it should have. It shows that the scoring power is there though for Arsenal with support coming in from Alexandre Lacazette.
Manchester City 4/6
Man Utd 7/1
* (betting odds taken from William Hill on August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm)
With the former Borussia Dortmund pairing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang combining and of course the creativity of Mesut Ozil, then the Gunners should be fine going forward. It is going to be all about what kind of strength that the spine of the team has. Can they hold their focus early in matches and not have to continuously play catch up? This season Arsenal will be having a crack at the Europa League which is a nasty and awkward distraction and it may well be worth Emery sacrificing that Thursday night action to get them back on track on the domestic front first. They will certainly aim to be in the top four at the end of the season. Arsenal are 2/1 odds in the Top 4 Finish betting market* (betting odds taken from August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm).
Unai Emery will be looking at the start of the season that Arsenal have and be thinking that someone is playing a cruel joke on him. Arsenal start their campaign against the reigning champions Manchester City on Sunday, August 12th and even though the Gunners are at home in that one they are 9/4 underdogs at William Hill to land the victory there* (betting odds taken from August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm). That’s a tough introduction for the Gunners, especially after losing the corresponding fixture 3-0 last term. Then it doesn’t let up because the following weekend they will go straight into their first London derby of the season as they make the trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea.
Things then do ease up because they won’t meet another of the Big 6 until they go up against Liverpool at the start of November. So that is at least two big games out of the way at the start of the season. They have a very nice end of season run-in as well, do the Gunners. Their final match for the forthcoming season against another of the Big 6 is against Manchester United in early March. So that leaves them with an eight-game stretch at the back end of the season without a top-six contender to have to duel with. How important will that be for them?
We are all over having a punt on Aubameyang to finish as the Premier League top goalscorer just because he scores goals wherever he goes and he proved his value in the second half of last season. He looks good value to challenge Harry Kane and Mo Salah. Emery has had a good summer with his squad and while they could use an extra centre-half for some depth, there is a temptation to have a punt on them cracking the top four.
That would only be because of Tottenham’s unwillingness to get out the chequebook and Manchester United looking a bit out of sorts pre-season. But just because of where they are starting from, we can’t back it and they 2/5 to NOT finish in the top four* (betting odds taken from August 2nd, 2018 at 6:19 pm). A top six finish again, but they’ll miss the top four.
Skybet Championship. Kick Off: 19.45pm Tuesday 7th August 2018. Live on Sky Sports.
Aitor Karanka has recieved support in the transfer market from the Nottingham Forest board and subsequently done a lot of business over the close season, some of it catching the eye.
Joao Carvalho for a club record £13.2m from Benfica and a season-long loan deal for his colleague Diego Goncalves, alongside Lewis Grabban for a reported £6m shows the kind of money paid nowadays to build squads that can potentially reach the Premier League promised land.
Karanka must have produced a bazooka, never mind a hairdryer as Forest were a different side in the second half against Bristol City on Saturday. Daryl Murphy led the line and bagged a goal with a well-placed header, what he is known for, but was substituted for Grabban as Forest went looking for a winner. Much-travelled Grabban has scored goals at this level all his career, doing well for Sunderland and Villa during recent loan moves. I thought Murphy did enough to stay in for tonight`s game, but such is the competition for places, Karanka has some smart options. Grabban has stated in the past he doesn`t like warming the bench so it will be interesting to see this one develop.
West Brom will be disappointed to begin the campaign with a loss, especially at the Hawthorns, and will probably feel they should have got something after hitting the bar late on. They went behind against Bolton, though, so will need to wake up a bit and realise where they are now. The signing of Dwight Gayle on loan from Newcastle is a positive, not sure about the haircut though!
If he can fire the Baggies back to the big time the fans won’t care, but will he go straight in tonight? Darren Moore put some pride and commitment back into the team last season and deservedly got given a chance at getting the club back up.
Both teams started slowly on Saturday, but West Brom have won on their last three league visits to the City Ground but that and most of the other stats are pretty ancient as the clubs haven’t faced each other much in recent seasons. Karanka wants a win, but what he wants and gets could be different. Forest are full of potential, but I think Moore could drill the visitors to be solid and try to nick the first goal, opening up the game.
Event date: 8/9/18 August 2018
Event(s): Tennis, Cricket, Football, Rugby League
Bookmaker(s): Betfair , Coral , Betsafe , Betway, Paddy Power, Skybet, Sportpesa
Rating: 1*, 3*, 4*
Morning all, plenty of sport going on this week, Masters series tennis, PGA Championship golf and the start of the Premier League this weekend. Good to be alive! Hope some of these tips make it even better
DISCLAIMER: ODDS AND ARTICLE UPDATED 07/08/2018, 14:54.
Burnley had to dig deep before knocking Aberdeen out of the Europa League last week and the Clarets face a tough assignment in the third qualifying round when they take on Istanbul Basaksehir while Rangers and Hibernian also have tricky tests.
Istanbul Basaksehir to win to nil @ 11/5 - BET NOW
The Turkish side have former Arsenal and Manchester City stars Emmanuel Adebayor and Gael Clichy in their ranks and rose up from the amateur leagues to join the Super Lig for the first time in their history four years ago.
They came third last season in the top flight and knocked Club Brugge out of the Champions League at the third qualifying round stage before being edged out by Sevilla in the play-offs.
Managed by Abdullah Avci, Istanbul Basaksehir will be a tough nut to crack for the Clarets who will have one eye on their opening Premier League game of the campaign at Southampton on Sunday.
Despite buying Joe Hart on Tuesday to compensate for the loss to injury of Nick Pope, it is difficult to see how Sean Dyche’s side can progress in Europe and maintain the standards of last season when they finished seventh in the Premier League
Maribor to draw with Rangers @ 12/5 - BET NOW
Rangers secured an impressive 2-1 aggregate victory against Croatian side Osijek in the last round and Steven Gerrard appears to have added some defensive steel to a team that conceded 50 goals in the Scottish Premiership last season, the worst record of the top seven clubs.
It should not be forgotten that this is only the Gers’ third campaign back in the top flight of Scottish football and just six years ago they were starting life in the fourth tier.
The Ibrox-based side have come a long way since then and it may be expecting a lot of them to enjoy a long run in the Europa League this season.
It is just over a decade since they were beaten in the final of the competition by Zenit St Petersburg in Manchester but victory over Maribor this month would represent progress for the Gers.
Maribor have been the dominant force in Slovenian football in the last decade although they were only runners-up in their domestic league last term.
However, their recent pedigree in Europe is better than Rangers’ and they reached the group stage of the Champions League last season.
Molde to beat Hibernian @ 15/8 - BET NOW
Hibernian have enjoyed a fine start to the season but they could come unstuck against a Molde team that are managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Neil Lennon’s team followed up Europa League triumphs against Runavik and Asteras Tripolis by easing to a 3-0 victory in the Scottish Premiership against Motherwell at the weekend but Molde will represent a different challenge.
The Norwegian season is in full swing and Molde are in good form having scored 14 goals in their last four league games.
Solskjaer’s team have had no difficulty defeating Glenavon and Laci in the last two qualifying rounds and should be too strong for Hibs on this occasion.
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The final major of the golf season gets underway this week and the USPGA Championship betting is wide open as you would expect given the strength of the game. The best players on planet earth are all at the Bellerive Golf Course and it really is shaping up to be a classic tournament.
Picking a winner from this field is extremely tough given the depth of the game at the moment with a whole host of players coming into the final major in flying form.
Chief among those is Justin Thomas (16/1) who is the defending USPGA Championship winner and could not have more confidence at the moment. The American cruised to victory in the WGC Bridgestone last week which is always a great form guide for the PGA and it is hard to argue with his claims as he looks to defend his title.
World #1 Dustin Johnson (10/1) is likely to go off favourite with the 34-year-old also bang in form right now. A win in the Canadian open was followed up with a tie for third place at Bridgestone which included a -6 under par final round on Sunday which should put him right in the mix at a course which should suit.
Rory Mcilroy (14/1) is a former PGA Champion and shown glimpses of form over the past month which makes him interesting, whilst double US Open hero Brooks Koepka (20/1) is also one for the shortlist at Bellerive.
Tiger Woods will appeal to some at 28/1 to win his first Major since 2008 but he is yet to fully convince he can stay the stay the course for four rounds and he remains one to watch, rather than bet.
Of the leading contender is is Justin Thomas who sticks out like a sore thumb in terms of the most likely winner. A defending champion who can't stop winning and should be high on confidence makes him an excellent bet at 16/1 with Betfred.
Punters looking for a bigger priced each-way bets should look very closely at the in-form Thorbjorn Olesen. The Dane was a tie for 3rd at Bridgestone and that's off the back of a recent win in Italy and a top 15 performance at the Open Championship, which means he looks ready to take the next step.
Olesen looks a great each bet at 80/1 with Ladbrokes given his quality and confidence.
*Odds correct as of 6th Aug, 07:07. Odds are subject to change.
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