1.50 Newbury - Friday
Horse Racing analyst Will Smith has had a good look at all this weekend's ante-post markets, and provides a 7/1 EW selection in the Grade 2 novices' chase at Newbury on Friday.
Liverpool fans can’t start their celebrations quite yet (still 15 games to go, after all) but the Premier League title looks like it’s in the bag. With 67 points, some 16 points ahead of rivals Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp’s team are really motoring with just one draw all season and the rest all wins. Only one bookmaker, William Hill, is now accepting bets that Liverpool will be a top four winner and the odds of 1/1000 make placing a bet a rather fruitless task.
This betting market can be a good option for your pre-season bets as opposed to betting on the winner. It’s available both on leagues and football tournaments. For example, punters can bet on the winner of the World Cup or bet on a side to finish in the top four which would win if they reached the semi-finals.
Manchester City is lying second in the Premier League and, again, the odds of a top four finish are extremely short, at 1/200 from William Hill. Man City are unlikely to topple the Reds but it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. The team which set a record 100 points in the 2017/2018 season, and then became the first English team to win the domestic treble, cannot be underestimated and Manager Pep Guardiola will keep pushing his team to the end.
Third-placed Leicester City has 47 points to date, only 3 behind Man City but representing a significant but not insurmountable lead over fourth-placed Chelsea on 40. Bookmaker Bet365 offers betting odds of 1/8 that Leicester will finish in the top four. Manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that the recent injury to star player, striker Jamie Vardy, is not serious and it seems likely that the Foxes will keep their position at number 3 in the Premier League table until the end of the season.
So the big question is: which team will end the season at number 4 in the table? Remember that a top four finish is crucial to secure automatic entry to next season’s Champions League, with all the financial riches that will ensue. It really, really matters and there are four teams in the mix at present, all with a realistic chance of winning that crucial top four place. Chelsea currently occupies that spot, with 40 points, but Manchester United,Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers are in hot pursuit, with 34 points apiece.
The bookmakers remain pretty confident that the Blues, under the steady helm of Manager Frank Lampard, will retain their fourth place with bookmaker BetVictor offering odds of 1/2. Spurs is favoured over Manchester United, with bookie Betfair offering odds of 4/1 that Spurs will beat Chelsea to fourth place in the league. Beleaguered ManU, in contrast, are offered at 11/2 from Betfair and Wolves are also pretty unfancied at 10/1 from bookmaker Betway.