In this Weekend Sports Preview, there are a host of varied and exciting events
to wager on, including Sunday's Premier League showdown between West Brom and
visiting champs, Man United, which will be the last professional game for the
team's outgoing manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Cricket: England vs New Zealand in 1st Test
For cricket fans, there is nothing so pure as a 5-day Test match at Lords, the
spiritual home of the centuries old game. Which is why the current Test - the
first of two - between England and New Zealand at the hallowed London cricket
ground is garnering so much attention, both locally and abroad.
Given the recent records of these two sides, it is not surprising that England
have been posted as the betting favourites at most sportsbooks, including
popular Irish sports betting website Paddy Power (see the odds below). With day
two firmly underway, England are on the scoreboard for 186/4 (at the time of
writing), and will obviously be looking to drastically extend that to keep the
Kiwis at bay.
For England, fast bowlers Steve Finn and Stuart Broad are expected so step up
and fly the flag. For my cricket betting buck, the home team will chalk up a
comfortable win in this 1st Test.
England vs New Zealand 1st Cricket Test Odds
England - 9/5
New Zealand - 12/1
Draw - 8/15
Horse Racing: Orb Favoured in Preakness Stakes
The last horse to win the epic US Triple Crown of Races was Affirmed in 1978.
But as happens each and every years, all eyes will be on the Kentucky Derby
winner - which this year is Orb - to see if they can also win the Preakness
Stakes - which takes place on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore - as
well as the Belmont Stakes.
No horse has been able to win all three races in 35 years, regardless of their
pedigree. Considering that Orb is unbeaten in five races, a sixth way well be on
the (betting) cards. His highly respected trainer Shug McGaughey seems confident
in his charge's chances, especially with talented jockey Joel Rosario back
aboard him tomorrow.
Hence Orb's betting favourite status at sportsbooks across the board. In terms
of close rivals, fans would be remiss to dismiss the likes of MyLute, Departing
and Itsmyluckyday. With an unusually short field of just nine this year, there
will be plenty of space for the runners to strut their stuff, Here are the
Preakness Stakes odds at Paddy Power:
2013 Preakness Stakes Winner Odds
Orb - evens
Departing - 6/1
Mylute - 6/1
Goldencents - 13/2
Itsmyluckyday - 9/1
Will Take Charge - 14/1
Govenor Charlie - 16/1
Oxbow - 20/1
Titletown Five - 33/1
Golf: 2013 Volvo World Match Play Underway
Match play golf tournaments are very different to stroke play golf tournaments.
In the latter, players compete, in essence, against the entire field, by trying
to score the lowest score in each of four rounds. In the former, players
concentrate on trying to win more holes than their immediate rival on the day,
or they are knocked out. And this makes for some exciting showdowns.
Take the 4-day 2013 Volvo World Match Play Championship, which kicked off
Thursday at the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort in Kavarna, Bulgaria. With a
total prize fund of €3,000,000, including €800,000 for the winner, this event
has attracted a slew of top golfers from around the world. These include Graeme
McDowell of England, Bo van Pelt of the United States, Henrick Stenson of
Sweden, Branden Grace of South Africa and 20 other top-rated players.
In terms of the biggest upsets so far, Brendan Grace knocked out defending
champion Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium, in round one, while Thongchai Jaidee of
Thailand knocked out match play specialist Ian Poulter of England. It will be
very interesting to see what the rest of the tournament holds, but for my match
play betting buck, Grace will emerge the eventual winner. Here are the Volvo
World Match Play Championship odds at Paddy Power:
Volvo World Match Play Odds
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano - 1/14
Tie - 8/1
Brett Rumford - 14/1
Thorbjorn Olesen - 10/1
Tie - 15/2
Scott Jamieson - 1/10
Branden Grace - 7/5
Tie - 4/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat - evens
Bo Van Pelt - 5/6
Tie - 9/2
Geoff Ogilvy - 13/8
Peter Hanson - 11/4
Tie - 5/1
Shane Lowry - 1/2
Thomas Aiken - 8/13
Tie - 5/1
Ian Poulter - 2/1
Graeme McDowell - 1/5
Tie - 7/1
Stephen Gallacher - 9/1
Football: Man Utd vs West Brom and Fergie's Farewell
The final score of Sunday's English Premier League clash between Manchester
United and West Bromwich Albion will be of little consequence considering that
the former has already won the championship. But it will be remembered as the
final match overseen by the Red Devils' outgoing manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, who
has retired after 26 years at Old Trafford.
The match at The Hawthorns will be
an emotional one for Manchester United fans as it will be Fergie's last, and
fittingly, 1500th of his long and illustrious career. The Scottish gum-toting
manager couldn't have asked to end his career on a better note, than with his
13th English Premier League title in the bag, and the club in a very positive
and healthy position.
From a betting perspective, Manchester United are unsurprisingly the
favourites at Paddy Power.
Man Utd vs West Brom Odds
West Brom - 7/2
Man Utd - 4/5
Draw - 13/5