Category: Sports Betting Tips

Updated Betting Odds to Win 2019 World Series

The 2019 Major League Baseball season is past the quarter mark, and teams are starting to separate themselves in each league. Things can still change drastically with over 100 games remaining, but the top teams will likely remain near the top. The Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers look like the favorites to win their respective leagues, but they have plenty of competition. Let’s take a look at the updated betting odds to win the 2019 World Series.

Houston Astros +450

The Houston Astros look like a team on a mission to get back to the World Series, and they are destroying teams with regularity. Houston has a run differential of almost 100 runs and has won 18 of its first 22 games at home. Justin Verlander leads a terrific pitching staff, and Jose Altuve has returned to his old form in leading the offense. Houston has a commanding eight-game lead in the AL West, and they look like they will lap the field. The Astros just don’t have very many weaknesses.

Los Angeles Dodgers +500

The Dodgers were the favorites to win the National League before the season began, and they have not disappointed. First baseman Cody Bellinger is hitting over .400 this season and has also bashed 17 home runs. Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu has been spectacular on the mound all season long and has six wins to go along with a 1.52 earned run average. The Dodgers are still waiting to get healthy as well, and they should continue to get better as the year goes on.

New York Yankees +700

The New York Yankees have dealt with a ton of significant injuries already this season, and their depth has been tested. The Yankees have passed that test with flying colors and sit on top of the American League East Division. New York is bashing home runs like crazy and should get even better when they have their full lineup back on the field.

Philadelphia Phillies +1000

The Philadelphia Phillies went out and spent a ton of money in the offseason, and it appears to be paying off for them. Bryce Harper hasn’t even started hitting his stride yet, but the Phillies are still in first place in the National League East. Right-hander Aaron Nola leads a solid starting rotation, and the Phillies look like a team that will be a real contender come October.

Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs +1300

The Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs both come in with +1300 odds to win the World Series, and both teams got off to horrendous starts to the season. The Chicago Cubs have been able to rebound much quicker than the Red Sox and now find themselves in first place in the National League Central Division. Chicago has four different players with 11 home runs this season, and their starting rotation has been great all season long.

The Boston Red Sox are still waiting for Jackie Bradley Jr. to get going, but their offense is starting to turn things around. The problem for the Red Sox is that they are in a very tough division, and they dug themselves a big hole. Chris Sale has found his form again and gives the Red Sox an ace that can shut down any opponent.

Tampa Bay Rays +1400

The Rays led the AL East for much of this season but have seen the Yankees blow right by them. Tampa Bay needs to play better at home after winning just 12 of their first 23 home games. A pair of former Pirates are leading the charge for the Rays. Centerfielder Austin Meadows leads the team with a .340 batting average, and Tyler Glasnow has gone 6-1 with a 1.86 earned run average this season. Tampa Bay should be in the race all season long.

Milwaukee Brewers +1800

The Brewers were the hottest team at the end of the 2018 regular season, but they have shown some flaws this season. Their bullpen hasn’t been as dominant without closer Corey Knebel, and their starting rotation is lacking depth. 2018 National League MVP Christian Yelich has done his part, leading the team with 19 home runs and 41 runs batted in. Even with their flaws, the Brewers should be a playoff team this season.

Minnesota Twins +2200

The biggest surprise on this list has to be the Minnesota Twins. The Twins were thought to be an up-and-coming team entering 2019, but it appears that the future has arrived in the Twin Cities. Minnesota already has five games this season with at least five home runs, and they can mash with the best of them. The Twins have been great on the road this season as well, winning 17 of their first 25 games away from home. Jorge Polanco is hitting .339 to lead the team, and Eddie Rosario has blasted 13 home runs to pace the Twins. If the Twins continue to get excellent starting pitching, they should stay atop the AL Central.

Everyone Else +2400 or Higher

Probably the two most notable teams not yet listed are the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. Both teams were preseason favorites to win their divisions but haven’t hit their strides yet. They both have the potential to win the World Series, but a lot of things will have to go right for them.

£170 Million and A Premier League Place up for Grabs in the Championship Playoff Final

There are a further two Playoff Finals taking place this weekend, starting with Tranmere Rovers and Newport County clashing on the Saturday in the League Two playoff final, while in the League One equivalent, Sunderland and Charlton will once again clash in a rematch of their classic 1998 Playoff Final, which finished 4-4 after extra time, with Charlton winning on penalties.

However, if there is one game that will define this weekend in football terms, it is the Championship Playoff Final, which takes place on Monday afternoon. Aston Villa will face Derby County with not just a place in the Premier League at stake, but a cash windfall estimated to be worth at least £170 million to the winning team.

If you fancy a flutter on what has become known as the richest game in football in terms of the potential rewards on offer, then head on over to bet365 Sport. The site is already offering plenty of great betting on each of the three playoff games this weekend and there will be more In Play betting available while the games are in progress. If you are not yet a member join today with the latest bet365 Sport New Customer Promotion and you’ll also get a little added extra when you sign up.

Let’s now preview the big game on Monday in more detail with a review of the season for both teams participating, how they reached Wembley and a look at the probable line ups, before we then give you our big tips for the game itself.

Championship Playoff Final

Aston Villa v Derby County

  • Venue – Wembley Stadium
  • Date – Monday 27th May
  • Kick Off – 3pm
  • Live – Sky Sports

How they Reached Wembley

Aston Villa

  • Championship – 5th– Played 46, Points 76, For 82 Against 61 (+21)
  • Playoff Semifinal 1st Leg – Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom (Hourihane 75, Abraham 79 (pen)
  • Playoff Semifinal 2nd Leg – West Brom 1-0 Aston Villa (Villa won 4-3 on penalties)

A fine second half comeback in the first leg of the game with West Brom put Villa in pole position in this tie. Losing 1-0 from a first half strike by Dwight Gayle, Villa netted twice in four second half minutes to earn a 2-1 win and then West Brom had striker Dwight Gayle sent off late in the game to compound their misery.

A Gareth McAuley header put West Brom in front in the second leg but after extra time, the teams could not be split and in the end it was Villa who held their nerve to clinch a spot in the final on penalties with Steer the hero between the sticks for the visiting side.

Derby County

  • Championship – 6th – Played 46, Points 74, For 69, Against 54 (+15)
  • Playoff Semifinal 1st Leg – Derby County 0-1 Leeds United
  • Playoff Semifinal 2nd Leg – Leeds United 2-4 Derby County (Marriott 45, 85, Mount 46, Wilson 58 (pen))

Derby produced a superb comeback in the second leg against Leeds at Elland Road. Losing to a Kemar Roofe strike in the first leg, Derby went a second goal down in the first half against Leeds with Dallas netting for the home side, but then Derby began to take control, Marriott netted just before half time and then early in the second half Mason Mount tied things up at 2-2 with a well taken finish.

Incredibly, Derby then made it 3-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate thanks to a Harry Wilson penalty only for Dallas to once again bring Leeds back level with a fine strike. Extra time looked likely but on the 85th minute Marriott lifted a neat chip over the Leeds keeper to give Derby a 4-2 win and a 4-3 win on victory to claim an unexpected place in the final.

 How They Fared This Season

  • 10th November 2018 – Derby County 0-3 Aston Villa (McGinn 74, Abraham 78, Hourihane 84)
  • 2nd March 2019 – Aston Villa 4-0 Derby County (Hourihane 9,44, Abraham 37, Grealish 45)

Aston Villa have picked up maximum points between the teams this season with two comprehensive victories. They scored three second half goals away at Derby to claim a win in the first game between the two and then four first half goals at Villa Park to land an even greater margin of victory in their second game in March.  Those two defeats were two of Derby’s three biggest losses of the season (the other being a 4-1 home defeat to Leeds).

Head to Head Performance

  • Played – 140
  • Aston Villa Wins – 71
  • Draws – 25
  • Derby County Wins – 44

Aston Villa have a much better record in the most recent matches between the teams. The Villains have won six and drawn two of the last nine between the teams, Derby winning just once over that period.

Probable Team Selections

Aston Villa– (4-3-3) – Steer, Elmohamady, Taylor, Mings, Tuanzebe, Hourihane, McGinn, Grealish, Green, El Ghazi, Abraham

Derby County– (4-3-3) – Carson, Bogle, Cole, Keogh, Tomori, Lawrence, Mount, Johnson, Wilson, Waghorn, Marriott

I think both sides will line up with very similar teams to that which played in the second legs of their semifinal.Ashley Cole will come in at left back for the suspended Malone for Derby, while I can’t see Villa restoring Glenn Whelan to the team, especially with Conor Hourihane netting three goals against Derby already this season.

Aston Villa v Derby County Tips

Full Time Result – Draw – 11/5

The bookies may have this one down as an Aston Villa win and you can see why when you look at how the two teams have got on when facing each other this season. Villa have rattled in seven goals in those games without a reply, but Derby had a similar record against Leeds in the semifinal and still came through that game.

Villa though are on a superb run of form with just one defeat in the last few months and I can’t see them being beaten in 90 minutes here, although I also feel Derby will not be beaten inside the allotted time and so a draw at 11/5 is I think the best bet.

If the game goes to extra time I think Derby, not having had to have played extra time in the build up to the game, will be the team in best shape to land the win.

Correct Score – 1-1 Draw – 5/1

Neither of these teams score or concede too many goals of late and I think this will be a tight game but I do feel both teams will score and that the 1-1 draw is the best value betting option.

Betting Odds and Prediction to win 2019 PGA Championship

The PGA Championship will be taking place in May this year for the first time since 1949, making it the second major of the PGA Tour in 2019. Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters Tournament, and will be looking to make it two straight majors with a win in this event. Bethpage Black Golf Course in Farmingdale, New York will host the 2019 PGA Championship, and this is one of the toughest golf courses in the world. Bethpage Black hosted the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009 and will host the 2024 Ryder Cup. There is no doubt that the winner of the 2019 PGA Championship will have to grind it out and be on top of their game this weekend. Let’s take a look at the current odds to win the 2019 PGA Championship with a prediction for the winner.

The Four Favorites:

Dustin Johnson +1000: Dustin Johnson seems to be the favorite almost every single weekend that he tees it up, and he is going to cash in on one of these soon. The top-ranked player in the world has already won twice on the PGA Tour this season, and has finished in the top-10 five other times. Johnson has played at Bethpage Black Golf Course a handful of times in the past, and his numbers seem to get better every time. Don’t be surprised to see Johnson near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.

Brooks Koepka +1100: Brooks Koepka is getting the second bets odds to win the tournament this weekend, and for very good reason. Koepka is the reigning PGA Championship winner and really steps up his game when playing in a major tournament. He has won three Majors in the last two years, and he will have a great shot to win his fourth at Bethpage Black.

Rory McIlroy +1100: Putting has been a struggle for McIlroy for much of the 2019 season, but he has still had some great finishes. McIlroy has a top-10 finish at Bethpage Black back in 2009, and he always seems to be in the mix in the major tournaments. If McIlroy can make more putts this weekend then he could easily walk away with the win.

Tiger Woods +1100: Tiger Woods is back! You will hear plenty of that talk all weekend long, especially after Woods put on a show in winning the 2019 Masters Tournament at Augusta. Tiger hasn’t played since that magical weekend in April, but there is no doubt he will be ready again. Woods has had success at Bethpage Black in the past, and he will be in the mix all weekend long.

The Contenders:

Rickie Fowler +1800
Jon Rahm +2000: Rahm also hasn’t played since the Masters Tournament that saw him finish in a tie for 9th place. Rahm has been incredibly consistent the last few years, and you have to feel like a victory at a major is going to happen for him soon.
Justin Rose +2000
Justin Thomas +2000
Jason Day +2200
Francesco Molinari +2500: Molinari stumbled down the stretch at the Masters Tournament, but there is no doubt that he is one of the best players in the world. The Italian already has a win on the PGA Tour this year, and has what it takes to win this tournament.
Xander Schauffele +2500: Schauffele is one of the up and coming players on the PGA Tour and I’m surprised to see him at +2500. He has made the cut in seven of his last eight major appearances, and very nearly won the 2019 Masters Tournament. Keep an eye on him this weekend.
Tommy Fleetwood +2800

Longshots:

Tony Finau +3300
Bryson DeChambeau +3500
Hideki Matsuyama +4000
Jordan Spieth +4000: Jordan Spieth will be once again trying to complete the Grand Slam with a win at the PGA Championship. His career has taken a tumble since choking at the Masters last year, but he still has all the talent to get this done.
Patrick Cantlay +4000
Sergio Garcia +4000: Sergio Garcia should be one of the players to watch from this group of talented golfers. Garcia has finished in the top-10 in three different tournaments at Bethpage Black and is clearly comfortable with this course.
Matt Kuchar +4500
Everyone Else +5000 or Higher

The Pick:

There will be plenty of people betting on Tiger Woods this weekend as well as the other three players that are considered the “favorites.” One of those four golfers could certainly win this tournament, but let’s look elsewhere for the winner. Xander Schauffele is one of the most underrated golfers on the PGA Tour, and he is due for a win at a major. Schauffele is my pick to win the 2019 PGA Championship at +2500 odds.

Can Watford Stop City’s Domestic Dominance and Win the FA Cup This Weekend?

It has been an incredible season for Manchester City. They have won three of the four domestic trophies available this season, landing the Charity Shield back in August, then the Carabao Cup in March and then last week, they landed the Premier League title by a single point from Liverpool. This weekend, they can make it a clean sweep of every trophy in English football by defeating Watford in the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

The Hornets are the only team standing in the way of an unprecedented level of dominance in the English game by City and Javi Gracia’s men will have plenty of neutrals backing them as the big underdogs in this game. However, the size of Watford’s task is huge if they are to stop Manchester City’s seemingly inexorable roll towards total dominance of the English game.

The game kicks off at its traditional time of 3pm on Saturday afternoon at Wembley Stadium and as always, it will be one of the most bet on games in the Football season. If you fancy a flutter, then head on over to bet365 Sport where you can enjoy Live Streaming of the game (provided you have placed a bet in the previous 24 hours, or have a credit balance in your account) as well as plenty of markets and In Play betting while the game is in action. If you aren’t a member, join today using the latest bet365 Sport New Player Bonus to get some great value betting when you start to wager on site.

Lets’ now preview how both teams reached the final.

How City and Watford reached Wembley

Manchester City

  • 3rd Round – v Rotherham (H) – W 7-0 (Sterling, Foden, Ajayi OG, Jesus, Mahrez, Otamendi, Sane)
  • 4th Round – v Burnley (H) – W 5-0 (Jesus, Silva.B, De Bruyne, Long OG, Aguero)
  • 5th Round – v Newport County (A) – W 4-1 (Sane, Foden 2, Mahrez)
  • Quarterfinals – v Swansea City (A) – W 3-2 (Silva.B, Nordfeldt OG, Aguero)
  • Semifinals – Brighton (N) – W 1-0 (Jesus)

Games Played – 5, Goals Scored – 20, Goals Conceded – 3.

Top FA Cup Goalscorer – Foden, Jesus – both 3 goals apiece

Watford

  • 3rd Round – v Woking (A) – W 2-0 (Hughes, Deeney)
  • 4th Round – v Newcastle United (A) – W 2-0 (Gray, Success)
  • 5th Round – v Q.P.R (A) – W 1-0 (Capoue)
  • Quarterfinals – v Crystal Palace (H) – W 2-1 (Capoue, Gray)
  • Semifinals – v Wolves (N) – W 3-2 (aet) – (Deulofeu 2, Deeney)

Games Played – 5, Goals Scored – 10, Goals Conceded – 3

Top FA Cup Goalscorer – Deulofeu, Deeney and Capoue – 2 each

Squads and Teams

Manchester City

  • Goalkeepers – Ederson, Arijanet Muric
  • Defenders – Benjamin Mendy, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Vincent Kompany, Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker, Danilo, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi
  • Midfielders – Fabian Delph, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan,
  • Forwards – Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane

Manchester City Probable XI

  • GK – Ederson
  • Dr – Danilo
  • Dl – Bernard Mendy
  • Dc – Vincent Kompany
  • Dc – Aymeric Laporte
  • DMc – Fernandinho
  • Mc – Bernardo Silva
  • Mc – David Silva
  • AMr – Raheem Sterling
  • AMl – Leroy Sane
  • Ac – Sergio Aguero

Watford

  • Goalkeepers – Heurelho Gomes, Ben Foster, Pontus Dahlberg
  • Defenders – Jose Holebas, Craig Cathcart, Adam Masina, Daryl Janmaat, Christian Kabasele, Adrian Mariappa, Kiko Femenia, Sebastian Prodl, Miguel Britos, Marc Navarro
  • Midfielders – Roberto Pereyra, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Etienne Capoue, Will Hughes, Ken Sema, Nathaniel Chalobah, Tom Clevereley, Domingos Quina
  • Forwards – Troy Deeney, Andre Grey, Gerard Deulofeu, Adalberto Penaranda, Isaac Success

Watford Probable XI

  • GK – Heurelho Gomes
  • Dr – Kiko Femenia
  • Dl – Jose Holebas
  • Dc – Craig Cathcart
  • Dc – Christian Kabasele
  • DMC – Abdoulaye Doucoure
  • DMC – Etienne Capoue
  • AMr – Gerard Deulofeu
  • AMl – Roberto Pereyra
  • AMc – Will Hughes
  • Ac – Troy Deeney

Comparable Performance Indicators

Man City

  • Charity Shield – Winners – Beat Chelsea 2-0.
  • Premier League – 1st98 points from 38 games. 95 Goals Scored, 23 Conceded
  • Carabao Cup – Winners – Beat Chelsea in the Final on 4-3 Penalties.
  • European Competition – Champions League – Quarter Finals – Lost on Away Goals rule to Tottenham (4-4 on aggregate)

Watford

  • Premier League – 11th – 50 points from 38 games. 52 Goals Scored, 59 Conceded.
  • Carabao Cup – 3rd Round (Lost on 4-2 penalties to Tottenham).
  • European Competition – N/A – Did not qualify for European Competition.

Head to Head Statistics

  • Played – 28 games
  • Man City Wins – 17
  • Watford Wins – 6
  • Draws – 5
  • Manchester City have won all of the last 10 between the teams. They have not lost to Watford since March 1989.
  • This season, the games in the Premier League finished as wins for City. City won 2-1 at Vicarage Road in December and then 3-1 at the Etihad in March.
  • The teams have met in six FA Cup matches. Watford winning just one, with two draws and City winning all of the three most recent FA Cup games between the teams.

FA Cup Final Appearances

  • Manchester City have won the FA Cup on five occasions and have reached the final on ten occasions. Their last win came in 2011, and their last final appearance was in 2013 when they lost to Wigan Athletic.
  • Watford have reached the FA Cup Final just once previously in 1984 where they lost 2-0 to Everton.

FA Cup Final Preview and Tips

It is hard to make any case for Manchester City to win this game anything less than easily. City have won all of the last ten between the two, they won both Premier League clashes between the teams this season (though Watford made it uncomfortable somewhat late on in the game at Vicarage Road) and in terms of the quality of their squads, most recent form and the relevant firepower available to each team, City come out top in every department comfortably.

Watford come into this game on the back of a 4-1 home loss to West Ham. City, in contrast won 4-1 away to Brighton to clinch the Premier League title and as such, it is not difficult to see why they are such odds on favourites.

So yes, I am backing City to end their season on a high note by claiming the only domestic trophy that they are yet to win, but I do feel Watford will make a game of it and score a goal. As such, I’d back City to win and both teams to score which is a 7/4 shot at bet365 at the moment. You could also back Raheem Sterling to score at any time, which is an even money shot and I feel that is a great deal.

 

Updated Betting Odds to Win 2019 Stanley Cup

The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs field has been trimmed to just four teams, and they aren’t the four teams that many thought would be left standing. Most of the top seeds have been eliminated, and an interesting group of four teams will square off in the conference finals. Let’s take a look at the updated odds to win the 2019 Stanley Cup with a brief preview of each team.

Boston Bruins +170

The Boston Bruins were able to get past the Columbus Blue Jackets in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Boston was considered as one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup coming into the playoffs, and they are the favorite now. The Bruins are a veteran team that knows how to win, and they are terrific at shutting down opposing offenses.

Boston allowed just 2.59 goals per game during the regular season, and goaltender Tuukka Rask is a big reason for that. Rask has given up just 2.02 goals against so far in the postseason, stopping 94 percent of the shots he has faced. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have combined for 24 points so far this postseason and have carried the Bruins offense. This is a team that looks poised to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.

St. Louis Blues +200

St. Louis was the worst team in the NHL around Christmas, but they turned things around in a hurry. The Blues are now the favorite to win the Western Conference and are right behind the Bruins with +200 odds. St. Louis has a rookie goaltender in net, but he has been just good enough to win the first two rounds. The Blues needed a double-overtime goal in Game 7 to get past the Dallas Stars in round two.

Binnington is stopping over 91 percent of shots against him, but he has struggled a few times in the playoffs. St. Louis is still waiting for Vladimir Tarasenko to pick up the scoring, but Jaden Schwartz leads the team with eight goals. This Blues team might not have a ton of stars, but they have plenty of momentum.

San Jose Sharks +375

San Jose might be the luckiest team so far in the NHL Playoffs, but they have gotten enough of it to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The Sharks have a pair of thrilling Game 7 victories to eliminate the Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche. San Jose also got a huge boost in their last game when center Joe Pavelski returned from a nasty head injury suffered in the first round. Pavelski led the Sharks with 38 goals during the regular season and should help an offense that has been struggling to score goals.

Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl have each scored nine goals in the playoffs to lead the team. Goaltender Martin Jones struggled at times in round one but has been great in the last seven games for the Sharks. Jones has allowed just 2.72 goals per game in this postseason and should fare well against a low-scoring Blues team.

Carolina Hurricanes +400

The Carolina Hurricanes might have the lowest remaining odds to win the Stanley Cup Finals, but they might be the most impressive team so far this postseason. Carolina eliminated the defending champion Washington Capitals in the first round, then pulled off a four-game sweep of the New York Islanders in round two. The Hurricanes have won eight of their last nine games in the postseason, and they come into the Eastern Conference Finals with a ton of momentum.

Carolina doesn’t have a roster full of proven stars, but everyone has been stepping up big-time in the postseason. Defenseman Jaccob Slavin leads the team with 11 assists and 11 points in the playoffs, and Teuvo Teravainen leads the team with six goals. Goaltender Petr Mrazek is expected back in net to begin this series, but backup Curtis McElhinney has gone 3-0 in the playoffs. The Hurricanes are facing a very good Boston Bruins team, but they have the confidence and momentum to get the job done.

The Pick

Experience usually matters in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and two teams have a huge edge in that category. Boston has a ton of proven veterans on their roster in the Eastern Conference, and the San Jose Sharks are the more experienced team in the Western Conference. The Bruins are going to do their best to slow the games down against the Hurricanes, and Carolina wants to play that way as well.

San Jose is going to use their deep roster to get past the St. Louis Blues in a series that should go all seven games. Look for the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks to reach the Stanley Cup Finals this season. Boston will be the favorites, but San Jose should be the pick to win the Stanley Cup Finals.

Manchester City or Liverpool – Who Will Celebrate Title Success on Sunday?

There is no doubt that the 2018/19 season in the English Premier League will go down as one of the most exciting and incredible in its history. Seldom have we seen two teams dominate the league in the way Manchester City and Liverpool have over the past nine months and it is something of a shame that one of them will end the season with only the consolation of being the best runner’s up, and arguably the second-best Premier League team in history.

At the moment, that looks most likely to be Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s team lie one point behind Manchester City with one game of the season remaining, a position that they have been in for many weeks now and although the Reds have not slipped up, City too have been winning game after game to maintain that slender lead.

Manchester City for their part have produced some excellent performances in recent weeks, notably picking up narrow wins over Tottenham, Manchester United, Burnley and Leicester City to maintain that narrow lead over the Reds heading into their final game of the season, where they will travel to the south coast to take on a Brighton team that they defeated a few weeks ago in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley.

Liverpool in contrast have a home game but against much trickier opponents in Wolves. The midland-based side have already beaten Liverpool in the FA Cup this season, although they did lose the Premier League game between the teams, and their record at Anfield is recent times is not too bad at all, indeed out of the last three games between the teams at Anfield, Wolves have won two of those encounters.

It promises to be an enthralling weekend of action with plenty of excitement across both games, so if you fancy a flutter on either match, or indeed any of the other eight games in the final round of Premier League fixtures this weekend, then why not head over to bet365 Sport? New customers can join with the latest bet365 Sport New Customer Promotion offering a great value deal when you sign up and with Live Streaming, In Play betting supporting a huge amount of betting markets and sports, you’ll never be short of anything to bet on at bet365.

Let’s now take a look at how we see the two crucial title-deciding games unfolding, before we then take a look at the best bets for each of the eight other games taking place on Sunday at 3pm.

Premier League Fixtures – Matchday 38

All games kick off at 3pm on Sunday 12th May.

Brighton v Manchester City

Could City slip up against Brighton? There’s no doubt the Seagulls gave City a tough time in their semifinal a few weeks back, but even so they still lost the game. City have come through too many tough games of late to slip up here in my view. Brighton have drawn a fair few games at home of late but it is hard to see this City team letting it slip here. Back City to win at 1/8 with bet365.

Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Although many Reds fans will have their ears glued to events at the AMEX Stadium, they may well want to pay attention at Anfield as Wolves have been very difficult opponents for the top six to beat this season. With Firmino out, and Salah a doubt but likely to play, the Reds won’t be at full strength. Anfield will be rocking once again but even if they do win, as I feel they may just do, I can’t see it being enough. Take Liverpool to win at 1/3 but expect a tough game.

Burnley v Arsenal

I look at this Arsenal team at the moment and I don’t really like what I see. Defensively, they are very weak. Their attack is superb, but wasteful at times. Their midfield works hard, but isn’t the most effective defensively or in attack and one of their very best players, Aaron Ramsey is leaving the club on a free. Burnley are now safe and I think they are going to finish their season well with a big three points here. Back Burnley to win at 21/10.

Crystal Palace v Bournemouth

Neither of these sides have been a model of consistency this season and in truth, this game could be any result and any scoreline. Palace’s home form must be a worry for Roy Hodgson as they tend to perform much better on the road. Bournemouth are the opposite at times, but can be superb on the road too. Without too much to play for I can’t see either side going hell for leather here so I am backing the draw at 3/1.

Fulham v Newcastle United

Fulham’s recent run of three wins came to an end last weekend and Newcatle were also beaten at home by Liverpool but both sides recent form is decent and I am expecting a good game here. Benitez will not want to finish the season with two defeats and Scott Parker is effectively auditioning for this job next year. This will be close and one goal may decide it but I am backing Newcastle to snatch the win here at 31/20.

Leicester City v Chelsea

After putting up a dogged display against Manchester City at the Etihad, Leicester’s good run of form come to an end, but I feel they are going to finish the season well against a Chelsea side that have blown hot and cold of late and who, with Champions League football assured, may well have their focus more on the Europa League final, if they can beat Frankfurt on Thursday night. Back Leicester to land the win here at 21/10.

Manchester United v Cardiff City

For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, next season begins here against an already relegated Cardiff City and the Manchester United boss will be demanding a better performance from his team than he got in the 1-1 draw at Huddersfield last weekend. Cardiff are already down but they have done themselves proud this season but I think getting a result on the final day at Old Trafford is a bit too much to expect. Back United to win at 1/5 here.

Southampton v Huddersfield Town

Southampton will want to finish the season with over 40 points and at home to already relegated Huddersfield, they should be able to achieve that. The Terriers will be delighted by earning a draw with Manchester United last weekend but their task is to rebuild next season in the Championship. The Saints will win this one for me at 4/11.

Tottenham v Everton

Tottenham seem to have stumbled through the end of the season period and they are not in the greatest of form heading into this game against an Everton side whose recent form, especially at home, is very good. Spurs are looking tired and with Harry Kane and Son missing, they will struggle in attack. This may be Everton’s best chance to grab a win here for some time and I am backing the Toffees to add to Spurs woes here by landing the win at 13/5.

Watford v West Ham United

Two mid-table sides but Watford do have an FA Cup Final place on the line for their players. Javi Gracia’s men haven’t been at their best in the last couple of weeks while West Ham have improved a little. Manuel Pellegrini will be much happier with their second half of the season and while I don’t think they will round it off with a win here, I do feel that they have a chance of taking a point. I’m tipping the draw here at 5/2.

Biggest Surprises/Disappointments in Major League Baseball After 1 Month

The 2019 Major League Baseball season is a month old as the calendar turns to May. There have been plenty of storylines through the first month of the season, and there are several players and teams that are sticking out for various reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest surprises and disappointments from around the league through the first month of the season.

Biggest Surprises

Tim Anderson (Chicago White Sox): The White Sox missed out on a few big-name free agents this past offseason, but they might just have a superstar on their roster. Shortstop Tim Anderson has always had the tools to be a solid player in the Major Leagues, but he appears to have taken the next step this season. Anderson heads into May with a .375 batting average to go along with six homers and 18 runs batted in. The young shortstop is also a proven leader for the team and isn’t afraid to mix things up.

Seattle Mariners: The Seattle Mariners lost their final three games in the month of April, but they still had a pretty good first month of the season. The Mariners were an 89-win team a season ago, but they completely changed up their roster in the offseason. Seattle got off to a 7-1 start this season, and their offense was slugging home runs at an alarming rate. The Mariners don’t really have a superstar in their lineup, but they have belted 60 home runs. Seattle plays in a tough division in the AL West, but they look like a real contender.

St. Louis Cardinals: The St. Louis Cardinals might be the biggest surprise in baseball, and they are currently sitting on top of the National League Central Division. St. Louis enters the month of May with a record of 19-10 and has won four straight games. The Cardinals went out and spent some money in the offseason, and their offense has been terrific. Shortstop Paul DeJong is leading the team with a .342 batting average and is also playing terrific defense. Left fielder Marcell Ozuna is having a great bounceback season and has belted 10 homers and driven in 28 runs. St. Louis has a ton of terrific young pitching, and this looks like a team that won’t fade away anytime soon.

Tyler Glasnow (Tampa Bay Rays): Starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow was the key piece in the Chris Archer trade from a season ago, and it is looking like the Rays got the better end of the deal. Glasnow has made six starts already this season, and has gone 5-0 with a stellar 1.75 earned run average. Tampa Bay really struggled with its starting rotation a season ago, but Glasnow looks like one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Biggest Disappointments

Jose Ramirez (Cleveland Indians): Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez has been one of the best players in baseball the last few seasons, but he had a horrible month of April. Ramirez finished the month of April with a batting average of just .181, and he actually had a really good final few games. The 2018 MVP candidate hit just two home runs and had 9 runs batted in during the month of April. Cleveland was without Francisco Lindor for most of the month, and Ramirez didn’t do much to pick up the slack.

Andrew Miller (St. Louis Cardinals): The Cardinals signed Andrew Miller to a lucrative contract in the offseason, but he has been a huge bust in St. Louis. The Cardinals have been able to get around a slow start from Miller, but they are going to need him to produce at some point. The veteran lefthander has a 5.56 earned run average so far this season and has nine walks in just 11 innings pitched.

Cincinnati Reds: The Cincinnati Reds weren’t afraid to spend money during the winter to improve their ballclub, but all of the moves haven’t turned into more wins for them this season. Cincinnati begins the month of May with a record of 12-17 and sits in last place in the National League Central. The Reds scored just 109 runs in the month of April and are hitting just .212 as a team. Cincinnati actually has a team ERA of just 3.39, but many of their offseason acquisitions haven’t lived up to the hype yet this season.

Boston Red Sox: It might be time to start having serious doubts about the greatness of the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox head into the month of May with a record of 13-17 and are seven games out of first place in the American League East. Boston has a team ERA of 5.00, and their starting rotation has been brutal outside of David Price. Centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. finished April with a .148 batting average, but there are other Red Sox players struggling as well. There is no doubt that the fans in Boston are happy to see the calendar turn to May.

Champions and Europa League Semifinals 1st Leg Previews and Tips

It’s a big week of European football ahead of us and it all begins tonight in London where Ajax Amsterdam are the visitors to Tottenham Hotspur’s brand new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in what is the first of two huge Champions League semifinal first legs taking place this week. The other takes place tomorrow night at the Camp Nou in Barcelona where the home side will face Jurgen Klopp’s resurgent Liverpool side.

Then on Thursday attention will turn to the Europa League where two more English teams are in action. Arsenal face Valencia in the first leg of their tie at the Emirates while at the Commerzbank Arena, Eintracht Frankfurt and Chelsea, the two highest-scoring teams in this year’s competition, will clash in what should be another cracking two-legged semifinal.

If you fancy a flutter on the four big games in Europe this week then bet365 Sport is offering some great value markets on each of the games. Sign up today if you are not a member to enjoy some great value bonuses as part of the current bet365 New Player Bonus, available to all members signing up with a genuine new account. Remember too, with In Play betting and Live Streaming services available for thousands of sports events, you’ll always have plenty to bet on at bet365.

Let’s now take a look at the four games coming up this week across both big UEFA competitions and give you our preview and tips on each.

Champions League

Tottenham Hotspur v Ajax Amsterdam

  • 1st Leg – Tue 30th April – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, 8pm
  • 2nd Leg – Wed 8th May – Johan Cruiyff Arena, Amsterdam, 8pm

This should be a cracking game. Spurs scraped through the Group Stage, just pipping Inter to second spot in the group behind Barcelona but have since despatched Dortmund and Manchester City to reach this stage, while Ajax finished just behind Bayern Munich and then knocked out Real Madrid and Juventus to earn a semifinal sport.

Spurs hopes have been hit by the loss of Harry Kane through injury and Son Heung-Min being suspended for the first leg. Lucas Moura will likely start but it does put the home side at a big disadvantage, especially with injury concerns over Winks and Sissoko in midfield too. Ajax should be at full strength and name a similar team to that which earned incredible wins over Real Madrid and Juventus on the road in the past two rounds.

Ajax have won both away games in the past two rounds and with Spurs light in attack, the Dutch side will fancy their chances here. However I think in Spurs, they have a team who can adapt to different styles far more so than either Juventus or Real Madrid. Mauricio Pochettino got the better of Pep Guardiola in the last round, so I feel he has the skill to steer his Spurs team through this very tricky semifinal, though I feel he may have a better chance of winning the away leg, than the home leg due to Son’s suspension.

Spurs are 19/20 to qualify at bet365 Sport and I think that is a good value bet.

Barcelona v Liverpool

  • 1st Leg – Wed 1st May – Nou Camp, Barcelona, 8pm
  • 2nd Leg – Tue 7th May – Anfield, Liverpool, 8pm

With a front three of Messi, Suarez and Coutinho (or Dembele if he gets in ahead of Coutinho), Barcelona are going to be a threat against any side in the world. The Catalans are sure to win La Liga this season and have progressed to this stage of the competition with relative ease after comprehensive wins over Lyon and Manchester United.

Liverpool came through a sticky group phase with a win over Napoli at Anfield that saw them qualify in second spot behind PSG, but since then they have been excellent beating Bayern Munich and FC Porto in style to reach their second semifinal in two years in this tournament. They were also the last team to beat Barcelona, with Lionel Messi in the team, at the Nou Camp in the knockout phase of this competition, when they achieved the feat in 2007.

The Reds are one of very few teams that have a better record against Barcelona than Barca do against themselves, winning three and drawing three of the eight games played by the teams in competitive games. In their last friendly game, the Reds were 4-0 winners at Wembley in a pre-season fixture a few years ago but that will have little bearing on the game on Wednesday night.

Barcelona have a formidable record at home but Liverpool are perhaps a side best equipped to cause them huge problems on the counter attack and with the Reds defence looking very tight, I can see this game ending all-square and then Liverpool finishing off the job at Anfield in a weeks time when they should have the big advantage of home support.

I’m backing Liverpool to qualify at 21/20 with bet365 Sport.

Europa League

Arsenal v Valencia

  • 1st Leg – Thu 2nd May – Emirates Stadium, London, 8pm
  • 2nd Leg – Thu 9th May – Mestalla, Valencia, 8pm

These two teams haven’t met for a good few years but they have met a number of times before in Europe, most famously in a Cup Winners Cup Final back in 1980, when Valencia ran out the winners and the Spanish team have a positive record against the Gunners over the years, albeit their last game was around 15 years ago.

Nowadays, Arsenal have the advantage of having Unai Emery as their boss. The former Sevilla manager won this trophy several times and he has once again led a team into the latter stages. He’ll also be well aware of the particular strengths of their Spanish opponents and perhaps also aware that injuries have left the Gunners back line looking a little threadbare and susceptible at times.

Valencia started this season slowly but have improved of late and have moved up La Liga table. They’ve played British opponents twice already this season in Europe, Man Utd in the Champions League Group Stages and then Celtic in the knockout round of this tournament so they won’t be fazed taking on Arsenal in this semifinal.

This could be a very close call and I wouldn’t be surprised if penalties are required to separate the teams after the two legs. I do feel though that Valencia are just the marginally more consistent at present and as such, I am backing Valencia to qualify at even money at bet365.

Eintracht Frankfurt v Chelsea

  • 1st Leg – Thu 2nd May – Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt, 8pm
  • 2nd Leg – Thu 9th May – Stamford Bridge, London, 8pm

These two high-scoring teams have netted 58 goals between them in the Europa League this season, Chelsea leading the way with 30 of those goals. Frankfurt though have proven to be a very tough team to beat getting past three teams in the knockout phase who dropped into the tournament from the Champions League, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan and the Benfica.

Chelsea found their way past Malmo, Dynamo Kyiv and then Slavia Prague to reach this far and the English side have been very solid in the tournament and are as yet undefeated in it both home and away. They will certainly provide a real test for a Frankfurt side that have won just one of their last five games in all competitions.

Frankfurt will also be without flying winger Ante Rebic who will be a big loss for the home side and while I am expecting this first leg to be relatively close, I can see Chelsea finding the net in Germany to give themselves a real chance, even if they lose the first leg narrowly.

As such, while I see Chelsea maybe losing the first leg 2-1, I can see them bouncing back at home to claim the win and with it a place in the final. Take Chelsea to qualify at odds of 4/9 with bet365.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Betting Preview

After a wacky and exciting first round of the 2019 NHL Playoffs, the field is now set for the second round. There isn’t a single top seed remaining heading into the second round of the playoffs, as the Wild Card teams all took care of them in the first round. With the Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames both eliminated from the playoffs, Lord Stanley’s Cup is completely up for grabs. Let’s take a look at the four second-round playoff series and make a betting prediction for each one of them.

Eastern Conference

(2) New York Islanders vs. (WC1) Carolina Hurricanes: The New York Islanders are slight favorites at -135 to win this second-round series, while the Hurricanes can be bought at +125. The Islanders had to wait a long time to find out their second-round opponent after sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. Jordan Eberle scored a goal in each of the four games in the first round, and the Islanders found plenty of offense after struggling all season. Goaltender Robin Lehner was magnificent as well, stopping 96 percent of the shots that he faced in that series.

Carolina lost the first two games of their first-round series but responded by winning four of the final five to knock off the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. Defenseman Jaccob Slavin was the offensive star for Washington in that series and led the team with nine points.

Both of these teams are just excited to be in the second round, but this should be a terrific series. The Islanders have home-ice advantage, and they are my pick for that reason. Carolina will have a ton of momentum and won’t be easy to beat, but the Islanders will get the job done. Bet the New York Islanders -135 over the Carolina Hurricanes.

(2) Boston Bruins vs. (WC2) Columbus Blue Jackets: Boston is -165 to win this second-round series over the Blue Jackets, who can be bought at +140. The Boston Bruins had to survive a wild-and-crazy first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Columbus should be well-rested after pulling off a stunning four-game sweep against the top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning. The Eastern Conference is now wide open without the Lightning in the mix, but the Bruins are likely the early favorite.

Boston was the third-hardest team to score on during the regular season, and veteran goalie Tuukka Rask is one of the best in the league. Columbus put up 19 goals in their four-game sweep, and their offense was extremely impressive. The Blue Jackets were able to play loose and free against the Lightning, but Boston will provide a physical presence in this series.

Columbus was the story of the league in the first round, but they aren’t advancing past the Bruins. Take the Boston Bruins at -165 over the Columbus Blue Jackets in this series.

Western Conference

(3) St. Louis Blues vs. (WC1) Dallas Stars: The St. Louis Blues are -160 to win this series against the Dallas Stars, who come into this round at +135. Dallas is another wild card team that stunned a top seed, Nashville, in the first round, and they did it with their special teams. The Stars scored 15 goals in their four wins over the Predators while allowing just seven goals in their victories. Alexander Radulov is a talented young player, and he had four goals in the series.

St. Louis came into the playoffs with a ton of momentum, and they used that to their advantage against the Winnipeg Jets. Jaden Schwartz had a hat trick in the series-clinching game, and rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington was good enough to get the job done.

This should be a wildly entertaining series, but the Blues are going to find a way to advance. Take the St. Louis Blues at -160 over the Dallas Stars in this second-round series.

(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (WC2) Colorado Avalanche: The San Jose Sharks are the betting favorite in this series at -140, and the Colorado Avalanche can be had at +120. Colorado looked extremely impressive in dispatching the top-seeded Calgary Flames in five games.
The Avalanche have been building up their roster in recent seasons, and they seem to be putting it all together in these playoffs. Mikko Rantanen had five goals against the Flames in the first-round series, and the Avalanche scored 17 goals in their last four games. Colorado is dangerous on the power play, and they have plenty of speed. The Avalanche also got terrific work from goaltender Phillip Grabauer in the series against the Flames.

San Jose needed a miraculous comeback in Game 7 to knock off the Vegas Golden Knights. The Sharks scored four goals during a five-minute power play to stun Vegas and move on to face the Avalanche. San Jose is one of the top scoring teams in the league, and they have a ton of veteran experience. Goaltender Martin Jones has looked a bit shaky this season, and that is concerning against the Avalanche.

Take the upset in this series and bet the Colorado Avalanche +120 over the San Jose Sharks.

Who Wins the Most Crucial Manchester Derby in Recent Years?

This Wednesday evening in the Premier League sees two big games. Wolves take on Arsenal at Molineux with the Gunners still chasing a top four spot and the potential of a place in next season’s Champions League. Manchester United also have that goal as the sixth placed side face local rivals Manchester City, who themselves are embroiled in a battle for top spot in the Premier League table with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

All in all, it promises to be a decisive night one way or the other for all three of the teams battling it out for honours or position at the end of the season at the top of the Premier League table. Wolves though have been the scourge of the top six sides this season, picking up points against almost all of them and they could yet have a big say in both the race for the Champions League and the Premier League title race (they face Liverpool at Anfield on the final day of the season).

So, if you fancy yourself a little flutter on the games taking place in midweek (and don’t forget there’s two more games taking place on Tuesday night too, as well as Liverpool facing Huddersfield Town at Anfield on Friday evening) then head on over to bet365 Sport right now. If you aren’t’ a member yet (and if not, why not?) then you can sign up using the current bet365 New Customer Bonus which gives you a little added incentive to join the site when you start placing your first bets.

Let’s begin our preview of the games on Wednesday with the game at Old Trafford as the two Manchester giants clash in what could be the pivotal game of the season for both teams ultimate ambitions.

Premier League Fixtures – Wednesday 24th April

Manchester United v Manchester City

Sixth takes on second in the Premier League, a Manchester derby, United on a run of six losses in their last eight games, City winning nine of their last ten and needing a win to go back top of the table with three games of the season left to go. Add to that City’s fantastic record at Old Trafford in recent years and you have the recipe for one of the most intriguing derby clashes in many years.

Certainly all the key factors, league position, recent form and how the team has performed at this ground in recent times, all make positive reading for City fans. They have a great record at Old Trafford, losing just once since 2012 in the Premier League on the ground.  United have recorded the same number of wins as City over the last ten games between the teams (four apiece) but three of those wins have come at the Etihad.

More of a worry for United will be their somewhat stagnant form, which came to a head at the weekend when they were humiliated at Goodison Park by Everton. The 4-0 win for the Toffees could well have been considerably more and led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apologising to the United fans, while midfielder Paul Pogba declared the performance ‘disrespectful’ to United fans and the shirt.

The positive news for United is that Luke Shaw can return for the City game from suspension and there is talk of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shuffling things around for the game, which could well make for an interesting line up come kick off time.

City have injury concerns over Kevin de Bruyne who seems to be ruled out with an unspecified muscular injury, but other than that City have a full strength squad to pick from, although it has to be said that their team has started to show signs of fatigue in some recent games. Even so, they are still producing the results and if anything, their away form has generally been better than their home over recent Premier League games.

This has all the ingredients of being a classic and a dramatic night of action in many ways and it should make interesting viewing.

Our Tip – These teams have not drawn a game in a long time and if that is the case and with both teams needing to win, I don’t usually tip a game to finish all square. However something tells me that this game is going to see one team leading and late drama ensue to ensure that we get a draw. The draw bet is a good value 4/1 shot with bet365.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal

Wolves earned a good draw with Arsenal at the Emirates when the teams met in the league and that is just one of a string of good results that Wolves have picked up against top six sides including drawing with Manchester City, beating Chelsea home and away, defeating Manchester United in the league and cup, beating Tottenham on the road and beating Liverpool in the FA Cup.

However, since their FA Cup Semifinal defeat to Watford, it is fair to say that Nuno Santo’s men have gone a little off the boil and that could be good news for this Arsenal team who have an unwanted record away from home, having kept their first clean sheet in an away game this season last time they played on the road at Newcastle.

The Gunners are struggling with Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United for that elusive Champions League qualification spot and their defeat at home to Crystal Palace at the weekend was a massive blow, especially seeing as all their key rivals either lost or drew.

As such, the Gunners need to produce the goods away in Wolverhampton on Wednesday and that is not going to be an easy task against a Wolves side that have made things very tough for the top six sides this season. There is no doubt that this Wolves side seem well capable of lifting themselves to face big opponents at any point in the season and Arsenal will be very wary of the threat of strikers Jiminez and Jota in particular.

Our Tip – Wolves have shown their capability to bounce back from a couple of indifferent results to put in a good display against the top sides in the past this season and I think they are well capable of doing the same here. Arsenal for me are not the most convincing as they showed in their result against Palace at the weekend and their away form is even worse. I think Wolves have the quality to get yet another big performance and three points from the visit of a top six side. Back Wolves to win at 9/5 with bet365.


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