Football betting tipsby Ben, last updated 2008-03-07 06:57:36
Weekend Sports Betting Preview
Bet on this Weekend’s Sport
We have some fantastic sport this weekend, with the FA Cup Quarter Finals featuring Man Utd v Portsmouth and Barnsley v Chelsea and Premiership action featuring Wigan v Arsenal. We also have more Six Nations action with Scotland v England and the 2:40pm at Sandown on Saturday.
Saturday’s FA Cup Football
Man Utd v Portsmouth – Live on Sky Sports 1, k/o 12:45pm
To kick off the FA Cup quarter finals, we have the only all Premiership fixture with Man Utd v Portsmouth at Old Trafford. These two sides have played each other twice this season, and both times Ronaldo has been the centre of attention; being sent off in the first meeting and scoring two fantastic goals in the second game at Old Trafford. Don’t bet against Ronaldo running this game either. United really stated their intent in this competition in the last round, where they demolished arch rivals Arsenal 4-0. The African Cup of Nations has really affected Portsmouth, as they had key squad players missing, their top 6 rivals have been able to capitalise, leading to Portsmouth dropping away from the coveted European place. Harry Redknapp will view the FA Cup as a realistic route into Europe, so you can bet that Portsmouth will go all out at Old Trafford. With United at home and in devastating form this season, bookies have priced them as favourites for this match, with Better offering 4/11 on a home win, while Portsmouth have been priced at 10/1 (VC Bet) to upset the rulebook and progress to the semis.
Barnsley v Chelsea – Live on BBC 1, k/o 5:30pm
This match has a real David vs. Goliath feel to it, with Championship side Barnsley’s entire squad costing £10m less then Michael Essien alone. However, Barnsley have already defied the odds once in this competition, having beaten European champions Liverpool at Anfield, a tremendous achievement for any team. Although Chelsea are still in contention for all competitions, Avram Grant will view the FA Cup as Chelsea most ‘winnable’ trophy, especially in atoning for their Carling Cup Final defeat to Tottenham. Chelsea also come off two impressive performances, where they have score seven goals and conceded none. On paper Barnsley look to have little chance of progression, but with the magic of the FA Cup, anything can happen. Considering the gulf in class between these two teams, bookmakers have placed Chelsea as favourites, pricing them at 4/11 (Centrebet) to get the away win, while Better have priced Barnsley at 8/1 to beat the odds and pull off a tremendous victory.
Sunday’s FA Cup Football
Middlesbrough v Cardiff – Live on BBC 1, k/o 2:00pm
Middlesbrough may count themselves lucky to be still involved in the FA Cup after their fortunate win against Sheffield Utd in the last round. In that match, a freak Paddy Kenny own goal deep into extra time gifted Middlesbrough the result in a drab affair. Middlesbrough have been enjoying some good form of late, having won five matches since the turn of the year. This match represents Cardiff’s first FA Cup quarter final in 81 years, and the occasion won’t be lost on them. With their domestic form deserting them and leaving them in 14th place in the Championship, the FA Cup provides a welcomed distraction. Bookmakers have placed Middlesbrough as favourites, pricing them at 4/7 (Better) to get the home win, while VC Bet have priced Cardiff at 4/1 to reinstall some pride at the Riverside Stadium.
BGbet are offering to refund all losing first goalscorer bets on Middlesbrough v Cardiff if Stewart Downing scores at anytime in this match.*
Bristol Rovers v West Brom – Live on BBC 1, k/o 6:00pm
This match sees a clash between two Football League teams, League One Bristol Rovers v Championship highfliers West Brom. Similar to Cardiff, Bristol Rovers have been disappointing in League One. Having been considered one of the favourites for promotion, they find themselves languishing in 14th. Having already produced one fantastic performance to knock out Fulham in the third round, the magic of the Cup and the atmosphere of their home ground could easily inspire them to reach their first FA Cup semi-final. West Brom have been one of the best performing teams in the Championship this season, as they are still realistic contenders to win the league. With players such as Championship Player of the Year Kevin Phillips and Zoltan Gera bringing Premiership experience and real quality, don’t bet against West Brom hounding the Bristol Rovers defence. Whatever the end result should be, this promises to be a fantastic game of football. West Brom have been priced as favourites at 11/10 (Centrebet), meanwhile Bristol Rovers have been priced at 12/5 by Better to claim another big team scalp.
BGbet are offering to refund all losing first goalscorer bets on Bristol Rovers v West Brom if Kevin Phillips scores at anytime in this match.*
Sunday’s Premiership Football
Wigan v Arsenal– Live on Sky Sports 1, k/o 4:00pm
The big Premiership match this weekend sees Wigan host league leaders Arsenal at the JJB Stadium. Steve Bruce has pulled off some surprising victories since taking the helm at Wigan back in November. He has led the Latics to wins over Blackburn, Newcastle, Derby (twice) and West Ham but a win over the League leaders is another matter entirely. After all, Wigan have enjoyed no Premier League success over the Gunners in the past and the North Londoners will be buoyed by their heroics in Milan. Wenger’s young guns may have been misfiring of late but they still have lost just one Premier League match all season. They’ve gone 12 matches unbeaten since they surprisingly lost at Middlesbrough back in early December. They’ve also been boosted by the return to fitness of the Dutch maestro Robin Van Persie. The Gunners should have too much confidence and firepower for the lowly Latics. Arsenal have been priced as favourites at 8/13 (VC Bet), meanwhile Wigan have been priced at 11/2 by Centrebet to take all 3 points.
BGbet are offering to refund all losing first goalscorer bets on Bristol Rovers v West Brom if Kevin Phillips scores at anytime in this match.*
Rugby Six Nations Tournament
This Saturday sees the annual Calcutta Cup between Scotland and England at Murrayfield. After England’s heroics against titans France, where England ran out 13-24 winners, England have a real chance of winning the competition. All the focus will be on England to retain the Cup. England have been priced as favourites for this match, with Better offering 2/9 to capitalise on Scotland’s underwhelming form, while Scotland have been priced at 2/1 (VC Bet) to bounce back and give a solid performance.
Ireland v Wales – R O’Gara
This Saturday sees the exciting Sunderlands.co.uk Handicap Chase at Sandown, with 17 top runners in this event, you can be sure this will be a fantastic race. With the Cheltenham Festival only a few days away, this Handicap Chase is an excellent trial for those horse hopeful of making an impression at the 2008 gala.
Open an account with any of the following bookmakers and receive a free bet:
Hairy Plotter and the Half-Blood Prince
By Gerry McDonnellLike Martin Luther King and Gandhi, I'm a fan of passive resistance; but there are some things in life that we have to fight for. For me, it's a baby's smile, the love of a mute woman or more affordable prices at the petrol pump.
It's to my deep and lasting regret that a serious injury prevented me from joining the military. I've been plagued with recurring back pain since childhood - it's never easy growing up in Jersey.
Fortunately for the army, Prince Harry was able to stand up and fight for possible Grandmother and Country. His willingness to get his hands dirty shows real character; he's stuck two fingers up to those who question Germany's poor war record. Fulham's recent record is at an equally unhealthy level; they've only one won of their last eighteen battles. Blackburn will take no prisoners at 11/20.
Now that the Rambo-like tax-dodger has returned from single-handedly destroying the Taliban, he'll be looking for an alternative career. Steve Coppell is apparently showing an interest; he appreciates a useless ginger hitman. I'll fire a few rounds off if Reading sneak a win over Manchester City at 6/4.
Radio chat shows are really scraping the barrel for material. One recent topic up for debate was 'Why do West Ham fans dislike Frank Lampard'. I wasted 25 minutes trying to get through, and I only wanted to say four words. I'll be equally succinct in describing the 4/5 for a Tottenham win over West Ham: nap of the week.
Michael Owen may have been written off more than Angus Loughran's debts, but he remains a top-drawer operator. Newcastle are available at 10/1 against a Liverpool side with one eye on the Champions League; I'm ashamed to say that I'm on the verge of being priced in.
Cesc Fabregas returned to his incomparable best in midweek against Milan. I can't foresee any scenario where Wigan will be able to stop him, shy of hitting him over the head with a guitar or dropping a grand piano on him; but even then he'd remain instrumental. Arsenal just have to turn up to win at 8/13.
Tim Cahill has been castigated for using a goal celebration to show solidarity with his imprisoned brother. I find the criticism over-the-top, it's not like he bent over and touched his toes - even I would be offended by the 'Barton shuffle'. I'll hit the dancefloor when Everton beat Sunderland at 5/4.
The FA Cup reaches the quarter-final stage this weekend, allowing either West Brom or Bristol Rovers the opportunity to make an unexpected trip to Wembley. Personally, I hope it's the Albion fans who get to see the bright lights of London, as they consider a trip to Birmingham something of a cultural treat. The Baggies are a fair bet at 6/5.
I hope Sir Alex Ferguson has calmed down after Arsenal's last-gasp leveller against Aston Villa last week. "It was the 95th minute of their usual seven minutes of injury time," whined the Scot, before launching a furious tirade at the blackness of a nearby kettle. United fans will be steaming when they knock Pompey out of the Cup at 4/11.
The FA should hang their collective hands in shame after overturning Frank Lampard's red card against West Ham. I can only assume that they were frightened of Lampard demanding a personal hearing, which would have led to astronomical catering overheads. I'll happily tuck in to the 4/11 for a Chelsea win over Barnsley.
It appears that Lampard was let off on a technicality - he plays for one of the big four. Jeremie Aliadiere represents Middlesbrough, so he was given a four match ban for replicating the actions of a Liverpool player - he regularly underperformed in the league. Boro will still have enough to ease past Cardiff at 7/10.
Last week's accer never really got off the ground, but even Shakespeare made the occasional spelling mistake. I'm far more confident with this week's selections. Reading, Everton, Tottenham and Arsenal form a 14/1 accer of such noble virtue, even Prince Harry would happily go to war to protect it - if there was a camera crew in the vicinity.
Man Utd v Portsmouth Saturday 8th March 12:45 Live on Sky
Man Utd 4/11
Get on: Man Utd
Barnsley v Chelsea Saturday 8th March 17:30 Live on BBC
Get on: Chelsea
Middlesbrough v Cardiff Sunday 9th March 14:00 Live on BBC
Get on: Middlesbrough
Bristol Rovers v West Brom Sunday 9th March 18:00 Live on BBC
Bristol Rovers 5/2
West Brom 6/5
Get on: West Brom
Blackburn v Fulham Saturday 8th March 15:00
Get on: Blackburn
Liverpool v Newcastle Saturday 8th March 15:00
Get on: Newcastle
Reading v Man City Saturday 8th March 15:00
Man City 2/1
Get on: Reading
Sunderland v Everton Sunday 9th March 15:00
Get on: Everton
Tottenham v West Ham Sunday 9th March 15:00
West Ham 7/2
Get on: Tottenham
Wigan v Arsenal Sunday 9th March 16:00 Live on Sky
Get on: Arsenal
FA Cup Betting - United & Chelsea Edge Toward Repeat Final
This weekend punters who favour English football have the choice of Premier League and FA Cup action, with top quality action in both competitions. The FA Cup - the world’s oldest cup competition - has reached the quarter-final stage, which includes last year’s finalists, Man Utd and Chelsea, but among the six other hopefuls are teams from the two tiers below the Premier League looking to create an upset. Be part of the action with up to 60% better FA Cup betting odds at PinnacleSports.com.
The FA Cup reaches the quarter-final stage this weekend which means the eight remaining teams are just two games from the gleaming arch of Wembley. With the way the draw has panned out it we could easily see a repeat of last year’s final where Chelsea beat Manchester United in extra time. Having cruised past Arsenal with a 4-0 demolition at Old Trafford in the previous round, the Red Devils are favourites with PinnacleSports.com to overcome Portsmouth with home advantage. Manchester United are 2.040 (-1.5)* with Portsmouth 1.893 (+1.5)* – a market priced to less than 102%.
Chelsea face a trip to Oakwell taking on Championship side, Barnsley, who pulled off the biggest giant-killing for some years by beating Liverpool at Anfield in the last sixteen. Having performed such heroics in the previous round, the Tykes will fear no-one with home advantage, especially if goalkeeper Lee Steele is in the same unbeatable form. Chelsea will be looking to avenge the recent League Cup final defeat inflicted at the hands of Spurs, by successfully defending the FA Cup trophy. PinnacleSports.com make Chelsea favourites 1.781 (-1 & -1.5)* with Barnsley 2.180 (+1 & +1.5)*.
On Sunday Middlesbrough have a great opportunity to make the semi-finals, facing Championship side Cardiff at home. Boro last silverware was the League Cup in 2004, while they last made the FA Cup final in 1997. Bristol Rovers fly the flag for Division One looking to defeat West Brom at home, having reached the last eight for the first time since 1958. Check PinnacleSports.com for full prices.
*All odds subject to change
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