With 2009 now a fortnight old, it’s time to have a look at one or two special betting opportunities that lie ahead.
One that immediately catches the eye is the offer of 6-1 by Blue Square that David Villa will play in the Premiership in 2009.
With the credit crunch about to hit the big spenders, there won’t be too much of splashing the cash.
But one club seemingly willing to put the money down to get the right calibre of players, is the Arab-owned Manchester City who will not have to worry about doing deals with the banks.
Valencia, on the other hand, are always one of those clubs forced to balance the books and keep the money flowing in.
Hence there should be no problems about them asking for and getting decent money for Villa who was the Euro 2008 golden boot winner.
Villa no doubt would relish the prospect of applying his skills in England.
And with Real Madrid intent on pursing Cristiano Ronaldo - he is 5-4 to leave Old Trafford - and Barcelona having their fair share of top class strikers, a move to England becomes more and more promising.
Valencia are willing to listen to offers and that 6-1 that the Spanish striker will end up in England before the end of the August transfer deadline, is definitely worth a bet.
There are very few better ‘investments’ that have the potential of returning 600 per cent return in less than 12 months.
Another interesting punt is Rangers to beat Celtic in the Scottish Cup final at 10-1 or the same price Celtic to get the better of the Gers.
A bet on both means taking 9-2 that the Old Firm contest the final and there is a very good chance of that provided they miss each other in the draw.
And how about 6-1 the Glazers to sell Manchester United?
In the world’s current cold economic climate and with the Glazers always under pressure to meet their interest payments and other contractual agreements, it’s not something that would come as any great surprise.
Fabio Capello has got England into an effective outfit and there is value in the 16-1 that he will keep them unbeaten up until the 2010 World Cup finals.
2009 football specials
5-1: Kevin Keegan to be named permanent manager of Newcastle.
11-2: Ally McCoist to become Rangers manager (Hill’s).
6-1: David Villa to play in the Premiership (Blue Square).
10-1: Celtic to beat Rangers in Scottish Cup final (Coral).
10-1: Rangers to beat Celtic in Scottish Cup final (Coral).
10-1: Any Premiership club to remain undefeated in league games (Hill’s).
14-1: Non-Premiership team to win the FA Cup.
16-1: England to remain unbeaten under Fabio Capello until the 2010 World Cup finals.
Don’t put your house on the Lions
The last Lions team to win in South Africa, was in 1997 under coach Ian McGeechan.
So the fact the Scot is back in charge as the Lions head back to the hot-house of Springbox terrain, could be seen as a coincidental boost.
But punting is not about sentiment but betting with the head.
The World Champions are firm 2-5 favourites to take the three-match series between June 20 and July 4 and can be expected to stay unbeaten. Hence, 9-4 the Lions not to win a Test should be taken. That the same of course, as taking the South Africans to win 3-0.
Much focus will be on who skippers the Lions and also who will wear the number 10 jersey in the first encounter.
Ireland’s Ronan O’Gara heads the market at 9-4 with Coral as England’s Danny Cipriani has taken a walk in the market out to 6-1.
Compare that to Paddy Power who make Cipriani their 2-1 ‘jolly’ with O’Gara as big as 11-4 while Jonny Wilkinson is only 3-1 but 10-1 elsewhere. He looks to have no chance due to injury problems.
As for the captain, it might well be another Irishman via Brian |O’Driscoll or Paul O’Connell. |O’Driscoll at 9-4 with Coral’s looks the way to go.
Series correct score (Paddy Power): South Africa to win 2-1 (8-5); Lions to win 2-1 (5-2); South Africa 3-0 (9-4); Lions 3-0(14-1).
Lions captain: 13-8 O’Driscoll; 2-1 Ryan Jones; 5-2 Paul O’Connell; 12-1 Mike Blair; 20-1 bar.
Lions captain (Coral): 9-4 Brian O’Driscoll; 5-2 Ryan Jones, Paul O’Connell; 4-1 Mike Blair; 25-1 bar.
Lions fly-half for first Test (Coral): 9-4 O’Gara, 5-2 Stephen Jones; 3-1 James Hook; 6-1 Danny Cipriani; 8-1 Toby Flood; 10-1 Johnny Wilkinson; 33-1 Phil Godman.
Lions fly-half for first Test (Paddy Power): 2-1 Cipriani; 11-4 O’Gara; 3-1 Wilkinson; 4-1 Jones; 8-1 Hook; 20-1 Toby Flood, Danny Parks; 33-1 Shane Geraghty.
Shopping around is always a good idea
An intriguing offer has come up for Cheltenham courtesy of Stan James.
They are quoting 25-1 that the current favourites for the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, World Hurdle and Gold Cup, all go in .
Best avoided and not because the particular horses won’t win.
Rather that better odds should be available by shopping around or going on-line with Betfair.
The top prices available are 5-4 Binocular (Champion Hurdle); 1-2 Master Minded (Champion Chase) 7-4 Denman (Gold Cup) and 2-1 Punchestowns (World Hurdle).
A quick calculation shows that accumulator paying around 26.8-1!
The firm also go 5-4 that only one of the ‘jollies’ oblige; 5-2 for two; 11-4 for three and 7-1 for none.
There is minimal value in that 5-2 as the worst price scenario on two is 9-4 but of course, the best outcome is 7-1 if Punchestowns and Denman are the only winners.
If you fancy one, two, three or four, do them in simple straight ante-post bets or multiples.
Don’t let the bookmaker frame your particular choices based on exact numbers. Just do your own thing. Imagine the scenario of going for three only to find all four going in and thereby wasting a decent treble.