Inside Betting: Previewing This Weeks Top Events and Markets at Bookmakers »
by Will H
September isn’t always a particularly busy sporting month, but 2012 is the year that keeps on giving. One of the most spectacular Grand Prix in the calendar is upon us, while some exciting domestic boxing is on the cards and the Twenty20 World Cup begins. Add in some Premier League football and the much under-rated Europa League and it’s an exciting week of sporting action to look forward to.
Singapore Grand Prix
In 2008 Singapore’s Marina Bay made history as Formula One’s first ever night race. The spectacular street circuit is modern, beautifully designed and never short of racing drama.
Last year Sebastian Vettel all-but sealed the Driver’s Championship with victory here, but the double-world champion is chasing the pack this season rather than dominating so clinically like last year.
He’s fourth in the race for the title with Kimi Raikkonen hot on Lewis Hamilton’s heels in second, while first placed Fernando Alonso has a 37-point gap over the Brit.
McLaren have won the last two races and look strong since returning from the mid-season break. With this in mind, Paddy Power Formula One betting make Hamilton 2/1 to record back-to-back wins, Alonso at 4/1 and Jenson Button at 9/2 to win on Sunday
Twenty20 World Cup
Over two years ago, England recorded their first ever victory at an ICC limited-overs tournament, after a seven-wicket win against Australia in the World Twenty20 final.
England, captained by Stuart Broad, are top of the World Rankings in this, the shortest form of the game, but South Africa showed during the summer just how strong they are, and indeed drew 1-1 with England just last week in a three-match series.
However, with the tournament located in Sri Lanka, India have been installed as favourites, with Bet365 cricket betting offering 4/1 for them to lift the trophy, with the hosts closely following at 5/1.
South Africa join them at 5/1, while England are seventh favourites at 7/1. However, the tournament is regarded as wide open and, generally, Twenty20 cricket produces plenty of upsets.
Thursday night football is back, thus the Europa League, the Champions League’s little brother in many regards, returns to our screens in its own mild-mannered way. English clubs have seldom taken the competition too seriously, but last season’s competition was particularly strong and runners-up Athletic Bilbao in particular made a name for themselves with numerous energetic and exciting displays.
This week, Tottenham, who missed out so cruelly on the Champions League having finished fourth in the Premier League, host Lazio, who also finished fourth in the Serie A.
Paddy Power football betting has Spurs at 4/5 to roll over the Italians, who are 7/2 to record a shock victory, with a draw at 5/2.
Liverpool are the only other English team in action, beginning their tough Group A campaign with a trip to Swiss side Young Boys.
Young Boys, perhaps best known for giving Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham a first leg fright in Champions League qualification two years ago, are 21/10 to overcome Brendan Rodgers’ side, who in turn are 5/4, despite the Northern Irishman suggesting he won’t let the competition get in the way of the Premier League.
Talking of the Premier League, and it’s time for one of those Grand Slam Sundays as billed by Sky Sports.
Liverpool look to kick-start their season with a victory over arch-rivals Manchester United, while Arsenal hope to continue their encouraging start when they visit Premier League champions Manchester City.
First up will be the match at Anfield, the type of game in which Liverpool tend to come up with their best performances. 888 football betting makes the Reds 17/10 to overcome their Manchester rivals, with the Red Devils 8/5 and the draw at 11/5.
Meanwhile, City’s meeting with Arsenal will see the champions attempt to shrug off a sluggish start to the season against a Gunners side that has looked resilient despite criticism from some corners in the wake of the departure of talismanic frontman Robin van Persie.
City are still favourites on home turf though, having won 18 of their 19 games at the Etihad last term and won two out of two already this season. They are priced at 8/11, the draw is 11/4, while Arsenal are 7/2 to be the first team to take three points away from the Etihad since December 2010.
Domestic boxing was given a shot in the arm this week as Ricky Hatton confirmed he is returning to the ring.
This weekend sees British boxing in the spotlight once more as two of the country’s finest fighters look to cement their burgeoning reputations. Barry McGuigan’s highly-rated prodigy Carl Frampton will meet two-time former World Champion Steve Molitor, while Scottish WBO Lightweight World Champion Ricky Burns takes on a revived Kevin Mitchell.
Paddy Power boxing betting has Burns at 8/15 to retain his title in what looks an interesting match-up, while Frampton is 4/11 to prove he can cope with the very best of the Bantamweight division.