The Sports Bookie Blog

Mourinho off to the Mestalla?

October 30th, 2007

Mourinho to SpainThe bookmakers have installed Jose Mourinho as a strong favourite to be the next permanent manager of Valencia after Spanish reports linked him with the job on Monday.

Valencia fired coach Quique Sanchez Flores at the weekend following their 0-3 Primera Liga defeat at Sevilla.

Reserve-team coach Oscar Fernandez was put in temporary charge of the team but Sky Bet reckon it’s an odds-on chance that former Chelsea boss Mourinho gets the job full-time.

The ‘Special One’ dominates the market and if the prices prove spot on then there’s the intriguing possibility of a swift return to Stamford Bridge as Valencia meet Chelsea in the Champions League on December 11.

Also in the frame are Fabio Capello at 5/1 and Marcelo Lippi at 8/1 and it’s then 12/1 about caretaker boss Fernandez.

Martin Jol is 14/1 for a rapid return to management following his Spurs exit and it’s 16/1 for anyone else.

How to Improve your chances of winning at Blackjack

October 29th, 2007

Want to play more profitable blackjack? Sports bettors often make great Blackjack players as it’s a game involving backing the odds and decision making.

There are 3 standard approaches to Blackjack play

  1. just “having a stab” or following your gut (not recommended)
  2. card counting (not great to do online and if you’re caught doing it at a casino you’ll get to meet “the gorillas from under the stairs”)
  3. following basic Blackjack Strategy (a scientifically devised method tested by computers over billions of hand combinations to improve your chances of winning)

Check out these 3 Blackjack articles to increase your chances of beating the casino odds!

Part I: An Introduction, the 3 standard approaches to Blackjack Play and the things to look for when chosing which Blackjack game to play.

Part II: Tried and tested Blackjack Basic Blackjack Strategy

Part III: What to do with Soft hands and pairs in Blackjack to improve your winnings

Ladbrokes facing ASA investigation

October 26th, 2007

Here’s the article: 

Ladbrokes first advertising campaign is to be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after the agency received four complaints. The complainants argue that the use of celebrities in the M&C Saatchi created ad encourages bravado and could influence young people to gamble.

A spokesperson for Ladbrokes said “Given that it’s the first time gambling companies have been able to advertise, we’re not entirely surprised there have been complaints.”

“But we don’t think we have transgressed and we will vigorously defend our case.”

Here’s my comment:

Click to visit Ladbrokes web site nowThe Ladbrokes web site gives you a link to the “offending advertisement”. If you’ve not seen it on TV, go visit them to check it out.

What utter bollocks. I personally think it’s a great ad – and from where I sit, fairly true to life bravado-wise (except my local cafe doesn’t exactly attract footballing legends  – more like starving office worker types…so perhaps Ladbrokes’ ad agency can look to do a “white collar” version too featuring a few more of footballing’s elite).

Those who have complained are really looking hard for something to moan about – or stand to benefit in some other way from Ladbrokes and/or sports betting advertising getting a rough run.  That the ASA even accepts “encourages bravado” as a valid basis for complaint in my view undermines the credibility of their organisation. 

Man U, Juve and Liverpool News

October 25th, 2007

Click to visit BookieLabRat.com for bookmaker reviews and ratingsThe latest Football news from multiligual European online sportsbook, Globet

 

Man Utd concerns for Scholes

Manchester United fear they could be missing Paul Scholes for their crunch clash with Premiership leaders Arsenal in ten day’s time.

Sources say Scholes was forced to pull out of United’s Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday after suffering a knee injury in training. Although Scholes had a hospital scan yesterday, Sir Alex Ferguson and his medical staff will meet this morning at United’s training ground to decide on the best course of action.

It is feared Scholes, who underwent exploratory knee surgery after returning early from United’s pre-season tour of the Far East, may need a cartilage operation to cure the latest problem.

Juventus: Chelsea, Arsenal and Rangers player-exchanges

Juventus are locked in player-exchange talks with Arsenal, Chelsea and Scottish giants, Rangers.

Juve sporting director Alessio Secco met Rangers chief scout Ewan Chester in London yesterday. Secco has also had talks with Arsenal and Chelsea to discuss fringe players being farmed out to gain top-team experience in either the SPL or the Premiership.

Any movement would be subject to Walter Smith’s side qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League with a recognised left-back top of the Ibrox manager’s shopping list. As part of the arrangement Juve would like first refusal on any players the British teams are willing to sell.

Right now the Turin club are not involved in Europe following their demotion to Serie B two seasons ago. Coach Claudio Ranieri, left, wants his fringe players to gain experience of playing abroad ahead of Juventus’s expected return to the Champions League next season.

Liverpool owner Hicks: We back Benitez

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks has handed manager Rafa Benetez a vote of confidence after last night’s Champions League defeat at Besiktas.

Benitez has been criticised for his selective use of summer signing Fernando Torres so far this season and Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat by Besiktas left them bottom of their Champions League group.

But Hicks, who owns the club with fellow American George Gillett, told Sky Sports News: “We back Rafa. He’s the right manager.Rafa’s rotation has been his policy for three years. Rafa’s ability to coach and manage in the Champions League should be unquestioned. We had a disappointing loss because we got outplayed by the Turks.”

“I think we have our work cut out, but yes we can qualify. We have to win the next three games.”

 

>>Check out more about Globet Bookmaker in a detailed sportsbook review here.

English Premiership Betting Commentary

October 25th, 2007

Premiership Betting – Matchday 11 Preview 

Reigning Premiership champions, Manchester United, have an opportunity this weekend to go top of the Premier League table for the first time this season. After a poor start, the Red Devils have hauled themselves up to second in the table, and have a very winnable game at home to Middlesbrough on Saturday, while the team at the top of the pile, Arsenal, have a tough trip to Anfield.

For up to 60% better Premiership betting odds on both of these key fixtures, go to PinnacleSports.com. [Pinnacle Sports are rated by the BookieLabRat.com team for consistently offering ultra-sharp Asian Handicap prices]

Visit PinnacleSports for best Asian Handicap oddsRampant Red Devils Ready to Cut Down Boro

Man Utd’s season has taken off in recent weeks scoring 12 goals in three consecutive victories. The goal-rush is a welcome departure from the string of a 1-0 wins that characterised their early season form, and suggests that Tevez and Rooney are forging an understanding up front, while Ronaldo – with four goals in three games – looks back to his best. The only downer for coach, Alex Ferguson, is the addition of Paul Scholes to the midfield injury list, alongside Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick.

Fergie will however, be confident that his side has the strength in depth to see off struggling Boro at the Theatre of Dreams. His side have been rampant in recent Premier League fixtures and coped with those absentees in Moscow on Tuesday night, winning 4-2. In stark contrast, Boro are in freefall, having taken just one point from their last five league games. Goal-scoring has been a real problem, with the Teessiders failing to score in three of their four away defeats. The one key point in Boro’s favour is the fact that they are unbeaten in four league visits to Old Trafford. Nevertheless, PinnacleSports.com price Man Utd strong favourites at 1.901 (-1.5 & -2), with Middlesbrough 2.03 (+1.5 & +2).

Unbeaten Gunners Face First True Challenge at Anfield

Sunday’s fixture at Anfield, between Liverpool and Arsenal, the Premier League’s two remaining unbeaten sides, is the first big clash of the season, and should provide an indication of their title-credential. The Gunners are top of the Premiership table, and come into the game on the back of 12 consecutive wins in all competitions for the concession of just four goals. The most recent 7-0 Champions League win at home to Slavia Prague, equalled the record win in the competition.

Liverpool’s fortunes have been going in the opposite direction. The Reds have a mountain to climb in Europe after Wednesday night’s defeat in Turkey, and have drawn their last two home league fixtures. Last Saturday’s Derby win at Goodison Park was a welcome fillip, but, Steven Gerrard, put in another muted performance. Rafa Benitez pulled off his captain off after 71 minutes with the scores tied, a surprising move given that Gerrard is Liverpool’s proven match-winner. Fernando Torres sat out that game with a thigh injury, but should be fit by the weekend, while Arsenal will definitely be without top league scorer, Robin Van Persie.
 

Best Premiership Odds at PinnacleSports.com

Get a 10% sign-up bonus, 7% cash back on horse bets and the best odds on all major sports. Find a Smarter Way To Bet at PinnacleSports.com.

Find out more – read the sports bookmaker review on Pinnacle Sports here at BookieLabRat.com.

Midweek Champions League Betting

October 22nd, 2007

Click to visit BookieLabRat.com for sportsbook reviews and ratingsHere’s a couple of Champions League Betting Previews from the team at PinnacleSports.com. There are 16 games taking place in midweek and the odds at Pinnacle are well worth a look, especially if you’re into Asian Handcap value betting.

 
Resurgent Chelsea Focused on Champions League Progress

The dust seems to be finally setting at Stamford Bridge following Jose Mourinho’s exit. Avram Grant and new coaching assistant, Henk Ten Cate, are establishing a new regime which has resulted in a five game unbeaten run, and three consecutive victories. Despite the comments Didier Drogba made in the French press about wanting away, he showed his commitment on the field on Saturday, scoring in the 2-0 win over Middlesbrough. Drogba was also pivotal in the 2-1 win at the Mestalla on matchday two and his contribution will be critical against Schalke on Wednesday night.

Having lost at home to Valencia on matchday one, the Germans recorded a comfortable win against Rosenborg, leaving the Norwegians rooted to the bottom of Group D with just one point. Qualification now looks like a three horse race, so 04 really need to get something from this game to boost their chances, but they are struggling with a serious injury list including seven senior squad members. Schalke have taken just one point from their last two Bundesliga games, and travel to one of Europe’s most difficult venues. PinnacleSports.com make Chelsea favourites 2.130 (-1) and Schalke 1.813 (+1) – a market priced to only 102%.

Rangers in Buoyant Mood for Visit of Barcelona

Glasgow Rangers’ 3-0 Old Firm Derby win was the perfect preparation for Tuesday nights huge Champions League fixtures against Spanish giants, Barcelona. Spanish striker, Nacha Novo, who scored twice in Saturday’s win against Celtic, will be keener than most to make an impression against Barca, having started his career in the Spanish second division, before moving to Scotland.

In contrast to Rangers’ comfortable victory, Barcelona were beaten 3-1 at Villarreal on Saturday, where their injury problems increased. Deco joined Samuel Eto’o, Gianluca Zambrotta, Yaya Toure, Rafael Marquez and Edmilson on the sidelines. The key strike pairing of Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry were rested from training on Sunday, but are expected to play, while Ronaldinho will travel to Glasgow, having been dropped by Frank Rijkaard for returning late from international duty. Nevertheless PinnacleSports.com make Barcelona favourites 1.885 (-0.5 & -1) with Rangers 2.050 (+0.5 & +1).

Compare live Champions League odds across the top online sportsbooks here at BookieLabRat.com

Fred Done’s Weekend EPL Picks

October 18th, 2007

Click for the latest online sportsbook reviews and ratingsPearls of wisdom from the old pro or just a load of bookie blag? Your call, but here at the latest picks for the weekend English Premiership action from the owner top Bookmaker BetFred.com, Fred Done. 

Everton 2/1 v Liverpool 11/10 (draw 9/4)
Probably the best local derby match in the Premier League. Liverpool needs 3 points and Everton have been steady so far but form goes out of the window in this fixture.
It’s best to go with Liverpool at 11/10. A draw on the handicap (Liverpool -1) at 5/2 a good bet too.

Arsenal 2/9 v Bolton 9/1 (draw 4/1)
Arsenal are still winning and still playing Arsenalesque football. They will win this one but Bolton have a history of causing upsets against the Gunners so be careful with this one. Still, I go for a 3-1 win for Arsenal at 10/1. Robin Van Persie has been in fine form lately and is 7/2 to open the scoring.

Blackburn 4/6 v Reading 7/2 (draw 12/5)
Most nailed on bet of the season so far at a reasonable price. Reading are so poor this season, away from home they are all over the place. Blackburn are a rugged side who battle for everything and will take this match for sure. Lump on the 4/6!!

Fulham 8/11 v Derby 10/3 (draw 9/4)
Another match which looks straightforward. Fulham should take the 3 points at 8/11. Clint Dempsey who has already scored a few goals this season is 7/1 to score first.

Man City 4/7 v Birmingham 9/2 (draw 12/5)
This seems too easy, yet another game which should go to the home team. Man City will win this at 4/7 with the aforementioned Elano at 8/1 to net first. Under 2.5 goals at 8/11 could be worth a punt too.

Middlesbrough 4/1 v Chelsea 8/13 (draw 12/5)
A comfortable away win at 8/13 is on the cards. Chelsea half time – full time is 11/8.

Wigan 13/8 v Portsmouth 11/8 (draw 11/5)
A tricky one, possibly the trickiest of the weekend. Not too sure which way this will go so a draw is probably safest at 11/5. A draw at half time at even money is a good bet. A bet that has served me well in the past.

Aston Villa 7/2 v Man Utd 4/6 (draw 12/5)
I have to say that this will be a good match with some goals but a draw seems likely. I may be brave at a go for a 2-2 draw at 14/1. I may be way off but I just have a “feeling”. Aston Villa +1 on the handicap at 11/10 may be a good bet.

West Ham 4/5 v Sunderland 3/1 (draw 9/4)
West Ham @ 4/5 – easy as that! Doesn’t have to be justified, just common sense.

Newcastle 5/4 v Tottenham 7/4 (draw 9/4)
Only Mystic Meg can predict this one, but I’m picking this game will be a draw.

>>Visit BetFred.com Sports Bookmaker (sorry, no US bettors)
>>Read more about BetFred in a detailed sportsbook review for October here.

 

 

Scottish Football Renaissance Hard on the Bookies!

October 15th, 2007

Scotland football fansScottish bookies lost a reported £2 million after the country’s national football team beat the Ukraine 3-1 over the weekend.

A spokesperson for Ladbrokes, who own over 350 shops in Scotland, said “the industry has not lost as much money to the Tartan Army since Don Hutchison’s header at Wembley in 1999”, which marked the first Scottish victory at the stadium in 18 years.

Artificial Surface No Obstacle to Fired Up England Squad?

October 14th, 2007

Russia vs England on WednesdayEngland are all fired up and Steve McClaren has vowed that England will go to Russia on Wednesday looking for the win that would book their place in Euro 2008 with a game to spare.

A draw on the Russians’ artificial surface would leave McClaren’s men needing just a draw from their final group E match, at home to Croatia in November.

Estonia coach Viggo Jensen expects England to reach the finals along with Croatia, but warned that they would find life difficult on the artificial surface they will play on in Moscow. “I think it will be difficult for England on this astroturf. This could be the biggest problem for them because they will be worried about it. With the quality they have, on a normal pitch I don’t think they would have a problem.”

But after watching England ease past Estonia with their fifth consecutive 3-0 win in the group, McClaren insisted he would be looking to wrap up qualification with a game to spare. “We have just won our last five games 3-0, we beat Russia 3-0 a few weeks ago and there is a lot of belief and confidence in this squad. “Wherever we go, we go to win. It is an opportunity – what a great opportunity to win the game and qualify.”

First-choice left-back, Ashley Cole looks unlikely for the Moscow trip. The Chelsea defender limped off early in the second half with a serious-looking ankle injury and McClaren admitted: “does not look good.” The coach was more optimistic about skipper John Terry’s chances of returning from a knee injury for England’s biggest match since the 2006 World Cup quarter-final.

AT THE BOOKIES:
Another three goal win for England (0-3) is currently sitting at a cool 29.00 at Ladbrokes while best 1X2 price is 2.40 at Canbet. For Asian Handicap bettors, England at +0.25 is paying 2.20 at Canbet.

Click to visit Ladbrokes bookmaker (no US bettors)Read the latest review on Ladbrokes Sports Bookmaker

Click to visit Canbet sports bookmakerRead more about Aussie owned Canbet Sportsbook in this review

 

Thunderbirds are go for the weekend’s International Euro 2008 Qualifiers

October 11th, 2007

I’m beginning to think we just like posting on PaddyPower’s cash back deals because their promotional graphics are so good!

Click for details of this offer onsite at PaddyPower.com“Thunderbirds are go” for the weekend’s Euro 2008 Qualifiers. Called “International Rescue”, you can bet on any of the following games:

England v Estonia – Sat 3pm BBC1
Scotland v Ukraine – Sat 3pm SS1
Cyprus v Wales – Sat 5.15pm S4C
Rep of Ireland v Germany – Sat 7.45pm RTE2

…and if any team leads at half time in the above matches but fails to win, Paddy Power will refund all losing 1st/last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast single bets on that match. Max refund €300/£200 per customer.

Click to visit BetFred BookmakerFred Done’s marketing crew also has come to the Euro 2006 Qualifier party with a £10 freebet – if you bet £10 or more on any of Fred’s Enhanced Trebles, and one selection fails to win. The free bet will be credited in time for the England v Russia game on Wednesday.

The accumulators are: Patriotic Punt – 8/1, Golden Boy Glory – 40/1, Outsiders Special – 175/1, Form First – 500/1, Captain Fantastic – 7500/1

Cashback offers on first goal scorer and scorecast bets available also.

Check out details on site at BetFred.com

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