The Sports Bookie Blog

Champions League Quarter Final Previews

March 31st, 2008

The Champions League is now down to the last eight, and with half of the remaining teams from the Premier League, the quarter-finals have a distinctly English theme. Last season’s competition came close to producing the first ever all Premiership final, and that dream scenario could well happen in 2008.

Roma Must Seek Revenge Without Talismanic Totti

The defining theme of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final at the Stadio Olimpico, between Roma and Man Utd, is the 7-1 demolition that the Red Devils metered out to the Italians at the same stage of last year’s competition. The Giallorossi won the home leg 2-1, before being blown away at Old Trafford, in a record defeat. The sides also met in this year’s group stage, drawing in Rome, before United won 1-0 at the Theatre of Dreams, underlining their position as 1.426 favourites to progress this time around with PinnacleSports.com against Roma 3.150.

The Mancunians have been in emphatic form, scoring ten in their last four Premiership fixtures without conceding, half of those goals coming from Cristiano Ronaldo, who must be hot favourite for European footballer of the year. It should however, be remembered that Roma beat Real Madrid home and away in the previous round, but their chances are diminished by the likely absence of their talismanic captain, Francesco Totti, who injured his thigh in Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw at Cagliari.

PinnacleSports.com cannot split the sides on their Asian Handicap pricing the Premier League side as marginal favourites Man Utd 1.781 (0/scratch) with Roma 2.180 (0/scratch)* – a market priced to less than 102%.

All Premiership Clash First Instalment in Seven Day Trilogy

The all-Premiership Champions League quarter-final clash between Liverpool and Arsenal sets up an amazing treble bill of fixtures in seven days between the clubs. Game one sees the sides meet on Wednesday night at the Emirates Stadium in their first leg European tie, with the return leg a week later at Anfield; sandwiched between those games is an important Premiership fixture back in London. The Pool are no strangers to Champions League knock-out ties against fellow Premiership sides. Rafa Benitez conspired to knock out Chelsea in the 2005 and 2007 semi-finals, despite being under-dogs on both occasions, and PinnacleSports.com has them as marginal outsiders to progress to the last four 2.020 with Arsenal 1.909*.

Losing 2-0 at half time in Saturday’s game away to Bolton, the Gunners were facing a record six Premier League games without a win, until an amazing three goal turn around. That Houdini-act will have given the club a boost, but it will be a concern for manager, Arsene Wenger, that they dug themselves such a big hole at struggling Bolton. Liverpool by comparison looked comfortable winning the Mersey Derby, with Fernando Torres, the match-winner. Punters shouldn’t read too much into the fact that the Scousers trail Arsenal by eight points in the league, as they are recognised European specialists, reaching the final in two of the previous three competitions.

For the first instalment of the trilogy PinnacleSports.com price Arsenal slight favourites 1.962 (0/scratch & -0.5) with Liverpool 1.962 (0/scratch & +0.5)*.

 

Click to compare bookmakers for the best odds, live* Odds subject to fluctation so check out the latest Champions League prices across the top online sportsbooks here at BookieLabRat.com

Not a Asian Handicap bettor? Check out the best prices for 1X2 (win-draw-win), HT/FT, First/last goal scorer and other bets live here at BookieLabRat.com

Get an extra bang for that betting buck…Champions League Football

March 31st, 2008

Here are four bookies keen to give you an extra bang for your buck. You can grab betting insurance on your punts on the midweek Champions League Football – so if you lose, you get your stake back to have another punt…

Click to go to PaddyPower.com sportsbook1. Paddy Power’s Latest Money Back Special, “Head Start!” offers you up to €300/£200 cash back on each of the four Champions League games this week (Roma v Man United, Schalke 04 v Barcelona, Arsenal v Liverpool and Fenerbache v Chelsea). If you like a flutter on 1st/last goalscorer, correct score and/or scorecast single bets then this offer is for you. Check it out at Paddy Power sportsbook.

Click to visit BoyleSports.com2. The other top rating Irish bookie, Boyle Sports, has a great reputation for cash back offers and has paid our megabucks this season. Two money back specials are available on the Champions League games playing April 1st and 2nd:

  • A refund on BoyleSports “A Roma Therapy” offer (Roma v Man Utd, Tue 7:45pm) is subject to Roma winning the game by two or more goals.
  • A refund on BoyleSports’ “Captain Fantastic” offer (Arsenal v Liverpool, Wed 7:45pm) is conditional on Steven Gerrard scoring the last goal of the game.

Both of these offers are refunds on all first/last/anytime goal scorer, correct score and HT/FT single bets on their respective game and have a max refund of €300/£200 per customer.

Click to visit bet365 bookmaker3. Bet365 Bookmaker is offering their regular “Bore Draw” offer – they’ll refund your stake if any Champions League game finishes nil all (0-0) after 90 minutes. This deal applies to pre-match correct score, double result (FT/HT) or scorecast bets.

Click for VCBet Victor Chandler online bookmaker4. Victor Chandler, not to be outdone, is keen for losing footy punters who placed first goal scorer, correct score and Double Result (HT/FT) bets on any or all of the three Champions League games involving English Premier League teams, to have an extra flutter on the horses! In a deal called “National Week” VCBet will refund the losing stake on these bets as a wager on the Grand National – if the last goal of the match you bet on is scored by a British player. Max free bet is €150/£100 per person per match. Go for it!

 

You’ll have to check out all of these bookie cash backs and free bet deals on site at each sportsbook. You can also read the latest sportsbook reviews on each site here at BookieLabRat.com

Moneyback Specials at Online Sportsbooks for March 29 and 30

March 28th, 2008

Okay – here are the weekend’s best money back bookie specials.

Paddy Power bookmaker Moneyback specialFirst up the marketing team at intrepid Irish bookie, Paddy Power has revealed that they are closet “Trekkies” with their offer called: “Go Fourth and Prosper!” (Love the graphic guys!).

Liverpool V Everton – Premier League – Sunday March 30th, 2008 KO 4pm GMT. If Everton win this match Paddy Power will refund all losing 1st/last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast single bets on the match. Max refund per punter €300/£200

Visit Bet365 Bookmaker nowNext up, our top rating online bookmaker Bet365 is running their “Bore Draw” offer so if a game finishes nil all after 90 minutes they’ll refund losing stakes on pre-match correct score, double result or scorecast bets on ANY FOOTBALL MATCH.

Visit Irish bookie BoyleSports.comBoyleSports have really got into the swing of these money back specials and have 4 available for the weekend:

Champion Super Nova” – Scottish Premier League – Rangers V Celtic, Saturday 12:30pm
If Nacho Novo scores the last goal of the game Boyle Sports will refund all losing single bets on this match. Max refund is €300/£200 per customer.

The Angel Gabriel” – Man United v Aston Villa – Premier League – Saturday 5.15pm
If Gabriel Agbonlahor scores the last goal of the game, Boylesports will refund all losing single bets on this match. Maximum refund is €300 ( or Currency Equiv ) per customer.

The Price Is Wright” – Chelsea v Middlesbrough – Premier League – Sunday 1.30pm       
If Shaun Wright-Phillips scores the last goal of the game, Boylesports will refund all losing single bets on this match. Maximum refund is €300 ( or Currency Equiv ) per customer.

Red Man Walking” – Liverpool v Everton – Premier League – Sunday 4.00pm       
If any Liverpool player is sent off in the game, Boylesports will refund all losing single bets on this match. Maximum refund is €300 ( or Currency Equiv ) per customer.

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Title Race Still Alive and a Mersey Derby

March 27th, 2008

Premiership Online Betting Preview from top online handicap bookie, PinnacleSports.com.

EPL Matchday 32 Preview – March 29-30, 2008

Last weekend’s Grand Slam premiership fixtures lived up to the hype, producing goals, a red card and a dramatic finish at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea and Man Utd came out on top, shaking up the odds at online Premiership betting specialists, PinnacleSports.com. The pair look set to battle it out for the Premiership title, with their meeting on April 26th a possible decider. There is of course plenty more at stake in the remaining seven matchdays including European qualification and the relegation battle.

Fergie Believes Title Race Still Alive

Man Utd coach, Alex Ferguson, was in a gracious mood following his sides emphatic 3-0 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford last Sunday. The Premiership’s most experienced coach stated that ‘the title race is going right to end of the season’ despite his team opening a five-point gap over Chelsea, who leap-frogged Arsenal into second place. Despite his comments, Fergie must inwardly feel that the title is his to throw away, though the Red Devils still have Arsenal at home, and Chelsea away.

United have only a single name on their injury list – Louis Saha – but travel to Rome on Tuesday for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, which may mean Fergie shuffles the pack for Saturday’s home game with Aston Villa. The Villans are one of the most improved Premiership teams of the season, but their challenge for a UEFA Cup spot has floundered in recent weeks, and they are now without a win in four league fixtures, and haven’t kept a clean sheet in eighteen games, which is a real concern against the Premier League’s most potent strike force. Man Utd have won the last 13 meetings of the clubs, and PinnacleSports.com make them favourites on their Asian Handicap 1.813 (-1 & -1.5)* with Aston Villa 2.130 (+1 & +1.5)* – a market priced to only 102%.

More Than Pride at Stake in Mersey Derby

There is never any love lost when Everton and Liverpool play each other. The Mersey Derby could easily claim to be one of the most famous club rivalries in world football, but Sunday’s meeting at Anfield has the added spice of a battle for fourth place and Champions League qualification. Liverpool are currently two points ahead of the Toffees, having played the same number of games, with Portsmouth a further seven points adrift in sixth. This game will therefore have a crucial bearing on the battle to play on Europe’s biggest stage next season.

Both clubs experienced disappointing results last weekend. Liverpool were drubbed 3-0 at Old Trafford, while Everton were held at home by West Ham. The Reds will be without Javier Mascherano after his red card at the Theatre of Dreams, while Everton are weakened by the absence of two key attacking players, Tim Cahill and Andy Johnson. This game is often – unsurprisingly – a tense affair but Liverpool hold the upper hand as David Moyes’ side haven’t won at Anfield in seven Premiership visits, but four of those games ended in stalemate, three without a goal. PinnacleSports.com make Liverpool favourites 2.070 (-0.5 & -1)* with Everton 1.862 (+0.5 & +1)*.
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*All odds subject to change, so check out the latest live odds comparison here at BookieLabRat.com.

Football: Serie A Online Betting Previews

March 27th, 2008

Serie A Online Betting Preview – Matchday 30 Preview (Mar 29-30)

Though at one point it looked like Inter Milan would walk away with the Scudetto, there is plenty of life left in the Serie A online betting market at PinnacleSports.com. Last weekend Inter suffered their first home defeat since April 2007, allowing Roma to close the gap to just four points, with eight matchdays remaining.

Inter Crisis Deepens as Roma Close In

Inter Milan suffered a shock defeat at home to Juventus last weekend, which throws the title race wide open. The 2-1 loss was the first that Roberto Mancini’s side have suffered at the San Siro this season, and comes amidst growing turmoil at the club. The Nerazzurri have won just two of their last nine games in all competitions, and rumours of rifts among players and staff refuse to go away.

Zlatan Ibrahimovich hasn’t scored since the end of January, and may miss Sunday’s visit to Lazio because of a knee injury. Patrick Viera is also a big doubt, both players are sitting out midweek internationals that could bring further problems for Mancini. Lazio would be the last team to help their city rivals, Roma, but they would give the Giallorossi a huge boost should they take points off Inter at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. The Eagles have won six straight home games, including winning a dramatic Rome Derby on March 19th, so are certainly capable of springing a surprise.

PinnacleSports.com still see the league leaders as favourites pricing Inter Milan 2.090 (-0.5)* with Lazio 1.847 (+0.5)* – a market priced to less than 102%.

Roma Chasing Success on Two Fronts

The next few weeks will be some of the most important for Roma football club, as they chase down Inter Milan looking to grab the Serie A title, as well as facing Man Utd in two legs of the Champions League quarter-final. Last week’s victory over Empoli, allowed the Giallorossi to close within four points of Inter Milan, who lost at home to Juventus. Roma have never given up home of catching the defending champions, even though the gap has been as much as nine points. This weekend Roma travel to Sardinia looking to keep the pressure on Inter playing bottom club Cagliari.

The Islanders may be in a precarious position but their recent home form doesn’t have the look of a relegation threatened side, winning their last four games at the Stadio Sant’Elia, and taking 16 points from their last six home games. Davide Ballardini began his second stint as coach of Cagliari in December, and it looks like he is making progress. He will be encouraged by the fact that only four points covers the bottom six clubs, so bettors should expect his side to fight tooth and nail for points against Roma. It is also important to note that Roma haven’t won on their last seven visits and will be without Simone Perrotta who was sent off last weekend.

Nevertheless, PinnacleSports.com price Roma marginal favourites 2.050 (-0.5)* with Cagliari 1.877 (+0.5)*.
Click to visit BookieLabRat.com*All odds subject to change so check out the latest LIVE ODDS across the top online sportsbooks including PinnacleSports here at BookieLabRat.com.

>>For more about PinnacleSports read the latest bookmaker review and compare Pinnacle Sports to other top rating bookies.

Yes, there are a couple of cashbacks for the International Friendlies

March 25th, 2008

…but just a couple. I guess it demonstrates the real interest in these games?

You could try the ‘French Fried’ offer by popular Irish bookie BoyleSports.com. As the name suggests it’s on FRANCE V ENGLAND (International Friendy playing Wednesday 8:00pm). The deal is that if France win this game from behind, Boyle Sports will refund all losing single bets on this match. Max refund is €300/£200 per customer. Worth a look? Check out the latest odds on this football at BoyleSports here. 

If you’re wanting betting insurance against a 0-0 draw, the only place to go  is Bet365 (and you get decent odds too!) Bet365’s ‘Bore Draw’ offer is not just for ALL of the mid week International Friendies, but is offered on ANY FOOTBALL MATCH this season. Just place a pre-match correct score, double result or scorecast bet on ANY FOOTBALL MATCH and Bet365 will refund losing stakes if the match finishes 0-0. Cool.

Visit PaddyPower.com sportsbookThe team at Paddy Power just could not resist a Beckham-related offer…called ‘Bent (sic) it like Beckham’, the deal is that if either David Beckham or David Bently score anytime in Wednesday’s France V England friendly game, PaddyPower.com will refund all losing 1st/last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast single bets on the match. Max refund is €300/£200 per customer and own goals don’t count.

Is there any Betting Action on the Mid Week Internationals?

March 24th, 2008

Midweek International Friendies. Ha! Bookies and fans alike won’t be holding their breath on many of the outcomes of this week’s International friendlies.

Here’s what top Irish bookie PaddyPower.com had to say…

Not Torr-ably Important  –  International Matches
As cases of the 72 hour random muscle strain rise dramatically during international week we’ll have to do without our star players when half watching the midweek internationals.

Unless you’re an England fan, these games aren’t the be all or end all of where your country stands on the international stage, so most people won’t be too bothered by mass withdrawals.

One absence worth noting is Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, as we wanted to see if he could reproduce his club form for Spain. He’s definitely out though, with Benitez citing the right good kicking he got from United’s thugs as the reason, if not in those exact words. Can Italy withdraw from Spain with a friendly win?

Win-Draw-Win
Spain  6 – 5 (2.20)
Draw  2 – 1  (3.00)
Italy  21 – 10 (3.10)

PaddyPower’s latest Money Back Special is on the France v England game (Wed 8pm Live on Sky Sports 1). Called Bent’ It Like Beckham, Paddy Power will refund all losing 1st /last goalscorer, correct score & scorecast singles on that match if David Beckham or David Bentley score at any time in this match. (Max refund per punter is €300/£200 and not surprisngly, own goals don’t count).
 
Win-Draw-Win
France  6 – 5   (2.20)
Draw  11 – 5    (3.20)
England  11 – 5 (3.20)

The team at Ladbrokes sound a little more motivated today: France vs England. England’s clash with France on Wednesday may be a friendly but you can bet the Three Lion’s squad will be treating it as anything but! Fabio Capello’s side are 3.20 (11/5) to come out on top at the Stade de France and 7.00 (6/1) to do it 1-0.

CLick for best odds on International Football FriendliesCompare the latest sportsbook odds live here at BookieLabRat.com (scroll down to International,  Friendlies 2008 in the pull down menu). At the time this blog posting was published, Bet365 are offering the best England AWAY WIN at 3.40, and Centrebet and VCBet are both offering the best odds for a French HOME WIN at 2.30. Check it out before you decide where to bet.

Global Warming a Bugger for the Bookies?

March 24th, 2008

Been taking a punt on the UK weather? If you have, you may have made a profit this Easter with bookies facing losses of around £50,000 after snowfalls across the country left them paying out to punters who gambled correctly on a white Easter.

Snow for Easter!William Hill, apparently faces a £26,000 loss after Easter snow, with a spokesperson saying “We won a decent sum on Christmas day when snow failed to fall, but we have given it all back today.”

Representatives for Ladbrokes and Paddy Power each said they lost about £10,000 due to the snow.

Ladbroke’s Nick Weinberg, said they have already cut their odds on a snowy Easter for 2009 in anticipation of an upsurge in bets next year. Apparently last year, luckless punters wagered more than £1m on snow falling on Christmas day, according to Ladbrokes.

The weather is fluctuating dramatically across the globe in 2008 – including unseasonally long dry summer in New Zealand, worse-than-usual cyclones, floods and drought in Australia, massive tornadoes, flooding and c-c-c-ccold snowy disasters in the USA and both ‘4-seasons in one day’ weather and dramatic weather-related evacuations in parts of the UK and Europe.

Why do we bet on this stuff? Well done the punters who picked a white Easter!

English Premiership Betting Previews – March 22-23, 2008

March 21st, 2008

Football Betting PreviewsThe Premiership title race always hots up in March, considered the most important month in the Premier League calendar. It will reach boiling point this weekend with a grand slam double bill that could have a decisive influence on the outcome on the Premiership race. On Sunday Chelsea host Arsenal for a cracking London Derby, while its an all Red affair at Old Trafford, as Man Utd take on Liverpool.

Who Will Grab the Initiative in Crucial London Derby?

On Sunday, Chelsea face Arsenal in the first of two massive home games that will have a huge say in whether they can snatch the Premiership title. The other critical game is when Man Utd visit Stamford Bridge on April 26th; six points from these games would certainly hand Chelsea the initiative in the title-race. Also at stake is the Blues’ amazing unbeaten home league record which currently stretches back 77 games. The last team to win a Premiership game at the Bridge, were Sunday’s opponents, Arsenal, also the last team to beat Chelsea in the current season.

Avram Grant’s side haven’t lost since the 1-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium, and while the Gunners last defeat was one week prior to that game, their recent form is much more of a concern. Arsene Wenger’s side have drawn four consecutive league games, looking jaded and low on confidence. In contrast Chelsea have been revitalised by the return of Frank Lampard, while Didier Drogba should lead the line up front. Wednesday’s 4-4 draw at Spurs, was certainly two points lost for Chelsea, but the Gunners recent form is worse, so the pressure is on Arsenal to pull off another historic win similar to that at the San Siro.

Top handicap sportsbook PinnacleSports.com make Chelsea marginal favourites 1.909 (0/scratch & -0.5)* with Arsenal 2.020 (0/scratch & +0.5)* – a market priced to less than 102%.

Battle of the Reds at the Theatre of Dreams

A recent report suggested that it was no coincidence that teams that play in red tend to be successful. Two of the Premiership’s – if not the World’s – most famous ‘red’ teams will do battle at Old Trafford on Sunday, with a huge amount at stake for both clubs. It is unrealistic to suggest that Liverpool could still challenge for the title, but they still have the crucially important task of ensuring a fourth placed finish, so the Scousers have as big a motivation as the defending Champions, Man Utd.

The Red Devils’ 1-0 win over Liverpool last March was integral to their title-winning run, and Alex Ferguson will hope that three points on Sunday will provide a similar catalyst. United are without first choice keeper, Edwin Van de Sar, which will thrust either, Tomasz Kuszczak or Ben Foster into the limelight, neither with much ‘big-game’ experience, while Rio Ferdinand is also 50-50. Liverpool’s Fernando Torres will be making his debut at Old Trafford looking to enhance his growing reputation, having recently scored a match-winner at another daunting venue, the San Siro. History however, favours the home side as Liverpool haven’t even scored in the last six league meetings, losing five.

PinnacleSports.com make Man Utd marginal favourites 2.080 (-0.5)* with Liverpool 1.855 (+0.5)*.
Live odds comparison - best odds bookie

 

*All odds subject to change – so check out the latest odds LIVE across the top online sportsbooks here at BookieLabRat.com.

Serie A Online Betting Preview

March 21st, 2008

This weekend is particularly important for the Italian League schedule, as given the religious significance of the Easter Sunday, all Serie A fixtures will be played on Saturday (Mar 22). Inter Milan versus Juventus, is the pick of the bunch.

Milan Cannot Afford Any More Slip-Ups

For a club that has made the final of the Champions League in three out of the last five years, the prospect of missing the party altogether next season, and instead playing in the UEFA, is to say the least, unappetising. That scenario remains a distinct possibility, after two consecutive defeats, and in short, Milan cannot afford any more slip-ups. On Saturday they make the short journey to Turin taking on Torino. The Granata are floating just above the relegation zone, so a bad run toward the end of the season, and it could all go wrong.

Torino’s season has been characterised by the contrast between poor away form and some encouraging results at the Stadio Olimpico. No team has drawn more games than Torino, who have racked up 19 stalemates, so that result would be no surprise. Both teams were beaten on Wednesday night, turning up the heat on respective managers, so this is likely to be a tense affair.

Click to visit PinnacleSports.com for top Handicap PricesPinnacleSports.com price Serie A games to less than 102%.

Calls for Calm as Tensions Run High at Inter

Tensions are running high at Inter Milan as the uncertainty surrounding Roberto Mancini’s position, coupled with the pain of elimination from Champions League contribute to an unsettled atmosphere. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was reported to have reacted badly to his substitution in the 2-1 win at Palermo, storming off muttering “I hope this guy leaves soon” in reference to Mancini. Ibrahimovic has taken flack for poor performances in the two legs against Liverpool, and has not scored a Serie A goal since January. It was surprise to see him play in midweek where Inter were held at Genoa, and Pele was added to a growing suspension list after his dismissal. It will be interesting to see how Ibrahimovic performs against his old club, Juventus on Saturday.

Both Ibrahimovic and Patrick Viera, were considered traitors for leaving Juve after the match-fixing scandal, and demotion to Serie B. The Swede received a frosty reception in the reverse fixture earlier this season with Viera injured, and the same is likely for this reverse fixture with the Frenchman a doubt, but the San Siro will provide a more supportive atmosphere. Alessandro Del Piero, one of the Old Lady’s most loyal servants, is chasing a return to the Azzurri, so with Italy coach, Roberto Donadoni, certainly in the crowd, he will desperate to put in a big performance. Though meetings of these sides are always tense, two recent meetings in the Coppa Italia produced seven goals, so this could be an entertaining encounter.

Click to visit PinnacleSports.com for top Handicap PricesGo to PinnacleSports.com for up to 60% better Serie A betting odds.

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