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Monday, May 25, 2015

Real Madrid sack their manager ...

Carlo Ancelotti has been sacked as manager of Real Madrid after two seasons in charge of the Spanish club.

The Italian, 55, led Real Madrid to victory in the Spanish Cup before claiming the club's 10th European Cup last season.

But this year Real Madrid were knocked out by Juventus in the Champions League semi-finals, while Barcelona won La Liga.


Club president Florentino Perez told a news conference it had "not been an easy decision" before thanking Ancelotti and adding that a new manager would be appointed "next week".

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE : Bayern Munich win 3-2 but Barcelona move onto the Final

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE : Bayern Munich beat Barcelona 3-2 in the second leg of their semi-final, but it is Barcelona that win the tie 5-3 overall - and earn a place in the Champions League final in Berlin on June 6th.

Read our pre-match preview and assessment on the main GoonersGuide site

Sunday, May 03, 2015

American Pharoah wins the 2015 Kentucky Derby

American Pharoah won the 2015 Kentucky Derby, held Saturday under clear skies and the twin spires of Churchill Downs in Louisville. Firing Line finished in second, with Dortmund third.

Minds now turn to the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, which will be run May 16 at Pimlico in Baltimore.

You can see coverage of the race at SB Nation

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao Betting At Bovada and Bet365

There is a huge amount of hype surrounding the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight and it seems that punters are  getting on board on both sides of the Atlantic.

UNITED KINGDOM BETTING ODDS
In the UK, top online bookmaker Bet365 is leading the charge and is seeing plenty of action.

To Win Fight
Floyd Mayweather         1/2
Manny Pacquiao           15/8

Fight Outcome
Mayweather by KO, TKO or Disqualification        6/1
Mayweather by Decision or Technical Decision   8/11
Pacquiao by KO, TKO or Disqualification           5/1
Pacquiao by Decision or Technical Decision       4/1
Draw or Technical Draw                                     14/1

"The wait for Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao is nearly over and it’s the Pac-Man that has been attracting the money in the run-up to the eagerly anticipated bout.

Some punters may be surprised to see Pacquiao around the [15/8] mark in a fight that he’s not without a chance in and we’ve seen some lumpy wagers at such prices.

Punters are in no rush to smash into the odds-on about Mayweather just yet, but the draw price has seen a fair bit of speculative interest (22/1 into 14/1)."
    - Steve Freeth, bet365.com


UNITED STATES BETTING LINES
Leading offshore sportsbook Bovada is serving the US market and they are seeing just as much action, and once again there is plenty of money going on the draw. The percentages shown below is the amount of money going on each betting line as at Friday afternoon.

MGM Grand Garden Arena - Las Vegas, Nevada, United States  
Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr                  -210       (49%)
Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao                        +170       (51%)

Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr vs. Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao  
Over Rounds                                      O 11½ (-310)       (35%)
Under Rounds                                   U 11½ (+240)      (65%)

Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr vs Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao - Fight Outcome 
Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr by KO, TKO or Disqualification                    +550       (17%)
Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr by Decision or Technical Decision              -130       (24%)
Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao by KO, TKO or Disqualification                         +425       (17%)   
Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao by Decision or Technical Decision                   +375       (21%)   
Draw or Technical Draw                                                                                       +1000    (21%)

"We expected this to be our highest bet fight in recent memory but as of today the rate that bets are coming in is astounding and may surpass our expectations, we expect to take 50% of the bets on the fight on the day but could be even higher.

Even though action is pretty even on the fight itself our liability on Pacquiao is steadily growing since he is paying just under 2/1.

Best case for the book a Mayweather decision, no surprise there, worst case is an early Pacquiao KO or even a draw which I am without words on how much love it is getting from our bettors."

    - Kevin Bradley, Sports Book Manager, bovada.lv

SUMMARY
It is clear that the experts and boxing pundits expect the undefeated Mayweather to win, but the betting public are not having a bar of that and the big prices on the "Pac Man" of +170 or 15/8 are attracting a lot of money.

Mayweather is 47-0 (26 KOs), while Pacquiao is 57-5-2 (38 KOs), but there is little to separate these great welterweights in reality with just 1 pound between them in the weigh in with Mayweather at 146lb and Pacquiao tipping the sfcales at 145lb.

To make your own choice - and punt on YOUR favourite.

US BETTING
UK / EURO BETTING
bet365

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BetVictor are now the best odds UK bookmaker after PinnacleSports leave the UK market.

Who is the "best odds" bookmaker servicing the UK market - it's a simple question - and I decided to check my records to find an answer.

PINNACLE SPORTS IS NO LONGER A PLAYER
The departure of Pinnaclesports from the UK market in November 2014 as a result of the new 15% UK Point of Consumption Tax (POCT) levied on offshore operations left a large hole in the betting landscape as the Curacao based bookmaker was widely recognised as having the sharpest odds.

Pinnacle was priced at 102% - giving just a thin 2% margin on leading markets - and was demonstrably the best place to go for a punt on an underdog with prices that were often 30-40% higher on an outside option.

PROTECTED MARKETS - UK JOINS THE LIST.
In comparison, state backed monopoly operations in Europe that have been protected by local legislation will often frame their markets at 112%, 115% and even 120%. There is little doubt that competition provides a sharper market and, as a result, better betting odds for punters.

The UK market is now "protected" with local licensing and tax restrictions, but it is still a very competitive market with at least ten big name brands operating in the High Street and online.

SO WHO IS THE BEST PRICED BOOKMAKER?
As part of the weekly betting spreadsheet, I collect and collate the best odds from our 15 recommended bookmakers, and list the best prices and predictions for the top leagues in England, Spain, Italy and Germany.

When I fetch the odds, I make sure that the odds taken for the English Premier League are only taken from bookmakers that have a license with the UK Gaming Commission (UKGC) and that have also made it onto our recommended bookies list.

Looking at my data from the start of 2015 (when we dropped PinnacleSports from the list) I have 149 EPL games so far, and have broken down the best priced odds into H-D-A segments. The results provide a clear leader.

   H    D    A TOT    %
BetVictor 74 75 105 254 57%
Bet365 23 38 18 79 18%
Ladbrokes 23 13 5 41 9%
Paddy 16 8 3 27 6%
Coral 8 9 10 27 6%

BetVictor (link to our review) stood out with a whopping 57% of the best prices in the EPL since the first of January, with a slight tendency to offer best prices on the away sides. The BetVictor pricing on this headline market was 102.5% which is just 0.5% lower than PinnacleSports and superb value for a fully licensed bookmaker paying UK taxes.

In second place was Bet365, an outfit with a quality reputation, and probably more regarded as a "recreational" bookmaker in that they offer a big $200/€200/£200 joining bonus and have regular promotions or specials. The Bet365 margins are running at 105% but that's still enough for them to be best price nearly 20% of the time.

Third place was Ladbrokes with 9% best price, and much more likely to be big on home sides for some reason, while Irish bookmaker Paddy Power and UK outfit Coral tied for fourth spot with 6%. Interestingly all three of these bookmakers were at a margin of 106% or thereabouts.

SUMMARY 
So there it is - if you are betting on 1X2 markets in the English Premier League out of the UK and want a quality licensed bookmaker and the best prices then these five bookmakers lead the charge and BETVICTOR are a stand out place to have a betting account with just 102.5% over-round.

* The mathematically astute will notice that my table comes to 97% of best prices - three other bookies also appeared in the list for a total of 19 prices ... but are not recommended.



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Jose Mourinho admits Chelsea are Boring and changes tack

Jose Mourinho took a swipe at Arsenal and boss Arsene Wenger after hearing his side subjected to "boring boring Chelsea" chants during their goalless draw at Emirates Stadium.

Unable to admit his boring tactics - or defend the obvious tedious approach that he has sent Blues out to play when playing away from home - the Chelsea manager said: "I think boring is 10 years without a title - that's boring. If you support a club and you wait, wait, wait for so many years without a Premier League title, then that's boring."

Clearly Mourinho needed to change the subject because he simply has no answer to the statement.

Russian owner Roman Abramovich has got annoyed with Chelsea's tedious approach in seasons past, and while a likely league title will surely keep Mourinho in the job, I'm sure he will be told that Abramovich expects more adventure than this in future campaigns.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Is Brendan Rodgers the best man to manage Liverpool?

Brendan Rodgers says that there is no-one better to manage Liverpool than him ... despite three seasons without a trophy.

(see BBC news story)

Liverpool have definitely gone backwards this season, to be expected I suppose after the loss of serial "biter" Luis Suarez, and although Rodgers is a smart man there is a significant unproven element about him.

Personally I think that Jurgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund) might be a very good fit and he is available at the end of the season, he's led Dortmund to domestic success and a Champions League final while playing a good brand of attacking passing football.

Brendan Rodgers or Jurgen Klopp or someone else ?

What do Liverpool fans think ?

UEFA engage in Window Dressing by changing Champions League seeds.

UEFA have announced a confirmation that the eight seeds for Pot 1 in next years Champions League will be the champions of the biggest seven leagues along with the Champions League winner.

Currently that would be Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France and the Ukraine with Russia in 8th and Netherlands in 9th. If the winner of the Champions League is also a domestic champion then the eighth spot would go to the 8th placed country (Russia).

Noted TV pundits ESPN have rushed into online print to breathlessly announce that these changes will shake up the competition and will negatively affect teams like Arsenal, and Manchester United who are routinely part of the top seeds even if not actually winning the league.

(see http://www.espnfc.com/uefa-champions-league/story/2412898/arsenal-man-united-city-may-suffer-champions-league-seeding )

But will it really? I don't think so.

While the general idea is fine - that domestic champions earn a spot in "Pot 1" - there is little doubt that Pot 1 will be weakened by the smaller leagues and indeed there is a reasonable argument to be made that Pot 2 will actually be the strongest pot.

On current standings Pot 2 is likely to contain sides like Real Madrid (#1 ranked), Manchester United (6), Atletico Madrid (7), Valencia (8), Arsenal (9), Porto (10) , AC Milan (11) and Olympique Lyon (12). That's a powerful group.

Meanwhile Pot 1 might contain teams like Paris St Germain (17), Benfica (5), Shakhtar Donetsk (18), Zenit Saint Petersburg (21) and/or PSV Eindhoven (29). They might all be domestic champions - but it is NOT the strongest group.

Take a look at Pot 2. Who is the easy draw there? Nowhere. Now look at Pot 1 and you can see the weak links in the new scheme. I think that we will see that under this "politically correct" format that Pot 2 is actually the best place to qualify, and the best/easiest draws will be received by a Pot 2 team that gets to meet an "easy" Pot 1 side.

We have seen a similar situation in recent World Cup Finals draws where the host is elevated to a #1 seed that is not deserved and provides for a mis-matched draw that does little. Until UEFA removes country restrictions to really open up the draw then this change is little more than ego stroking window dressing about Pot numbers. The same teams will continue to progress.

That being said I'm not against the rule - it MIGHT mix up the draws a little bit - just not as much as people think ... and let's be quite clear that Pot 1 is no longer the TOP pot under this system.

What do you think?
How would you set the draw up?

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Tax Free Betting over Easter at MyBet for German players

MyBet are giving German players a "tax free" Easter on all sports bets.

From Apr. 03 to Apr. 06, no tax fee will be paid by online customers from Germany at mybet!

SO : Make your sports bets at MyBet this weekend.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Terms and Conditions:

1. The promotion is only valid for online customers from Germany.

2. For all bets placed between 03.04.2015 00:01 CEST and 06.04.2015 23:59 CEST, mybet wipes away the 5% tax fee.

3. Loyalty card customers are eligible for this promotion.

4. mybet is entitled to change or end the promotion at any time and no legal action can be taken.