Beating the weekend odds

  • Last Updated: February 15 2013, 16:55 GMT

The Sky Bet traders give their verdict on the weekend's feature football, racing, rugby, cricket and golf action.

Luton: Can they spring another FA Cup shock?
Luton: Can they spring another FA Cup shock?

FA CUP - Richard Evison
In Saturday's early FA Cup game Millwall are popular at evens to overcome their Conference opponents Luton. This will be a fiercely contested encounter and there is sure to be a hostile atmosphere given the history between the two sides and given Luton have already knocked out Wolves and Norwich the 11/4 on a home victory looks tempting.

On Saturday unsurprisingly Arsenal (2/7) at home to Blackburn and Everton (1/3) away at Oldham are dominating the multiple business. The popular four five-fold covering including Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester Utd pays just over 9/5 and is wrapping up liabilities at an alarming rate! If you throw Liverpool who are in Premier League action - (8/15 v Swansea) the payout is just over 3/1.

It is hard on the face of it to see a major shock coming and even though Leeds knocked Spurs out in the last round it is hard to see them going to Premier League Champions Manchester City and winning and can be backed at 16/1 to do so.

Huddersfield play their first game under new manager Mark Robins and may be a touch of value at 13/5 to dispose of Wigan who are sure to rest players for the Premier League relegation battle.

HORSE RACING - Michael Shinners
The Betfair Ascot Chase looks a cracking race with festival clues a plenty. We are keen to keep on the right side of Finian's Rainbow who although disappointing when last seen has been a model of consistency. With doubts over Captain Chris who had a very hard race in the King George and Cue Card who stopped very quickly, we think that the Nicky Henderson trained runner could be the one to beat.

We are fairly keen to take on the front two from the Welsh National Teaforthree and Monbeg Dude in the National Trial at Haydock. They both had very hard races and have risen significantly in the weights. Teaforthree will not have the champion jockey on board and will be pestered for the lead as there are a number of front runners. Monbeg Dude was given a sensational ride from Paul Carberry and with his jumping still suspect and the weight rise, he will find life much tougher.


The majority of the action so far has centred on Saturday's live Sky clash between Bradford and Castleford with the Bulls popular in the majority of markets on offer.

Castleford's form looks a little better having faced Warrington and Leeds in their opening two fixtures so we are happy to lay the -8 and all sub-markets.

GOLF Northern Trust Open - Ben Williams
Plenty of the well backed, market leaders are in the mix after the first round of the Northern Trust Open. Matt Kuchar and Sergio Garcia lead the way on the course, and in the betting, at 4/1. Garcia was backed in from 20/1 to 16/1pre event, whilst Kuchar was popular at 33/1.

Other notable names high on the leader board include Lee Westwood, making his first appearance across the Atlantic of 2013. A solid opening 68 sees the Englishman inside the top 10, and now 14/1 for success.

Freddie 'boom boom' Couples enjoyed a good first round and is proving very popular with nostalgic, or possibly value hunting, punters. It's a long time since the likeable American posted a win on the PGA Tour, and is available at 50/1 with three rounds remaining.

Cricket - Jon Hesford
NZ v England - ODI Series:England fans have already started backing the team to continue the form they demonstrated in the final t20 in Wellington, backing England into from 4/7 (from an initial 8/13) to take the 1st ODI in the 3 match series - New Zealand are now available at 11/8.

We have also expect England to be backed for the series @ 1/2 (NZ are 13/8), and the most popular correct score bet to England to take all three ODI's to nil (3-0 is available @ 3/1 with SkyBet) - my tip for the series is England to win 2-1, I believe New Zealand have enough to get a game off England in this format of the game (5/4 with us).

Women's World Cup Final
Australia Women take on the West Indies in the Final of the Women's World Cup on Sunday. The Aussies are the fancied team @ 1/3 and even with the loss to the West Indies in the game that decided final pair I think they will have just too much for the result to repeat itself. (Windies available @ 9/4). An interest bet for this one would be to back the destructive Deandra Dottin to score the most runs for the West Indies Women @ 5/1.

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