Sporting Life Best Bets of the Day
Check out our team's best bets from the pick of today's sporting action, including football, racing, golf, cricket and tennis.
Thursday's Best Sporting Bets
ZAIN EMPIRE only made his debut at Carlisle in June but it was a winning one with the first two well clear of the rest. Next time, at Sandown, Robert Cowell's three-year-old Dubawi colt ran a good third in a five-runner handicap off a mark of 75 (up just 2lb today) with the winner, Provenance, going in again at Haydock on Saturday off a 6lb higher mark. The fourth home, Crystal Lake, has won subsequently too and Zain Empire should boost the form further as everything looks in place for a bold bid this afternoon. I much prefer his form to the all-weather win of Bombardment, and with much more improvement to come from this lightly-raced type, especially over a mile for the first time, he rates a decent bet.
The Vanarama Conference clash between Eastleigh and Aldershot provides today's football tip of the day. JAI REASON scored the opener for Eastleigh in their 3-0 win at Nuneaton to start the season and the midfielder looks value at 16/1 to net first again. Reason has a good pedigree in non-league football and can make his mark for the newly-promoted Spitfires.
As the Royal London One-Day Cup group stage heads for an exciting conclusion, we have a key clash in Group B where the race for quarter-final spots is incredibly tight. Middlesex are currently down in eighth, but victory here would see them move level on points with opponents Notts and right back in the top-four shake-up with one game to go. The best bet of the game looks to be in the top Middlesex batsman market where the classy left-hander DAWID MALAN is a very backable 7/2. He’s not the most consistent performer, but was easily the Panthers’ leading scorer in the NatWest T20 Blast and, after a slow start in this competition, top-scored with 82 against Somerset and followed that with 33 in a rain-affected win over Sussex. He often saves his best performances for the Sky cameras and this looks a nice price for an opening batsman of Malan’s admittedly mercurial talents.
MICHAEL PUTNAM has really started to hit form lately, perhaps egged-on by brother Andrew's success on the Web.com Tour. A fourth-placed finish in Canada was due reward for a solid run of form and it was only a poor final round which saw him drop out of the top 15 in Reno last time. Encouragingly for this bet, he's broken 70 in round one for five events running and that gives him the edge. Bryce Molder has missed cuts with troubling frequency this season while the wild Andres Romero hasn't been starting quickly. Putnam looks very solid.
Ken Perrin's youngster is handed the red jacket in an A6 lacking an early pace at 12.42 in Sheffield. He is strong when getting on the bunny, as proven when scoring in this grade twice last month.
ANGELIQUE KERBER must be backed to book her place in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters at this odds-against price as she continues her quest for a first WTA title of the season. World number seven Kerber, who holds the upper hand over an opponent ranked five places below her in their head-to-head meetings at 5-3, has reached an impressive four finals in 2014 so far - most recently in Stanford where she lost to Serena Williams – so she’ll be confident of going close once more. Sure, Caroline Wozniacki has picked up her game a lot in recent weeks after a poor start to the campaign having won the title in Istanbul before pushing Williams hard in a tough three-set battle at the last-eight stage of the Rogers Cup last week but we expect Kerber to come through in three sets.
- All prices correct at time of publication (1100 BST on 14/08/2014)