Sporting Life Best Bets of the Day
Check out our team's best bets from the pick of today's sporting action, including tennis, golf, rugby union and horse racing.
Bradford followed up their Capital One Cup triumph over arch rivals Leeds United with an impressive 2-0 victory at Rochdale last weekend. They are rightly one of the more fancied teams in this division and I expect them to be particularly strong at home where they receive such a large support. Peterborough have managed to win at Valley Parade this season, but Yeovil are no Posh. They did win at Walsall but lost at Gillingham and I can’t see them getting anything from this long trip north. Simon Crawford
Bristol City have made a flying start to the new season with three wins and two draws from their five matches to date. They have taken four points out of six at Ashton Gate an come up against a Scunthorpe side who are yet to win on their travels. Only Crewe have conceded more goals than the Iron’s 11 so far and I see the home side chalking up a comprehensive win so get involved in the HT/FT market for this one. Simon Crawford
Today's plethora of punting opportunities will take a little while to weigh up, but there's some seriously tempting propositions away from the centre-piece Betfred Sprint Cup, not least Second Step who can return to winning ways in the Winning Post Bookmakers Brtistol Handicap at Ascot. Trainer Luca Cumani is likely to be at Haydock overseeing the highly-regarded Havana Cooler in the Betfred TV Old Borough Cup (3.15), but there's no doubt his attention will swiftly turn to this event as they flash past the post in Merseyside. Second Step has looked a nice prospect since day one, the Dalakhani gelding just missing out when second on debut over a mile at Yarmouth last October, before being put away for the winter. A rise in trip saw him get off the mark at the first attempt this term and another step up produced yet more improvement when scoring over a mile and a half on his handicap debut at Newbury in July. There were three subsequent scorers in behind him that day and it was no surprise to see him well-fancied for a top handicap at Goodwood the following month. Good to firm ground was the unknown entity heading into the Glorious meeting and, given he was only beaten four lengths into third after staying on strongly in the closing stages, it could well have been a deciding factor. Although raised 1lb for that effort behind Double Bluff and Kings Fete, the second has since franked the form with a good run behind the St Leger-bound Forever Now and I expect Cumani's charge to raise his game again, especially with showers in the forecast. Matt Brocklebank
Marland Yarde to be first try scorer in London Irish v Harlequins at price boosted 10/1
One of Harlequins' summer arrivals, Marland Yarde makes his debut against his former club in the second match of today's Twickenham double-header and is certainly worth backing at this boosted price of 10/1 to help get his new side off to a flying start. The 22-year-old winger, whose devastating pace and power have earned him a place in the England team, heads into the new season on a high having scored two tries during the national side's three-Test tour of New Zealand in which he started all of them. He'll be eager to impress in front of a big crowd and should have insider knowledge on our best to exploit his former team-mates and hopefully catch them cold. A safer bet would be to back him to cross for a try anytime at 6/4 but we'll be bold here and chase the bigger price. Chris Hammer
When Cilic serves well, he plays well and that's been the case over the past fortnight, so much so that he finds himself back in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam. The task ahead of him is a tough one, but he'll take great encouragement from Gael Monfils' effort against Federer on Thursday when he was just one point from victory. Whether Cilic can get that close remains to be seen - a head-to-head record of 0-5 suggests not. However, going back to the serve, I feel this is an area when the Croatian can beat Federer and backing him on the aces handicap looks a good way to bet on this match. Cilic has powered down 42 aces in his last two matches, Federer only 13 despite going the distance against Monfils. Of course, the match-up is of particular importance in this market but look at the stats and you will see Cilic usually out-aces Federer - he has done so in four of their five matches, covering a 1.5 handicap in three of those, including at the US Open in 2011 when Cilic won the ace count 12-6 on the famously fast Ashe court.
The Texan continues to make a solid finish to the season and he is the outsider of his group on Saturday against marquee names Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. But Palmer might just be worth a shot against his illustrious playing partners at the prices with his game in such good shape at the moment. He admitted on Friday he has plenty of experience playing in events at altitude - including in Colorado - and he and his caddie have a good strategy worked out for the conditions. It is tough taking on Garcia and McIlroy but Palmer goes into the round with little to lose and little in the way of expectation from the crowd in the day's feature showdown. David John
Bodell Bernina (T6) rates the best bet of the night when she bids to make it three from three over 714m at Crayford in the 9.06, one of two opens at the Kent track this evening. In the wars at Hove and Romford on her last two starts, Mike Hall's bitch ran out an easy winner over this track and trip three starts ago and accounted for top stayer Romantic Rambo on his previous visit in April. There is nothing of that calibre in opposition this time and she is expected to blaze a trail from an ideal draw in stripes.