Sunday's Bets of the Day brings you selections from the world of racing, the pick of the FA Cup action, golf, cricket and NFL.
The application of blinkers and a drop to a mile almost worked the oracle for ALWAYS FEARLESS at Newcastle last time.
Richard Hannon's charge conceded first run to Anif but was cutting him down close home, only losing out a by a head. He races from an unchanged mark in the Bombardier British-Hopped Amber Beer Handicap and with Thore Hammer Hansen great value for his three pound claim, this looks a really good opportunity.
CATCH MY BREATH comes here on the back of a clear-cut win over C&D last weekend, and the way he won that showed a degree of authority as he swept past the field off a modest pace.
He’s up in class, and 6lb higher in the weights, but he’s only 1lb higher that the mark off which he won at Ayr in the autumn, and he gets the benefit of Laura Pearson 5lb claim, having won under a 3lb claimer last time.
His best form has come at around a mile and around a bend, while his win at Ayr came after just a week off, making his career record after a similar break 141, with the ‘4’ coming in a field of 18 at Redcar. He seems sure to give his running, and I’d put him in as clear favourite if pricing the contest up.
A much-changed CHELSEA XI made light work of Morecambe in round three by sweeping the Sky Bet League Two club aside 4-0, and while Luton will provide a much sterner test, I don't see Lampard's men slipping up at Sunday lunchtime.
Chelsea have failed to score more than once in eight of their last 10 fixtures. Luton have scored five and conceded seven in their past eight - this surely cannot be a goal-fest, can it?
The 15/8 across the board on under 2.5 goals is tempting, but I prefer to combine that angle with a home win. Chelsea/under 3.5 goals is 5/4 with BoyleSports and 3/1 (general) if you knock a goal off. I really like the value in both of those.
The two teams combine to average a collective 2.70 yellow cards per Premier League game this season but traditionally cards decline in cup competitions - 56% of last season’s fourth-round ties produced a maximum of two cards, while in the previous round, 14 of 32 (44%) third-round contests saw fewer than three bookings, with five ties featuring none at all.
With that in mind, I’ll have a small interest on the massive 25/1 (Sky Bet) for NO CARD being issued. It’s a hugely inflated price due to the clubs involved – ordinarily this market would be offered around the 10/1 mark – and recent history suggests this showdown rarely escalates into the fierce or feisty battle it’s often hyped up to be.
With both sides surely having one eye on massive midweek games – Brentford at second-placed Swansea and Leicester at an Everton side who beat them at the King Power last month – we can surely expect each to make several changes here.
Both did exactly that when these sides met at this stage of last year’s FA Cup virtually a year ago to the day. That game ended 1-0 to Leicester and I fancy a repeat of the one-goal margin of victory.
If they put a strong team out, Brentford – who missed out on automatic promotion by two points last summer and are unbeaten in 16 Championship games – are overpriced at 4/1 generally to win in 90 minutes and 23/10 (Sporting Index) to qualify.
But the evidence from previous cup matches suggests Frank will chop and change. Brentford have shown they can still account for top-flight sides even when rotating and I think they’ll give the Foxes a game but fall short, which is why I like the 13/5 on offer generally for LEICESTER TO WIN BY ONE GOAL, like they did last year.
GOOCH, a native of Oklahoma who still resides in the state, is more than used to playing in the wind and has shown in his time on tour that he is comfortable in tough conditions most recently at the brutally challenging API last March where his 72 71 over the weekend was the best final two round performance only matched by one other player in the field, Dechambeau.
The 29 year old who has been knocking on the door for a while now with five top five finishes over the past two and a bit seasons, posted 17th place and fourth place finishes in this event over the last two years, closing with a 64 on the Stadium Course in 2019, so he is clearly at home here, and after opening up poorly with a 74 he has really found his straps to shooting 66 65 over the past two days.
Starting back in a tie for 13th place you would normally say that Gooch has too many players to pass for a victory to be considered, however with only a four shot gap between him and the leaders it may just be that if he can grind out a solid 70 or thereabouts that he vaults up the board if others really start to struggle. Crucially also Gooch tees off 50 minutes before the leaders at 10.10AM Local Time and with conditions forecast to start to get really tough between 1-2pm that 50 minute head start on the leaders could turn out to be of real significance.
A lot of speculation of course and weather forecasts being what they are I could be left with egg on my face as we sit watching the drama unfold in serene conditions, however with four each way places and juicy odds on offer I'm happy to chance Gooch to small stakes from the pack while cheering on Kim from the front.
With home-field advantage for the first time in an NFC title game, Aaron Rodgers should do enough to guide GREEN BAY to their first Super Bowl in ten years, but I suspect we’ll see plenty of points before the clock runs down to zero, and I find it hard to believe that Tom Brady will be more than a touchdown behind when all is said and done.
PATRICK MAHOMES is the definition of sneaky mobile. You won’t see his athleticism, but he’ll pick up the yards. He now has three rushing touchdowns in his last three playoff games, and he’s good value to score against the Bills.
When these two teams met in week six, Mahomes had ten rushing attempts (a season high) for 36 yards. He’s not afraid to run, and this Bills defence has shown weakness to quarterbacks on their feet – they’ve conceded seven rushing TDs to QBs, the joint second most in the NFL.
This highlights a well-coached defence – picking up all available receivers, but it leaves gaping holes for quarterbacks to capitalise on.
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