Weekly betting column: A bridge too far for Lincoln?
A look ahead at the weekend's sports betting action once again provided by Joe Whitaker of ValueBet Bookmakers.
Another week passes by and with hindsight we would all be better off but we go again this weekend. We have Six Nations rugby, FA Cup quarter finals and a decent domestic fixture list.
The Lincoln City story rumbles on for their big day out in the capital, albeit at the Emirates and not Wembley…yet!
This does look a bridge too far though against an Arsenal side in need of an FA Cup final. How to make money on the tie is the difficult question.
At only 1/5 for Arsenal -1, a Lincoln goal would ruin most punters bets and you can never say it won’t happen. If he starts, Theo Walcott should score and at 4/1 first goalscorer pairing him up with midfielder Aaron Ramsey at 5/1 with our 2 for 1 offer could be a shrewd way to go.
A big game up in Teesside sees Middlesbrough take on an increasingly hit and miss Manchester City outfit. For me the away side look no value at all at 4/9.
That’s not to say I don’t think they will get the job done however but I’d much rather be on the Draw-Away for the half- time/full-time market at 7/2. It’s bound to be a tight first half ,such is the desire for both sides to go through to the semis and whilst Boro’s away form has left them in a relegation battle their home form hasn’t been too bad.
Much closer to home North End take on a Reading team conceding goals away from home, having let in 15 in their last five.
This bodes well for the home side and I like the home win with both teams to score at 4/1. This has been a costly one for us this year and it looks a good thing again this weekend.
The rugger starts again tonight with Ireland heading to the cauldron of Cardiff with the Welsh crowd sure to be in good voice...6/4 on a home win looks a little big for me, with the pressure on Ireland to setup the decider against England in Dublin next week.
They have every chance of doing just that but I still feel the Welsh haven’t brought their ‘A’ game yet. George North and Liam Williams both look good prices at 12/1 for the first try, being back one get one free at ValueBet.
The Calcutta Cup at Twickers looks like a lively clash with the Scots playing an attacking brand, with the ball in hand.
Flying full-back Stuart Hogg has been a joy to watch this season and he is more than capable of going over at 14/1. I’d make use of the 2 for 1 first tryscorers offer by pairing him up with tenacious England winger Jack Nowell at 8/1.
This is traditionally a quiet weekend of racing before a little festival called Cheltenham starts on Tuesday.
For myself, growing up and becoming more attracted to horse racing with each passing year, this was always the big week of the year. Many happy days I spent working away in busy Belfast betting shops from aged 19, witnessing first-hand the buzz the races brought to punters.
The best of England and Ireland against each other every race and the morning talk as eager punters plotted to bring down the bookies.
The week is the closest we get to that feeling again. This year the grip on races by the powerhouse Irish owners Gigginstown and Rich Ricci seems to have weakened a little.
The books look a little more competitive and so maybe a tad harder for the punter. The prices reflect this however. For a treble to follow I am targeting the back end of the week with POLITOLOGUE (5/1) in Thursday’s JLT Novices Chase, WEST APPROACH (6/1) in Friday’s Albert Bartlett Hurdle and CHAMPAGNE WEST (16/1) in the Gold Cup on Friday. Don’t forget its Cash Back for fallers in the first race of each of the 4 festival days at ValueBet.
Good luck! Joe