It’s been months since the end of the Champions League group stages saw clubs such as Manchester United, Inter Milan and Ajax all missed out on the knockout phase. Clubs who made it through included some of the biggest sides in Europe such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.Who will survive the Round of 16, however, with two-legged ties testing the very best to the end of their limits? Let’s take a look at the sportsbetting picks on off this midweek.Barcelona vs. Paris St. Germain (Tuesday, 8pm GMT kick-off)Three years ago, one of the best matches in Champions League history took place as Barcelona recovered from a 4-0 defeat in Paris to win the return leg 6-1. Just 3-1 up with two minutes plus injury time to play at Camp Nou, the Catalans’ second penalty, a stunning free-kick (both goals from Neymar) and a last-gasp 95th minute winner from Sergei Roberto gave them the most improbable of victories.This time around, there will be no Neymar, after the Brazilian joined his fellow South American Angel Di Maria on the treatment table and will miss the game in Barcelona, hoping instead to be fit for the second leg.This makes us believe that it may well be a case of Paris needing to come from behind in the Parc Des Princes Stadium in order to avenge the memories of La Remontada (‘The Comeback’) from three seasons ago, and we’d take Barcelona to get the victory in Camp Nou, but at a cost. Mauricio Pochettino sides almost always score when they need to and away from home can be a dangerous animal.Our tip: Barcelona to win and both teams to score (23/10)RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool (Tuesday, 8pm GMT kick-off)Liverpool head to Germany in woeful form, having lost their last three Premier League fixtures to Burnley, Brighton and Leicester City. Leipzig, by positive comparison, have emerged as possibly the closest challengers to Bayern Munich in Germany, overtaking Borussia Dortmund, albeit with the caveat that Dayot Upamecano will be departing for Munich in the summer.A defeat for Liverpool is expected but they may be more dangerous on the European stage than people give them credit for, and a score such as 2-2 or even 3-3 is not out of the realms of possibility. It’s hard to see them keeping Leipzig down to just one goal, however, as Manchester United found to their cost in losing 3-2 to depart the Champions League at the group stage just a few months ago.Liverpool may well lose but still overcome Leipzig at Anfield, with the German side losing 5-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the season in a display of defensive ineptitude that even Liverpool of late can be amused by.Our tip: RB Leipzig to score over 1.5 goals (5/4)FC Porto vs. Juventus (Wednesday, 8pm GMT kick-off)Cristiano Ronaldo bids to win his sixth Champions League winner’s medal as his Juve side head to the Estádio do Dragão to take on Porto in what was one of the softer draws for the knockout phase giants.Juventus should have no problem overcoming their Portuguese foes and the home country side’s favourite son could well be the danger man as Porto give away a lot of free-kicks in dangerous areas.Take Ronaldo to score and Juventus to grab a victory on the road.Our tip: Ronaldo to score and Juventus to win (7/4)Sevilla vs. Borussia Dortmund (Wednesday, 8pm GMT kick-off)The Germans head to Seville not having won on Spanish soil in their last 10 Champions League games, a run which included seven losses. The only win they have ever recorded in Spain was at Atletico Madrid in 1996… when they went on to win the European Cup.Sevilla have an equally impressive home record against any German opposition, with their only home defeat to a side from Germany coming in the quarter-finals of this competition in the 2017/18 season, the only time they ever made it past the Round of 16 stage. Sevilla are 11/8 to win on Wednesday night and 9/1 to win 1-0, both of which are great bets in our opinion.Our tip: Sevilla to win (11/8)Midweek Champions League Round of 16 Fixtures:Tuesday 16th FebruaryBarcelona vs. Paris Saint Germain (8pm GMT kick-off)RB Leipzig vs. Liverpool (8pm GMT kick-off)Wednesday 17th FebruaryFC Porto vs. Juventus (8pm GMT kick-off)Sevilla vs. Borussia Dortmund (8pm GMT kick-off)
At the start of the weekend, it was still all to play for in the Premier League as Liverpool were looking to solidify a place in the top three and put pressure on leaders Manchester City. By late on Saturday evening, the gap between last year’s top two was 13 points in favour of The Citizens, and a procession for Pep Guardiola’s side looks more than likely.With other big sides such as Leicester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all in action, who got the better of their opponents and which sides will be looking over their shoulders?Let’s take a look back at the action.Leicester City 3-1 LiverpoolA comprehensive defeat for Liverpool in the end, but a game where the result was in serious question until the last ten minutes of the match.The first half was largely forgettable from the neutral supporter’s point of view, save for Jamie Vardy spurning a couple of chances that the former Fleetwood Town man would usually finish with ease. The second half began very much in the same style as the first, Liverpool dominating the ball but creating little, with The Foxes happy to attack on the counter.With two-thirds of the game gone, the game burst to life, however, as Mo Salah scored from an exquisite Roberto Firmino drag-back in the box, Leicester’s resolute defence pried open in a crucial period of the game. Liverpool had to hold their lead for a little over 20 minutes but would take seven to simply fall apart.Leicester’s equaliser ironically came from a decision that they might easily have felt went against them, a penalty not being awarded but VAR revealing the challenge was outside the area and warranted only a free kick. Leicester’s James Maddison scored from the set piece, however, the ball evading everyone to nestle in the bottom corner.Three minutes later, the game had been turned on its head. Leicester’s Youri Tielemans put a floating ball into a dangerous area, but both defender Ozan Kabak and goalkeeper Alisson should have cleared but instead got in each other’s way to allow Jamie Vardy to run the ball into an empty net with glee. Four minutes more and the game was in the bag, Harvey Barnes on the breakaway coolly slotting home to condemn Liverpool to a third defeat on the bounce and the loss of their hard-won title now surely confirmed too.Manchester City 3-0 Tottenham HotspurJose Mourinho’s Spurs lost 3-0 to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in what was a clear victory for the champions elect.Seven points clear with a game in hand after their 23rd game of the season, it is hard to see anyone other than Guardiola’s side winning the Premier League this season, and in truth this is down to other sides and their failure to hit consistency rather than a stellar season from the Catalan’s side.At the start of the season, City began sluggishly, and were well beaten by both Leicester City and Saturday’s opponents Tottenham in a run of form that saw many disparage the Manchester side. There was no such insult flying around the Etihad Stadium before kick-off as city again swept aside a potentially dangerous opponent with the manner of champions.Ilkay Gundogan was behind many great moves for the league leaders and scored two goals and created another by going down for an early penalty, letting his leg trail into the path of Pierre-Emile Hojberg and drawing the foul like a meandering magician. City took full advantage, opening the scoring with glee and perhaps a dash of relief after seeing Tottenham striker Harry Kane smack the ball against the post in the minutes leading up to the goal. The second half was a procession, and it will no doubt infuriate Mourinho that he was unable to push his team to more action up the pitch, but in turning to late substitutes Dele Alli and Gareth Bale, he is like a poker player who has shown his hand, and City had predicted exactly how the Portuguese would play it.City march on, but Spurs look in freefall and if they don’t beat City to win the EFL Cup in April, Mourinho may be looking at having to win the Europa League to save his job.Gameweek 24 English Premier League Results:Leicester City 3-1 LiverpoolCrystal Palace 0-3 BurnleyManchester City 3-0 Tottenham HotspurBrighton & Hove Albion 0-0 Aston VillaSouthampton 1-2 Wolverhampton WanderersWest Bromwich Albion 1-1 Manchester UnitedArsenal 4-2 Leeds UnitedEverton 0-2 Fulham
The Australian Open action over the weekend has both reduced the field in the Men’s Singles event and improved the chances of anyone backing the top three as Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal all made stride towards the business end of the year’s first Grand Slam.Others fell by the wayside, however, including both men who were involved in the game of the Australian Open so far.Kyrgios Leads by Two Sets, Loses in FiveThe roar of approval for Nick Kyrgios in taking on Dominic Thiem could have been heard from the moon as the bad boy of men’s tennis clashed with a player he had previously described as exciting as “watching paint dry”.It was Kyrgios who started best, up to all his old tricks to gain every advantage he could against a tough opponent. From under-arm serving to vicious forehands let loose with an almost personal level of anger against the ball for daring to cross the net, Kyrgios raced into a two-set before his opponent had a chance to set himself.Thereafter, however, Thiem’s immense experience counted. Grinding himself back into the contest, the Austrian frustrated his opponent before drawing level. In the fifth and final set, Kyrgios had chances to put pressure on his opponent but too often they quickly slid away to leave his own serve to be tested. In the end, Thiem did enough to force the break and get over the line.The Field NarrowsDespite that victory, the quick turnaround time determined Thiem’s Round of 16 match against Grigor Dimtrov would go against him, with a simple straight sets win for the Bulgarian meaning he progressed. With Novak Djokovic making it past Milos Raonic despite a troubling abdominal injury, the Serb’s 7-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory would be bettered by German Alexander Zverev, who won 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 against Djokovic’s fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic.Elsewhere, Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev continues to fulfill his dreams and although he’s a 66/1 outsider, is a dangerous opponent for anyone left in the draw. He will play Dimitrov hoping the big Bulgarian slips up.With Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev possibly on a collision course to renew their 2019 U.S. Open rivalry, each man will be trying to catch the other on a bad day.Here are the latest Men’s Singles odds to win the Australian Open title:Australian Open Men’s Singles Latest Odds(via Oddschecker):Novak Djokovic – 7/4Daniil Medvedev – 3/1 Rafael Nadal – 5/1Alexander Zverev – 7/1Stefanos Tsitsipas – 12/1Andrey Rublev – 12/1Grigor Dimitrov – 12/1
The best football league in the world returns to action this Saturday and Sunday as some truly huge clashes will thrill football fans around the globe.Two of the biggest games of the remaining EPL Season take place over the weekend as Leicester City host Liverpool and Manchester City welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Etihad Stadium.Before we tell you the full fixture list for this weekend’s Premier League fixtures, let’s look at those two games in more details and provide you with some betting odds for a couple of value bets.Leicester City vs. Liverpool (Saturday, 12.30pm GMT kick-off)A crunch clash in the battle to finish in the top four, or another walk in the park for the current champions? In recent seasons, The Reds have dominated many teams on the road and at home, but Leicester City more than anyone. Last season’s match at the King Power Stadium effectively ended the race for the title, with second-placed Leicester summarily dismissed 4-0 by the rampant Reds. A defeat would have pulled Leicester to within seven points, but instead a win from Liverpool made the gap an unassailable 13 points.This season, the clubs are even closer, with Leicester three points clear of Liverpool in 3rd place. A win for the away side would leapfrog them into 3rd place due to their already superior goal difference, but anything other than a win would likely see Liverpool drop out of the top four, with Chelsea and West Ham trailing by just a point in their wake.With Liverpool’s defence looking all over the place at the moment and manager Jurgen Klopp in a period of private mourning for his mother, who sadly passed away this week, Liverpool don’t look likely to keep a clean sheet against the creativity of players such as Harvey Barnes, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy. By the same token, Liverpool’s front line are firing again and even in their 4-1 home humbling by Manchester City, Mo Salah got on the scoresheet.Expect goals and be prepared to cash out when the time is right.Our tips: Over 3.5 goals (15/8) and Correct Score 2-2 (14/1)Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday, 5.30pm GMT kick-off)This meeting between two teams in opposite form comes just two months before a Wembley meeting before the pair will decide which team lifts the first domestic trophy of the season.Jose Mourinho will be desperate for Spurs to get something from the game, not least because their top four hopes are hanging by a thread. Top in December, the Lilywhites could go into the game seven points behind Liverpool and Leicester, with this game and one more being in hand.That makes it even more vital that the North London side shut up shop and play on the break. That’s exactly what they did at White Hart Lane to win the first meeting between the two sides earlier in the season, when Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-Min scored the only goals of the game.This time around, Spurs go into the game struggling for form, on the back of an extra time defeat to Everton in midweek and having lost four of their last five fixtures.With the away side in poor form, it would be easy to assume that City will simply cruise home, but we think it might be a lot closer. Back the half-time draw, before City manage to clinch a late win.Our tips: Half-time draw/Full-time City win (3/1) & Manchester City to win from behind (8/1)English Premier League Gameweek 23 Fixtures:Saturday 13th FebruaryLeicester City vs. Liverpool (12.30pm GMT kick-off)Crystal Palace vs. Burnley (3pm GMT kick-off)Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (5.30pm GMT kick-off)Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Aston Villa (8pm GMT kick-off)Sunday 14th FebruarySouthampton vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers (12 noon GMT kick-off)West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United (2pm GMT kick-off)Arsenal vs. Leeds United (4.30pm GMT kick-off)Everton vs. Fulham (7pm GMT kick-off)Monday 15th FebruaryWest Ham United vs. Sheffield United (6pm GMT kick-off)Chelsea vs. Newcastle United (8pm GMT kick-off)
Have you ever made a bet and only when you did so, wondered if the odds were really too good to be true? If you’re Terrence Chan, the answer is a definite yes as has emerged in the last 24 hours in dramatic fashion. Backing Landon Tice in the heads-up match the young pro will take on against established high roller Bill Perkins, Chan was subsequently disappointed to learn that the €1,000 maximum bet that he’d put on actually needed Tice to win while off-setting a rate of 9 big blinds out of every 100. In other words, $720,000 over the course of the 20,000-hand $200/$400 challenge. This seven-figure handicap not being clear to Chan, he proceeded to email Poker Shares, but his old friend Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald – who owns Poker Shares – responded in what Chan thought was an unkind manner to his betting query. As ever it seems these days, the threat of a social media outing lay like a snake in the grass, waiting to rise up and take in fresh air, and true enough, a personal conversation descended into something of a slanging match before Chan gave Timex forewarning that he was going to take this to the social media streets. As you can see from the exchange, it wasn’t exactly friendly. McDonald and Chan are clearly friends – or perhaps were friends – but the fact that two pretty elite poker players are still able to squabble over a ‘bag of sand’ is pretty amazing to be fair. McDonald could easily just say ‘OK, forget it, sorry the terms weren’t clear’ or Chan could say ‘You know what, I thought there must be something off! It’s a grand, we’ll let it ride, lol’. Setting aside that many people don’t still say ‘lol’, what would have been wrong with that? Both men could donate $1,000 to a COVID-fighting charity just for making poker fans read this stuff, amirite? Which is perhaps the point. I remember being present at a super high roller tournament where the clock would literally end the tournament because the venue’s gambling licence ran out at 1.00am. It was a very strict cut-off and there were three players. Two of these players had a fighting chance of either 2nd or 3rd place. The other player? Igor Kurganov, who after listening to the disagreements over an ICM amount between the other two and with the witching hour well under way, managed to kindly suggest that they compromise and give the difference to charity. He was taken up on that offer and made the biggest donation himself (after winning the tournament, of course; he’s Igor Kurganov). At some point, Tice will take on Perkins. It could be a fun one, with Tice truly appreciative of the odds and opportunity he’s been afforded. To be completely honest, the fact that I’m even able to play for literally millions of dollars is unreal, and I can’t truly express how insane of an opportunity it is.— Landon (@LandonTice) February 10, 2021 The post-handicap winner will make headlines, but the match should be a fascinating one overall. Bring on the action… just check those odds before you wager on either man to win.
When you wagered on the Super Bowl, we’re betting that it was only you and a few friends who knew if you’d win or lose. Perhaps only close family members knew that those sweats you were getting during the game weren’t the meat sweats but whether Tom Brady could lead the Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl in 19 years.They did, of course, because Tom Brady is the GOAT and he did what Tom Brady always seems to do in the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay Buccaneers took down the first Super Bowl title to be won in the winner’s home stadium in history.It goes without saying, then, that as a sportsbettor, you wanted to have Brady and the Bucs in general on your ticket, but no-one had them bigger than ‘Mattress Mack’. So-called due to the Houston-based betting legend giving away offers on his matteresses in conjunction with his massive sports wagers, Mack took The Buccaneers to the tune of $3.46 million after travelling to Colorado to bet on the DraftKings mobile app in the newly-legalised state.Mack Mcingvale was right to take The Bucs with the spread, of course and in the end, could have bet them -20.5 points as they ran out comfortable 31-9 winners.Houston-based Mcingvale hasn’t always ended up on the right side of a seven-figure plus wager. He famously bet $13m on his hometown Houston Astros to take home Major League Baseball’s Commissioner’s Trophy in 2019, but the Astros lost to the Washington Nationals across seven games.In making the bet, Mcingvale offered his customers the chance to get a full refund on any mattress purchase over a certain amount, and unlike in 2019, that paid off. It’s not just hedging bets against special offers for mattresses that ‘Mattress Mack’ makes, however.Last year, he lost around $2m betting against the Chiefs. This year, he was more confident of a result, as he explained to DraftKings before the game.“Tampa Bay is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and led by the greatest football player of all time in Tom Brady, so I’m betting big on the Bucs who have overcome tough matchups throughout this postseason. The NFL has only seen eight instances of back-to-back champions and none in the past 16 years, so I like my chances going into Super Bowl LV for this trend to continue.”Mack was, of course, dead right and was congratulated across social media when Tom Brady helped his bet… and many Houston customers mattresses come home to roost.Jim McIngvale (@MattressMack) from @GFToday bet $3.436 million on Tampa Bay winning the Super Bowl and they did. Mack wins $2.75 million: “I think it’s great. Obviously Tampa Bay played terrific. The happiest thing for me is so many…” pic.twitter.com/egeAp6iLqS— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) February 8, 2021
With both Manchester clubs in action, the fifth round of the F.A. Cup features some of the strongest teams in the country. It will also see some of this season’s minnows attempt to cause a ‘Cupset’ and progress to the quarter-finals of a competition that can be a lifeline to smaller teams.Who will win and who will crash out at the last 16 stage? Let’s take a look in our crystal ball and pick some winners.Manchester United vs. West Ham United (Tuesday, 7.30pm GMT kick-off)This could be a cup classic. United host West Ham in what many will tell you is a home banker but in actual fact is anything but.These two have massive F.A. Cup history, despite never having met in a final. Back in 2001, Paolo Di Canio scored the only goal with a controversial winner past Fabian Barthez in an iconic cup moment.That was twenty years ago, but just five seasons back, a stunning free-kick from Dimitri Payet gained The Hammers a draw in another cup corker.With both teams highly likely to find the back of the net, West Ham would be a good pick in a regular game, let alone one where they could well face a Red Devils side who are already without Paul Pogba and will be sorely tempted to rest Bruno Fernandes given the risk of burnout.We think West Ham could win in a goal-packed game, and they’re tempting odds to do so, particularly on the Betfair Exchange where the odds are excellent.Our tip: West Ham to win and both teams to score (7/1)Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Wednesday, 8.15pm GMT kick-off)Another all-Premier League tie pitches Carlo Ancelotti against Jose Mourinho, two of the games greats going head-to-head against each other.Everton beat Tottenham in the opening game of the Premier League season, with a 1-0 victory enough to put immediate pressure on Spurs’ Portuguese manager. That pressure has ebbed and flowed throughout the past four months since then to the point where bot managers are now feeling the need for a cup run to assuage any board or fan pressures from being heaped on their shoulders.Because of this, we think a tight game might go past 90 minutes, with a draw likely to see the game only get interesting as it nears its conclusion.Our tip: The Draw (11/5)F.A. Cup 5th Round Fixtures:Tuesday 9th February Burnley vs. Bournemouth (5.30pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Burnley to win (11/8)Manchester United vs. West Ham United (7.30pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: West Ham to win and both teams to score (7/1)Wednesday 10th FebruarySwansea City vs. Manchester City (5.30pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Manchester City to be winning at half-time & full-time (4/5)Leicester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (7.30pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Pascal Gross to score at any time (13/2)Sheffield United vs. Bristol City (7.30pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Bristol City to win (9/2)Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur (8.15pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: The Draw (11/5)Thursday 11th FebruaryWolverhampton Wanderers vs. Southampton (5.30pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Total goals 0-1 (2/1)Barnsley vs. Chelsea (8pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Cauley Woodrow to score at any time (7/2)
There are many good games on offer in the English Premier League this weekend, with a full programme of fixtures.We start our look at some sportsbetting value at Old Trafford, where the last game saw nine goals, all for the home side.Manchester United vs. Everton (Saturday, 8pm GMT kick-off)Saturday night’s game features two sides in good form, as United host Everton under the lights in M13. Carlo Ancelotti’s side won 2-1 at Leeds United in their last game and have continued to bounced back after every stumble this season. As a result, they would be in the top four if they have played and won their two games in hand and are a dangerous side for the Red Devils to face.The same, of course, could be paid as a complement to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United side, who have lost four home games, yet still find themselves just three points of the top, largely due to being unbeaten on the road in almost a year.Mastering their home form in the year without fans is the tricky part for a side usually cheered on by 76,000 voices. If they can do against Everton and Liverpool can do their old foes a favour, United could be top by Sunday evening, and on current form, they would be hard to displace.While we think United can do it, it’s going to be close and both sides have a lot in attack. For that reason, we’d encourage playing it safe when it comes to your sportsbetting pick.Our tip: Both teams to score (4/5)Liverpool vs. Manchester City (Sunday, 4.30pm GMT kick-off)Can Liverpool beat Manchester City, however? With problems in defence, midfield and attack, it’s hard to see how Jurgen Klopp’s men can overcome a side who have won 13 games on the spin.Last year, in the corresponding fixture, it was the Mersey men who triumphed 3-1 in convincing fashion.Can Liverpool turn their recent mixed form around and win on Sunday? Of course, but while they have talent all over the pitch, they also have sone real issues. The centre-backs look like the weakest position, but Alisson was badly missed against Brighton and up front, no Sadio Mane seems to mean no goals.While Liverpool could always go on a goal spree, we would be very worried about taking on City in current form. Even without Kevin De Bruyne, they look formidable and especially so at the back. If City can keep a tight rein on Mo Salah, then it could be a result to remember for Guardiola’s side.Our tip: Manchester City to win to nil (16/5)English Premier League Gameweek #23 Fixtures:Saturday 6th FebruaryAston Villa vs. Arsenal (12.30pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Arsenal HT / Aston Villa FT (25/1)Burnley vs. Brighton & Hove Albion (3pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Burnley to win (11/4)Newcastle United vs. Southampton (3pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Newcastle to win and Callum Wilson to score (5/2)Fulham vs. West Ham United (5.30pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: West Ham to win and Antonio to score (5/2)Manchester United vs. Everton (8pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Both teams to score (4/5)Sunday 7th February Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Bromwich Albion (12 noon GMT kick-off)Our tip: Draw and both teams to score (11/2)Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Leicester City (2pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Daniel Podence to score at any time (15/4)Liverpool vs. Manchester City (4.30pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Manchester City to win to nil (16/5)Sheffield United vs. Chelsea (7.15pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Sheffield United +1 goal (9/5)Monday 8th February Leeds United vs. Crystal Palace (8pm GMT kick-off)Our tip: Gary Cahill to score at any time (16/1)