Can the Online Betting Favourites Get Out of Strugglesville?

Cleveland, Boston and San Antonio are all in a slump, and they will all hope to put an end to their struggles when they play this Wednesday.

However, doing so is easier said than done, with the winning betting odds slowly drifting away from them and sports betting fans growing increasingly frustrated with the way they are playing.

Sacramento Kings @ Orlando Magic (Jan 24, 08:00 GMT+8)

After handing the Celtics their third straight loss, the Magic head into this match with renewed confidence and optimism.

Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon need to perform the way they did against the Celts if they want to extend their streak, but they have a legitimate chance of getting the W against a Sacramento team that lost eight in a row now. Go for Orlando -6.00 @ 1.85.

Brooklyn Nets @ Oklahoma City Thunder (Jan 24, 09:00 GMT+8)

D’Angelo Russell is far from his usual self, but his return certainly sparked something in Brooklyn as the Nets won two straight games against the Heat and Pistons.

Oklahoma are coming off a big win against the Cavs as they stay unbeaten in four games, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that Brooklyn took them down in their first meeting earlier last month. With that said, choosing the Nets +9.00 @ 2.05 appears to be the best choice.

Cleveland Cavaliers @ San Antonio Spurs (Jan 24, 09:00 GMT+8)

Cleveland lost to Oklahoma 124-148 the last time out and LeBron James perfectly sums up how big their defensive problem is: “I’ve never in my basketball life gave up 148 points, not even probably playing video games.”

Fortunately for the Wine and Gold, the Spurs are struggling on the offensive end. Though, the King and his Cavaliers can’t expect everything to go their way considering that San Antonio still boast one of the best defences in the league.

This game can go either way, but I expect Cleveland to be more desperate here. Pick the Cavs +1.50 @ 1.90.

New York Knicks @ Golden State Warriors (Jan 24, 11:30 GMT+8)

Golden State gave up too many rebounds and turnovers in their loss to Houston, and they need to avoid repeating those mistakes when they host Kristaps Porzingis and New York.

It’s a good thing for the Warriors though that the Knicks are in a poor run of form lately, even losing to the likes of Lakers and Grizzlies last week. Betting on the Dubs -14.00 @ 1.98 is a risky but worthwhile move.

Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Lakers (Jan 24, 11:30 GMT+8)

Losing three straight is one thing; losing to another struggling team (Orlando) that haven’t won at least half of their games is another.

Kyrie Irving said the Celts need to learn how to weather the storm, but it looks like they also need to find a way to stay consistent on the offensive end.

They can make a statement when they renew their rivalry with the Lakers; however, it won’t be a walk in the park for them with the Purple and Gold winning back-to-back matches and Jordan Clarkson making his case as sixth man of the year.

Considering all these, placing your money on LA +4.00 @ 1.94 doesn’t seem bad at all.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

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Deadly Dries is Happy to Keep Napoli on Top

A second half strike from top scorer Dries Mertens gave league leaders Napoli a vital 0-1 win in Atalanta in another fantastic round of Serie A football games.

Meanwhile, the Bianconeri won to climb to within a point of the leaders, Lazio hit a big five and there was live betting drama in Milan as Inter grabbed a late equaliser against Roma.

Merten’s 11th league goal of the season ensured Maurizio Sarri’s side stays top with a win at pre-match betting odds of around 2.07. He finished coolly on 65 minutes, latching on to a through ball from Jose Callejon before shooting hard and low into the bottom corner. There were more chances at both ends but Napoli deservedly hung on.

Juventus beat Genoa 1-0 to stay in hot pursuit thanks to a first half effort from Douglas Costa, converting from close range after good work from Mario Mandzukic

A first half strike from Stephan El Shaarawy looked to have given Roma a precious win away to Inter, but Matais Vecino rose to plant a header home with just five minutes remaining to make it 1-1 and send the fans at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium wild.

Lazio took advantage, moving into third place with a 5-1 hammering of Chievo. League leading scorer Ciro Immobile limped off in the first half but Sergei Milinkovic-Savoc stepped up to score a brace. And Fabio Quagliarella took his season tally to 15 with a well taken hat-trick, giving sixth placed Sampdoria a very useful 3-1 victory over Europa rivals Fiorentina.

Milan is up to seventh after winning a grumpy game in Cagliari 1-2 where both teams ended up with ten men. Elsewhere, Crotone moved out of the relegation zone with a 0-3 win over fellow struggler Hellas Verona, Bologna dumped bottom club Benevento with a 3-0 victory, and there were 1-1 draws between Udinese and SPAL, and Sassuolo and Torino.

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The Betting Odds are Ready to Pay Out on Barca!

This was yet more football betting drama in La Liga.

Football games and results which showed why Barcelona are romping to the title, why the race to beat the drop is unpredictable and why Cristiano Ronaldo used a mobile phone as a mirror!

Getafe 2-2 Athletic Bilbao

I said pre-match the last result either of these sides wanted was a draw!

So there was a certain guarantee that’s exactly what it would be.

Two goals apiece, a penalty apiece (plus a saved spot-kick), and Getafe showing their character as they twice fought back from behind, earning a point through Angel Rodriguez’s 74th-minute equaliser.

RCD Espanyol 0-3 Sevilla

It’s been a good few days for Sevilla and their new boss Vincenzo Montella.

After a disappointing start to his tenure, this comprehensive victory—secured by goals from Franco Vazquez, Pablo Sarabia and Luis Muriel—sealed a first La Liga victory for the Italian.

Coming just three days after their Copa del Rey triumph at Atletico Madrid, this was a fitting way to clinch the club’s 1,000th La Liga victory.

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Girona

Disaster for Atletico as their already faint title hopes were ended by plucky Girona.

Portu’s composed finish 16 minutes from time cancelled out Antoine Griezmann’s opener.

Los Colchoneros now need to focus on their midweek Copa del Rey tie—they trail Sevilla 2-1 ahead of their quarter-final second leg—to save their season.

Villarreal 2-1 Levante

Up to the heady heights of fourth, albeit temporary, for Villarreal.

The outcome was never in doubt once Denis Cheryshev had doubled the hosts lead six minutes after the restart.

Levante continue to battle and that could be their saving grace in an increasingly tense battle to beat the drop.

Las Palmas 2-1 Valencia

Viva Los Amarillos!

Few saw this coming. Clearly, Valencia didn’t as their frustrations got the better of them and finished the match with just nine men.

This win for the hosts was huge and lifted Las Palmas off the bottom at a bouncing Estadio Gran Canaria.

Alaves 2-2 Leganes

It’s another decent point for Alaves, but they will know it should have been so much more.

A rousing start to the second half saw them lead 2-0 and only when Gabriel Appelt Pires reduced the arrears from the penalty spot 15 minutes from time did home nerves surface.

A second booking for Rodrigo Ely with three minutes remaining unsettled them further and Joseba Zaldua levelled moments later to earn Leganes a point they scarcely deserved—although Alaves only had themselves to blame.

Real Madrid 7-1 Deportivo La Coruna

This was quite a way to get back to winning ways.

Those in the Bernabeu could have been forgiven for thinking “here we go again” when relegation-threatened Deportivo took the lead.

But Real hit back with Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nacho all grabbing a brace and Luka Modric also on target.

Ronaldo even had time to check out, via a mobile phone, the facial injury he sustained as he scored his second and Real’s sixth.

Real Sociedad 1-2 Celta Vigo

Iago Aspas (penalty) and Maxi Gomez were the men on target as Celta Vigo came from behind to see off Sociedad.

It moved them up to seventh and earned what could be a vital win in San Sebastian.

Frustrating for Sociedad who were the better side for long spells and also missed a first-half penalty.

Real Betis 0-5 Barcelona

Betis had nothing to lose and that showed as they more than matched the unbeaten leaders during a closely contested first half.

Then came a dominant second-half showing in which the Catalans scored five times without reply to move 11 points clear at the top.

That included Luis Suarez’s 99th and 100th La Liga goals.

The bad news for Barca’s rivals? They still have Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele to come back in!

Eibar 1-1 Malaga

A decent result for Malaga but, in truth, wasn’t ideal for either side.

The Andalusians, who opened the scoring through Youssef En-Nesyri, ended the weekend in bottom spot after the shock Las Palmas victory.

High-flying Eibar, who restored parity through Kike Garcia, missed the chance to close the gap on the Euro chasers.

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Super Swans smash Betting Odds to shock Liverpool!

Swansea City 1-0 Liverpool

An Alfie Mawson goal and a magnificent rearguard action gave bottom club Swansea a sensational win over high-flying Liverpool.

Having beaten Manchester City last week, betting tips almost universally backed Jurgen Klopp’s swashbucklers to put Swansea to the sword. However, a crushing anticlimax for the Reds was anything but for the battling Swans.

Carlos Carvalhal set his team up brilliantly to defend a lead, and while Roberto Firmino almost grabbed a last-gasp equaliser, it was the Swans’ night. More than a few football bets went by the wayside, though that won’t worry Carlos and his heroic team.

In a first half of few chances, neither keeper was called on until the 33rd minute when Lukasz Fabianski saved an effort from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. But then the surprise breakthrough came seven minutes later, from an unlikely source. When Virgil van Dijk failed to fully clear the ball, it eventually fell to centre-back Alfie Mawson who gleefully arrowed it into the bottom corner beyond the despairing dive of Loris Karius.

Sadio Mane had a wonderful chance to level on the stroke of half-time but volleyed his effort just wide.

Early in the second half, Mo Salah skewed his shot when given too much space by the Swansea defence. He then tested Fabianski on the hour with a dipping free-kick.

As time went on, Liverpool began to shoot from distance while the home defence stood firm. But when the fourth official indicated four minutes of added time, a shudder went around the stadium and hearts fluttered as the ball bounced around the Swansea penalty area. And then in the dying seconds, Roberto Firmino crashed the upright with a point-blank header.

Swansea can believe again, the win drags them to within three points of 17th place; and for Liverpool…it’s the same old story.

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These are the Sports Betting Scenarios

Test 3 of 3: South Africa vs India

Roads lead to Johannesburg for the third and final Test between the top two cricket teams and while the series may be won, there’s still much to ponder for sports betting fans.

Victories by 72 and 135 runs, respectively, mean the hosts go into this one with the pressure off. Still,the betting odds will always tell you to write off under fire India, the world cricket’s number one ranked Test side, at your peril.

They will also guide you towards the incentive of both nations – if South Africa complete a 3-0 Test Series whitewash, they’ll go level on points with India at the top of the rankings and visiting skipper Virat Kohli won’t want that.

Then there are the six One Day internationals and three Twenty 20 clashes to look forward to in February.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though.

There’s much to ponder here as the visitors’ much vaunted batting line-up tries to return to form against the hosts’ pace attack. Kohli must decide whether to recall Bhuvneshwar Kumar and select the reliable Ajinkya Rahane as they try and put their dismal overseas form behind them.

Indeed, they have also flown over Navdeep Saini and Shardul Takhur to restore some pride at the Wanderers, a ground which in 2006 saw them earn the first of only two victories they have enjoyed in South Africa.

While there’s been some criticism of Kohli, his South African counterpart Faf du Plessis must be thrilled with the performance of his players in his own playground as they chase their first 3-0 victory over India.

The 33-year-old batsman’s two half-centuries have effectively been the difference between the two sides.

A 3-0 success would also be some sort of revenge after their batting confidence was shot to pieces by Kohli’s India in 2015.

The potential in the South Africa class of 2018 is unquestioned.

Sealing a whitewash at the Wanderers would be a notable milestone.

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De Bruyne deal boost for City

Kevin De Bruyne has handed Manchester City a massive boost by signing a contract extension to keep him on board until summer 2023.

The 26-year-old Belgium international has been an integral part of City boss Pep Guardiola's plans this season with six goals and 10 assists in the Premier League as the Citizens sit 12 points clear at the top of the table.

De Bruyne, who joined City from German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg in a record £55million deal in August 2015 having endured a frustrating previous spell in England with Chelsea, was tied to City until 2021.

But he was keen to pledge his longer term future to the club with the side enjoying a fine campaign to date and are still on course to win all four major trophies.

De Bruyne told the City website: "I am really happy to have signed this new deal. As I've said previously, my intention has always been to stay here at City, where I've felt at home from day one.

"Not only are we winning – we are playing great football. It's a pleasure to be a part of and I'm really excited about what we can achieve in the coming years."

Director of football Txiki Begiristain added: "Kevin's new deal is great news for our club.

"He has shown this season how important he is to the team and has been integral in everything we've done so far.

"We are thrilled he has committed his long-term future to Manchester City."

City are 10/3 to follow up their expected Premier League win with Champions League glory, while they are priced at 11/4 to lift the FA Cup and 4/7 to win the League Cup.

De Bruyne is available at 1/2 to win the PFA Player of the Year award.

Sanchez completes United swap move

Alexis Sanchez has completed his transfer to Manchester United with Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction to Arsenal.

The 29-year-old Chile international forward, Sanchez, who almost joined Manchester City in the summer before the deal broke down late in the transfer window, has penned a four-and-a-half year deal at Old Trafford.

Sanchez, who scored 80 goals in 165 appearances during his time at the Emirates Stadium, will wear the famous number seven shirt at United.

On completion of the deal, the former Barcelona man told the United official website: "I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world. I have spent three-and-a-half wonderful years at Arsenal and I bring with me very positive memories of that great club and its fans.

"The chance to play in this historic stadium and to work with Jose Mourinho was something I could not turn down.

"I am very proud to be the first Chilean player ever to play for United's first team and I hope I can show our fans all around the world why the club wanted to bring me here."

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Armenia international, Mkhitaryan, is delighted to join Arsenal on a three-and-a-half-year deal after scoring 13 goals in 63 appearances for United since joining from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3million in July 2016.

"I'm very happy that we could finish this deal and I'm very happy to be here," he said. "It's a dream come true because I've always dreamed of playing for Arsenal.

"Now that I'm here, I’ll do my best for this club to create history."

United are 6/4 to win the Premier League without Manchester City, while Arsenal are priced at 11/2 to secure a top-four finish.

Zinchenko warns of Robins threat

Oleksandr Zinchenko has warned his Manchester City team-mates to expect a difficult test at Bristol City in their League Cup semi-final second leg on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola's men travel to Ashton Gate holding a slender one-goal lead after coming from behind to defeat Lee Johnson's Championship outfit 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight ago courtesy of Sergio Aguero's late strike.

The runaway Premier League leaders will be expected to get the job done in the second leg, but Zinchenko is guarding against complacency given the stern test the Robins provided in the first meeting and the fact they have already defeated Manchester United on home soil in the competition.

The 21-year-old Ukrainian full-back, who is set to start at left-back in the absence of injured duo Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph, said: "We already know about them as the first game was not so easy.

"They defended well and at Bristol it will be a more difficult game than here.

"United losing there was a surprise for us but to be honest everyone who watched the game could see Bristol City played well. They have showed us they can beat us."

City captain Vincent Kompany is still a doubt with a calf injury but Yaya Toure could play as Guardiola has vowed to play the strongest team he can.

He said: "Of course we are going to try to see the best team as possible.

"I will say we are going to go there and try and win the game and go to the final."

City are 1/4 to win the game and are available at 1/20 to reach the final, while Bristol City are priced at 14/1 to win on the night and 12/1 to reach the final, while the draw in 90 minutes is 11/2.

Rakip relishing Hodgson link-up

Erdal Rakip is looking forward to working with the 'legend' Roy Hodgson after joining Crystal Palace on loan from Benfica.

The Sweden Under-21 international midfielder has spent just half a season with the Portuguese outfit having arrived when his contract at Swedish side Malmo expired in the summer.

But Rakip will now remain at Selhurst Park until the end of this current campaign after a loan deal was agreed between the two clubs and Palace will hope he can rediscover the form which saw him score eight goals from 27 league appearances for Malmo last season.

The 21-year-old is looking forward to life in the Premier League and working with Eagles boss, Hodgson, who is a big name in his homeland following his work as Malmo manager in the second half of the 1980s.

"I believe this is a league that suits me and my way of playing," Rakip said on the club's official website.

"It's fast-paced and physically intense, and I'm a classic, balanced number 6; a box-to-box player who runs up and down the field.

"I hope to adapt quickly in order to help the team and show my qualities – I have been training since the season ended and I feel fit and ready to play straight away.

"It will be an honour playing for Roy. He is a legend in Malmo and everyone knows who he is. Crystal Palace is a fantastic club with a lot of history that plays entertaining football, and was the best option for my development and my career at this stage."

Rakip could make his debut for Palace, who sit three points clear of the drop zone and are 10/1 to be relegated this season, in their next Premier League game at West Ham on Tuesday week.

The Eagles are 2/1 to win, while the Hammers are priced at 11/8 and the draw is available at 9/4.

Poyet issues Malcom warning

New boss Gus Poyet has warned Premier League suitors that winger Malcom will be staying with Bordeaux in this transfer window.

The 50-year-old Uruguayan was appointed coach of the Les Girondins on Saturday following the recent sacking of Jocelyn Gourvennec.

And, when asked about the possibility of 20-year-old Malcom departing the Ligue 1 outfit this month, the former Brighton and Sunderland manager insisted that he was told by Bordeaux bosses that the Brazilian is not for sale.

Poyet told L'Equipe: "I asked straight away if Malcom would be staying or not.

"They said yes. I said OK, now we can continue the discussion."

Both Arsenal and Tottenham have been heavily linked with a move for Malcom with Bordeaux president Stephane Martin admitting that he could play in England at some point in the future, but not in this window.

He added: "Malcom, it has been said and said again, he will not be leaving.

"He has said he wants to play in the Premier League one day. That is normal – what player wouldn't want to play in England?

"There is no problem with Malcom."

Malcom is set to be involved when Bordeaux face Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday afternoon with the hosts 5/2 to win the match, while Lyon are priced at 21/20 and the draw is available at 12/5.