Is a Thunderous Upset on Your Live Betting Cards?

It is understandable if you are shocked by the current playoff picture. After all, several pre-series betting tips saw certain teams easily containing their opponents. The Rockets are sure to progress, while the Cavaliers are in a tricky deadlock.

Meanwhile, betting odds are now tipping in favour of the Utah Jazz, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking first-round elimination in the eye.

Will we see a shocking first-round exit for the Brodie and his team? Or will the Thunder rouse themselves and set up a dramatic Game 7?

Washington Wizards @ Toronto Raptors (April 26, 8:00 GMT +8)

The Raptors seemingly left their fluid passing game at the Air Canada Centre when they played the Washington Wizards. Dwane Casey needs to sort his team’s regression to iso-ball if he wants to end the series in six games.

Meanwhile, all John Wall and the Wizards have to do is to clog Toronto’s passing lanes. However, I don’t think DeMar DeRozan would stand being upstaged at home. The Raptors will win, but the Wizards should be able to keep it close, making Washington +7.00 @ 1.92 an interesting prospect.

Indiana Pacers @ Cleveland Cavaliers (April 26, 8:00 GMT +8)

LeBron James is simply playing incredible basketball to cover the Cavaliers’ weaknesses. While it may be impossible for James to keep this level of play the entire postseason, he should be able to push for a 3-2 advantage.

Victor Oladipo will definitely try to push the issue here, but I don’t see him making a dent in LeBron’s performance for the Cavs in any shape or form. The Cavs should be able to win, albeit another tight one. It could all end in a one-possession game, so Indiana +6.00 @ 2.05 is the better punt to make.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets (April 26, 10:30 GMT +8)

The Wolves made an admirable run to the playoffs, even going so far as to steal a game against the Rockets. However, I see this as nothing more than a gentleman’s sweep for the loaded Houston squad.

James Harden, Chris Paul and the rest of the Rockets made quick work of Minnesota in Game 4 and will not likely let up on the return leg. Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns got some much-needed playoff experience under their belts at the very least.

Houston -12.50 @ 2.02 is a no-brainer of a pick.

Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder (April 26, 10:30 GMT +8)

Russell Westbrook is staring elimination straight in the face, and it is not a pretty sight.

While he, alongside Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, have played superbly, the Utah Jazz have been nothing but a delightful surprise. Donovan Mitchell’s 27.5ppg is the shining star in a well-oiled machine that features a lot of passing and great defence. Heck, even Joe Ingles is talking smack to George!

I don’t like the thought that this is the end for OKC, but Utah are just too good. I still think they have a chance at winning this, but the stars would have to align and pigs would need to grow wings.

If you’re watching this game, Utah +4.00 @ 1.93 is the most appealing odds.

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Now it Really is All Over

Liverpool 5-2 AS Roma

Liverpool are heading to Russia, it’s arrivederci Roma!

Despite two late goals from the Italians, make no mistake, this tie is over.

All the smart sports betting money and the betting odds now point to Liverpool being in Kiev next month to bid for a sixth European Cup.

Football games like this simply aren’t supposed to happen in the latter stages of Europe’s premier competition.

And despite some suggestions Roma could repeat their 3-0 home quarter-final success over Barcelona (a repeat result would put them in the final), it simply won’t happen.

This is a decent Roma side but no more. On their day, this is a very good Liverpool side.

Once again newly crowned player of the year Mo Salah will lead the plaudits.

His first half double against the club he left last summer put the Merseysiders on the brink of the final.

After losing the unfortunate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to injury early on and seeing Aleksandar Kolarov’s shot pushed onto the bar by German goalkeeper Loris Karius, Salah curled home a beautiful opener and a raucous Anfield was rocking.

So were Roma and after Dejan Lovren headed against the bar, Salah grabbed his second of the night and the 43rd of an incredible season.

Just 11 minutes after the restart, Salah played in Sadio Mane for the third before the Egyptian king set up Roberto Firmino to tap home the fourth.

Firmino then headed home the fifth as dumbfounded Roma were blown away.

Liverpool were breathtaking. Roma, despite late replies from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti, were brutally beaten.

This was Liverpool’s night and the classy Salah, who didn’t celebrate his goals against his former team-mates, is their king.

They are all but in the May 26 showpiece.

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How can the Gunners Smash Down Atletico’s Wall?

Arsenal take on Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final first leg this week, in the tie which football betting pundits expect will produce the champions.

And the big task facing the Gunners is to break down one of the best defences in Europe. Diego Simeone’s Atletico have conceded just 18 goals in 34 league football games, and that is the big factor which makes the Spaniards favourites at betting odds of 2.10 to win the trophy, with Arsenal at 3.50.

In the other semi-final Rudi Garcia’s Marseille are tipped to proceed to the final; though the visit of Marco Rose’s Saltzburg is no walk in the park.

Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid

Arsene Wenger’s announcement that he would leave at the end of the season prompted his players into an emotional 4-1 win at the weekend, and there is a unity around the Emirates we haven’t seen for some time. The players are keen to give Arsene the perfect send-off, and in Alexandre Lacazette they have a man who can puncture the brilliant Atletcio defence. But if he can get past Diego Godin and Stefan Savic, he still has to beat keeper Jan Oblak. That is some rearguard.

The favourites have been in patchy form of late, with one win in four, but Simeone rested Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro and Koke in a goalless home draw to Real Betis at the weekend. And while Diego Costa won’t be fit, according to Simeone, the Arsenal backline must be on its game to prevent a damaging away goal.

Marseille vs RB Salzburg

Rudi Garcia’s Marseille welcome Salzburg to the Stade Velodrome, and need to win the first leg to justify odds of 1.61 on their progress. After putting Leipzig out in the quarter finals, Marseille have had back-to-back victories in Ligue 1 and are in a three-way race for second place. Garcia has eyes on next year’s Champions League one way or another. Former West Ham star Dimitri Payet has three Europa goals, and if playing will be a thorn in Salzburg’s side.

But Marco Rose’s Salzburg are storming the Austrian Bundesliga and had a stunning quarter final victory against Lazio, recovering from a two-goal deficit by winning 4-1 on home turf, the dangerous Munas Dabbur scoring his fifth tournament goal.

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Never Say Die: Strong Napoli are Back in the Fight!

Juventus 0-1 Napoli

Mama miaaaaa!!!

That’s how Napoli legend Diego Maradona described the Partenopei’s gripping last-gasp win over Juventus that blew the Serie A title race wide open.

Indeed, no word is more appropriate than that to describe the live betting shock that happened. Everybody knew it wouldn’t be easy, but betting odds backed Juve to get the win and pull away at Allianz Stadium where they had been unbeaten domestically since November.

However, Napoli had other plans and surprised the football betting world once again, thanks to a dramatic late header from Kalidou Koulibaly.

Napoli dominated the match but failed to find clear-cut chances to score until Koulibaly rose for the last-ditch goal. The Senegalese centre-back jumped to meet a Jose Callejon corner and powered it past Gianluigi Buffon, breaking the deadlock and piling frustration on the six-time defending Serie A champions.

The goal, nonetheless, was a long time coming. Juve did well hanging on with their deep defending even after Giorgio Chiellini’s injury, but it was their performance on the other end of the pitch that doomed them. Paulo Dybala was not his usual self, while Douglas Costa never had the clear chance to score.

Gonzalo Higuain was the only one left to attack for Juve which tells the story why the Old Lady failed to register a single shot on target.

Napoli have now cut Juve’s lead at the top of the table to just one point with four games to go. Max Allegri’s men are in deep trouble though as they still have matches against Inter Milan and Roma.

On the other games, Roma and Lazio solidified their place in the top four with big wins. Roma trashed SPAL with three unanswered goals, while Ciro Immobile bagged a brace as Lazio swaggered to a 4-0 victory over Sampdoria.

Inter Milan kept their Champions League hopes too after beating Chievo 1-2 behind goals from Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic.

AC Milan, meanwhile, received a blow to their Europa League dream after bowing to Benevento 0-1, an opportunity Atalanta gladly took as they leapfrogged the Milan side for sixth with a  2-1 victory over Torino.

There were wins for Sassuolo, Crotone and Genoa too, while Cagliari and Bologna shared the spoils in a goalless stalemate.

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Gunners Show Love for Arsene with a Big Win

It was a happy Sunday at the Emirates as Arsenal hammered the Hammers in support of their departing coach Arsene Wenger.

Some of his players were close to tears when Arsene told them his 22-year tenure was ending. But betting websites are already thinking about the odds on Arsenal’s next manager, as well as Wenger’s next move. There will be no shortage of offers for the ‘Professor’, with football betting pundits picking PSG or the France national team as the likely destination.

Elsewhere, Manchester City smashed five past Swansea in a cracking result for their handicap betting fans!

Arsenal 4-1 West Ham United

So it’s all smiles after an explosive final eight minutes gave the Gunners a resounding win against West Ham.

Earlier, after Nacho Monreal had volleyed home the opener, Marko Arnautovic’s fierce finish hinted at an unhappy ending. Then up stepped Aaron Ramsey, whose cross evaded everyone to beat Joe Hart and prompt a final flurry, with Alexandre Lacazette grabbing a well-taken brace.

Manchester City 5-0 Swansea City

Well, this was some coronation, and the Swans could only stand by and admire.

David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus were all on target as the Champions put on a five-star display. The pick of the lot, though, was a 30-yard Kevin De Bruyne piledriver which Swans keeper Lukasz Fabianski heard fizz into the net before he saw it!

Stoke City 1-1 Burnley

The Potters slipped closer to the trapdoor after a nervous stalemate with Europe-chasing Burnley.

Badou Ndiaye gave the home fans hope with a deflected opener. However, Ashley Barnes followed up to score his sixth in eight games after Jack Butland had brilliantly saved a James Tarkowski header; and it was the Stoke keeper who preserved a point with his man-of-the-match performance.

Everton 1-0 Newcastle United

Everton took the honours in this mid-table clash, though it was telling that the best chance of the first half fell to home defender Phil Jagielka, only for him to volley over.

It took just five minutes of the second before Theo Walcott found space in the box to fire high into the net, with the Toffees’ first shot on target. While the Magpies fought back, it was the end of their four-match winning run.

Chelsea will play Huddersfield Town on 9th May.

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Don’t Count Them Out: Dark Horses of the World Cup 2018

Nothing is set in stone yet in the upcoming World Cup 2018.

Brazil, Germany, France, Spain and Argentina may be the favourites to lift the FIFA World Cup trophy in Moscow, but in a competition where the only option is to win, there could be a few surprises every now and then.

While the chances of the other 27 nations aren’t that high against the heavyweights of world football, there are still a few who can be considered promising dark horses.

Today, we take a look at five teams which have the most realistic chance of succeeding in their respective groups and pulling off a surprise or two in Russia.

Belgium

The Belgians have never won a World Cup nor a European Championship, but there’s a reason to believe they can finally break that curse.

Currently third in FIFA’s world ranking, Belgium have shown they have what it takes to play with the best after going undefeated in Group H of Europe’s football World Cup qualification. In fact, they are the first European nation to qualify for Russia 2018!

Their performance in Euro 2016 somehow dropped their stock, but they should easily dominate the group stage where they were drawn in Group G alongside minnows Tunisia and Panama. Only England, young and rising under Gareth Southgate, pose a tough challenge for them.

They have a plethora of talent with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, two of Europe’s best playmakers. There’s also Romelu Lukaku who, at 24 years old, is already their all-time record goal-scorer. Throw in Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and captain Vincent Kompany and they have a threat all over the field.

Indeed, coaching is the only question mark for them, something which boss Roberto Martinez will hope to provide an answer to this Summer.

Croatia

Croatia might not be in people’s radar for 2018 World Cup favourites but they might still surprise

When it comes to talent and quality, Croatia shouldn’t be counted out as well. After all, who in their right mind would write off a team that features Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic—unarguably the best midfielders in the game?

Although many would say they are only a strong team on paper, that should still be enough to strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.

They face tricky opposition in Group D that includes Argentina and Iceland. The Argentines, seeking to win the coveted trophy under Lionel Messi, are almost assured of a spot in the knockout stages. This means Croatia could be battling with Iceland for the second and final qualifying spot in the group.

Iceland, authors of a magical Euro 2016 story, are the favourites behind Argentina. However, Croatia are more than capable of upsetting them, just like they did when they beat the tiny nation 2-0 earlier in the qualification process.

If their key players can replicate their club form, the Croats can undoubtedly make a nice run in this year’s tournament.

Egypt

Egypt had a historic World Cup 2018 Qualifiers thanks to Mohamed Salah

Mo Salah.

That’s the name everyone should remember when talking about Egypt.

They are one of the biggest longshots to win the competition, but Salah’s sensational form that led to his 2017-18 PFA Player of the Year award will surely have their foes thinking twice when playing them.

Salah has proven that he can take over games at a moment’s notice, a characteristic which should be crucial in their World Cup bid. With the way things are brewing, we could even see a story similar (or better) to James Rodriguez’s exploits for Colombia back in 2014!

Egypt are pitted in the relatively easy Group A aptly called “Group of Life” (in contrast to the usual Group of Death), and they can well take advantage of the opportunity to make it to the quarter-final stage.

They qualified for 2018 World Cup for the first time since 1990, so that adds to their motivation to succeed and inspire a nation hungry for football glory.

Colombia

James Rodriguez hopes the four years has helped him mature as he try to lead Colombia in Russia 2018

 

After mentioning Colombia and Rodriguez, it would be wrong not to include them on this list of promising dark horses.

Colombia made it to the eight of the World Cup in 2014, so they are expected to improve from their previous performance. Fortunately, they are in a good position to make it past the first round, having been drawn in a wide open group together with Poland, Japan and Senegal.

Experience will be the key for Colombia; and although they barely qualified, it should be remembered they made life hard for Brazil during the qualifying and managed to pull off a 1-1 draw against the Neymar-led squad.

That’s a morale-boosting “win” against their 2014 quarter-final tormentors and further proof they have grown by leaps and bounds.

Russia

Who could forget about World Cup 2018 host nation Russia?

Millions of Russian fans will be hoping to see their countrymen succeed in the tournament, and they will do their best to make things as uncomfortable as possible to their opponents. That’s what home-court advantage is all about!

Of course, Russia need more than just psychological advantage to win—even Brazil were humiliated on their own turf. Not to mention that they failed to turn heads during the Confederations Cup last year.

However, with the presence of star goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and the superb Fyodor Smolov, fans can dream of a berth in the knockout rounds, at least.

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Is This the End of Atletico’s Big Title Dream?

Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Betis

Atletico Madrid’s La Liga title dreams are slowly fading away after getting only one win in their last four football games.

Diego Simeone’s men were held to a goalless draw at home by Real Betis, leaving online gambling favourites Barcelona just one win away from the Spanish top-flight title.

Atletico undoubtedly have one eye on their Europa League semi-finals with Arsenal this week, as proven by Antoine Griezmann coming off as a late substitute. However, they were made to pay for their subpar performance as Real Betis overcame the betting odds to extend their unbeaten run to seven.

Both teams had great chances to score and break the deadlock but ultimately settled for a draw. Atletico, particularly, had a hard time breaking through the Betis defence, no thanks to their poor finishing.

Fernando Torres had an early header saved by keeper Dani Gimenez, who was later replaced due to injury. The Atletico forward was at it again before the break but headed his effort wide.

Saul Niguez came close to scoring for Atletico, but his 74th-minute shot crashed against the crossbar.

On the other hand, Betis created the better chances through Ryad Boudebouz and Javi Garcia, though to no avail. Garcia missed a glorious chance to put his team ahead after completely missing his kick despite being left unmarked.

Cristian Tello, meanwhile, clipped the outside of a post 21 minutes before time, taking the breath away of the Wanda Metropolitano crowd.

The result left second-placed Atletico with 72 points, 11 behind Barcelona and four ahead of Real Madrid though both teams have a game in hand.

On the other games, Alaves confirmed Las Palmas‘ relegation with a 0-4 win at  Gran Canaria. The Canary Islanders follow Malaga who were dropped to the Segunda Division last week.

Speaking of Malaga, they did play like a team with nothing to lose, taking down Real Sociedad  2-0 to get just their second win in 19 games.

Elsewhere, there were draws for Leganes and Deportivo de la Coruña, as well as Celta Vigo and Valencia. Meanwhile, Espanyol got all three points in the Catalan derby after Gerard Moreno struck twice to beat Girona 0-2.

There’s also victory for Getafe who boosted their Europa League hopes with a 0-1 escape at Eibar.

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King of Clay: Nadal is the Best in Monte Carlo, Again

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori (6-3, 6-2)

Rafael Nadal winning the Monte-Carlo Masters is a bit of an old cliché now. After all, he has already won the tournament 11 times—an open era record.

Pre-match betting odds never really doubted Nadal, and the Spanish maestro showed live betting fans the reason for that as he made easy work of Kei Nishikori who is trying to get back to the upper echelon of the men’s ranking.

Nishikori appeared ready to stage a sports betting upset after jumping to a 2-1 lead in the first set, thanks to a beautiful passing shot. However, that’s all the challenge that he could muster as he surrendered the next four games and gifted Nadal the opener.

Nadal didn’t give his Japanese opponent any chance of a comeback and won five straight games to start the second set. Nishikori tried to salvage his survival hopes and was able to save a set point with a nice volley at the net. Nonetheless, the King of Clay proved to be too strong on the red surface, eventually closing out the match with a forceful backhand winner.

It took Nadal one hour and 34 minutes to finish Nishikori, with post-match statistics showing that the 31-year-old won both the service and return games. Both players had just one service ace, but Nadal dominated all other areas en route to a straight-set victory.

The win gave Nadal his 31st Masters title (and 76th overall), allowing him to move one ahead of fellow “Big 4” member Novak Djokovic for career Masters titles. He is also the first man ever to win the same tournament 11 times, having won his first championship at the Principality of Monaco in 2005.

“Eleven titles here, it’s unbelievable. It’s something difficult to imagine,” Nadal said. “The history with this tournament is unique.”

Moreover, the result ensured Nadal the top ranking, ahead of Roger Federer who decided to sit out the clay-court season again.

Former World no.4 Nishikori, meanwhile, is still trying to recapture his form after a four-month absence due to a wrist injury. However, he can take some encouragement from the fact that he beat Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic on his way to this stage.

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So it’s Wembley Delight for the Reds and Blues

Manchester United and Chelsea will meet in the FA Cup final after the two giants triumphed in the semis.

Following two hard fought football games Jose Mourinho can look forward to taking on his first English love in a final to set the pulses racing. It’s sure to be a classic and a great game for football betting fans to enjoy.

Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur

The Red Devils came from behind to beat Spurs after the London club had the best of the early exchanges. The Whites justified their status as betting websites’ favourites when they went ahead on just 11 minutes. Christian Eriksen teed up a glorious chance for Dele Alli, and the striker stayed on his feet to gleefully accept. As Spurs continued to press Harry Kane could have added to the score but his effort went inches wide.

But the game changed as United broke away from Spurs pressure and Paul Pogba crossed for Alexis Sanchez to nod home the equaliser. It was a big moment for the Chilean who had his best game for United. And the Reds stunned the Spurs crowd when Ander Herrera finished off a great move, just after the hour, to win the tie.

Jose’s already taking heat off his players; saying coming second in the league constitutes more success than FA Cup glory. Reallly? Mauricio Pochettino, who remains potless, may beg to differ.

Chelsea 2-0 Southampton

Chelsea eventually ran out comfortable winners, but it took 80 minutes to settle this tie. After a first half dominated by the Blues, in which Willian crashed the crossbar and Olivier Giroud came close twice, the Saints went in, amazingly, equal. But that lasted just 50 seconds of the second half when Giroud broke the deadlock with a touch of genius. The influential Eden Hazard fed the big man just inside the box, and in a Messi-like moment he evaded three tackles before poking the ball into the net to send the Blue half of Wembley wild.

Despite their superiority Antonio Conte’s men struggled to add to their lead, and Chelsea’s cup keeper, Willy Caballero, was brought into action to keep out a pile-driver from Nathan Redmond.

But it was game over when Alvaro Morata, a minute after replacing Giroud, headed home to settle the tie.

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It’s Time for More Exciting Clashes!

You’re in luck if you’re itching to watch exciting football games: the midweek promises two bombastic ties!

Four strong clubs will clash in the Champions League semi-finals, giving fans exciting action and betting odds to watch out for! Liverpool square off against Roma, while Real Madrid engage in a familiar dance with Bayern Munich.

Football betting fans are excited about these games with good reason. Now, the question is this: Are you ready to see exciting football action?

Liverpool vs AS Roma (April 25, 02:45 GMT +8)

Roma definitely took note of how Liverpool outplayed Manchester City in the previous round. Liverpool are also aware of how Roma bounced back from a seemingly impossible situation to beat Barcelona at Camp Nou. There is no clear favourite coming into this match, making fans and neutrals anticipate this big clash.

Roma have Liverpool’s number when it comes to their match history, but their last Champions League game ended in the Reds’ victory. Moreover, Liverpool have a red-hot Mohamed Salah ready to score goals from the wing.

What Edin Dzeko and the rest of the Romans have to do is make sure that the Egyptian superstar becomes a non-factor while keeping Roberto Firmino and the rest of Jurgen Klopp’s strike force at bay. They have to do this while weathering the very unfriendly environment of Anfield.

I think the home grounds will help the case of Liverpool in this match and give them a leverage to use for the second leg. With that being said, my first tip will be Liverpool -1.00 @ 1.90 for 🌟🌟.

Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid (April 26, 02:45 GMT +8)

Some people (especially Gianluigi Buffon) may question Real Madrid’s questionable win against Juventus in the second leg, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s supreme talent on the pitch is something that cannot be denied. Zinedine Zidane is hopeful that the Portuguese star will carry the team past a difficult test at the Allianz Arena the same way he did in Turin.

Los Blancos weren’t able to rest many of their star players as they vie to steal the La Liga’s second-best title away from city rivals Atletico. The team looked out of their element as Athletic Bilbao frustrated them time and time again. It took a deflection from Cristiano to equalise the game. Meanwhile, Bayern cruised past Hannover without some of their best players.

Everyone knows that Madrid steps up to the plate when it’s time to play European football. However, I don’t think they can force their way past a sturdy Bayern defence without opening holes themselves. I see a one-goal win for Bayern, and a bet for Munich -0.75 @ 2.38 is worth another 🌟🌟.

A short explanation on how our (🌟) bets are worth:

🌟🌟🌟 = £20
🌟🌟 = £10
🌟 = £5

Head over to the betting tips section and see how our writers perform in their predicted bets.

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