Sporting Events Of The Week

By Martin Green24 March 2019
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Valtteri Bottas

Euro 2020 qualifying

England travel to Montenegro for the second game of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign on Monday night. A Raheem Sterling hat-trick inspired the Three Lions to a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic in their opener, and they are now clear favourites to overwhelm Montenegro. Ljubiša Tumbaković’s men began their campaign with a 1-1 draw away at Bulgaria. They are a decent team, but they lack the quality to contain England’s dynamic young attackers. England -1 Asian Handicap is 13/20 with Unibet. France host Iceland and Portugal take on Serbia in the other big games on Monday night. Tuesday sees Norway versus Sweden in a clash of the Scandinavian sides, while Republic of Ireland host Georgia and they will need to improve upon the performance they gave in their 1-0 win against Gibraltar last time out. Romania play the Faroe Islands and Ladbrokes has a tempting 4/5 on them winning half-time / full-time.

WGC Match Play

Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson are the joint favourites to win this week’s WGC Match Play tournament after both men made strong starts to the year. Johnson landed the WGC-Mexico Championship, his 20th PGA Tour win overall and his sixth WGC event, while McIlroy roared back to form by winning the Players Championship with a score of -16. He has secured five straight top six finishes, which is formidable form as we approach the Masters. They are both priced at 10/1 with bookmakers like Sky Bet and William Hill, while defending champion Bubba Watson is out at 33/1. Punters looking for long shots have been backing Jim Furyk and Kevin Kisner, who are each priced at 125/1, while there is a lot of love for Jon Rahm at 18/1.

NCAA Championship

The U.S. is now firmly in the grip of March Madness and Americans are expected to wager $8.5 billion on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. All the hype surrounds Duke and its exciting duo of Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, who are both tipped as future All-Stars in the NBA. Bet365 makes Duke the 5/2 favourite to go on and win the tournament, and that is a popular bet, but many also like the 12/1 Michigan Wolverines to cause an upset.

Champions Cup quarter-finals

Just eight teams remain standing in Europe’s premier rugby union competition and there are some thrilling games to look forward to at the weekend. Edinburgh host Munster in the first game on Saturday and the visitors look well priced at 8/13 with Paddy Power to secure victory. Saracens are at home to Glasgow and they should record a comfortable victory there, while Leinster should also have little trouble taking apart Ulster on their own turf. Racing 92 host Toulouse in an all-French quarter-final and they are 1/2 to win that one. The bookmakers anticipate a straight fight between Leinster and Saracens for the title, with the former priced at 13/8 and the latter at 23/10.

Bahrain Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas shocked the F1 world by surging past Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and landing a dominant victory in the opening Grand Prix of the season. Ferrari looked well off the pace, and it could end up turning into a battle between the two Mercedes this season if the Italians cannot rally. Bottas did not win a single race last season, but he is in defiant mood this time around, indicating that he is no longer content to play second fiddle to Hamilton. Yet the Brit is a ferocious competitor and he will be desperate to bounce back with a win in Bahrain after finishing second last time out. He is 13/8 with William Hill to win this race and that looks like an attractive price.