From The Trading Floor (12)

From The Trading Floor

Join Jay and Dazn Bet’s trading team as they bring you the pick of this week’s sports bets in “From The Trading Floor”.

 

India v Australia – One Day International – 09:00 – March 22

In the opening game of their ODI series last Thursday, India bounced back from 39-4 to chase down Australia’s total of 188. With wicket keeper KL Rahul’s unbeaten 75 eventually guiding them to a five wicket victory.

The two would meet once again on Saturday, with Australia skittling out India for a meagre 117. Batsmen Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh would chase down the target of 118 within 11 overs, handing Australia a very comfortable 10 wicket win.

Now, with the series delicately poised at one game all, both times will face off for a final time in Chennai on Wednesday to determine who walks away with the series victory.

Both sides have been great to watch with both the bat and ball during ODI matches in recent months, and it’s easy to see why they’ve been almost impossible to split as a result.

Australia pretty much eased to a 3-0 victory over England back in November, highlighted by their dominant 221 run victory in the last match of the series. Whilst India have also made light work of both New Zealand and Sri Lanka since the start of 2023, setting scores north of 370 on three occasions.

India’s top three batsmen, Sharma, Gill and Kohli, all entered this series in decent form, sharing six centuries between them since the start of the year, yet they have only combined for a total of 68 runs during the first two matches. Australian legspinner Adam Zampa had claimed 10 wickets during their three match series against England, yet he’s still without one during this one with India, however, left-armer Mitchell Starc has picked up eight of the fifteen Indian wickets which have fallen so far.

Given how both teams occupy the top two spots in the ODI rankings, it’s fitting to see this series needing to go to a deciding game. On form, India’s batsmen certainly have the capability to take the game beyond the Aussies, yet the same can be said about Australia’s ability to take regular wickets and severely limit teams.

Due to the size of the boundaries, the ground in Chepauk is typically known as one where scoring can be difficult, especially as the match progresses, given how the top three of India may feel slightly under pressure following their relatively low scores in the series so far, and this could easily play in to the hands of Australia’s impressive bowling attack. I feel that the scene is set for an entertaining encounter, but I’m going to side with the visitors picking up the victory ahead of their ICC World Test Championship Final showdown at the Oval in June.

Traders’ Tip: Australia To Win @ 11/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £22.

 

Italy v England – UEFA Euro 2024 Qualification – Group C – 19:45 – March 23

UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying gets underway this week as 53 teams begin their campaign for their place in next summers’ tournament alongside hosts Germany.

A lot of interest will no doubt be on Naples, where reigning Euro champions Italy will take on England in a repeat of their Wembley final from the summer of 2021.

Both sides will be hoping to get to get off to a solid start in a tough looking Group C, where they are joined by Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta.

Although the latter aren’t likely to cause a threat, the other two teams are no pushovers. They both reached the finals of the UEFA play-offs for 2022 World Cup, with North Macedonia even picking up a 1-0 victory over the Italians in Palermo to end their hopes of qualifying for Qatar. This threat is sure to add a lot more importance to this fixture, especially as only the top two teams in the group will automatically qualify for the finals.

England have typically made qualifying look easy in recent years, losing just twice in the 66 qualifying matches they have played since failing to reach the 2008 World Cup, those losses came at the hands of Czechia in 2019, and Ukraine in 2009.

The Azzurri have been very hit or miss in terms of qualification, failing to qualify for the last two World Cups, however, they have not lost a qualifying game for a European Championships since a loss to France in 2006.

England last beat Italy in a Friendly in 2012, however, both teams opted for a more experimental starting line-up on the night, with only one Italian player from that match subsequently starting their opening World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria a month later. The Azzurri have actually not lost any of their last 9 competitive matches against the Three Lions, stretching all the way back to a World Cup qualifier in November 1977.

This feels like an encounter where both teams could easily cancel each other out as it’s difficult to make a solid claim for either team to lose. Four of the last five matches between these two have ended as a draw after 90 minutes and, for me, that seems to be the most logical option.

Traders’ Tip: Draw @ 11/5. A £10 bet at these odds could return £32.

Wigan Warriors v Salford City Reds – Super League – 20:00 – March 24

Super League XXVIII has got off to an exciting start so far, and week six of the competition looks set to be no exception with Friday night’s encounter at the DW Stadium between Wigan and Salford looking like the pick of the ties this weekend.

Both sides have started the season with three wins from five and currently occupy third and fourth in the table, behind Warrington and the Catalan Dragons who both boast 100% records.

Wigan and Salford have also both managed to wrack up 60 points in matches this season, against Wakefield and Hull FC respectively, and therefore I am anticipating a game which is full of attacking intent from the start as they both aim to consolidate their positions inside the top six in the Super League table.

However, both will enter this fixture on the back of low scoring victories during Round 5. Wigan edged Huddersfield 14-12 in their trip to Yorkshire last Friday night, whilst Salford picked up this season’s first ‘Golden point’ victory on Sunday with a 14-13 win at winless Wakefield Trinity.

Despite both teams having a pretty indifferent start to the season so far Wigan enter this one as relatively strong favourites, however, Salford have shown that they do have the ability to play some decent rugby. They completely lost their heads during the second half of their trip to table-toppers Warrington during round 3, surrendering a 20-6 half time lead to succumb to a 36-20 defeat, with full-back Ryan Brierly being sent to the sin-bin and Wolves having two extra kicks at goal following foul play during two of their second half tries.

The Red Devils have seemingly learnt from that mistake, with back-to-back victories, and if they arrive at the DW with a similar level of intent, there’s every chance that they could run Wigan close.

Traders’ Tip: Salford +11.5 @ 9/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £19.

 

Croatia v Wales – UEFA Euro 2024 Qualification – Group D – 19:45 – March 25

Saturday will see a relatively fresh looking Wales team travel to Split as their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign gets underway in Group D against Croatia.

After failing to progress from the group stages of the 2022 World Cup, Wales have lost the vastly experienced trio of Gareth Bale, Chris Gunther and Joe Allen via retirement as they look to bring through their next batch of stars in their attempt to reach the main stage of the European Championships for a third consecutive time.

Croatia, however, made a statement to the footballing world once again by reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup. A penalty shoot-out victory over the much fancied Brazil was the highlight of their competition, showing the sheer determination that the team has as a whole, and they still look like a solid unit heading in to this qualifying campaign with Luca Modric, Ivan Perisic and Domagoj Vida still making up the backbone of their team.

Twelve months ago this may have been a fairly even encounter, however, Wales are now very much a team in transition, and their run of 8 games without a win since picking up a victory over Ukraine to qualify for last year’s World Cup pretty much sums up where they are as a team at this point in time.

There’s still plenty of experience on the shoulders of goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and captain Aaron Ramsey, but I feel like they are going to really struggle against a strong looking Croatian team.

Traders’ Tip: Croatia -1.5 @ 17/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £27.

 

Bath v Exeter – Gallagher Premiership – 15:00 – March 26

With the Six Nations now behind us, the focus of the Rugby Union calendar once again switches back to the domestic scene, and there’s still plenty to play for during the last four rounds of the Premiership season.

Round 21 will culminate with the showdown at the Recreation Ground, where bottom club Bath host sixth placed Exeter Chiefs.

The Chiefs may have thought the possibility of reaching the play-offs was beyond them following a 35-3 defeat to Saracens on New Years’ Eve, but they have since gone on to pick up four wins from their last five Premiership outings. This has left them just five points off fourth placed Northampton and firmly within touching distance of a play-off spot. Their 24-20 extra-time victory over London Irish in the final of the Premiership Cup last weekend was their first piece of silverware in three years, and a strong indicator that things are starting to fall in to place for the two time Premiership champions.

Bath, on the other hand, have had a torrid time of it this season. A run of just one win in their last fifteen has pretty much ended their involvement in all competitions. They lost all four games in their Premiership Cup pool, they failed to progress to the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup, and they would effectively need to win all of their remaining Premiership matches in order to stand any chance of playing in the European Champions Cup next season. Their only victory during this period came in the Premiership against Newcastle Falcons on New Years’ Eve, a team who enter this weekend tied on points with Bath at the foot of the table.

Given that Exeter still have a lot to play for, I fully expect them to put on a solid display against Bath on Sunday. Their final three fixtures are against teams who are also vying for a top four finish, and it almost feels like they need to ensure a comprehensive victory against the bottom side in the league.

Exeter have won seventeen of the last eighteen encounters between the two teams and I would be expecting them to win this one by a fairly comfortable margin as a result.

Traders’ Tip: Exeter -5.5 @ 9/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £19.

 

A £10 5-Fold on the above selections could return £655

 

*Odds correct at the time of publishing. Available to UK residents (excluding Northern Ireland) aged 18+ only. T&Cs apply. www.begambleaware.org
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