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”

 

Scotland v Georgia – UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifying –19:45 – June 20 

Last week I said I couldn’t really imagine a scenario where Scotland would walk their way through a qualifying campaign. How wrong I was in making that assumption.

The Scots went to Norway on Saturday and secured a 2-1 victory, courtesy of two late strikes, to take a monumental step towards qualifying for next year’s tournament in Germany.

With victories over both Norway and Spain under their belt, Scotland are firmly in control over their own destiny. They currently sit five points above second-placed Georgia, six above third-placed Spain, and eight above their expected main challengers for a qualifying berth, Norway.

Tuesday night sees them welcome Georgia to Hampden Park, knowing that another victory will see them end the first half of their own campaign with maximum points, and an eight-point cushion at the top of Group A, regardless of the result in the evening’s other fixture between Norway and Cyprus.

Georgia will no doubt come to Glasgow with plenty of confidence, they haven’t lost any of their last 10 competitive matches across all competitions, they topped their Nations League Group C4 to qualify for the second tier of the competition for the 2024/25 edition, and have also picked up victories against both Sweden and Bosnia & Herzegovina, but Scotland have steadily turned themselves into one of the better European nations.

With five wins from their last five at home and a growing sense of belief amongst the camp, I have to side with Scotland winning this encounter relatively comfortably and taking another huge stride towards qualifying for a second successive European Championship Finals in the process.

Traders’ Tip: Scotland -1.5 @ 7/5. A £10 bet at these odds could return £24.

England Women v Australia Women – Only Ashes Test – 11:00 – June 22  

Thursday sees the beginning of the Women’s Ashes between England and Australia, with Nottingham’s Trent Bridge hosting the only Test of this year’s seven-match series.

The Women’s Ashes has a slightly different format to the Men’s event, with both Tests and limited overs matches contributing towards the result of the series as a whole, but with Tests worth four points, compared to the two points on offer from the other forms, it gives the five day match a lot more weighting towards the outcome of the series as a whole.

Australia have left the previous four series with the trophy, and they’ll be hoping to continue their dominance at the top of the Women’s game during the next four weeks.

Previous results in Tests between the two countries would suggest that a draw would be the most likely outcome, with each of the last three Ashes Test encounters between the two finishing in a stalemate. Still, this year will see the first-ever five-day Test match between the two countries, which should hopefully lead to a definitive result by the close of play on Monday.

England do have the home advantage here, and they possess plenty of experience with the established core of captain Heather Knight, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Danni Wyatt, Tammy Beaumont and Sophie Ecclestone, but the almost Australian team have one of the most fearsome top-order line-ups with Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Ash Gardner & Ellyse Perry all being capable of scoring heavily and quickly taking the game away from any side they face.

It’s going to take a few massive moments if England want to begin the series with a victory, but I struggle to see how they are going to restrict the Aussies to any sort of modest total. It’s only going to take one solid stand between two of their fearsome batters to take the game away from the hosts, and I can’t see much other than a routine Australian victory in this one.

Traders’ Tip: Australia To Win @ 7/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £17.

Czech Republic U21s v England U21s –UEFA U21 Euro 2023 – 17:00 – June 22 

With senior men’s football concluding on Tuesday, the International focus for the next few weeks will no doubt switch to the UEFA Under-21 European Championships in Romania and Georgia which begins on Wednesday evening.

England’s Under-21 side have suffered group-stage exits in five of their last six competitions, including the last two, and they will begin their campaign on Friday against the Czech Republic.

England will enter the tournament with a team that boasts already-established Premier League experience, with Nottingham Forest’s Morgan Gibbs-White, Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon, and Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe all looking to lead the forward line, alongside the Liverpool midfield duo of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott. Expectations for them to perform well will be high as a result, especially after they breezed through a qualifying group with eight wins from ten matches.

Two of those group stage wins came against their opponents on Thursday, with Smith-Rowe scoring in both home and away fixtures against the Czech’s during the qualifying campaign, so it’s easy to understand why many view England as relatively strong favourites to pick up three points once again.

However, Czech Republic do possess well-established players in their own line-up too. Goalkeeper Matej Kovar and midfielders Adam Karabec and Krystof Danek all featured prominently for Sparta Prague during their Czech First League winning 2022/23 season, and the squad will no doubt be determined to rectify the two defeats they have suffered at the hands of England over the past couple of years.

Alongside a friendly defeat to Japan a couple of weeks ago, England have also suffered a massive blow in the build-up to this campaign. Their top scorer during the qualifying phase, Folarin Balogun, switched his International allegiance to the United States last month, and will not be featuring for the young Three Lions as a result.

With the loss of one of their most influential players and a less-than-ideal build-up to the tournament, it’s difficult to justify taking England to get their campaign underway with a victory. There’s every chance the undisturbed Czech side could get a result from the Group C opener, so taking them to spring a slight upset definitely looks to be the value selection.

Traders’ Tip: Czech Republic U21s To Win @ 18/5. A £10 bet at these odds could return £46.

Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles – NRL – 10:35 – June 24 

The Australian NRL season is heading towards the last 10 weeks of the regular season with plenty of teams still in with a decent chance of finishing inside the top 8 and making it to the end-of-season finals series.

Two teams who will be hoping to feature in the knockout stages in September are the third-placed Melbourne Storm and twelfth-placed Manly Sea Eagles, who face off at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Saturday.

The hosts started June with a 45-20 loss away to the North Queensland Cowboys, but have since returned to form with convincing back-to-back wins against the fifth-placed Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and bottom club Wests Tigers.

The standout performer for the Storm in last week’s 28-6 victory away to the Tigers was winger Will Warbrick, who managed to bag four tries in the rout, and the 25-year-old Kiwi will be hoping for another inspired performance this weekend.

The Sea Eagles will not be panicking about their position yet, with just a point separating them from the play-off spots, but their 34-4 defeat away to the eighth-placed Parramatta Eels last weekend has put a bit of a dent in their hopes for the season following a forty point victory over the tenth placed Dolphins a week earlier.

Melbourne have been more than solid at home up to this point, picking up five wins from six at the Rectangular Stadium, including a 24-16 victory over leaders Brisbane Broncos last month. The Sea Eagles have shown they have the capability of producing solid displays on the road, especially with their 42-14 win against the Canberra Raiders, but most of their performances outside of Sydney have seen them leave empty-handed.

The Storm should have more than enough to emerge as comfortable winners on Saturday, and I would expect them to cover a two-score margin with relative ease as a result.

Traders’ Tip: Melbourne Storm -10.5 @ 5/4. A £10 bet at these odds could return £22.50.

Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders – NRL – 09:15 – June 25 

The final action in the NRL this weekend comes on Sunday at the Sydney Football Stadium, where the 11th-placed Roosters face the 7th-placed Canberra Raiders.

The home side started the season off strongly with three wins from their opening four fixtures. However, recent form has seen them stagnate slightly, winning just two of their last six fixtures, both by narrow margins against struggling Canterbury Bulldogs and Newcastle Knights sides. Their home record of five wins from seven has been the redeeming factor of a very turbulent season, but they’ll have to rely on this advantage once again if they want to get the better of the Raiders on Sunday.

Canberra, in contrast, had a weak start to the season, winning just one of their opening five matches, but they have since gone on to emerge victorious in seven of their last nine outings, starting with a victory over the Broncos back in April. Their two defeats during this period have both come at home, meaning they enter this fixture having won each of their last four games on the road.

With the Dolphins struggling for form, and the Raiders seemingly finding their own feet at the right time, it’s hard for me not to be drawn in by the odds against on offer for the visitors. Granted they have laboured to narrow victories away to struggling Tigers and Bulldogs teams, but they also boast solid wins against two of the stronger NRL sides in the Rabbitohs and the Broncos. As a result, I have to take Canberra having just about enough to get over the line on Sunday.

 Traders’ Tip: Canberra Raiders To Win @ 13/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £23.

A £10 5-Fold on the above selections could return £971.24.

*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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