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”

 

Rangers v PSV Eindhoven – UEFA Champions League Qualifying – 20:00 – August 22

I will start this week’s article by giving plenty of praise to how well the Scottish clubs have performed during their respective European qualifying campaigns so far.

Rangers came through a tricky test against Swiss club Servette to book their spot in the final round of qualifying for this season’s Champions League group stages, whilst both Hibs and Hearts also managed to reach play-off round for the Europa Conference League group stages with two-legged victories over Luzern and Rosenborg respectively.

With Celtic automatically granted a group spot in the Champions League, and Aberdeen also receiving direct entry into the Europa League group stages, there’s a distinct possibility that the SPFL could have five clubs playing European group stage football over the next few months.

In order for Rangers to join their city rivals in draw for the Group stage at the end of this month, they will first need to overcome a two-legged encounter against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, with the first of those legs coming at Ibrox on Tuesday night.

After finishing second in the Eredivisie last season, PSV have so far enjoyed a perfect start to their 2023/24 campaign. They claimed the Dutch Super Cup with a 1-0 victory over Feyenoord at the start of August, they eased past Austrian outfit Sturm Graz 7-2 on aggregate in the last round of this competition, and they have also enjoyed successive wins from their first two Eredivisie matches.

Rangers began their own season with a 1-0 defeat away to Kilmarnock in the SPFL, but they have managed to pick up victories in three of their four outings since then, including a solid 4-0 success at home to Livingston just over a week ago.

Ibrox has proven to be a relative fortress for Rangers in recent times. They have lost just one domestic game at home since the start of the 2020/21 season, however, their three Champions League group games at home last season all ended in defeat. PSV will definitely prove to be another stern European opposition for the Gers, especially given their impressive start to the season, and it feels like this one could very well finish with honours even at the end of 90 minutes. 

Traders’ Tip: Draw @ 13/5. A £10 bet at these odds could return £36.

 

Essendon Bombers v Collingwood Magpies  – AFL – 10:50 – August 25 

The 2023 AFL season enters the final round of fixtures this weekend, with three teams in the hunt to claim the one remaining spot in the finals series.

Essendon are one of those teams still in contention, but they will enter the weekend very much the underdogs following a resounding defeat to the currently 8th placed Greater Western Sydney last weekend.

Having entered that fixture level on points with GWS, the Bombers knew that a victory would have put them in the driving seat for a place in the post season play-offs, but a 126 point defeat has instead left them in a position where they need to claim a resounding victory, and hope that GWS suffer a similarly comprehensive defeat when they play Carlton in the final regular season game on Sunday, if they want to have any chance of progression.

The task at hand already seems virtually impossible for the hosts, but it’s made all the more difficult when you consider that their opponents on Thursday are the league leaders Collingwood Magpies, who will have their own permutations in mind ahead of their trip to Melbourne.

The Magpies are already assured a place in the top four, effectively giving them two chances of qualifying for the preliminary finals, but victory over the Bombers will both secure them top spot on the regular season ladder, and also guarantee them of a home field advantage for their first match in the finals series.

With just five losses from their 22 games, the Magpies are unsurprisingly solid favourites to emerge victorious, however, with just three of those defeats coming in their last four matches, and one of those coming at the hands of an already eliminated Hawthorn, it feels like Collingwood are pretty much limping over the line.

Essendon know that it’s pretty much a certainty that their season will end this weekend, but I don’t feel like that will stop them from having a good go at the Magpies when the two sides meet. The Bombers will be eager to put their humiliation from last week firmly behind them, and they’ll want to give the fans at the MCG something to celebrate.

Both teams have had their fair share of close games this season, including Collingwood’s 13 point victory when the two teams met at the end of April, and it feels like this could be another relatively close encounter too. The Magpies should still have enough to just about get themselves over the line,  but I strongly believe the Bombers can keep it under a five score margin.

Traders’ Tip: Essendon Bombers + 30.5 @ 9/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £19.

Chelsea v Luton – Premier League – 20:00 – August 25

Just two weeks in to the Premier League season and a new manager at the helm, yet it still feels like there might be a sense of Déjà vu as far as Chelsea are concerned.

The Blues would have entered this campaign with a fair bit of optimism, having brought in a solid manager in Mauricio Pochettino, and seemingly strengthening all areas of their squad by spending over £300 million, yet their return of just one point from their opening two games has already left them playing catch up.

They arguably should have got more from their 3-1 derby defeat to West Ham on Sunday, but Chelsea definitely need to start finding results quickly, or else it could turn in to another season of mediocrity for a squad that should be performing far better given some of their hefty price tags.

This Friday night could be the perfect opportunity for them to pick up their first three points of the season, when they will welcome Premier League new boys Luton Town to Stamford Bridge.

The Hatters didn’t play this past weekend, due to their home ground of Kenilworth Road not quite being ready, but their opening day 4-1 defeat at Brighton suggests that they may struggle to cope with life in the top tier. Luton would have been delighted when Carlton Morris scored their first ever Premier League goal from the penalty spot, but given they managed less than 30% possession during their trip to the Amex Stadium, it feels like they could be in for another frustrating evening off the ball when they make the short trip to West London.

I honestly think this Chelsea team should be producing much more convincing displays on the field and, with the talent at their disposal, they should have more than enough to see off one of the favourites for the drop. However, their defensive fragility is a cause for concern, especially considering how lacklustre they looked during that defeat to West Ham at the weekend.

The number of times I favoured Chelsea to win last season, only to see them fail to impress, makes me feel very cautious about backing them, even at very short odds. Instead, taking both teams to find the scoresheet looks like it could be a decent selection as a result.

Traders’ Tip: Both Teams To Score – Yes @ 1/1. A £10 bet at these odds could return £20.

 

Oleksandr Usyk v Daniel Dubois – WBC, IBF & WBA Heavyweight Titles – 23:00 – August 26

This Saturday night sees Heavyweight boxing action main event proceedings at the Tarczysnski Arena in Poland, as the undefeated Ukranian champion Oleksandr Usyk faces London’s Daniel Dubois.

Usyk will be competing for the first time in over 12 months, following his controversial split decision victory over Anthony Joshua in Jeddah last August.

Many felt that Usyk should have won the fight unanimously, just like he had done when the two faced off almost a year prior, but regardless of the margin, it was a result that cemented Usyk’s position at the top of the Heavyweight division.

The betting suggests that Usyk shouldn’t really struggle in overcoming his mandatory challenger, however, Dubois has shown that he can be more than a match for the third best pound for pound boxer in the world, according to The Ring’s rankings.

Triple D has spent the last five years practically knocking people out for fun, with 18 victories inside the distance from 20 outings, Dubois has so far made a living off taking down his opponents quickly. However, this will be the first major challenge for Daniel, who has spent the majority of his short career so far fighting much lesser ranked opponents, and mainly on undercards.

There’s no denying that Dubois is a real threat to Usyk, he’s more than 10 years his junior, and he also has a couple of inches on the Ukrainian in terms of height, but it still feels like this should ultimately end with Oleksandr walking away with his belts still intact. We have some special markets available on site for this one, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Usyk receive an almighty scare by getting knocked down at some point in the contest.

Traders’ Tip: Usyk To Be Knocked Down @ 10/3. A £10 bet at these odds could return £43.33.

Newcastle United v Liverpool – Premier League – 16:30 – August 27

Arguably the game of the weekend in the Premier League this weekend comes at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon, where Newcastle will look to get back to winning ways against Liverpool.

The hosts were more than competitive in their 1-0 defeat at Manchester City last Saturday night, another sign that Eddie Howe’s team might possibly looking to aim even higher than their third placed finish in the Premier League last season.

Their only downfall against City was their lack of potency up front, but we saw from their 5-1 victory over Aston Villa on the opening weekend, a game in which they managed 13 shots on target, that there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about their attacking options when the Magpies playing at home.

Liverpool have also started off looking fairly solid, their opening draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was followed with a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth this past Saturday, with all three forwards, Salah, Jota and Diaz, managing to get themselves on the scoresheet, with new Hungarian signing Dominik Szoboszlai also looking threatening. However, they will have to take to the field in the absence of Argentine World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister, who was shown a straight red card during the second half of that victory over the Cherries.

Anyone who has watched the Premier League since its inception in 1992 will know that an encounter between these two always has the possibility of turning in to an all-time classic. The two 4-3 victories in favour of the Reds in both 1996 & 1997 frequently rank amongst the best Premier League matches over the course of its’ 30 year history, and this Sunday could definitely turn in to another memorable encounter.

Both teams definitely posses the attacking impetus to create plenty of chances, Liverpool alone have registered 39 shots across their opening two matches and, with neither team able to keep a clean sheet during the early stages of the season, it certainly feels like we could be in for plenty of goals this Sunday.

The odds seem to also suggest that we could be in for a fairly high scoring encounter, I agree with this belief, and I will be taking there to be at least five goals scored as a result.

Traders’ Tip: Over 4.5 Goals @ 5/2. A £10 bet at these odds could return £35.

A £10 5-Fold on the above selections could return £2074.80.

*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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