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There is something for everyone on Saturday, where Group 1 racing on the Flat at Doncaster is complimented by day two of the Showcase Meeting at Cheltenham.
Nick Luck has studied both cards and settled on seven selections.
ALLMANKIND is a confident, if unimaginative, choice to win the Cheltenham’s opener (2:05) at 7/4. A very smart juvenile last year, he would have won nine out of ten Triumph Hurdles, but came up short having tried vainly to match strides with the freakish Goshen. What I liked, though, was that he kept going when he would have been forgiven for capitulating. Earlier form gives him the beating of Botox Has and Nordano, though the latter improved significantly thereafter and can give him most to think about.
SOUTHFIELD STONE (2:40) has looked a bit of a work in progress the last couple of years even though some of his form has been excellent, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul Nicholls squeezed a few more drops out of him to be amongst the better novice chasers. He certainly seems much more effective on top of the ground, has had a wind operation, and, at 7/4, can make the most of his chasing experience against Pileon, whose stable hasn’t really got rolling yet, and Not That Fuisse, who is a tricky customer.
GOODBYE DANCER is a seriously risky proposition in the Pertemps Qualifier (3:15), but he is down to roughly the same mark from which he was successful at this track last season. He would probably have won a better race here next time but for falling at the last, after which his form fell apart. He has had a little break since his two inauspicious runs in the summer, but definitely showed a glimmer in the first of them to suggest he wasn’t a lost cause just yet. A strong pace on good ground should suit and 18/1 is a big price.
COBRA DE MAI has a similar profile in the feature race (3.50), but delve a bit deeper into his form figures and you’ll see he actually ran pretty well on a number of occasions last season (notably at Doncaster and here at the Festival) despite never having his ground. The last time he ran at Cheltenham on a decent surface, he bolted up off a higher mark than todays. He should at least be fitter for his recent spin round Fontwell, and he looks a sporting alternative to the obvious at 11/1.
HELMONT has been asked a stiff question against some more seasoned juveniles in the Listed race (1:45) at Doncaster, but he did exceptionally well to win on his debut at Haydock considering he was slowly away and endured trouble in running. The second and third (who already had a well-earned rating in the 90’s) have both won well since and he looks well worth a try in this grade at 11/2.
CAME FROM THE DARK (2:20) can continue the unbelievable run of the Ed Walker stable in a race that the trainer has done well in before at 4/1. The son of Dark Angel is high enough in the weights now but will appreciate a return to five furlongs after a disappointing run at York. Prior to that, he looked as though he was still getting better and he won’t mind a bit of cut in the ground.
MEGALLAN can redeem himself when it matters most – in the Vertem Futurity (2:55). He has frankly been infuriating since his sparkling debut, but he would have got pretty close to One Ruler at Newmarket but for a shocking trip through the race. Frankie Dettori was very considerate when he knew the race was gone, and the notable time of that race suggests that – at four times the price of the winner – he is worth a bet at 17/2.
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William Hill ambassadors Robbie Savage and Emma Jones go head-to-head in this week’s Free or 4: Winner Stays On after the former’s success last time out – but who will come out on top?
Free or 4 is our new free-to-play game in which players simply need to pick six games that will have either three or four goals in them. Choose from Saturday 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two or Scottish Premiership for a chance to win up to £200 in free bets! Five out of six correct picks can earn you a £5 bet, with four out of six winning you a £1 bet.
To celebrate the launch of our new easy-to-enter game, Free or 4: Winner Stays On will pit two participants against each other each week, with the one correctly predicting the most three- or four-goal games staying on to take part in the following week’s challenge against a new contestant.
After Robbie Savage’s defeat of Matchroom Sport’s Eddie Hearn in the opening round last week, next up for Robbie is Emma Jones – so read on to discover their predictions and why they’ve gone for them.
First up, Robbie has opted for a game from the Championship, selecting Bristol City vs Swansea given the two sides have already scored a combined total of 17 goals in the league this season.
Staying in the Championship, Robbie has gone for Millwall vs Barnsley, with four of the last seven meetings between the two sides having had three or four goals scored in them and two of Millwall’s last three games finishing up 2-1.
Robbie’s third pick is another Championship clash – this time it’s Coventry vs Blackburn, with his former side Blackburn the league’s top scorers so far this season with 12 goals to their name.
It’s Hull vs Peterborough in League One up next for Robbie as the two sides have already notched a combined total of 21 goals in the league this season.
Completing his League One picks is Lincoln vs Ipswich. Their last three meetings at Sincil Bank have witnessed 10 goals, while Lincoln’s Jorge Grant and Ipswich’s Gwion Edwards have both had a hand in seven goals in seven league games this season with five goals and two assists each.
As for his last pick, Robbie has chosen League Two’s Cambridge vs Bolton. Cambridge sit top of the table with a league-high 18 goals scored, while the last five meetings between these two sides have had three or four goals scored in them.
First up for Emma is QPR vs Birmingham in the Championship – a fixture in which the last three league meetings at Loftus Road have seen a combined 15 goals scored.
Staying in the Championship, Emma has gone for Millwall vs Barnsley, with four of the last seven meetings between the two sides having had three or four goals scored in them and two of Millwall’s last three games having also ended 2-1.
For Emma’s third selection she has gone for Burton vs Wimbledon in League One. Burton sit bottom of the table and have conceded a league-high 15 goals this season, while Wimbledon’s Joe Pigott has had a hand in seven goals in seven league games this term.
Up next, it’s Northampton vs Charlton, with the home side’s last two games on the bounce having finished 2-1 and five of the sides’ last eight meetings seen three or four goals scored in them.
In League Two, Emma has selected Tranmere vs Southend given that four of their last eight meetings at Prenton Park have also had three or four goals in them. Southend also sit bottom and have League Two’s worst defence this season, letting in 16 goals.
Rounding off Emma’s picks is Cambridge vs Bolton. Cambridge sit top of the table with a league high 18 goals scored, while their forward Paul Mullin is the division’s top scorer with 10 goals in seven matches.
It’s Emma Jones v Robbie Savage in Free or 4!
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The Premier League action continues thick and fast as we enter the sixth matchweek of the season.
The goals keep coming in the top flight, and there’s a few big matches this weekend to look forward to. Here we preview the best of the weekend’s Premier League games below.
Saturday’s clash between Man Utd and Chelsea is the pick of the Premier League’s fixtures this weekend, as both sides bid to build form and momentum after indifferent starts to the campaign.
You have to look back as far as 2017 when Chelsea last defeated the Red Devils in the top flight, and the United boss has prevailed twice in both meetings between these managers in their current posts, so Frank Lampard will be out to prove a point.
United come into this one hot off the back of an impressive 2-1 win away to PSG in the Champions League, where a Marcus Rashford wonder strike helped take all three points back to Manchester. Chelsea, meanwhile, were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Sevilla as their form continues to stutter. The Red Devils are slight favourites at 7/5, with Chelsea priced at 9/5 and the draw available at 13/5.
Rashford has been in excellent form in the last few games, after setting up two goals in the 4-1 win at Newcastle, and his midweek strike at Parc des Princes will do his confidence no harm. The English striker is 11/2 to score first on Saturday.
After a slow start to the season, it looks like Man City have got the bit between their teeth again after wins against Arsenal in the Premier League and Porto in the midweek Champions League fixture. They now have Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte back in contention for the away trip to West Ham this Saturday.
West Ham are determined to improve upon last season’s form. An away win at Leicester was followed up with a remarkable comeback at Spurs last time out as they came from 3-0 down to claim a 3-3 draw in dramatic circumstances. However, their record against City recently has left a lot to be desired. They have lost their last eight in the teams’ head-to-head fixtures in the Premier League.
While the Hammers look a better unit this season so far, City will know that they have an opportunity to exert their dominance at a time when Liverpool are starting to look slightly fragile. Pep Guardiola’s side are 2/5 to take all three points, while David Moyes men can be backed at 13/2. A draw is 4/1.
The Citizens have scored 17 in their last four at the London Stadium, and they are 11/5 -2 goals heading into this one.
It’s early days in the race for the top four in the Premier League, but as Leicester head to Arsenal in fourth place ahead of the Gunners on goal difference, this has the feeling of an early clash for a Champions League spot already.
Leicester were pipped to a spot in Europe’s elite competition last season and both teams have settled for Europa League spots, but they’ll be determined to leave their mark on the Premier League this term, having both started well so far.
It should be an interesting tactical battle between Mikel Arteta and Brendan Rodgers, and the Gunners are more fancied to take the three points at 19/20. The Foxes are 29/10, with the draw 13/5.
Judging by both teams’ performances this season, both sides to score is well priced at 4/6.
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Week seven of the NFL season is upon us and just three unbeaten teams remain. One of these will lose their unbeaten record this weekend, while the play-off race continues to heat up.
With plenty of storylines and some intriguing divisional match-ups to look forward to, we preview the best bets from the upcoming NFL weekend, alongside our ambassador Jason Bell.
Unbeaten Tennessee Titans take on unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers in the week seven thriller on Sunday. The Titans have continued where they left off the back of last season as Derrick Henry continues to run other teams into the ground through his monster displays, while Ryan Tannehill’s career renaissance continues to impress.
The Steelers, after an off year with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured, are well and truly back as they lead a competitive AFC North with a perfect 5-0 record and a stingy defence that’s given up the least points of any side in the NFL this season.
The Titans are small favourites at 5/6 with home advantage, with the Steelers at Evens. It should be a thrilling match-up, as well as a tactical battle between coaches Mike Vrabel and Mike Tomlin, but there may not be the points everyone hopes for. With the over/under sitting at 50.5 points and two good defences on show, taking the under here might be the play at 20/21.
The NFC West has a real claim to be the best division in American football at the moment, with last year’s NFC champions San Francisco 49ers sitting in last place with a .500 record. The 5-0 Seattle Seahawks travel to Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in this divisional rivalry looking to keep their perfect season alive.
The hosts, driven by a dynamic partnership between Kyler Murray and star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, are 8/5 for the win, while Russell Wilson’s Seattle side are 5/9 to continue their stellar season success.
With the Seahawks explosive offense, this could quickly get away from second-year QB Murray, with Seattle 13/10 to win by seven or more.
An AFC West match-up features on the Sunday late slate, as the 5-1 Kansas City Chiefs face a Denver Broncos side that have recently welcomed back their starting quarterback.
While the Broncos have had an unremarkable start to the season, a gritty win over the New England Patriots last time out has them slowly creeping into the play-off picture. Two losses this season have been by less than a score, against both the Titans and the Steelers, so the team is definitely better than their record.
However, Kansas City are one of the toughest teams to face in the NFL right now, and are worthy 2/9 favourites. Denver, despite being hosts, are just 37/10 to get the win at Mile High. However, this Denver side haven’t rolled over at any point this year, and the handicap of 9.5 is high for a home game, so the Broncos are an attractive option on a +9.5 handicap at 10/11.
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