Sports betting

Weekend Review: Bookies take a battering as Premier League returns

Layers “brutally brought back down to Earth” after routine wins for five Premier League favourites

The World Cup is nothing but a fond and distant memory for bookmakers after the layers took a real battering on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.

Title challengers Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all won their first match of the new campaign as accumulators landed left, right and centre.

The football action this weekend was particularly painful for Kindred Group, both in England and abroad. Spokesperson Ali Gill said: “The return of the Premier League brutally brought us back down to earth after a layer-friendly World Cup.

“Without a shock in sight, nine of the 10 games left us behind the punters, with only Southampton’s 0-0 draw with Burnley going our way.

“In the Spanish Super Cup, Barca’s late winner finished in a six-figure swing, with an even later missed penalty compounding us to further football misery,” he added.

Bet365’s Steve Freeth admitted the “punters got off to a flyer” this season while Betway’s Alan Alger said the five-way accumulator, featuring the teams mentioned above, was “never in doubt”.

It was a similar story for BetVictor, where Charlie McCann added: “The Premier League returned on a great weekend for the football bettor, although it was Saturday’s late winner for Aston Villa which proved costly for ourselves with Steve Bruce’s side very popular.

“Sunday was one-way traffic with punters backing Liverpool and Man City and then suffering the inconvenience of having to wait a few hours to get paid. Those games also suggested the title is a two-horse race this season, as punters have been telling us for over a month.”

Away from the football, Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods provided some thrill-a-minute golf in the US PGA Championship.

Koepka, who led a resurgent Tiger Woods by two shots overnight, shot a four-under 66 to seal the win by two on 16 under par.

McCann added: “Nobody could watch the golf – the final major of the season – but Brooks Koepka was a decent result which is a surprise when you think he has now won three of the last seven golf majors.

“Runner up Tiger Woods would have been a horrendous result, but the signs are that Tiger is getting back to something like his best and he looks a shoe-in to be a wildcard pick for captain Jim Furyk’s Ryder Cup team in Paris next month.”

Kindred’s Gill said: “Brooks Koepka held off the challenge from the returning-to-his-best Tiger Woods to save us a red figure on the outright, and we just about squeezed some profit from an overall successful final major of the season.”

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