Sports betting

Weekend Review: Honours even between layers and punters as Premier League makes dramatic return

Manchester United’s defeat and Chelsea’s narrow victory provide positive results for the bookies despite routine wins for Liverpool and Manchester City

Layers and bettors could barely be separated on the return of Premier League following the latest international break as both sides saw several results go their way.

Bookies celebrated as Leicester City (13/5) blitzed their way to a 4-2 victory over Manchester United (19/20), with goals from Youri Tielemans, Çağlar Söyüncü, Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka heaping further pressure on United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Chelsea (3/5) had goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to thank for their 1-0 win over London rivals Brentford (19/4) after the Senegalese international pulled off a string of outstanding saves to deny Brentford at home.

Despite the win for Thomas Tuchel’s men, the low scoreline and an unlikely scorer in Ben Chilwell benefitted the bookies.

Elsewhere, Wolves (3/1) moved into the top half of the table after a 3-2 win over rivals Aston Villa (1/1) courtesy of a last-minute winner from Rúben Neves.

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said: “We just about came out of the weekend ahead on the Premier League, although it could perhaps best be described as a draw.

“Manchester United losing to Leicester was obviously a good result in our favour, and knocked a few accas out, but punters were a bit cautious on that one with United far from flying at the minute.

“Chelsea only putting one past Brentford was another one which we managed a nice margin on as players expected a rout from the high-flying Blues,” he added.

However, wins for the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs against lesser opposition meant the punters were able to claw their way back against the bookies.

Liverpool (3/10) breezed past Watford (8/1) 5-0 thanks the supreme talents of Mo Salah, while City (3/21) ran out 2-0 winners over Burnley (18/5).

Meanwhile, Spurs (21/20) spoilt the Saudi Arabian welcome party at Newcastle (5/2) after securing a 3-2 win amid an electric atmosphere at St James’ Park.

Betfred’s Alan Firkins said: “[There was] not much joy for us on the returning Premier League football fields at weekend.

“United helped of course, getting chinned at Leicester, but Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, West Ham and Spurs were all very heavily supported.

“How Chelsea hung on to win at brave, brilliant Brentford is anyone’s guess, but wasn’t goalkeeper Mendy fantastic?” he added.

Gill added: “On the other hand, Spurs and Liverpool wins over Newcastle and Watford respectively left us well in the red and book ended the weekend with some very player-friendly results.”

Elsewhere, in horseracing, the final day of the flat season in the shape of Champions Day at Ascot was a pleasurable one for the bookies, with plenty of favourites beaten and only one major race going the way of the punter.

Sealiway caused a shock to land the Champion Stakes at odds of 12/1, while the impressive-looking Baaeed (2/1 second favourite) ridden by Jim Crowley took the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes to extend the horse’s unbeaten record to six races.

Baaeed was one leg of a 229/1-winning treble Crowley rode at Ascot on Saturday as the curtain came down on the flat season.

Meanwhile, Oisin Murphy claimed his third consecutive jockey’s title – the first time anyone has won three in a row – after going into the final day with an advantage of three wins (153-150) over nearest rival William Buick.

Gill said: “At Champions Day on Saturday, the final day of the flat season went the way of the layers. In the Champion Stakes, 12/1 Sealiway caused a bit of an upset beating some very well fancied and backed horses to leave us nicely ahead, on a day when all but one race went our way.

“Trueshan cementing his position as the new king of the long-distance division at evens the only race to leave us in the red,” he added.

Firkins echoed Gill’s sentiments on the impressive Trueshan, piloted by Hollie Doyle, retaining the Long Distance Crown but was happy with the overall state of play.

He said: “Thankfully the going was good to very good for British Champions Day at Ascot. Fred pushed Trueshan out to 2/1 on Saturday morning, and the gutsy stayer prevailed gamely at evens.

“But with all the other jollies beaten it was a cracking day overall for us in Berkshire,” he added.

William Hill’s Rupert Adams told EGR how racing helped save the bookie following a weekend of football misery.

He said: “Champions Day was a good day for the bookmakers with some strong favourites beaten. While the football was swings and roundabouts, the Villa result was a good one – Chelsea was not so good.”

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