Sports betting

Weekend Review: Title challengers clipped as Harry Kane hits 267 not out for Spurs

Arsenal and Manchester City fluff their lines while Liverpool and Chelsea’s stuttering seasons continue in acca-busting weekend

Manchester City failed to capitalise on Arsenal’s defeat to a resurgent Everton after falling to a 1-0 loss against Spurs in a fantastic weekend for the bookies.

Saturday lunchtime saw Arsenal (4/9) travel to Merseyside to face Everton (13/2), now managed by Sean Dyche following the dismal Frank Lampard era.

The former Burnley boss had obviously got his message across despite only being in the hotseat for a week, as his new side walked away with their first win since October after James Tarkowski powered in a header to dampen the Gunners’ title hopes.

City (10/11) headed down to north London looking to close the gap to just two points on Sunday but once again crumbled in the face of Spurs (3/1).

Harry Kane made history after netting his 267th goal for the club, overtaking the late, great Jimmy Greaves as Spurs’ all-time top goalscorer and handing his side a 1-0 win to keep in touching distance of the Champions League spots.

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said: “An absolutely fantastic weekend in the Premier League, as the big teams fell over themselves not to win.

“Spurs win over City was our biggest turnover event of the weekend overall, and clearly a huge black number in the book, but it was Arsenal’s loss to struggling Everton, reinvigorated already by Sean Dyche, that topped the bottom-line results for the weekend,” he added.

Elsewhere, Liverpool’s calamitous season continued after being trounced 3-0 by Wolves (3/1) at Molineux thanks to an own goal, a debut strike from Craig Dawson and a cool finish from Ruben Neves.

And despite Todd Boehly breaking the bank in January, Chelsea (4/7) could only muster a 0-0 draw at home to west London rivals Fulham on Friday night, with the result an early acca buster.

Bet365’s Steve Freeth detailed the downfall off Jurgen Klopp’s side after three stunning seasons at Anfield.

Freeth said: “Arsenal and Manchester City were beaten in low-scoring games, and clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea, ‘go-to’ teams for punters over recent times, once again fell short.

“Liverpool used to be a trusty companion for punters, but with another three goals conceded on the road they might start to look elsewhere, especially with Mo Salah failing to have a shot on target for the fourth game in a row.

“Incredibly, the Reds are still 3/1 to finish in the top four with Brighton at 7/1 and Brentford at 66/1. With so many players underperforming and questions being asked of Jurgen Klopp, we’ve seen noticeable interest in Liverpool to finish in the bottom half at 25/1,” he added.

Continental football followed the same story as the Premier League, with Real Madrid falling to defeat at Mallorca while Real Sociedad lost 1-0 at home to Valladolid.

Freeth noted it was a “tough weekend for punters with good results thin on the ground”. Gill commented: “Things continued in the same vein in Europe as Real Madrid losing to Mallorca was another boost for the weekend results, with barely a winning acca in sight between the Premier League and Europe, with coupon busters around every corner.”

Elsewhere, in horseracing, blockbuster action from Leopardstown in the Dublin Racing Festival saw a swathe of shocks as the Cheltenham anticipation continues to grow.

In the Irish Champion Hurdle, 6/5 favourite State Man claimed victory after besting three-time winner of the race Honeysuckle, which is owned by former GVC boss Kenny Alexander. The victory means Willie Mullins-trained State Man is a best-priced 3/1 chance for the Champion Hurdle behind red-hot favourite Constitution Hill.

A shock in the Dublin Chase saw 15/2-shot Gentleman De Mee gave Mullins another victory at the festival as the seven-year-old beat heavy odd-on chance Blue Lord by seven lengths.

Meanwhile, Facile Vega could only manage fifth in the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle despite going off at 4/9.

Betfred’s Alan Firkins said: “Blue Lord and Facile Vega were sensationally turned over, while State Man further advertised his Champion Hurdle credentials – he is 11/4 for the big one, with Constitution Hill the overwhelming 2/7 fav.

“Galopin Des Champs remains on target for the Gold Cup after an authoritative win in the Irish version, and is a solid 13/8 shout for the meeting’s centrepiece event on 17 March.”

Gill commented: “The Irish Champion Hurdle went the way of the hugely impressive State Man, who eased ahead of Honeysuckle to win with relative ease.

“At 6/5 it wasn’t a disaster result, with Honeysuckle well backed at what looked a generous price, but in the end punters just got their noses ahead in that one.

“The Dublin Chase saw one of the shocks of the weekend, with Blue Lord beaten at 1/4, a result which obviously left us well ahead, as did Facile Vega’s blow up to trail home a disappointing fifth at 4/9,” he added.

Finally, looking ahead to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona, Firkins laid out the Philadelphia Eagles’ and Kansas City Chiefs’ chances with less than a week to go until the showpiece event.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will be hoping to replicate their 2020 win after going down 31-9 in the 2021 Super Bowl while the Eagles are aiming to take the Vince Lombardi Trophy home for the first time since winning in 2018.

Firkins said: “Super Bowl week begins with very little in it betting-wise. Money line odds are Eagles 4/5, Chiefs 21/20. Plenty of drama assured in the desert on Sunday night and it should be a classic.”

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