Sports betting

Weekend Review: Victories for Premier League big guns and Raducanu’s shock win stuns bookies 

British teenage tennis star’s incredible performance at US Open costs one layer “an absolute fortune”

Punters got the better of the bookies in an action-packed weekend of sporting action, including in the Premier League where a string of hotly fancied favourites bagged all three points.

In what was touted as the most illegally streamed Premier League match ever, Man United (2/11) ran out 4-1 winners at home to Newcastle United as club legend Cristiano Ronaldo marked his return to Old Trafford after 12 years by netting a brace.

Meanwhile, rivals Man City (3/5) beat Leicester City 1-0 and Arsenal (4/11) grabbed a much-needed victory by the same score at home to Norwich despite racking up 30 shots.

Liverpool (2/3) brushed aside Leeds United at Elland Road with a 3-0 win, while Wolves (6/5) took all three points away at Watford, and Brighton (17/10) edged past Brentford by a single goal.

However, plenty of acca-backers saw their bets sunk in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off as Crystal Palace (3/1) upset the odds with a 3-0 thumping of a 10-man Tottenham side at Selhurst Park following the sending off of Japhet Tanganga on 58 minutes.

Spurs, who had been even money beforehand after three wins in three games, could only muster a paltry xG of 0.10.

“The punters ran away with the PL this weekend as almost all the big boys won, bringing in singles and accas galore,” said Alistair Gil from Kindred Group.

“Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Leeds was our worst result of the round, but Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Villa wasn’t too far behind.”

Meanwhile, bet365’s Steve Freeth commented: “The big names turned up with Ronaldo, Lukaku and Salah all finding the net and we ended up just behind on the football front this weekend with some late goals and turnarounds in Europe.”

It was a similar story at Ladbrokes. Spokesman Alex Apati said: “Ronaldo was, of course, well-fancied to get at least a goal – the only helpful thing to come from that game was that United failed to keep a clean sheet.

“Arsenal, City, Chelsea and Liverpool all winning didn’t do us much favours but Spurs were a handy acca-buster early on Saturday.”

Away from the football and some 3,000 miles away at Flushing Meadows, the world of sport witnessed one of the most incredible achievements ever recorded and what was dubbed “The Fairytale of New York”.

Brit Emma Raducanu, who just three months ago was sitting her A-levels in maths and economics, stunned the tennis fraternity by winning the US Open without dropping a set and in the process picked up a cheque for a cool $2.5m.

The 18-year-old had to face three qualifying rounds, which meant she played a total of 10 matches on her way to a two-sets-to-nil victory in the final over fellow teenager and unlikely finalist Leylah Fernandez.

Like Fernandez, Raducanu has been available to back at tasty odds before the Grand Slam in Queens got underway, and once she began to brush aside her opponents, the patriotic and smart money arrived.

Indeed, Betfred reported that tennis’ breakout star was available to back at 100/1, while bet365 had her chalked up at 150/1.

She went off the 4/7 favourite for the final as nine million viewers tuned into Channel 4 on Saturday night to witness the first ever qualifier win a Grand Slam.

Apati said: “A great result for British grassroots tennis was an awful result for British bookmakers, as Raducanu was by far the most popular pick with punters to win the US Open. She’s already well-fancied for Wimbledon next year, unsurprisingly.”

Gil added: “On a global level, we managed some profit on the result as crowd favourite Fernandez was the punters pick, in the UK patriotic players got behind Emma and we ended up behind there.”

Unsurprisingly, Raducanu is now the red-hot favourite to be crowned Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) this December despite the sporting achievements at the Tokyo Olympics.

Freeth stated: “She was 50/1 for the BBC SPOTY award just over a week ago – she’s 1/14 now.”

Similarly, Firkins said: “A measure of the scale of her achievement is that she’s now 1/16 with us for SPOTY. Amazing stuff. Just amazing,”

He added: “Emma Raducanu cost us an absolute fortune, but what price history? One intrepid Betfred punter had a treble including imperious Leger winner Hurricane Lane, easy Donny scorer Title, and our new tennis superstar, netting over £15k. It was carnage.”

Pascal Lemesre, Smarkets PR Manager, said: “Raducanu’s rise this summer has been quite remarkable, but I’m sure some tuning in on Saturday night to watch might have expected a close, cagey final with big swings in the betting.

“In the end, Raducanu never traded longer than 1.94 (52%) on the Smarkets exchange after starting around the 1.55 mark in what was a gripping encounter where she never let the occasion get the better of her.

“Unsurprisingly, she’s as short as 1.1 (91%) to win Sports Personality of the Year, ahead of Tom Daley at 7%,” he added.

Smarkets’ in-play chart

In horseracing, bookies’ satchels were bulging yesterday as Snowfall, Love and Point Lonsdale all suffered defeats,

On Saturday, Hurricane Lane took the final Classic of the flat season with an impressive win in the St Leger at Doncaster.

Ridden by William Buick and trained by Charlie Appleby, Hurricane Fly landed the world’s oldest Classic at 8/11, powering ahead of Mojo Star and The Mediterranean.

And there was a similar eye-catching performance across the Irish Sea in a thrilling Irish Champion Stakes.

Gil added: “It was a similar story in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown as the more and more impressive St Mark’s Basilica stayed on strongest to win at 5/6 and leave punters happy and in the money.”

Football | Horseracing | Premier League | Sports betting | Tennis | US Open | Weekend Review