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Showing posts from September, 2015

Underwood Stakes preview

The momentum is building towards the heights of spring, and the Underwood Stakes really means the good Cup horses should be well on their way in their prep. Taking the reins with the preview are the shrewd analysts from Premium Racing Services. You can find out more about their services via their site or by following @PremiumRacingS -------------------------------- Underwood Stakes G1 WFA 1800 METRES 1605 local, 0705 BST $400,000 Interesting Historical Factors INTO THE RACE: - No mare has won since 1985 (and was run at 2000m back then). No mares running this year. - 3/4 winners been 2nd up after resuming in a 1400m G1 three weeks earlier. Foreteller last year broke that hat-trick being third up. OUT OF THE RACE: - 6/30 Melbourne Cup winner participated in this race, with last one being Viewed (2008). - 13/30 Caulfield Cup winners participated in the race, with the last one also being Viewed (2009). PRS Speed Map There is no doubt who the leader will be, with

AFL Preliminary Finals preview

It's all going nuts in Perth as both teams advancing into the 2015 AFL Grand Final will be decided in WA. If you're not familiar with life in the isolated state, take a look at this slightly tongue-in-cheek guide to Perth from the master of satire, Titus O'Reily . As always, it's over to the smart blokes at @AFLRatings for their previews of the world's finest code of football. --------------------------- AFL Prelim Finals preview from , @AFLRatings Not since 2006 has a team advanced to an AFL Grand Final without having a week off going in to a Preliminary Final, Hawthorn & Nth Melbourne are looking to break that streak this weekend. Additionally, no team has made a Preliminary Final from 8th position on the AFL Ladder let alone made a Grand Final under the current Finals system introduced back in 2000. Finally, no Preliminary Final winner in the last two years had defeated their opponent during the H&A Season. All that said; get r

Juvenile Transition Horses To Follow 2016

Not the usual type of article for the blog but one I'm more than happy to post. As the Flat season winds down for this year, regular contributor Darren Goodbody, @DarrenPGoodbody is looking ahead to the three year old campaigns of these promising juveniles. Put them in your horse trackers now, and remember where they came from! -------------------------- Juvenile Transition Horses To Follow 2016 LUMIERE : Shamardal – Screen Star (Tobougg) A very exciting filly from Mark Johnston’s Middleham set up. The daughter of Dewhurst Stakes winning juvenile sire Shamardal was very smart on her debut when hacking up by six lengths at Newbury when beating Listed Julia Graves Rose Stakes winner Shadow Hunter. The maiden is working out well at present with the runner up Sharja Queen winning comfortably next time out. Her Group 2 Lowther Stakes run saw her still on the baby side when pulling too hard in the early stages of the race which made her come off a true line in the closing stag

Football Form Labs weekend preview

If you're betting on sport, you need the right data. With so much information bandied around in the press and social media these days, how much of it is actually useful? How do you filter out the noise? How do you quantify the absence of a key player? How does the absence of a striker, a midfielder or a centre-back translate to goals and results? Put some stats behind your gut instincts and work out when to lump on and when to steer clear of a sucker bet. One of the very best in the business is Football Form Labs who have shared their wisdom with a preview of some of this week's action. You can also follow Football Form Labs on Twitter, @footballformlab There's always a deal going, so click Football Form Labs to give them a try now! -------------------------- Premier League Week 6 Chelsea v Arsenal, Sat 12:45 Chelsea were about 1.70 for this fixture last season but are 2.40 this time around. Have they really got that much worse or are Arsenal that much better? T

AFL Finals week 2 preview

Just five matches left for AFL season 2015. It's over to @AFLRatings for the detailed analysis. ------------------------- AFL Finals week 2 courtesy of , @AFLratings Only four teams have gone out in straight sets under the current AFL Finals system introduced in 2000, two of those teams were eliminated in the same year just 12 months ago. Can the Hawks & Swans rebound with a win to stay alive? Hawthorn 3rd v Adelaide 6th Venue: MCG, Melbourne 2015 Head to Head record: Hawthorn 1-0 Adelaide 0-1 Weather Forecast: Shower or two clearing, Min 10 Max 15 The Hawks put in their worst performance for the year last week against West Coast in Perth, the hard road ahead will not be easy if they are to succeed in winning their third consecutive Premiership. The Crows were fantastic in what was arguably the game of the year in defeating the Bulldogs at the MCG, Adelaide return to Melbourne this week but the same open style footy may not be available against

NFL Player Props market preview

With so much data and so much competition for betting on the NFL, there is far more than just the team trophies to bet on. Player markets offer plenty of opportunity to find a juicy bit of value. Over to Ian Steven, @deevo82 , for his analysis of the player markets. ---------------------------- Defensive Rookie of the Year If you study the previous winners of this award – two things stick out. 1) It is either a defensive lineman or a linebacker than wins the award. 2) Each player who has won the award going back into the 90s has had a very long and productive career – they are basically a stud and not a one game, one season wonder. You can’t say the same with the offensive award. Some names that jump out are Charles Woodson, Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Patrick Willis, Brian Cushing, Ndamukong Suh, Von Miller and Luke Keuchly. Two of the favourites are Stephone Anthony and Eric Kendricks , both inside linebackers. Both players are scheduled to start for t

NFC West

Completing the set of divisional previews from the astute, resolute and not so hirsute Ian Steven, @deevo82 . Catch the rest of his previews via the previous posts list down the bottom right of the page... -------------------------- NFC West Seattle Seahawks After the amount of work put into the draft, offseason workouts, free agency, mini camps, training camps, pre-season, a 16 game regular season and the playoffs, it all came down to one play in Super Bowl.49. One play between despair and back-to-back titles. The Seahawks chose despair. Marshawn Lynch is the most physical running back in the league and was the odds-on favourite to bull his way over the goal line to gift Pete Carroll’s men the Lombardi Trophy. The Seahawks outthought themselves, elected to call a slant to Ricardo Lockette. Darius Butler read the route and the rest is history. Russell Wilson picked off at the one yard line. The Seahawks have had seven months to stew in their own juices. It will be interestin

NFC South preview

Just hours away now from the first Sunday of the season and we're just about done with the divisional previews. The penultimate one is for the NFC South, and naturally, it's from Ian Steven, @deevo82 , again. ------------------------ NFC South New Orleans Saints This was the division that nobody wanted to win in 2014. The Carolina Panthers eventually ended up as the champions with a 7-8-1 record. The New Orleans Saints were just behind with a 7-9 record. I had felt that the Saints were the favourites for that division in 2014 but a very porous defence proved to be their undoing. It looked like defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was for the chopping block after his defence were ranked the second worst in the NFL, with only the Atlanta Falcons with a worse record. Ryan comes back for another year as coordinator. Junior Galette was jettisoned after multiple run-ins with law-enforcement. Veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams was a free agent signing from Seattle and shoul

Makybe Diva Stakes preview

I call it the day the Melbourne spring starts getting serious. Back to headquarters, group racing galore and some sensational horse flesh in action. Previewing the headline race of the day, the Makybe Diva Stakes, it's the team from Premium Racing Services , @ PremiumRacingS . ---------------- Makybe Diva Stakes Group 1, 1600m $400,000 1605 local, 0705 BST Interesting Historical Factors INTO THE RACE: - 15/22 winners were second up. 2/10 1st up. - 17/21 come from barrier 6 or inside. - 3/15 favourites won. OUT OF THE RACE: - 2/15 winners gone on to win another race in spring. They were Northerly & Weekend Hussler, both champions. - 0/10 winners gone on to win either the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate or Melbourne Cup. PRS Speed Map As the speed maps shows there looks to be a lack of speed on paper with Entirely Platinum, who led the Memsie Stakes field, to likely cross and take up the running again. Then expect Magicool to go back to his on pace pattern and par

NFC East preview

The season kicked off last night, at least in the AFC, but there's still plenty of time to get involved before they kick off in the NFC. Once again, it's over to the astute, resolute but not so hirsute, Ian Steven, @deevo82 . ------------------------ NFC East Dallas Cowboys There was one very simple reason why the Cowboys conquered the NFC East last season – their offensive line. Left tackle Tyron Smith is arguable the best blind side bodyguard in the game whilst center Travis Frederick and right guard Zack Martin are two very inspired recent draft picks by the organisation who decided to focus on the fundamentals of building an offense when everyone thought Jerry Jones would splash out with customary flair on Johnny Manziel. As a result, running back DeMarco Murray was able to bull his way to 1,845 yards on 392 carries – both league highs last season. Murray has escaped to the rival Philadelphia Eagles leaving the Dallas backfield somewhat weaker. Darren McFad

NRL Finals preview

September means finals in both Aussie winter codes, and esteemed NRL analyst Chris Ryan, @imdabomb82 , returns to the blog with his assessment of the premiership contenders. ------------------------- NRL Finals Preview With 26 rounds done and dusted, we’re lucky enough to not have to watch Beau Falloon captain a first grade side, Mitchell Moses attempt to play football or anything starting with a Jono and ending in a Wright for another six months. On the plus side…it’s finals time! Now as per usual plenty of experts will talk it up as the ‘most open comp we’ve seen in years’, and ‘anyone can win it’, which for the most part is dribble. There is a clear pecking order, so let’s go through them and assess their chances relative to the market. Sydney Roosters – Juggernaut anyone? Come in riding a 12 game winning streak, none of which is through luck, throwing in a couple of their best performances in the last two rounds. For three straight years they have been one of the most in

AFL Finals preview - week 1

Finals time!! After the farce of Round 23, now it gets serious! As always, it's time to call upon the expertise of astute analysts at @AFLRatings . --------------------------- AFL Finals Week 1 preview, from , @aflratings Now the real AFL season starts, we are playing for keeps now with the Finals beginning this weekend. Two teams go home this weekend and two teams advance to a Preliminary Final, the last Top 4 team to miss out on a Grand Final berth after winning in week 1 of the AFL Finals was Adelaide back in 2006. It's going to be brutal! West Coast 2nd v Hawthorn 3rd Venue: Domain Stadium, Perth 2015 Head to Head record: West Coast 0-1 Hawthorn 1-0 Weather Forecast: Rain, 11 Deg The poor weather outlook is likely to make this a low scoring game, West Coast & Hawthorn are the Top 2 scoring teams in the AFL this year and both are ranked in the Top 4 defensively with the Hawks at No.1. These teams are evenly matched as represented in the b

AFC West preview

We head west for the last of Ian Steven's divisional previews for the AFC. Follow the astute analyst of the pigskin via @deevo82 . ------------------- AFC West Denver Broncos Could this be the swansong for Peyton Manning? The old gunslinger about to walk into the sunset as his time is drawing nigh.The Bronco’s on-field general has turned 39 and it seems that the effects of Father Time have caught up with the quarterback. Having already endured a lot of speculation about the power of his grip after extensive neck surgery, the Tennessee grad suffered a thigh injury in 2014 that left him badly hobbled, with the laser-like accuracy of his passing dropping off noticeably towards the end of the season. Manning needs to be protected and left untouched during the game if the Broncos are to have a productive season, and that is a task made all the more difficult with All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady suffering an ACL tear, ruling him out of the 2015 season. Second round pick Ty Sambrai

AFC South preview

Only a couple more days until the NFL season fires up for season 2015/16. Next up in his series of divisional previews, it's the AFC South, from the sharp mind of Ian Steven, @deevo82 . --------------------- AFC South Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and John Elway are always in the conversation for the greatest of all time but do we now add Andrew Luck to that list? He is only in the infancy of his career in relative terms for the quarterback but already the Indianapolis Colts' signal caller is displaying the superb traits that saw him drafted first overall by the Colts out of Stanford after having a stellar college career. Luck has progressed consistently every season as have Indianapolis, failing spectacularly at the championship game stage last season against the New England Patriots 45-7, the game which instigated the Deflategate scandal. The team from Indiana have tried to address their failings in the off-season, providing Luck with the weapons he n