This week sees one of the biggest weeks for betting in the UK with bookmakers predicting that around £350 million will be wagered on the Cheltenham Festival alone. That combined with four more Champions League Round of 16 leg matches, plus the Europa League Round of 16 second leg ties taking place on Thursday mean that it is a bumper week for sports betting.
There’s lots of good betting to enjoy on Cheltenham as well as some great market value in the football too this week so there’s a lot to cram into this article, but I am going to begin by running through my tips for the first two days of Cheltenham, then I’ll also give you my tips for the big races on Thursday and Friday too, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but it is worth noting that the field for these races are not confirmed at the time of writing.
Then I’ll follow this with my tips for Tuesday and Wednesday night’s Champions League matches and also Thursday’s Europa League Round of 16 second legs, which will all be completed before the quarter final draw for both these competitions takes place in Switzerland on Friday morning.
So let’s begin with a quick run through of my tips for Cheltenham across the first two days:
Cheltenham Festival 2018
Tuesday 13th March – Champions Day
30pm – Supreme Novices Hurdle – Summerville Boy (9/1)
10pm – Racing Post Arkle Challenge – Footpad (5/6)
50pm – Baylis and Harding Luxury Handicap – Coo Star Sivola (5/1)
30pm – Stan James Champion Hurdle – Buveur D’Air (8/13)
10pm – Mares Hurdle – Apples Jade (8/13)
50pm – National Hunt Chase – Sizing Tennessee (8/1)
10pm – Pertemps Handicap Hurdle – The Mighty Don (14/1)
50pm – Ryanair Chase – Balko Des Flos (7/1)
30pm – Ladbrokes World Hurdle – Supasundae (11/2)
10pm – Brown Advisory Plate – The Storyteller (8/1)
50pm – Mares Novice Hurdle – Laurina (4/6)
40pm – Kim Muir Challenge Cup – Mall Dini (9/2)
Friday 16th March – Cheltenham Gold Cup Day
30pm – Triumph Hurdle – Apple’s Shakira (2/1)
10pm – County Hurdle – Deal D’estruval (10/1)
50pm – Albert Bartlett Novices Chase – Chris’s Dream (6/1)
30pm – Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup – Might Bite (3/1)
10pm – Foxhunters Chase – Foxrock (7/1)
50pm – Martin Pipe Conditional – Flawless Escape (7/1)
40pm – Grand Annual – Born Survivor (20/1)
Champions League Round of 16 Second Legs
Last week saw Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Juventus make it through from the Round of 16 and into the draw for the quarterfinals of the Champions League which takes place on Friday morning in Nyon, Switzerland.
Before that, the remaining four ties in the Round of 16 need to be played to a conclusion. Three of those ties, Manchester United v Sevilla (0-0 from the first leg), AS Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk (1-2) and Barcelona v Chelsea (1-1) are all balanced on a knife edge and could go either way.
The one game that isn’t quite so keenly balanced is the Besiktas v Bayern Munich second leg with the German side holding a 5-0 lead from the first leg at the Allianz Arena. It is worth noting that this time last year, the Germans beat Arsenal 5-1 home and away to advance into the quarterfinals 10-2 on aggregate.
I have gone through the games for the Champions League this week and reckon the following look solid tips
Tuesday 13th March
Manchester United (0) v (0) Sevilla
Coming into this game on the back of a great win over rivals Liverpool at the weekend, Manchester United should certainly be in great spirits ahead of this game. A draw away in Sevilla, albeit without an away goal, was a decent result but there will be a few nerves at Old Trafford if Sevilla can find the back of the net. However even if the Spaniards do, I can’t see United losing this one. United to go through regardless of whether Sevilla score or not. – Tip – United to win (11/20)
AS Roma (1) V (2) Shakhtar Donetsk
What Roma side will turn up against Shakhtar Donetsk? The one that blew Chelsea and Napoli away this season, or the Roma side that struggled pitifully in two games against Qarabag? Few teams have quite as much Jekyll and Hyde in them as the Italian side and they’ll need to be at their best against a Donetsk side who I fancy will grab at least one goal in Rome. This is a game I could see going to extra time, hence Roma will win inside 90 minutes, but I am not convinced it will be the Italians that progress after extra time and penalties. Tip – Roma to win (13/20)
Wednesday 14th March
Besiktas (0) v (5) Bayern Munich
Besiktas are long odds to win this home game despite a good record at home in Europe this season, but they haven’t faced a team of Bayern’s quality in the competition as yet and they folded somewhat in the opening leg in Germany. Besiktas have a decent squad with a couple of decent ageing players but they are nowhere near the level Bayern are at. I can’t see anything here but another solid win for the German side. Tip – Bayern to win (4/7)
Barcelona (1) v (1) Chelsea
How Chelsea will rue Willian hitting the woodwork twice and a defensive mistake that handed Barcelona their equaliser at Stamford Bridge as they head to the Nou Camp on Wednesday night. That Lionel Messi strike puts Barcelona in a very strong position here and means Chelsea need to score at least one in the Nou Camp. They can do it, they beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 away from home earlier this season, but Barcelona are in great form at the moment and it is hard to see any other result than a home win here. Tip – Barcelona to win (2/5)
Europa League Round of 16 Second Legs
The full list of results from the first leg of the Europa League Round of 16 is outlined below.
Atletico Madrid 3-0 Lokomotiv Moscow
Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Red Bull Salzburg
AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal
CSKA Moscow 0-1 Lyon
Red Bull Leipzig 2-1 Zenit St Petersburg
Lazio 2-2 Dynamo Kiev
Marseille 3-1 Athletic Bilbao
Sporting Lisbon 2-0 Viktoria Plzen
I have now gone through the list of games taking place on Thursday night and given you my tips for each of the matches.
Lokomotive Moscow (0) v (3) Atletico Madrid – Draw – 12/5
Ian has been a lifelong avid poker player, and is also well-versed in the worlds of online sports betting, casino gaming, and the burgeoning eSports industry. UK-based Ian has written for several years for a wide variety of online publications, and is especially adept at bringing readers inside the latest and greatest games.