Your Best Bet
Last Updated: 03/05/13 5:07pm
This week's Your Best Bet breaks down Championship and Premier League football, international boxing and the weekend's racing.
Matt Briggs of TEAMtalk.com dives into Saturday's crucial Championship programme, while it's also an important day in the Premier League relegation battle.
Jamie Casey provides a tip on Floyd Mayweather's bout with Robert Guerrero in the early hours of Sunday morning, while Sky Bet's racing traders reveal who they're backing on the weekend's Flat Races.
At this time of year it can be easy to get carried away backing the teams that have "something left to play for", but the bookies are very careful when drawing up their books and there is often value to be had by backing the sides who should be just making up the numbers.
Wigan are a fine example of a team who are desperate for points in their perennial battle to avoid the drop, and given their usual upturn in form at the business end of the season it might be a dangerous game backing against Roberto Martinez's Latics.
However, there's no getting away from the fact that West Brom are a superior side and are 16 points better off than Wigan this season and they look decent value on home soil. Had the fixture come a few months earlier you might well have seen an odds-on quote about Albion, so the 5/4 looks a bit of value.
Another team who look generously priced, but have "little to play for" are promotion-chasing Brighton. The Seagulls secured a Championship play-off place at Leeds over the weekend and host a sorry Wolves side, who are all but relegated.
Dean Saunders' men are not yet mathematically down, but their hopes of survival are very slim at 10/1. They need a comfortable win at Brighton and hope both Barnsley and Peterborough lose, while also needing to reverse a four-goal swing with the Posh. They will head to the south coast with hope, but very little belief. Get on Brighton at 10/11.
Described as a 'Machine' by trainer Richard Hannon, Toronado (5/2) should take all the beating in the 2000 Guineas on Saturday. You couldn't fail to be impressed by his performance in the Craven, conceding weight all round and quickening up nicely.
The Craven hasn't produced a Guineas winner for almost 10 years but at least we've seen Toronado in action this season (unlike short-price favourite Dawn Approach) and he's confirmed he's wintered well and strengthened up. Jockey Richard Hughes says the unbeaten colt will handle any ground on the day and I fully expect him to take the prize en route to a crack at the Epsom Derby.
Meanwhile, ahead of Sunday's 1000 Guineas, What a Name (9/2) made a really good reappearance in the Imprudence, winning despite her trainer suggesting she was nowhere near tuned up for first run of the season.
That French trial has thrown up two of the last five 1000 guineas winners. She should come on plenty for it and with a dry week forecast the daughter of Mr Greeley could really improve again for the likely fast ground come Sunday.
Saturday night sees the return to the ring of Floyd Mayweather as he touches gloves with Robert Guerrero after almost a year on from his last bout. With Mayweather having beaten the large majority of the welterweight division's elite, Guerrero is arguably a step down in class for Money, echoed by the unusually slow pace of ticket sales on an event involving him.
That won't stop punters betting on the bout, though, and Mayweather has found southpaws like Guerrero more difficult to contend with than other stances, though he's still the overwhelming favourite at 1/12. No-one can out-cute Mayweather, so if Guerrero is to trouble the undefeated 36-year-old he'll have to bring a hugely aggressive attitude with him.
Even with that, Mayweather is not one to panic and could easily exploit any gaps in Guerrero's defence if the Mexican-American does come out all guns blazing. Four of Money's last six fights have gone the distance but Mayweather's too short to back on points at 4/7. Certainly, Guerrero won't win on points, and you'd have to suspect that it will only take one of Mayweather's famous attacking spurts in the second half of the fight to settle the contest.
Thus, going over six rounds at 1/9 may not promise much of a return, but it's rare that Mayweather closes things out early doors, such is his commendable patience. For value, the group-round betting appears to be the best form of attack on the bookmakers, with Sky Bet there for the taking at 3/1 on Mayweather to win in rounds 7-12, or rounds 10-12 at 6/1.
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