Turkish Airlines Open 2016 Golf Betting Preview – Thursday 3rd November by @herefordrich

Turkish Airlines Open – Carya Golf Club live on Sky Sports 4 at 09:00

Last Weeks Golf

Without doubt my worst tipping week since this golf column began in late June.

In a field of 78 none of the weeks hopes could finish higher than T30, with course specialist and headline pick Martin Kaymer finished a disappointing T40 and Masters champion Danny Willett finishing 75th! None of the leaders were even on my shortlist, so lets just write Sheshan off as ‘one of those weeks’…..

Still in the green for the year, its time to move on to the European Tour’s end of season jamboree, starting in Turkey.

 

Tournament History & Field

This is just the fourth edition of the Turkish Airlines Open and like the previous three stagings, it forms part of the tours final series of events. This is a limited field in which entry is decided based upon finishing position in the seasons Race to Dubai money list. It is worth noting that due to the small field, there is no 36 hole cut here.

Many leading names have pulled out for various reasons (mainly scheduling) so the likes of Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed and Henrik Stenson will not be teeing it up this week, despite being on the original entry list.

Danny Willett, Bernd Wiesberger, Andy Sullivan, Tyrrell Hatton and Lee Westwood are the headline names confirmed in the field of 70.

 

The Course

The Montgomerie Maxx was used for the first three stagings of the Turkish Airlines Open.

Sadly this year the event moves down the road to the Carya Golf Club, still in the Antalya region. I say sadly because its always a bit of a guessing game whenever we move to a new layout and after three years at the Montgomerie, there were definitely some trends starting to appear.

The Carya Golf Club is a resort hotel situated on the Antalya coastline and is described online as being ‘inspired by the classic heartland courses found in the UK’ The course website goes on to say tactical approaches are required, ensuring the correct part of the fairway is found to assist players find the right part of the ‘large, undulating and fast greens’

There are many pine and eucalyptus tress that appear to line the fairways, but as with any resort course, I doubt whether it will really be much of a true test to the elite golfers on show this week. I’m expecting a low scoring event, with the winner probably having to shoot around the -18 mark.

A par of 71 and a yardage of 7,127 suggests accuracy might be reasonably important off the tee, but I can’t see any thick rough causing issues this week, so only the most errant of tee shots are likely to be punished. There are three par 5’s of which the 7th is the longest at 605 yards and the 15th the shortest at 503 yards. Strangely the 12th is a par 4 at 505 yards. Three of the four par 3’s are inside the first 8 holes whilst many of the par 4’s are short – only two of the eleven measure longer than 450 yards.

 

Conditions

Temperatures will struggle to top 22c all week but sunny conditions should be in place for the first three rounds. There is a chance of some rain come Sunday afternoon, though hopefully no electrical activity will halt play. Winds will be almost non-existent all week, peaking around 8mph each afternoon.

 

Turkish Airlines Open past winners

2015 – Victor Dubuisson (-22)

2014 – Brooks Koepka (-17)

2013 – Victor Dubuisson (-24)

 

Recommended Bets

Scott Hend 40/1 EW with Bet365

The big hitting Australian has matured into a multiple winner across various tours over the past few years, including winning the co-sanctioned True Thai Classic in March and the Asia Tours Queen’s Cup in June. A T7 place at the recent high quality CIMB Classic followed a 4th at the KLM Open and a T2 at the European Masters to confirm Hend’s place as a true global golfing performer. The Aussie has also won round the tight and fiddly Hong Kong track, so tree-lined layouts certainly don’t psyche him out. Last week saw him finish a lowly T54 at the HSBC Champions, but I expect him to bounce back this week with a strong showing in Turkey.

 

Golf Betting

Scott Hend

Kiradech Aphibarnrat 40/1 EW with Bet365

We backed the Thai man at the recent British Masters, and despite a slow start, Aphifinished T12 courtesy of a closing round of 64. Kiradech has had a quiet-ish season followed that T15 at Augusta, but did finish 5th in the Olympic games recently. The amiable big hitter has recorded at least one top 3 finish in each of his last 7 seasons as a professional but has yet to register one in 2016 – expect that to change during the final series – hopefully this week in Antalya.

Lucas Bjerregaard 80/1 EW with Betvictor

This is the fourth time we’ve backed Lucas this season, having followed him during a T20 and two MC’s previously in 2016. He caught my eye during a closing round of 63 last time out in Portugal, on his way to T12 finish. The Dane has made 6 of his last 8 cuts and appears to be simmering, close to finding his best form once more that last year saw him narrowly miss out on the Hong Kong trophy, losing to Justin Rose down the last. Lucas is a powerful hitter, but seems to enjoy layouts where he can can long irons off shorter par 4’s. I reckon this weeks set-up should be right up his street and he can follow previous champions Dubuisson and Koepka in registering his first European Tour win here.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

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Australia v South Africa Cricket Betting Preview – Thursday 3rd November By @herefordrich

Australia v South Africa, 1st Test – WACA Ground at 02:00 live on BT Sport 3

The Scene

A three match Test series begins in the early hours of Thursday morning UK time as Australia entertain South Africa at the WACA in Perth.

The home side will be relieved to be back on home soil following a three-nil defeat in Sri Lanka in Tests and a five-nil ODI drubbing in South Africa last month. Steven Smith’s side are a force to be reckoned with anywhere outside of Asia, however Perth has not been a kind ground to Australia whenever South Africa come to town. Rare home defeats in 2012 and 2008 followed a drawn Test here in 2005 – this is a ground which South Africa seem to love playing at.

Faf du Plessis takes charge again following a recent one-nil Test series win at home to New Zealand. With AB de Villiers out injured, South Africa are missing not just their best player, but also a man who scored centuries during both Perth victories.

This should be a fascinating match-up however Sky Sports customers in the UK prepared to be disappointed. This is the first Test to be broadcast live on BT Sport.

Conditions

Hot and sunny weather will be present throughout the Test with temperatures peaking round the 33c mark on Saturday. There is a sub 5% chance of rain delays.

The Venue

Here’s a list of sides 1st innings scores at the WACA in the last five Tests along with the winner/result of each Test in bold text –

2015 – 1st inns – 559/9d (AUS), 2nd inns – 624 (NZ) – DRAW

2013 – 1st inns – 385 (AUS), 2nd inns – 251 (ENG) – AUS

2012 – 1st inns – 225 (SA), 2nd inns – 163 (AUS) – SA

2012 – 1st inns – 161 (IND), 2nd inns – 369 (AUS) – AUS

2010– 1st inns – 268 (AUS), 2nd inns – 187 (ENG) – AUS

Batting in the 1st innings of the match in this period – Average 319

Batting in the 2nd innings of the match in this period – Average 318

NOTE – (we’ve ignored 3rd and 4th match innings for the purposes of this column which has been written for each sides 1st innings of the Test)

Form Guide & First Inns Runs

Here are Australia’s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

379 (L) 106 (L) 203 (L) 505 (W) 562 (W) 176/2 (D) 551/3d (W) 583/4d (W) 224 (W) –

Average 345

Here are South Africa‘s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

481/8d (W) 263 (D) 475 (W) 313 (L) 627/7d (D) 214 (L) 121 (L) 79 (L) 214 (D) 184 (L) –

Average 297

 

Teams

Opening batsman Joe Burns is the biggest Australia casualty post Sri Lanka whitewash. Shaun Marsh took Burns’ place in the 3rd Test in Colombo and cashed in with 130 in first innings – a rare positive during a desperately poor series for the Aussie batsmen. David Warner will of course open alongside Marsh on a ground in which he averages 95 courtesy of 3 hundreds in 7 knocks. Smith also made a ton in Colombo but his average of 41 for the series was below his high standards. Usman Khawaja was dropped for that Colombo Test but will surely return here on aground in which he scored a hundred against New Zealand last summer. Adam Voges did have a career average of over 100 in Tests until scrambling just 118 runs in 6 knocks in Sri Lanka whilst all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will continue to bat six. Wicket-keeper Peter Nevill still only has a Test high score of 66 in 19 innings and needs to contribute more with the bat. Off spin from Nathan Lyon has now struck 211 times in Tests whilst Starc (below), Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle are likely to make up a three-strong pace attack.

South Africa will field a very different XI from the one that won in Perth so handsomely four years ago. Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar, du Plessis, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are all survivors of the side that beat Australia in 2012, however Elgar is now an opening batsman instead of a middle order nurdeler and Morne Morkel hasn’t played an international since last June. Amla made a brilliant 196 in the 2nd innings here last time around and with the absence of the likes of Smith, Kallis (retired) and de Villiers (injured), he will surely be key to the visitors success. du Plessis scored a century as skipper against New Zealand last time out and has fond memories of the ground having made 78* and 27 in 2012. 33 year-old Stephen Cook should open alongside Elgar but comes into the series having made just 5, 12 and 0 in the warm-up matches. Rabada (below) will lead the attack alongside a refreshed Dale Steyn who took 10 wickets at 10.2 apiece against New Zealand.

 

Ones To Watch

Mitchell Starc is one of the quickest bowlers in world cricket, who should return here after a nasty wound on his foot last month. Starc took a remarkable 24 wickets in the Sri Lanka series and will be keen to improve on a Test career average of 27.3 for Australia.

 

Cricket Betting

Mitchell Starc

Kagiso Rabada should enjoy bowling on even a flat Perth wicket – as long as there is pace and bounce – he will surely be handful for a fragile looking Australian middle order. Rabada has taken 29 wickets in just 8 Tests, including a best of 7/112. With Steyn and Morkel not getting any younger, expect Rabada to lead the South Africa attack for many years to come.

Runs Markets

Whoever bats first I recommend backing any OVER RUNS around the 310-315 mark.

Top First Innings Batsman Market

As indicated above, David Warner loves this ground. He can be backed at 4.33 to top score for Australia in their first digs.

Wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock looks to be the value for South Africa. He can be found valued at 8.0 to top score for the visitors.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

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Bangladesh v England Cricket Betting Preview – Friday 28th October by @herefordrich

Bangladesh v England, 2nd Test – Shere Bangla National, live on Sky Sports 2

The Scene

Back in Duncan Fletcher’s early days as England coach he used to talk of moral victories – or in sporting talk – taking the positives out of defeat. That is certainly something that Bangladesh will be doing as the Test series moves onto Dhaka after a humdinger of a 1st Test ended in the most narrow of 22 run defeats for the home side.

Even when touring the sub-continent, England have much higher expectancies nowadays than those early Fletcher years. After all, Alastair Cook led his team to a series win in India several years ago. However, this current squad are significantly less experienced than that 2012 outfit, meaning even a series win in Bangladesh would be rightly seen as a decent scalp. The class of 2016 head off to India for a five-match Test series next week, but not before Bangladesh get a second opportunity to turnover Cook’s men this week in Dhaka.

Mushfiqur Rahim’s men are ever improving in Test cricket after becoming a highly competitive opposition in ODI’s in recent years. A compliment to his sides progress in red ball cricket is to say that a win in Dhaka would no longer be a surprise.

If the home side can win the toss and post a score batting first, the tourists could easily become the home sides biggest scalp in their cricketing history.

Conditions

There’s been a bit of weather around in Dhaka in the last week and Saturday and Sunday (days two and three) look like they could see some interruptions due to rain. As you don’t need this preview to tell you, it’s going to be hot and sticky throughout.

The Venue

The Shere Bangla National stadium has hosted 14 Tests in which 11 have yielded a positive result. Last years draw involving the touring South Africans was severely hit by wet weather – as was the 2013 Test v New Zealand – this is a result wicket, despite regular big scores.

Here’s the last five Test matches with the first two innings match scores and the winner/result of the test in bold text –

2015 – 1st inns 246/8 (BAN) 2nd inns RAIN – DRAW

2015 – 1st inns 557/8d (PAK) 2nd inns 203 (BAN) – PAKISTAN

2014 – 1st inns 232 (BAN) 2nd inns 730/6d (SL) – SRI LANKA

2013 – 1st inns 282 (BAN) 2nd inns 437 (NZ) – DRAW

2012 – 1st inns 527/4d (WI) 2nd inns 556 (BAN) – WEST INDIES

Batting in the 1st innings of the match in this period – Average 368

Batting in the 2nd innings of the match in this period – Average 481

NOTE – (we’ve ignored 3rd and 4th match innings for the purposes of this column which has been written for each sides 1st innings of the Test)

Form Guide & First Inns Runs

Here are Bangladesh‘s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

248 (L) 246/8 (D) 326 (D) 256 (D) 203 (L) 332 (D) 503 (W) 433 (W) 254 (W) 161 (L) –

Average 295

Here are England‘s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

293 (W) 328 (L) 297 (W) 589/8d (W) 272 (L) 416 (D) 498/9d (W) 298 (W) 342 (L) 323 (W) – Average 343

Teams

Bangladesh are sure to make one change from the XI that went so close in Chittagong. Seamer Shafiul Islam sits out and his place in the side could be taken by either Subahis Roy or Mosaddek Hossain. Neither have played at this level before. Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes both showed signs of form in the 1st Test, Tamim making 78 in this first innings, Imrul making a quick-fire 43 in the second. Mominul Haque still averages 52 in Test cricket whilst Mahmudullah made 38 and 17 and will be keen to convert his starts into something more meaningful. Shakib al-Hasan showed off his brilliant all-round skills with 55 runs and 7 wickets whilst skipper Mushfiqur looked to be leading his side to a win with a second innings knock of 39, before getting an unplayable delivery. Sabbir (below) had an excellent debut whilst spinners Taijul Islam and 18-year old Mehedi Hasan Miraz shared 11 wickets at Chittagong. The later looks a fabulous prospect.

England have already confirmed that Zaf Ansari will debut at Dhaka. As Cook said a few days ago, there will be rotation for this Asian odyssey his side are currently undertaking. Ansari is likely to replace Surrey team-mate Gareth Batty, who took 4 wickets on his return to Test cricket after eleven and a half years. Stuart Broad bowled with great skill and control last week, including a long spell in the second innings. He’s going to sit out here and be replaced by Steven Finn. Chris Woakes could also miss out and be replaced by Jake Ball who bowled very well in the ODI series. Ben Duckett got the nod as Cook’s latest opening partner and looked frenetic during his short stays of 14 and 15. Joe Root should find more rhythm as the winter progresses whilst Ballance (below) gets another chance to impress. Ben Stokes was awesome in Chittagong with bat and ball, bowling with great skill with reverse swing. His 4 wickets in the first innings and 85 runs in the second innings were surely the difference between winning and losing. Jonny Bairstow has now scored the most runs of any wicket-keeper in the history of Tests in a calendar year courtesy of 52 and 47 in the 1st Test. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid shared 8 wickets in the Chittagong win.

Ones To Watch

Sabbir Rahman so nearly led his side to the most famous of wins during his maiden Test cap in the 1st Test. Finishing unbeaten on 64* would have been so disappointing, but in the cold light of day it appears that Bangladesh have found themselves another fine batsman who could be around for many years to come.

 

Cricket Betting - Bangladesh v England 2nd Test

Sabbir Rahman

 

Gary Ballance has now played 20 Test matches and has a decent average of 41. The problem is since his return to the side in July after an absence of twelve months, his run of scores read 6, 43, 23, 70, 28, 8, 17, 1, 9. England are keen to avoid returning to the bad old days of dropping players and bringing them back in, but Ballance is surely on borrowed time?

Runs Markets

If Bangladesh bat first I recommend backing any UNDER RUNS around the 360-365 mark.

If England bat first I recommend backing any UNDER RUNS around the 420-425 mark.

Top First Innings Batsman Market

Mahmudullah bats at his own pace and rarely fails – back him at 6.0 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage to be top scorer for Bangladesh in their first innings.

Joe Root looked in decent touch during the first innings last week and should be backed at 3.75 with BetVictor to top score for England first time around.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

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