WGC-HSBC Champions 2016 Golf Betting Preview – Thursday 27th October By @herefordrich

WGC-HSBC Champions – Sheshan International live on Sky Sports 4

Last weeks golf

Another week of small profit courtesy of a David Lipsky EW dead heat payout. This was more down to the fact all three selections were three-figures (Jaidee’s WD meant I replaced him with the five times bigger priced Eddie Pepperell) so stakes were kept very low as I simply didn’t fancy lumping any of the leaders.

Nacho Elvira finished a shot just outside the dead heat EW places too, so we are certainly looking in the right places and at the right prices.

The years ROI of +13.1% is healthy enough, so as we head into the final four events of the season, and last seven of the year, lets see if we can find another winner or two!

Tournament History & Field

This event has been a World Golf Championship event since 2009 with all but one staging held at this weeks venue, Sheshan International. With 42 of the worlds top 50 golfers here this week, including 8 of the top 10, this promises to be a mouth-watering affair.

Heading the field with course form in brackets are –

Rory McIlroy (11, 4, 6, 5)

Dustin Johnson (5, 1)

Henrik Stenson (11, 24, 31, 13, 9, 5, 9, 18, 32)

Patrick Reed (7, 22)

Adam Scott (70, 12, 11, 25, 6)

Rickie Fowler (17, 3, 55, 25)

Bubba Watson (35, 1, 8)

Other big names include Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Branden Garce, Paul Casey and Hideki Matsuyama.

The Course

Sheshan International is located an hours metro ride outside bustling Shanghai and measuring in at 7,261 yards is of average length. With four par 5’s and four par 3’s, it plays to a traditional par of 72. This is a course I know pretty well having attended all four days of this event in 2014.

With undulating fairways and several greens elevated from the fairways, it is the ability to hit the right part of the greens here that is crucial to setting up the birdie chances needed to win here.

Low scoring has been the theme here apart from that 2014 edition which I attended. That year the rough was well up and the course was playing pretty long due to a lot of rain in Shanghai. It will be interesting to see how penal missing fairways will be this year as it makes a big difference to a players ability to score low when the rough is longer than average.

The par 5’s are not all total gimme holes, with the 603 yard 8th hole playing just the sixth easiest hole last year. The 2nd, 14th and 18th are all pretty gettable though, all playing comfortably under par in 2015.

The easiest hole on the course though (and one of the best viewing holes) is the 288 yard drivable 16th. With trouble lurking all the way right off the tee, many players still lay up rather than go for the green in one. Before this though, the 487 yard par 4 15th often plays the hardest hole.

Around the turn is the tricky section of Sheshan – with par a good score at 9, 11 and 13 – all short, but fiddly par 4’s. The par 3’s all measure over 200 yards and are all pretty non de-script.

 

Golf Betting

Rickie Fowler

Conditions

Its been damp in Shanghai for the past week or so so expect a wet golf course to be playing long. There are further heavy showers forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday to further dampen the course whilst rain is expected on day one.

Things will get drier as we head into Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a fair wind due on all four afternoons, gusting up around the 14-16mph mark on Friday and Saturday in particular.

 

Recent WGC HSBC Winners & Key Stats

2015 – Russell Knox (-20) – DA 5 DD 54 GIR 9 PPGIR 6 Scrambles 7/11

2014 – Bubba Watson (-11) – DA 18 DD 1 GIR 26 PPGIR 6 Scrambles 5/13 (Excludes R1, R2)

2013 – Dustin Johnson (-24) – DA 38 DD 6 GIR 2 PPGIR 1 Scrambles 7/11

2012 – Ian Poulter (-21) – DA 20 DD 23 GIR 1 PPGIR 14 Scrambles 9/12

2011 – Martin Kaymer (-20) – DA 29 DD 18 GIR 11 PPGIR 4 Scrambles 14/17

This is a course that doesn’t seem to suit a certain type of player.

Take 2014 for example – the event was finished courtesy of a playoff – in which eventual winner Bubba Watson beat Tim Clark. You couldn’t get two more different golfers off the tee in regards length than Bubba and Clark – the original chalk and cheese. Likewise plotters such as Francesco Molinari have won here whilst bomber Dustin Johnson has also tasted victory at Sheshan.

My gut feeling though is if the rough is down, I’d much rather favour a long, slightly wayward hitter than someone that is constantly going into the greens with long irons due to their lack of power off the tee.

 

Recommended Bets

Martin Kaymer 40/1 EW with Bet365

The two time major champion and 2011 HSBC winner looks to be returning to somewhere near his best form. A poor Ryder Cup was put to one side with a 6th place finish at the Dunhill last time out, continuing a fine string of stroke play finishes that now reads 6, 6,T20, T6, T15, T7. It’s been a couple of years since his last trophy and some say the German is still scarred from throwing away a huge lead in Abu Dhabi 22 months ago. His course form at Sheshan is remarkable with 5 top 10’s in his last 7 appearances here –this could be the place where he gets that long, overdue win monkey off his back.

Danny Willett 80/1 EW with BetVictor

The huge price on this years Masters winner can only be down to one thing; his withdrawal minutes before the start of the British Masters two weeks ago. His twitter feed seems positive enough though, and Danny has a history of back problems that come and go faster than some say he takes to decide on what club to use. His win at Augusta moved him into a new level and although he’s had a quiet period, he nearly chalked up a win for this column last month during the Italian Open when he had to settle for 2nd place.

A T3 in this event last year shows the course suits his eye and if his back holds, this price could look crazy come Sunday.

Branden Grace 80/1 with BetVictor

I backed the South African in last years HSBC at half this price. Since then he’s won in Qatar, won his first PGA tour event and gone off as short as 22/1 for this years US Open. Again, this is almost a play on price as well as the fact I’m sure this course suits Branden.

Last year he got off to a flier – opening with a 63 and closing with a 68 – on his way for a T5 finish. A T34 and T33 in Macao and last weeks CIMB classic suggest only a slightly warmer putter is needed for Grace to start winning again.

JB Holmes 100/1 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage 

On a course that might just suit the longer hitters this week given the forecast, JB Holmes seemed an obvious investment to me at a stand out price. Since a T3 at the Open in the summer, Holmes has had a quiet time – returning to form with a T4 at the BMW Championship two events ago. He has played Sheshan once, finishing a T28 two years ago when the course was playing tougher than usual. Holmes won’t mind the forecast wind either, specialising on layouts in which the breeze impacts on scoring. Now a four-time winner on the PGA tour, including two wins in the past two years, JB could be ready to take his career to a new level with a WGC win this week in China.

Hao Tong Li 500/1 EW with Bet365

Finally why not throw a few quid at the Chinese wonder-kid at what is a pretty disrespectful price? This years Volvo China Open winner finished T7 here last year, shooting rounds of 66, 69, 66, 72 in the process. Li has made 4 of his last 5 cuts on his first full season on the European tour, including a T18 at Crans and a T20 in the Italian Open. 15 top ten finishes in 97 career events, including five wins, shows he won’t be afraid to get the job done if he finds himself in the mix come Sunday.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

Read More...

India v New Zealand Cricket Betting Preview – Sunday 23rd October By @herefordrich

India v New Zealand, 3rd ODI – Punjab Cricket Association Stadium at 09:00 live on Sky Sports 3

The Scene

After three Test match defeats and a loss in the 1st ODI up at Dharamsala, the touring New Zealand side finally tasted victory during Thursday’s humdinger of a 2nd ODI at Delhi. Defending 242, Kane Williamson’s side showed the street fight of old to register a narrow 6-run win to level up the five match series at one all.

MS Dhoni’s India were struggling in the chase before a fine ninth wicket partnership between Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yyadav looked to be breaking New Zealand hearts once more. Two late wickets from the experienced Tim Southee and Tim Boult sealed the deal for the visitors, winning by a single hit with just three balls left.

The sides stay north as the 3rd ODI takes place on Sunday in Mohali. With such a tight turnaround between matches, can India wrestle back the initiative that the Black Caps appear to have stolen?

Conditions

This is late summer in Chandigarh and conditions look to be sunny with temperatures peaking around the 32c mark. Dew could again be a factor in the 2nd innings for the spinners under lights. New Zealand coped admirably in Delhi with a slippy, wet ball.

The Venue

This is the first ODI held at PCA ground in Mohalli since 2013. Here are the last 5 first innings scores made here –

303, 257, 298, 260, 275 – Average 278

First Innings Runs

India have only batted first in 5 of the last 15 ODI’s they have played, and batted second in the last seven. Here are those last 5 scores when batting first –

295, 308, 309, 299, 247 – Average 291

New Zealand on the other hand have batted first in all their last 5. Here are those scores –

242, 190, 246, 281, 307 – Average 253

Teams

India are still led in one day cricket by MS Dhoni who leads his side out in his 281st ODI. With injuries to Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina, this is a slightly experimental home side top order, although it is still pretty experienced in white ball cricket. Rohit Sharma leads the way with his ten centuries in 144 knocks in this format, whilst opening partner Ajinkya Rahane still has plenty to prove in this format. In Delhi his pedestrian 28 from 49 balls adds fuel to his critics that say his game isn’t dynamic enough for ODI’s. Virat Kohli is an animal in all formats, but particularly in 50 over cricket, where he averages 51.8 with a SR of 90. Manish Pandey will be playing just his 7th ODI and will be disappointed with getting two starts (19 & 17) in the opening two games. Dhoni himself got out at Delhi to a brilliant caught and bowled just when his side were looking set to chase the target with relative ease whilst all-rounders Kedar Jadhav and Axar Patel add balance to the lower middle order. Pandya (below) looks a real talent whilst seamers Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah could enjoy the conditions in Mohali. Amit Mishra has surprisngly still only played 33 ODI’s despite making his debut thirteen years ago. 55 wickets at less than 5 runs an over suggests he should be playing more.

Tom Latham will open up alongside Guptill (below) and will look to continue his fine form in the ODI series to date in which he’s scored 125 runs with just one dismissal – Latham carried his bat in the 1st ODI – one of a handful of batsman to do so in ODI history. Captain Williamson looked back to his best in Delhi after a quiet Test series, scoring 118 – nearly half his sides total of 242. Ross Taylor plodded his way to a 42 ball 21 which summed up his lack of rhythm and form which has been an issue all tour. His recent scores in international cricket read a sorry 1, 0, 41, 0, 17, 36, 4, 0, 32, 0, 21. Corey Anderson has returned from a long lay-off but remains unfit to bowl, whilst wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi has scored just 6 runs in his two series innings. All-rounder Mitchell Santner has an economy of just 4.2 off his series bowling and has a career batting SR of 102. Fellow left arm spinner Anton Devcich is likely to miss out as he suffered with cramps in Delhi and might be replaced by Doug Bracewell or Jimmy Neesham, given the pitch is likely to be more seam than spin friendly. Trent Boult and Tim Southee held their nerve impressively at Delhi – the pair have a combined 199 ODI wickets.

Ones to Watch

This is Hardik Pandya‘s debut ODI series, but he’s already played 16 T20I’s for India and therefore looks at home. 3/31 at Dharamsala with the ball and a near match-winning 36 off 32 balls at Delhi has shown the all-round abilities of the 23 year-old. Expect him to bat further up the order as this series progresses – he looks wasted down at number eight.

Martin Guptill is a brilliant ODI batsman who, post Brendon McCullum, is key to New Zealand‘s hopes of registering the big scores needed on flatter ODI surfaces. A horrid run of form, briefly broken up by a 72 in Indore, includes a duck in the Delhi win. Two unexpected wickets in his one over bowled on Thursday might be just the spark needed to reignite Guptill’s form with the bat – he has a career average of 42.5 and a SR of 86 – all over 131 matches in this format.

 

Cricket Betting

Martin Guptill

Runs Markets

If India bat first I recommend backing any OVER RUNS around the 280-285 mark.

If New Zealand bat first I recommend backing any UNDER RUNS around the 280-285 mark.

Top Batsman Market

Virat Kohali is a low price – there is a reason – not only is Kohali world class, he’s also playing in a side with a number of players out of form. Back him to top score here for India at 3.75.

With questions marks over Guptill, Taylor and Anderson’s form, this looks a shoot out between Williamson (3.75) and Luke Ronchi. Let’s take the wicket-keeper to smack us a few late order runs at 10.0 for New Zealand.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

Read More...

Bangladesh v England Cricket Betting Preview – Thursday 20th October By @herefordrich

Bangladesh v England, 1st Test – Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium at 05:00 live on Sky Sports Mix

The Scene

Bangladesh play Test cricket for the first time in over a year as England‘s tour turns its attention to the games longest format. Two Tests, one here in Chittagong, the second next week in Dhaka, is a warm-up for the tourists before they embark on an epic five-Test match series in India starting next month.

Alastair Cook has flown back and forth from the UK to witness the birth of his second daughter and returns to captain the side. In a statement Cook admitted to hurting at leaving his family so soon after such an occasion – ‘duty calls’ – reading between the lines there was certainly a dig at ODI skipper Eoin Morgan, who of course skipped the limited overs matches because of security concerns.

Cook himself will become England’s most capped Test cricketer of all time in this match – some feat for a batsman who made his debut in Nagpur, India – after flying half-way round the world from an A Tour in the West Indies way back in 2006. Some 29 Test centuries later, Cook has come through several chronic losses of form and of course the messy Pietersen saga that thankfully seems so long ago now.

The home side will be no pushover on what is expected to be a very flat, low surface. England will have their work cut out to take twenty wickets on a Chittagong pitch that has failed to produce a result in four of the last six Tests. Wicket-keeper battler Mushfiqur Rahim takes the captaincy in Tests and will be hoping to stifle an England side that has had a fine eighteen months in five-day cricket.

 

Conditions

Temperatures will be in the low to mid 30s and humidity up in the 60-70% field – Chittagong will provide hot, sticky, energy-sapping conditions – with just a slim chance of the odd shower.

The Venue

This is the 15th time the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong, has hosted a Test match. Four of the last six have been draws – two courtesy of some very bad weather – however this is clearly a surface that is very good for batting, on days two and three in particular.

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

2015 – 1st inns 248 (SA) 2nd inns 326 (BAN) – DRAW

2014 – 1st inns 503 (BAN) 2nd inns 374 (ZIM) – BANGLADESH

2014 – 1st inns 587 (SL) 2nd inns 426 (BAN) – DRAW

2013 – 1st inns 469 (NZ) 2nd inns 501 (BAN) – DRAW

2011 – 1st inns 135 (BAN) 2nd inns 594/5d (PAK) – PAKISTAN

2011 – 1st inns 350 (BAN) 2nd inns 244 (WI) – DRAW

Batting in the 1st innings of the match in this period – Average 382

Batting in the 2nd innings of the match in this period – Average 410

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 –

246/8 (D) 326 (D) 256 (D) 203 (L) 332 (D) 503 (W) 433 (W) 254 (W) 161 (L) 182 (L) – Average 289

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

328 (L) 297 (W) 589/8d (W) 272 (L) 416 (D) 498/9d (W) 298 (W) 342 (L) 323 (W) 629/6d (D) – Average 377

 

Teams

Mushfiqur Rahim’s Bangladesh side has decent experience with the bat. The top order will consist of left handers Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes – the pair share ten centuries in a combined 66 Tests – whilst Mahmudullah average of 31.3 in 27 Tests is forever improving. Sabbir Rahman has played 29 ODI’s and 26 T20’s but will make his Test debut here, expect the runs to flow quickly if he spends time at the crease. Shakib (below) is always key whilst Moninul Haque averages an impressive 56 in his 17 Tests to date with four centuries and nine fifties. Seam bowling will be a side show as the home side go in with a spin heavy attack. Shafiul Islam’s right arm seamers have seen his strike just 15 times in his eight Test matches whilst Kamrul Islam Rabbi could debut. Left arm spin from Taijul Islam and off-spin from Shuvagata Hom could get quite an airing.

A ninth opening partner for Cook post Andrew Strauss retirement is guaranteed as Alex Hales chose to sit out this tour. In fairness, his form hardly screamed ‘please give me another chance’. Either Lancashire’s young opener Haseeb Hameed or Northant’s dasher Ben Duckett will partner the captain at the top of England‘s order. Duckett will surely play after a fine ODI series in which he notched up two half-centuries and displayed a maturity beyond his years – my feeling is the Lancashire man will open – with Duckett sliding down the order, taking the place of Gary Ballance who, in my opinion, is lucky to be even in the squad. Joe Root made his debut in the sub-continent several years ago in India and commands a fine Test average of 54.8 in his 46 matches to date. Ben Stokes will add balance to this side whilst Jonny Bairstow will take the gloves from Jos Buttler after a fine summer with the bat. The bowling attack could consist of three spinners – Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Batty (below) – whilst Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes are likely to both get the nod ahead of Steven Finn.

 

Ones To Watch

Shakib Al-Hasan is no longer the captain of Bangladesh, but he is certainly the stand out poster boy. His Test record as an all-rounder is pretty special – with the bat he has scored 2,823 runs at an average of 39.7 – whilst his left arm spinners have claimed 147 victims at 33 a piece. On flat wickets so often served up, that is a fine return. If the home side are to turn the tourists over, Shakib will need a big five days.

June 2005 and England played Bangladesh in a Test match up in Durham. Lining up that day was Gareth Batty, a man playing his 7th Test match. Fast forward a few months and England had won that Ashes series – Batty-less – and the now 39 year-old Surrey veteran had been forgotten about. A handful of ODI’s followed in 2009, but that England have gone back to a veteran that last played red ball cricket over eleven years ago at Test level is perhaps more a reflection on the lack of talent coming through than reward for Batty’s domestic performances.

 

Cricket Betting

Shakib Al Hasan

Runs Markets

If England bat first I recommend backing any OVER RUNS around the 450-455 mark.

If Bangladesh bat first I recommend backing any OVER RUNS around the 380-385 mark.

 

Top First Innings Batsman Market

Shakib Al Hasan looks the value here to top score for Bangladesh – he can be backed at 6.50 with Betvictor.

Cook and Root take up a significant % of the market as they so often do for England. With neither having a lot a cricket recently, let us take a punt that debutant Haseeb Hameed goes well at 6.50 with Bet365.

 

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

 

Read More...