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The shortlist for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or award has been announced, which will be handed out on January 3rd. The award celebrates the best player of the 2013 calendar year and this year there could well be a change this time around, as FIFA favourite Lionel Messi is not favourite to pick up the award this time around.

The original 23 man list of nominees (which included Gareth Bale) were whittled down to the final three, which are Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi. Barcelona’s Messi has accepted the award for the last four years, but has fallen behind in the market to the favouritism of Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Man United star has produced some incredible performances this year, including his hat trick heroics for Portugal in their World Cup play off against Sweden, his fifth hat trick since the start of the season.

Ronaldo is as short as 4/9 with online bookmaker Skybet to win the 2013 Ballon d’Or.

Just hours after Ronaldo had sunk Sweden with a thrilling hattrick in their World Cup play off, FIFA extended the deadline for voting, because fewer than 50% of eligible voters had actually responded before the original deadline. That was clearly a big advantage for Ronaldo.

Messi, who has been hampered by injury during the close of the year is running at 2/1 favourite, with Franck Ribery the outside shot at 14/1 with Skybet. But of course there are more options available because it’s not all about the main award.

The shortlist of the women’s final trio reads Nadine Angerer (Germany), Marta (Brazil) and Abby Wambach (USA). Wolfsburg’s Ralf Kellermann, Germany boss Silvia Neid and Sweden coach Pia Sundhage are the final three for the women’s coach of the year.

With Ronaldo looking dominant in the main award, things are the same way in the popular FIFA coach of the year too,  with former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson going up against ex-Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes and Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp. Heynckes is the clear front runner at odds of 1/50 with Skybet after winning a treble with Bayern Munich in 2013.

There are five British players in contention for the FIFPro World XI 2013 team of the year, with Leighton Baines, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Gareth Bale in the picture.


December 9th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Football Betting

Skybet

Is one of the best strikers in the World poised to make a move to the Premier League during the January transfer window? Those are the rumours as Radamel Falcao looks to be a bit unhappy at French side Monaco. APparently the forward isn’t overly impressed by the overall standards in the French Ligue 1 and that has alerted Jose Mourinho. Chelsea had been targeting the striker for a while, before the Colombian decided to shock everyone and go to Monaco where is earning £12 million a year tax free.

But there are whispers that Falcao could be joining up with Mourinho in the winter window, as both men are actually represented by the same agent, so there is a link there. In order for Chelsea to match what Falcao is earning at Monaco, they would need to pay him around £450,000 per week. So despite missing out on Falcao over the summer, Chelsea may yet get their man.

How they need him too. In 13 matches for Monaco this season, Falcao has scored nine goals, which is the same amount as Fernando Torres and Samuel Eto’o have managed between them for the Blues this term. Mourinho was at a recent friendly international between Belgium and Colombia, with the South Americans winning 2-0 (Falcao netting one) and helped deliver Belgium their first defeat of the year.

The biggest threat to Chelsea capturing Falcao is Real Madrid, who have apparently said that they will match any January bid for the striker. They of course know him very well from his ways with Atletico Madrid. Importantly, if Falcao were to move to Stamford Bridge in January, he would be eligible to play in the Champions League this season, which is naturally going to make him even more of a target.

So after his £50 million move to Monaco in the summer, is the French love affair about to cut short? Will Monaco be losing their prized asset, a key figure in the principality trying to match the power and expenditure of Paris St Germain? It could cost Chelsea around £60 million to get Falcao, but online betting site SkyBet responded to all the rumours by trimming the odds on Falcao moving to the Bridge in January down to 6/1.

Falcao was recently quoted as saying: ‘Would I like to play in the Premier League? It’s one of the most important leagues in the world.’

 


November 18th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Football Betting

Skybet

There has been some highly positive news coming out from Skybet recently, reporting a nice increase in revenues to the tune of 20 per cent. This has been a hugely positive growth, because things in the new football season generally haven’t been going the way of bookmakers. But that hasn’t slowed the growth of Skybet, as they defied a general trend with bookmakers to report profit.

One of the things hindering bookmakers in the early stage of the new Premier League season has been a decrease in the percentage of drawn matches. When matches end up in a draw, the bookmaker generally wins out because tend to ignore the market and just plump for a winner. So that aspect has been diminished a bit for bookmakers this season, and other sporting results haven’t been that favourable for them from the UEFA Champions League. There has been a high percentage of favourites just running out routine victories in the tournament, with little upsets for the bookmakers to cash in on.

However, none of that has stopped the positivity from Skybet though, whose revenues rose to £32 million in the three months to September 30th.

Sky Bet’s managing director Richard Flint said: “We’re pleased. Net revenue growth was 20 per cent as the sports results weren’t favourable. We grew our user numbers by more than 20 per cent.”

What has helped the growth of Skybet has been a big rise in new customers registering with their website. New customers acquisition has been a massive boost for them. Flint reported that half of the increase had indeed come from customer numbers and the other half from taking market share of wagers away from their rivals. The company has over a million active customers already and have attracted half a million new customers in the last year.

Another positive that has helped Skybet, which employs 500 staff in Leeds, was the revamp and the relaunch its mobile phone app earlier this year. Since the relaunch, the app has taken over a million bets through the app.

While internally Skybet will be pleased with their efforts, their positive growth should have a big impact on the British economy as well. The Skybet division in Leeds is looking to fill 50 vacancies with the company as part of their continued growth..

“If we continue to see revenue growth, we’ll grow employee numbers,” Flint added. Under a new five year agreement, Skybet have already become the new sponsors of the Football League, now being titled The Sky Bet Football League, with its three divisions being titled The Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League 1 and Sky Bet League 2. The deal is Sky Bet’s first ever off-screen sponsorship in football, and it has helped raised awareness of their services, especially with 10 Yorkshire clubs in those three divisions.


October 24th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Bookmaker News

Skybet

The Premier League sack race took a new twist this week as Cardiff boss Malky Mackay jumped to the top of the list. There have been mixed reports from the Welsh Club after they sacked one of Mackay’s most trusted aides, but insist that the manager himself is not about to walk out on the club. This is all over the sacking of Head of Recruitment Iain Moody at Cardiff, who was booted out to have his top position taken over by a 23 year old Kazakhstani, Alisher Apsalyamov.

In response to the surprise move by Cardiff, bookmakers were quick to react and Skybet slashed the odds of Malky Mackay to be the next Premier League manager to go, into 2/1.

No-one seems to be really clear as to why action was taken against Moody, but Apsalyamov, who has been at the club since February is a good friend of Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan’s son. Apsalyamov doesn’t appear to have any experience in football, and it has to be a blow for Mackay, who has regularly praised Moody’s scouting and recruitment work.

With the Premier League on an international break, there is a bit of time to smooth things over, and reports are that Mackay will still be in charge of Cardiff when they play Chelsea a week on Saturday. It is a little more disruption at the club, who seems to have been the subject of a falling out between owner Tan and the players over an end-of-season bonus.

Cardiff  have taken eight points from their seven games this season in the top flight but just how undermined is Mackay going to be feeling, with the owner clearly making decisions without the manager having any input?

Fulham’s Martin Jol is trading as second favourite with Skybet to be out of a job next at odds of 11/2. The Whites boss has been under pressure all season after a string of poor results and performances, but gave himself a bit of breathing space after edging past Stoke last weekend. Still, the Craven Cottagers have already hovering too close to the relegation zone already this season.

Next Premier League Manager To Go betting odds at online betting site SkyBet
Malky Mackay 13/8, Martin Jol 11/2, Alan Pardew 13/2, Chris Hughton 6/1, Ian Holloway 8/1

New customers registering an account with online betting site SkyBet can get a free £10 bet as welcome bonus. This is a great offer because there is nothing to do to get it. You just open your new account and the bookmaker will automatically credit the new account with a free bet!

http://www.online-betting.me.uk/free-bets-bonus/skybet-free-bet.html


October 9th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Football Betting

Andy Murray

The 2013 Wimbledon Men’s Championship was an extraordinary event, culminating in Andy Murray defeating Novak Djokovic in the final, to become the first British Men’s Champion of Wimbledon for 77 years. The 2014 Wimbledon betting event is sure to throw up even more surprises and hopefully match the excitement of the previous year.

2013 Wimbledon Tennis Betting Odds at Skybet 
Andy Murray 7/4, Novak Djokovic 9/4, Rafael Nadal 6/1, Juan Martin del Potro 6/1, Roger Federer 10/1, Tomas Berdych 33/1

Murray followed up three consecutive semi-finals from 2009 to 2011 and a final in 2012 with a victory to delight the British crowd. Wimbledon is now his most successful grand slam venue, and he has a win record of 84.09% there. He has now reached the final of 4 consecutive grand slam tournaments that he has taken part in. He goes as antepost joint favourite in 2014 Wimbledon betting with most bookies, alongside the man he beat at SW19 in 2013, Novak Djokovic.

The beaten finalist Djokovic has now been at least a semi-finalist at Wimbledon 4 years in a row, however his only victory there occurred in 2011. His win rate of 82.61% is lower than that of his Australian Open and US Open records, but is still one of the favourites to win any tournament. Murray and Djokovic have faced each other in 3 of the last 4 Grand Slam finals, and there is something of a rivalry emerging between the two stars. At online betting site Skybet, they are one of the few bookies around offering slightly longer odds on Djokovic to win Wimbledon 2014 at 9/4, to Murray’s 7/4.

Roger Federer was once the King of Wimbledon, with 5 wins in a row between 2003 and 2007. His win rate of 89.33% there is still better than any other player on tour. However, since his 2012 victory there, he has not reached a single Grand Slam final and went out as early as the second round in the 2013 Wimbledon competition. The glory days of Federer on Centre Court could be fading very quickly from his horizon.

Rafael Nadal was another to suffer from an early exit in 2013, following up his 2012 second round defeat with a loss in the first round this year. However, before those results, he did reach the final 5 times in 5 Wimbledon appearances. His favourite Grand Slam by far is the French Open, but with a win record of 83.72%, Wimbledon is his second most successful venue. The only thought on Nadal is that he will be stronger next season for the action in London, with a good full season under his belt on his comeback from injury in early 2013.

Tomas Berdych has had a mixed time at Wimbledon in recent years. He was a finalist in 2010 and reached the quarter final stage in 2013, but suffered a first round exit in 2012. If he finds his form in 2014, he might be an outside chance to progress in the competition again. One player who has a lot to make up for in 2014 is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He was forced to pull out of his second round match in this year’s tournament, after being fancied to do well, and will be hoping to make amends.

Along with Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro will go as an outside shot. The big Argentinean enjoyed a successful Wimbledon campaign in 2013, reaching the semi-final stage, but he did fail to get past the 4th round stage in any of his previous attempts. However, with the fading force of Federer, Skybet are offering him at shorter odds than the great Swiss superstar. Jerzy Janowicz was one of the surprises of the 2013 tournament too, as the big server fought his way to the semi-final stage in only his second Wimbledon tournament, and only went out to the eventual winner Andy Murray.

New customers registering an account with an online betting site Skybet can take advantage of a great welcome bonus. Not only does the award winning Skybet offer great tennis betting in live in-running markets, but they offer a free £10 bet to new customers. Just head to the bookmaker and open an account, then a free £10 bet credit will automatically be applied to your new account without having to do anything else. 

 


July 23rd, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Sports Betting

Football Betting

2013/14 Conference betting gets under way on August 10th, 2013 with two days worth of top betting action to enjoy. The race to get back into the football league tier begins again for many of the sides, but those who took the drop down from League Two last season will probably be the most desperate to enjoy the sweet taste of promotion. In a tough league, with just one automatic promotion spot up for grabs, gaining the promotion isn’t easy. Four sides go into the Conference Play Offs to try and make the step up in level as well.

2013/14 Conference Premier Outright Winner Odds at Skybet 
Luton 4/1, Forest Green 4/1, Kidderminster 7/1, Wrexham 9/1, Grimsby 9/1, Barnet 10/1Cambridge 11/, Chester 14/1

So who is leading the way when it comes to 2013/14 Conference Outright Winner Betting? Well, two teams have been at the head of the pack ever since the new market was opened for this one. They are Luton Town and Forest Green Rovers. Luton went well last season, even though they just missed out on the play offs. They proved themselves to be a pretty solid all round team and they have taken a lot of backing throughout the off season to muscle their way into the promotion spot.

So too has Forest Green Rovers, who collapsed at the end of last season. They stumbled over the finish line taking five defeats in a row, leaving the Gloucestershire side down in 10th. They are actually the longest serving side in the Conference, so surely their luck has to change sooner or later and that is perhaps why people are drawn to them. They really should have been in the play off picture last season, but then they only managed two wins in their last fourteen matches in the season and just fell, inexplicably, away. So their season will be based on resilience to a large degree.

2013/14 Conference Premier Promotion Betting Odds at SkyBet
Forest Green 2/1, Luton 2/1, Kidderminster 4/1, Wrexham 9/2, Grimsby 9/2, Cambridge 9/2, Chester 9/2, Barnet 7/1, Hereford 12/1

You will naturally have to have a look at the options on the three teams who made the play offs last year without getting promoted. That was Kidderminster, Wrexham and Grimsby. They have all been showing up in the outright winner market, but could be better value in the Promotion market. Kidderminster just missed out on automatic promotion by a couple of points at the end of last season, producing some hot form, but just not enough at the end of the day to overhaul Mansfield’s supremacy. Grimsby’s defence last season was superb and Wrexham have the bitterness of losing the play off final to Welsh rivals Newport to inspire them.

It’s always worth looking at the teams who did take the drop down a level being in the promotion race as well. That was Aldershot and Barnet. The Bees, with former Dutch international Edgar Davids in their midst, almost managed to survive in League Two last season, but took the drop on the final day of the season. The Bees may have the confidence to build a better season with Davids in charge alone at the club, who are pretty forward thinking and confident of getting where they want to go.

What about Conference relegation betting? This is a tough pill to swallow for anyone who suffers it, because playing football league action looks a very long way off them. There are four devastating relegation spots open in the Conference and Aldershot, Hyde, Alfeton, Southport, Nuneaton and Tamworth are all the short price teams around 5/4 to take a drop out of the Conference.

Conference Premier Bottom Four Finish Betting Odds at Skybet 
Aldershot 1/3, Hyde United 13/8, Alfreton 13/8, Southport 13/8, Nuneaton 4/2, Tamworth 3/1

Enjoy tremendous football betting coverage from the award winning online betting site Skybet. They deliver high quality live in play betting for all of your football wagers, and new customers can take advantage of a great welcome bonus too. Skybet will automatically credit new accounts opened with them, with a free £10 bet. There is absolutely nothing to do to get the free bet, other than registering an account!


July 23rd, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Football Betting

Chelsea - Andre Villas Boas

Tito Vilanova stepped down from his role as manager of Barcelona this week, in order to continue his treatment for cancer. The 44 year old was away from his role for a while last season, having undergone surgery in December before returning in time to see Barca win the Spanish Primera Liga title again. With the outgoing Vilanova, who had been groomed into the role, following in the footsteps of Pep Guardiola, no longer able to manage the mighty club, this has opened an unexpected betting market.

Who will be the Next Barcelona manager? Betting on this is a big shock and now the Catalans have gone through this setback, they have to step up quickly for a search for the right man to take the club forward. The initial feeling from Barcelona, who said that a new man would be announced within the next week, is that they will again look internally for a manager. Joan Francesc Ferrer, who is known simply as Rubi was drafted into the club just lat month as an assistant to Vilanova and could at least step up in a temporary role.

Rubi guided Girona to the Segunda Division play offs last year, but didn’t get promotion to the top flight. But both he and fellow assistant Jordi Roura lack the overall managerial experience perhaps that Barcelona really need right now. The Catalan giants like to keep things in house with their managers, just like their young talent coming through their academy, but inexperience could lead them to look further ahead. This is something which could actually be detrimental to the club.

Barcelona have their methods, they have their setup and those working in-house play along to fit that style. Bringing in an outsider cannot go against the ethics which they have built at the club.  Being so close to the start of the new season, Barcelona really don’t have a lot of time to groom a new manager into their role. Whereas at most clubs, a new manager will inject his own style on proceedings, at Barcelona, the new manager will have to work with the club’s style.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has been pencilled as one of the favourites to take over at the Cam Nou. He brought at lot of style to his successful days at FC Porto and has delivered well in his short time at White Hart Lane, and is young enough for Barcelona to invest heavily in. But because of Andre Villas-Boas not having any ties with Catalans, he probably won’t get the job.

Swanseas City’s Michael Laudrup has been touted around as well, because there has been some fractious times between himself and the club during the summer. Laudrup was also a fan favourite at the Nou Camp, where he spent five successful seasons.  He could really be the front runner despite what the bookies say.

Laudrup has been showing up well in Next Barcelona Manager betting and could be worth a long shot. Many will look at the way that Laudrup has Swansea playing and see similarities with Barcelona, therefore he would slip into the role in Spain. Ajax boss Frank de Boer is also a name which is going to carry some weight. Like Laudrup, he was a key figure of the Barcelona team under Joyan Cruyff.

Next Barcelona Manager Betting Odds at online betting site Skybet
Andre Villas-Boas 9/2, Rubi 11/4, Marcela Bielsa 7/1, Michael Laudrup 10/1, Frank de Boer 12/1, Luis Enrique 12/1, Roberto Mancini 16/1, Jupp Heynckes 16/1, Jurgen Klopp 22/1, Jordi Roura 25/1, Arsene Wenger 25/1

New customers registering an account with online betting site Skybet can get a free £10 bet as a welcome bonus. The award winning betting site will automatically credit any new account opened with a free £10 bet. Just simply register and the free bet will be credited, with nothing else to do!


July 20th, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Football Betting

Skybet

Kempton was the scene of a dramatic racing finish recently, as an official dead heat was recorded at the £200 Free Bets At Betdaq Maiden Stakes on June 26th.

Judge Dave Smith had originally declared a dead-heat between even money favourite Extra Noble and big 16/1 shot Fire Fighting. When a dead head occurs in a race, it usually means that a punter will win part of their bet and lose part of their bet.

But Smith was asked by the British Horseracing Authority to reconsider the original decision, and the result was successfully changed to a win for Extra Noble.

Sky Bet, Stan James and William Hill are paying out in full on all single bets on Extra Noble after he was declared the winner of the race after the overturned decision.

Sky Bet spokesman Michael Shinners said: “Clearly this was an exceptional circumstance where favourite backers can rightly feel aggrieved they were not paid out in full. We have decided to pay out on all singles on the winner, Extra Noble.”

 


July 3rd, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Bookmaker News

Skybet

After the success of Inbee Park at the recent US Open, the South Korean has been the subject of a 20/1 offering by online betting site Skybet, to see her win all five Ladies’ PGA Majors this year.

The 24 year old has just been on a meteoric rise since her first season as rookie, where she carded a 4th at the US Women’s Open in 2007. Just a year later, she took the US Open title, the first Major of her career.

After more refinement to her game, 2013 has seen her tower over the rest of the competition on the Women’s PGA, after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Championship and now the US Women’s Open. There are just two more majors to come, the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship. She becomes just the second woman ever to win the opening three majors in a calendar year.

Can she go all the way and complete a full set? She is 3/5ths of the way there. What is the likelihood? Well it’ll be worth looking at a bit of past history and at the British Open, the South Korean has recorded three top ten finishes in her last three attempts, taking a second last year. She had landed three consecutive top ten finishes at the US Open before winning this year.

She will be front runner at the Evian Championship too after last year’s win there. Sky Bet’s Golf Manager John Rhodes said: “Park won the Evian Championship in France last year before it gained major status so now she’ll have extra motivation to retain her title.

“She’s well clear at the top of the women’s rankings and will be favourite at the British Open in August – the grand slam is by no means out of the question.”


July 3rd, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Bookmaker News

Skybet

Online betting site SkyBet have placed industry leading odds on Leeds to win the Championship outright winner market for next season.

That doesn’t mean that they are favourites to take the title, indeed they are a long way out from that, as Skybet have listed a price of 20/1 to win the 2013/14 Championship Title, while offering 13/2 for them to get back to the Premier League.

The offering of 20/1 and 13/2 are both industry leading prices and it doesn’t look to be anything which is going to be too costly for the bookmaker. It is more of a publicity stunt really, after the award winning betting site teamed up with the Elland Road club to become the Official Betting & Gaming Partner from the start of the new season.

Sky Bet’s Managing Director, Richard Flint described the deal as a ‘fantastic opportunity for two Leeds-based companies to work together’.

“Our trading team, many of whom are big Leeds United supporters, are really looking forward to working with the club to provide quality betting content. They’ll also be creating exclusive markets that fans will be unlikely to find with any other betting sites or bookmakers,” he said.

So it is only natural that Skybet fired off a bunch of specials surrounding Leeds for next season. There is long value at 8/1 for them to finish in the top two, and 14/1 for them to get promoted to the top fight through the play offs. In a much stronger showing, they are 4/6 favourites to be the top Yorkshire side in the Championship next season ahead of Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield. Skybet have also offered odds of 4/1 for Leeds to do the double of Sheffield Wednesday and the same price to complete the double over Huddersfield.

Leeds will open their 2013/14 campaign against Brighton, and Skybet are offering a top price of 11/8 for them to win their Championship season opener.


July 3rd, 2013 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Bookmaker News










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