On this page you find articles on bwin and sports betting in general.
Normally, you'd expect some sort of a reaction after a team had just been deposed as the best in the world. But, quite frankly, I can't see a way for India to gain any kind of consolation in the final Test of their series against England. Lack of preparation, too much emphasis on one-day cricket, injuries and fatigue. All have been blamed on India's demotion in favour of their opponents at the top of the international test rankings. But I think you can add disinterest and lack of heart to that list. I made the cardinal sin of forecasting that the weather and the class of the Indian batsmen would contrive to thwart England at Edgbaston. I really should have known better! You can't trust the English weather nor weather forecasters and the less said of the performance and attitude of supposed top-class players like Virender Sehwag, the better. It says plenty that India's best player by far in this series has been medium-pace bowler Praveen Kumar, who has at least shown the stomach for a battle with both ball and bat. But he's been badly let down by more exalted and experienced team-mates. India's much-vaunted top six have simply crumbled in the face of England's pace attack and, though captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni insists there is not yet a need to panic, I'd strongly disagree. Sachin Tendulkar is still a class act but not the player of old on this summer's evidence. Neither Sehwag nor Gautan Gambhir seem able to cope with top-class swing bowling and the years appearing to have worn down Raul Dravid traditional resilience. The Indians just have no middle order and there are likely to be few takers of the 6/1 available for a tourists' victory in the Fourth Test with Blue Square, 888sportand William Hill. England are a best 6/4 with bet3 65, while the draw is 7/5 with bwin but I'd rather concentrate on some of the other markets surrounding the match. There is still a slight doubt about the fitness of Jimmy Anderson but England have shown they can cope easily when losing first-choice bowlers in the short term. Graham Onions is standing by to make his return to the test arena and will make a good foil for Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan if selected. There may also be a change in England's batting line-up with Johnathan Trott likely to come straight back in after missing out at Edgbaston, replacing the unlucky Ravi Bopara. Trott is 4/1 with Skybet to be England's leading run-maker at the Brit Oval but Alastair Cook heads the betting at a general 7/2 following his magnificent double century in Birmingham. Eoin Morgan, who also scored a century, is a general 8/1 with captain Andrew Strauss at 9/2 with totesport.
Every summer, my sister, her partner and their three kids head off to 'La Belle France' in their motor home. They normally end up on the coast somewhere, or at Disneyland Paris. But for three weeks, they zig-zag across the country, trying to stay one step ahead of the Tour De France 2011.
Unless you live in France or spend time there during June and July, it's difficult to understand the impact 'La Tour' has on everyday life. Every small town and village it passes through treats the day as a holiday. Markets and street parties aren't uncommon, and an entire village will grind to a halt for the few seconds it takes the riders to pass through. Blanket media coverage helps promote the race across the world but part of the race's attraction is the circus that accompanies it. I don't think I've ever seen my sibling's children on bikes but they'll cheerfully line up on the side of some mountain road in the back of beyond to grab their share of the never-ending supply of free merchandise handed out to spectators prior to the peloton's arrival and villagers will paint messages on the road surface just so they can recognise themselves on the day's highlights programmes.
For the riders in the race it's a far more serious matter of course. Multi-million euro sponsorship deals can depend on a prominent showing on 'La Tour' and a stage win can even be enough to secure a contract with a big team in the future. The sport of cycling has been plagued by accusations of cheating and skullduggery for a long time, however, and this year's hot favourite Alberto Contador (8/11 with Coral) is one of the sport's most controversial figures.
Accusations of drug abuse have dogged the three-times winner down the years and he actually failed a test in last year's race only to be subsequently cleared by his own cycling federation. His case is still under review but the International Cycling Union is allowing to race until the matter is resolved but such is the depth of feeling both for against the Spaniard that he has to have several bodyguards surrounding him when not in the saddle. Contador, who won the Tour in 2007, 2009 and 2010, will be helped by climbers Jesus Hernandez and Dani Navarro, as well as close friend Benjamin Noval as he leads the Saxo Bank-Sungard team in the race, which gets under way at the weekend.
On paper, Andy Schleck again looks the only danger to Contador's continued domination of 'La Tour'. The Luxembourg rider has finished runner-up to Contador in the last two Tour de France and was only 40 seconds off the pace last year. He fine-tuned his preparations in last week's Tour Of Switzerland and will be targeting his big rival when the race reaches the Pyrenees at the end of the first week. Schleck is undoubtedly closing the gap on Contador and, at the general 11/5, may just the better option this year.
The pair also dominate betting for the King Of The Mountains, with Contador a 5/2 chance with Bet365 and William Hill and Schleck 5/1 with the same two firms, though I'd expect Quick Step rider Jerome Pineau (20/1 with William Hill) to give the big guns a run for their money in this market as he held the red polkadot jersey for nine stages last year.
Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins is a 33/1 chance with bwin to emerge triumphant overall but Schleck could finally get to receive the accolades at the end of the Champs Elysee on the 24th July.
Women's World Cup 2011 - Improving Americans can end German domination
Despite a near faultless preparation which included wins over the USA and Sweden, England women's football coach Hope Powell has admitted her squad is entering unknown territory with regard to their fitness levels at the 2011 Women's World Cup, which gets under way in Germany later this week.
All but five of Powell's 21-strong squad ply their trade in the newly-formed English Super League but the majority of her players have only played in a handful of fixtures this year. The WSL didn't start until April and will be taking a break during the World Cup but there have been fears expressed that key players may lack match fitness in Germany, even though it's generally agreed that the new league will improve standards and enhance England's chances of closing the gap on the traditional powerhouses of women's world football like Germany and the USA.
England, the only team to shut out the Germans in China four years ago, kick off their campaign against Mexico before facing New Zealand and the group's top seeds Japan and should be confident of making the knockout stages but bookmakers give Powell's team little chance of emerging as tournament winners, with Bet365 and Paddy Power both offering 20/1. Japan are the same price with Bet365 and bwin.
Unsurprisingly, hosts and defending champions Germany are strong favourites across the board at odds-on in some places, though Boylesports, Stan James and totesport will still lay you 6/5. The Germans kick off their campaign against CONCACAF champions Canada in Berlin before meeting Nigeria and France in Group A. Record-breaking top scorer Brigit Prinz will again lead their line and players like Nadine Angerer and Ariane Hingst are veterans of previous World Cup triumphs. But, all things considered, I'd rather have a bet on the USA at the current odds.
The Americans are still ranked number one in the world, despite a woeful qualifying campaign in which they needed a play-off to eventually see off the Italians. But there have been recent signs that Pia Sundhage's team is steadily getting its act together now and they beat the highly-regarded Japanese on the way to winning the Algarve Cup for the eighth time in Portugalrecently. William Hill are probably prepared to go as big as 13/2 against the Americans because of the fact that they've been drawn in the so-called 'Group Of Death' alongside Sweden (16/1 with William Hill), North Korea (a general 33/1) and Colombia (150/1 with Paddy Power). But that's overlooking the amount of options available to Sundhage and the sheer professionalism of her squad.
If the trophy was awarded for style and panache Brazil, like their men, would probably win hands down and in Marta, who plays for FC Gold Pride in the States, they have arguably the most exciting talent on the world stage at present. The Brazilians (6/1 with Blue Square and 888sport) have the capability of blowing away group rivals Australia and Equitorial Guinea but Norway (22/1 with bwin) won't roll over and the South Americans' suspect stamina will come under increasing scrutiny as the tournament progresses. Take the USA to end Germany's domination.