The final tennis Grand Slam of the year concludes in New York this week. There have been few upsets thus far, as the likes of Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have displayed formidable form. By the second week, only the best players are left standing and you typically see decent value in outright match betting without having to resort to correct score set wagers or games handicaps. You might still need handicaps when someone as dominant as Williams is playing, but accumulators represent another strong option. Going "over" on total games is also a handy strategy if you think two evenly matched players will be in for a grueling five-set epic. This is especially helpful when two men are big servers and there will likely be plenty of tiebreaks.
The club football season takes a two-week break and internationals come to the fore, with England, Scotland, Wales, France and many more teams in action. UEFA has scrapped friendlies and launched the UEFA Nations League in its place. The new competition has a complex format, but it essentially sees all the European teams compete against one another in group games ahead of a knockout stage. It will replace the vast majority of international friendlies throughout the year, and it also ensures that international teams are frequently facing rivals of a similar quality. There is a trophy at stake and it also provides another route for teams to qualify for the European Championship, so it should make international breaks more exciting in future. The picks of the games this week sees 2014 World Cup winners Germany host 2018 champions France in a blockbuster game. Les Bleus are all the way out at 19/10 with Bet365 to pick up a win, which looks tempting after Joachim Low’s men flopped this summer. England take on Spain in another eagerly anticipated fixture on Saturday, while Italy look well priced at 10/11 to beat Poland at home on Friday. These are still quasi-friendlies, so it may be worth keeping stakes relatively low, but the value is there on a lot of games.
These two teams have engaged in an epic battle this summer and it all draws to a close this week with the fifth and final Test match. England were firmly in the ascendancy in the first couple of matches, but top order problems saw India surge back into contention, guided by the brilliance of captain Virat Kohli. Joe Root’s men are the favourites, but a lot of punters are backing India to spring another upset at The Oval.
American football returns this week after a lengthy off-season, and there are some exciting games to look forward to in the first round. The Philadelphia Eagles, the defending Super Bowl champions, will get proceedings underway when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night (the early hours of Friday morning for European fans). Star quarterback Carson Wentz does not look quite ready to return to action, so the Eagles are likely to stick with Nick Foles, the backup QB that led them to an improbably Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. They are the favourites to beat Atlanta, but Foles has not looked convincing in preseason, and you might be tempted by a plus handicap on the Falcons. The Pats host the Houston Texans at the weekend, while other big games see the Steelers play the Browns, the Cowboys take on the Panthers, and the Seahawks lock horns with the Broncos.