SPL set for early return

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Football fans rejoice, competitive action returns to domestic shores this weekend as the Scottish season kicks off for another bout of Celtic v Rangers and best of the rest.

There’s also the Copa America final, racing from Ascot, the German Grand Prix and the England v India Test series, so punters can’t complain about a lack of sporting action this weekend! As always the Sportingbet Podcast picks out the value bets in all of the above, plus gives you the chance to win a £100 Free Bet playing free tipping game Five for a Ton.

This week’s edition features Sportingbet punters passing on their know-how, with Willie Duncan returning to cast an expert eye over the new Scottish season.

Duncan correctly predicted three from four Outright Winners north of the border last season, with only the SPL coin-flip letting him down. Celtic are 5/6 favourites to win the SPL this season ahead of 21/20 Rangers, while next in the betting is Hearts at 40/1.

The SPL without the Old Firm looks more interesting however, with the Edinburgh club aloft at 23/20 and the likes of Aberdeen (7/1) and Motherwell (8/1) available at more attractive prices. Meanwhile ,the weekend’s games see Hearts (8/1) heading to Rangers (2/7) looking for a season opening upset, while Celtic are 21/20 to win -1 goal at Hibernian (13/2).

Also on the footballing agenda was the final weekend of the Copa America, where Uruguay and Paraguay will duel for South America’s top prize.

First up is Peru (33/20) v Venezuela (29/20) in the third-place playoff, and having backed the minnows from the earliest rounds, who better to preview the match than Sportingbet’s own Mark O’Haire? The world football expert went in search of the value in both games, with Uruguay a shades of odds on at 19/20 to beat 3/1 Paraguay.

The latter side have failed to win a game yet, but their prowess for penalties could yet be worth a punt at 9/1 to win on spot kicks.

Meanwhile another punter Stuart Bailey, who has enjoyed some good form at the races of late, spoke with podcast host Chris Graham to preview the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and International handicap. Frankel v Canford Cliffs at next week’s Glorious Goodwood was also on the agenda, along with the usual dose of top tips!

England’s first Test with India started on Thursday and to compliment the in:play betting on offer throughout the weekend, Richard Clarke was on hand to give his ante post views to guide your thoughts. England are chasing their rivals in more ways than one of course, with the title of top Test nation up for grabs if the hosts can beat the ODI champions by two clear victories.

Capping off the weekend is Formula 1 and Sebastian Vettel will be keen to return to the podium peak as the drivers head to his native Germany this weekend. With the blown diffuser rule rolled back, the defending champion is a worthy 11/10 favourite as practice gets underway.

The McLarens could yet be more competitive after suffering at the British Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton 7/1 and Jenson Button at 15/1, while Fernando Alonso’s race-winning pace at Silverstone makes him worth a look at 7/4.

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