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Wozniacki wins second China Open title; Del Potro stumbles

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BEIJING — Caroline Wozniacki defeated Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-3 to win the China Open and her third WTA title of the year on Sunday, while Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia beat top-seeded Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-4 in the men’s final.

The victory was Wozniacki’s second title in Beijing.

The unseeded Sevastova downed U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka in the semifinal, but couldn’t handle the second-seeded Dane’s punishing groundstrokes.

Though Sevastova threatened late in the second set, Wozniacki broke in the ninth game to wrap up the title, the 30th of her career.

Wozniacki said eight was her lucky number and, having won in Beijing eight years ago, she “felt it was my year.”

“Last time was different. I was 20 years old,” Wozniacki said. “A lot has happened since then.

“I think I just really appreciate still being here, playing well, being able to win these titles.”

Sevastova said she had seen a path to victory in the second set before Wozniacki slammed the door.

“I think the second set should have been closer. Maybe I had even chances to win it,” Sevastova said.

In the men’s final, big-hitting Basilashvili collected his second title of the year after winning in Hamburg.

U.S. Open finalist Del Potro has the consolation of having qualified for the ATP Finals in London next month.

Basilashvili saved all seven break points he faced against the Argentine.

UFC 229 Khabib vs McGregor odds update: Betting lines, props for Saturday

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Just as a longer fight likely works in favor of Khabib Nurmagomedov against Conor McGregor in what is being called the biggest bout in UFC’s history, bettors might also need to wait out the pre-fight odds.

With his UFC lightweight championship on the line, the undefeated Nurmagomedov is a -160 favorite on the Khabib-McGregor odds with the Irishman coming back at +130 in the main event on the card for UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The quintessential showdown between grappler and striker — likely no need to guess who is who — might see a reprise of a pattern with the odds for McGregor fights. The line moved toward parity late before The Notorious One’s boxing match against Floyd Mayweather in August 2017, suggesting the former two-division’s champion has a fanbase who hew to the Han Solo maxim of “never tell me the odds.”

This time around, Nurmagomedov opened at -200, so those convinced he can handle McGregor, who last got in the Octagon 23 months ago, might wish to wait until closer to fight time.

For Nurmagomedov, eight of his 10 career UFC bouts have gone at least three rounds, winning six by unanimous decision, which is offered at +400 in method-of-victory UFC 229 props. Nurmagomedov is a superior wrestler who puts endless pressure on opponents, and it’s realistic to think that if he can protect his chin from McGregor, then he could end the fight relatively early through submission (+290) or KO/TKO/DQ (+280).

There are also +1400 odds on the fight ending in Round 5, with +235 on it going the distance.

Nineteen of McGregor’s 21 career wins in mixed martial arts have ended in either the first or second rounds. It’s probably no secret that McGregor will need an early strike to establish himself, and his footwork might help him play some rope-a-dope against the takedown attempts of Nurmagomedov in the early round.

There are +333 odds at UFC betting sites on a KO/TKO/DQ win by either fighter in Round 1, with the price jumping to +475 in Round 2, which seems like a way that both McGregor fans and skeptics can back up their sentiments. The over/under on the fight’s duration is 2.5 rounds, with the under at -140 and the over at even money.

One prop where laying chalk on McGregor seems to make the most sense is -175 to have a longer walkout. Nurmagomedov is priced at +125.

In a lightweight lead-in bout on the main card, Tony Ferguson (-350) is favored against Anthony Pettis (+265) on the UFC 229 odds in a matchup between two submission stylists. A knee injury has contributed to this being Ferguson’s first bout in more than a year, so there’s a strong possibility of the fight going to a decision.

Rising light heavyweight Dominick Reyes (-225) faces a stiff test against Ovince Saint Preux (+175), who has never quite been able to hang with the division’s elite. The scenario seems tailor-made for Reyes, who has ended of his nine career bouts in Round 1, to have another short night.

Alexander Volkov (-190) has been moving deeper into minus money ahead of facing Derrick Lewis (+155), whose sometimes-wonky back condition may give bettors pause. Volkov rates having the edge in both the volume of his striking and his striking defense.

And Felice Herrig (-130) might be a vulnerable favorite against Michelle Waterson (+100) in a women’s strawweight bout. Herrig has a diverse skill set but also absorbs significant strikes at a frighteningly high rate, while Waterston is proficient with both landing significant strikes and converting takedown attempts. Herrig’s fights tend to go to a decision, which could repeat itself here.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Matchweek 7 Premier League odds: Liverpool away favorite against Chelsea

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With manager Jurgen Klopp toggling back to his first-choice lineup, Liverpool might well prove it’s tough for one elite team to beat another twice in a row.

Liverpool is a +155 away favorite with host Chelsea coming back at +180 on the Premier League odds for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The draw offers +255 on the three-way moneyline and the total is at 3.0 goals. It’s the second match in four days between the clubs, as Chelsea won 2-1 in a Carabao Cup match at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium on Wednesday.

However, Liverpool has won all six of its league matches and has led at halftime in all six. Liverpool also has won or drawn in six of its last eight league visits to Chelsea.

Klopp should have the attacking troika of Roberto Firmino flanked by Sadio Mané and Mohamad Salah. Salah (+115 anytime goal scorer) and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (+160 anytime) are their team’s respective best bets to score. Chelsea might have a positional edge in the midfield through Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.

West Ham United (+350) has not scored against Manchester United (-115, draw +280) in their last three matchups (all competitions) and have won just one of their last 19 Premier League matchups. With that said, Manchester United has been less than the sum of its parts and West Ham, presuming Marko Arnautovic is fit to play, has a chance to wrest on the draw and could help the both teams to score prop hit.

Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku has 11 goals in his last 11 games against West Ham.

Arsenal (+220) takes a six-win streak into its match against Watford (+575, draw +400), which has failed to win in 13 of its last 14 away matches in the league. Eight of the 12 matches involving either of these teams have gone over 2.5 goals, so taking both teams to score is the relative percentage play as the 3.5-goals total could be daunting. Arsenal winger Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (-135 anytime scorer) has the top prop to tally.

Newcastle United (+160) and Leicester City (+200, draw +225) are each riding an OVER streak, as Newcastle’s last four home games and Leicester’s last six away games have all had over 2.5 goals. Newcastle, one of the least threatening offensive sides in the league, is desperate for a win and could grind out a low-scoring victory, but there’s more value backing Leicester to win on the road, with a goal coming through Jamie Vardy (+450 first goal scorer, +190 anytime).

Cardiff City (+160) is winless in six league games as it readies to host Burnley (+210, draw +205) in a Sunday matchup. Both teams are dragging bad trends – Cardiff has conceded at least three goals in its last three games, whereas Burnley is winless in its last five away matches. However, until Cardiff shows it has a semblance of a defense, its opponents are always worth backing on the double chance.

Bournemouth (+125) may be a bit vulnerable against Crystal Palace (+230, draw +250), in a Monday matchup. Bournemouth has lost two of its last three league games and while this might be a case of where being at home cures what ails the Cherries, Crystal Palace expects to have Max Meyer (+450 anytime scorer) making his first Premier League start and offers value on the double chance and both teams to score props.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.