Aussies are the favourites again

Alastair Cook's England are the underdogs ahead of the third Ashes Test
Alastair Cook's England are the underdogs ahead of the third Ashes Test

The second Ashes Test was nothing short of a disaster for a dismal England side, who were humiliated at Lords in a 405-run defeat.

The rejuvenated Aussies have subsequently been restored to the head of the betting, at 4/9, to win the series while the hosts are out to 9/2 to triumph across the remaining three contests. It’s 5/1 with BetVictor to finish all-square.

Next week, the two sides face-off at Edgbaston in the third Test and with their tails up, the Baggy Greens are a shade of odds-on at 10/11 (William Hill) to move into a 2-1 series lead.

Stan James go 11/4 about the stalemate and Alastair Cook’s beleaguered charges are now as high as 10/3 at bet365 to bounce back with an unlikely victory.

Steve Smith struck an incredible double-ton for the tourists at Lords so it’s perhaps not surprising to see the Aussie batsman priced as an 11/4 jolly at bet365 to top score for the Aussies.

Stan James make Joe Root 3/1 to do likewise for the home side and with England’s top order under-performing at present, that looks a shoo-in.

With that in mind, it looks tremendous value at 10/11 (Skybet) for the hosts’ opening partnership to yield fewer than 25.5 runs. By contrast, the two Australian openers are 5/6 via William Hill to contribute more than 33.5 runs.

With the ball in hand, bet365 mark 11/4 against Stuart Broad, England’s most impressive bowler in the opening two matches, claiming the most wickets for his side and Mitchell Johnson is 11/4 with Skybet to grab the most scalps for the visitors.

The Super League reaches the last round of the regular season this weekend before the table splits for the Super 8s competition and current leaders Leeds are odds-on favourites at 8/13 via Skybet to go on and clinch the League Leader’s Shield.

The Rhinos are also 5/2 jollies, this time with BetVictor to emerge as Grand Final winners and bet365 post 1/7 against Brian McDermott’s men retaining first place on Sunday by getting the better of Catalans Dragons at Headingley, where they’re 10/11 (Ladbrokes) overhaul a 14-point handicap.

St Helens can move to the table’s summit, temporarily at least, if they defeat Hull at Langtree Park on tomorrow (Friday) evening.

Saints are an unbackable 1/25 at Stan James to send the Robins home empty-handed and Keiron Cunningham’s troops are given a 20-point deficit to claw back in Paddy Power’s handicaps at 10/11.

Elsewhere, William Hill’s 4/7 chances Castleford should have the edge at home to Warrington, although the Tigers are a slightly riskier proposition at evens (bet365) when starting six points behind the Wolves.

Salford are worth considering, aided by a 10-point start (10/11, Skybet) as they travel to Widnes and BetVictor penalise Huddersfield by 28-points at 10/11 as they welcome rock-bottom Wakefield to the John Smith’s Stadium.

William Hill quote Lewis Hamilton at just 1/5 to secure the F1 Drivers Championship and he’s 4/9 courtesy of Stan James to extend his lead at the top of the standings by claiming victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Bet365 go 9/4 about Nico Rosberg closing the gap on his team mate by earning maximum points the Hungaroring, where price Sebastian Vettel at 12/1.

Hamilton is also a 1/2 jolly at Stan James to qualify in pole position and Paddy Power offer the Mercedes man at 5/2 to grab the clean sweep – a race win, pole and the fastest lap. Banker hunters can also tackle Ladbrokes’s 2/5 about Hamilton and Rosberg occupying the top two positions in any order.

Jordan Spieth came desperately close to securing his third major in 2015 as the Open Championship drew to a close a day late on Monday and after another tremendous performance at St Andrews, he’s Stan James’s 11/2 favourite to prevail in next month’s USPGA Championship.

The same firm rate Rory McIlroy at 7/1 to recover from injury to triumph at Whistling Straits, where bet365 quote Zach Johnson at 50/1 to follow up his Open success with a win in Wisconsin.

Like Spieth, Jason Day missed out on a play-off by a single stroke at ‘the Home of Golf’ and the Australian, who looks like a major winner in waiting, looks a tad overpriced at 22/1 (bet365) to end his wait for one.

Bet of the week: Mitchell Johnson to be top Australian bowler in third Test – 11/4 (Skybet).

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