06 Apr The Commonwealth Games 2018 | Preview and Odds
There is a feast of sport being served up for punters between April 4th and April 15th as 70 nations come together on the Gold Coast of Australia to participate in the 21st Commonwealth Games.
With everything from aquatics and wrestling to shooting and rugby sevens to choose from, our sports betting expert has taken a first look into a few of the sporting events coming up, bringing you some tips and insight along the way.
Despite the worldwide popularity of the sport, basketball didn’t make its way into the Commonwealth Games until 2006 – and is only returning for the first time since.
That inaugural appearance for basketball at the Games was also in Australia, and the hosts made it an impressive double, winning the gold medals in both the men’s and women’s competitions. New Zealand was the runner-up, with England taking bronze against Nigeria.
Twelve years later and the Aussie men are favourites once again at 1/5 to defend their gold on home turf, with arguably the deepest squad of the eight teams participating.
However, they will be missing some of their top players who will still be in engaged in national competitions, so I quite fancy New Zealand to cause a stir and quite possibly an upset. At 13/2 to come out on top, there is more than enough value to take a punt on Australia’s neighbours.
Despite being a traditionally less glamorous sport than basketball, and certainly a less publicised one, lawn bowls first featured in the Commonwealth Games in 1930 and has been a stalwart ever since.
There may not be as much dynamism or raw athleticism involved compared to many of the other events on offer, but the precision, strategy and tension makes for a surprisingly exciting flutter.
Striving to stamp his dominance in the men’s singles event is New Zealander Shannon McIlroy, who has enjoyed a very good calendar year on the green so far. Having bowled from the age of two, the composure and skill he went on to develop saw him get a call up to the U18s at the age of 14 – and 17 years later he is the 3/1 favourite to go all the way.
Close on McIlroy’s heels, however, will be reigning champion Darren Burnett who is the most experienced of the favourites here. Burnett has won five bowls gold medals across indoor and outdoor competitions and the Scotsman is 4/1 to make it six golds in the Gold Coast.
The undisputed Malaysian squash princess Nicol David first broke onto the scene at her home Commonwealth Games two decades ago and has since gone on to win the world title an unparalleled eight times.
Still creating her legacy, David has taken the last two women’s singles golds and will be looking to make it a successive hat-trick down under.
Although she is coming into the competition ranked third in the world, there could be money to be made in the 7/2 price on offer with Grosvenorsport.com to pip evens favourite Laura Massaro to Commonwealth glory.