Manchester United caused a stir on Sunday as they collected three points from a 1-0 success away at Tottenham. That was the biggest test for interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since having been brought in to revive the club’s fortunes. The former United striker arrived last December to replace Jose Mourinho.
After winning his first four Premier League games, the fog was lifted. But it was all in context because they were all victories against sides currently in the bottom half of the table. Throw in an expected win over Championship strugglers Reading in the FA Cup and Solskjaer had had a somewhat easy run of games. Then came the league trip to Spurs.
5/6 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
5/2 Mauricio Pochettino
7/1 Zinedine Zidane
10/1 Gareth Southgate
12/1 Massimiliano Allegri
16/1 Diego Simeone
* (betting odds was taken from Paddy Power on January 14th, 2019 at 2:07 pm)
Any questions that were there about Solskjaer in this test was answered. They relied on a positive counter attacking set up, not afraid to pump the ball long and use their pace. It worked for them as Marcus Rashford got the only goal of the game just before the half time break. Then it was all hands to the pump to defend.
Spurs had more than enough chances to get an equaliser and indeed win the game. They peppered the United goal in the second half, but keeper David de Gea was equal to everything. The Spaniard pulled off eleven saves in the match in total to help United secure a massive three points.
Bookmaker Paddy Power had apparently seen enough. On Sunday they paid out on bets having backed Solskjaer to be the next permanent Manchester United manager. Solskjaer was only brought into Old Trafford on a temporary basis until the end of the season. In the summer he is supposed to be going back to his other managerial job at his club Molde.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has been touted as one of the key men to get the Old Trafford job on a permanent basis. He has drifted to 5/2 to be the next United boss leaving him as the second favourite in the market. Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is a 7/1 option to be in the hot seat at the start of next season* (betting odds taken from Paddy Power on January 14th, 2019 at 2:07 pm).
Paddy Power has also produced a market for some Solskjaer Special, including guiding Manchester United to an unbeaten run for the rest of the Premier League season.
2/1 Man Utd to beat Liverpool in Old Trafford in the 2018/19 EPL
9/4 Man Utd to beat Man City in Old Trafford in the 2018/19 EPL
7/1 Man Utd to beat Liverpool & Man City in Old Trafford in the 2018/19 EPL
25/1 To go the rest of this season’s Premier League unbeaten
* (betting odds was taken from Paddy Power on January 14th, 2019 at 2:07 pm)
The three points earned at Wembley on Sunday left Manchester United in sixth place in the table, but level on points with Arsenal directly above them. The Red Devils have a six-point gap to make up to fourth-placed Chelsea. Paddy Power rate the chances of the Red Devils securing a top-four finish at 5/2* (betting odds taken from Paddy Power on January 14th, 2019 at 2:07 pm).
At an emotional press conference on Friday, British tennis legend Andy Murray announced that his time for retirement is pretty close. He said that he had planned to step away from the game after Wimbledon 2019 but the pain that he to play through following his hip surgery last year, may not allow him to get that deep into the season.
Murray admitted that he could be retiring when his Australian Open campaign comes to an end. The Scotsman was in tears at the press conference ahead of the action at Melbourne Park, which starts on Monday. Murray will be leaving having left a major impression on the game. He has won three Grand Slams during his career.
Murray’s first round match at the Australian Open is against Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut and Murray is the underdog against the World Number 22. Murray enters the match at 10/3 odds to win* (betting odds was taken from Paddy Power on January 11tth, 2019 at 4:32 pm)
Bookamer Paddy Power announced on Friday that they had taken 56 bets on Murray winning this year’s Australian Open.
Paddy Power went further to announce that they have paid out on each of those 56 bets supporting Murray in Melbourne. Given that Murray has done next to nothing on the court since his surgery last year, winning the Australian Open this year was highly unlikely for him. Murray lost five finals at Melbourne Park during his career when he was on top of his game.
Murray is currently 80/1 odds to win the Australian Open 2019 but the early payout that Paddy Power has issued applies to bets placed online only prior to 11:15 am on January 11th, 2019.
The end of year Sports Personality of the Year Award celebrated everything great about sport over the last twelve months. It was Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas who came out the winner on the night, following his 2018 Tour de France success.
Thomas was followed by Lewis Hamilton in second and England striker Harry Kane in third. Taking nothing away from their honours, bookmaker Paddy Power saw something amiss, namely that boxer Tyson Fury was omitted from the shortlist
The operator was so surprised that they went out and refunded all SPOTY bets placed on Fury winning the award.
Fury had a big year on his comeback to the sport, culminating in an epic showdown against Deontay Wilder this month. Twice Fury came back from off the canvas to earn a draw against the American, but it was a fight than many pundits believed Fury should have won on points.
Paddy Power said: “If you were to take the award literally, Tyson is the biggest personality in sport. He’s also one of the biggest people in sport full-stop.
“His return to the ring was sensational and inspiring, and that was reflected in the huge backing he got in our betting market – for that reason, we’ve decided to refund all bets on him winning as a justice refund.”
The Bank of England have announced that the £50 will get a facelift and Paddy Power have opened a market on whose face is likely to appear on the note. The early market leader is Stephen Hawking at 9/1 odds* (betting odds taken on October 17th, 2018 at 8:12 pm).
9/1 Stephen Hawking
10/1 Mary Seacole
12/1 Edith Cavell
16/1 Margaret Thatcher
20/1 Richard Attenborough
20/1 William Blake
22/1 Beatrix Potter
33/1 Princess Diana
33/1 David Bowie
500/1 Gareth Southgate
500/1 Harry Maguire
* (betting odds taken from Paddy Power on October 17th, 2018 at 8:12 pm)
Hawking, a famed theoretical physicist, died earlier this year in March and could well be honoured. But there have been a lot of calls for a woman to appear on the new note.
British-Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole is a very popular selection and has been backed well in the market at 10/1 odds* (betting odds taken on October 17th, 2018 at 8:12 pm).
The other leading woman is former PM Margaret Thatcher at 16/1 odds* (betting odds taken on October 17th, 2018 at 8:12 pm). There has actually been a petition raised to get Thatcher on the note.
Author Jane Austen was the first woman to appear on a new banknote (other than the Queen) after a campaign to get a woman represented in the currency. Steam engine pioneers James Watt and Matthew Boulton appear on the current £50, issued in 2011.
After a bit of a frenzy on social media after the announcement, Paddy Power put a 500/1 price on current England boss Gareth Southgate appearing* (betting odds taken on October 17th, 2018 at 8:12 pm).
It is the stuff that dreams are made of. A punter turned their €1 Lucky 15 into a whopping €100k this week on Tuesday evening. The bet was struck at Paddy Power on horse racing action.
The first leg was Sfumato in the 15.40 at Catterick who came home at a big 9/1 price. It was then a wait for the action from Newcastle were Consequences (16/1), Burford Brown (9/2) and Glengarry who rounded off the full house at as a staggering 66/1 odds winner in the final race of the evening.
So the entire each way wager certainly didn’t rely on any strong favourites to come through the field. It was a pretty astonishing feat of betting landing all of those winners at big odds right from the get-go.
What did that mean for the winner? A pretty satisfying return of €112,908.
Paddy Power Betfair were rocked with some bad news this week. They were hit with a loss of £250m from the value of the FTSE 100 which was all down to newly released Irish Government plans to double the betting duties in the country.
The Irish turnover tax is set to go up from 1pc to 2pc in the new changes and this applies to both retail and online bets from new year. There will also be an increase from 15pc to 25pc on gambling exchanges as well.
There has been a big fear that the huge rise in tax responsibilities will go a long way to “kill the industry”.
Paddy Power Betfair are the largest of the Irish operators and they have estimated that under the new tax regime, their annual betting duty bill will go up by a staggering £20m which sparked the drop in their shares by 5pc.
Other major players like Ladbrokes Coral, GVC and William Hill have nowhere near as large of a footprint in Ireland so won’t be as heavily affected.
The Irish Bookmakers Association Chairman Sharon Byrne said it will “kill the industry”, adding: “It is extremely disappointing that the Government conceded to this demand by politicians who never engaged with the industry or understood the profound effect a turnover tax can have on so many jobs.”
The IBA also warned that the announcement by Finance minister Paschal Donohoe “just signed P45s for over 1,500 jobs in the independent bookmaking sector”.