Christmas, a time for families, food, gifts and celebration and of course an action-packed sporting calendar. The King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day and the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace are annual highlights during the festive period but this year offers a tremendous amount of sport on an almost-daily basis throughout December. Here at Betting Sites we offer our top tips of Christmas, giving bettors plenty of opportunities to end 2018 on a high.
I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here
Arise King Harry
After entering the jungle as a 12/1 outsider with most bookmakers, former Spurs, West Ham and QPR manager, Harry Redknapp, is now tipped to be crowned King of the Jungle. Redknapp was already a huge favourite amongst football fans everywhere but his endearing stories about the East End and his wife, Sandra, have left a nation of females falling in love with him also.
Ballon D’Or odds
Modric to end Ronaldo/Messi dominance
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the Ballon D’Or awards in recent years, claiming five World Player of the Year titles apiece over the last decade. However, a stellar year for club and country means that Croatia and Real Madrid star, Luka Modric is now being tipped to claim the most coveted individual award in football.
Not since Kaka’s 2007 triumph has a name other than Messi or Ronaldo adorned the Ballon D’Or but Modric has already claimed the Best FIFA Men’s Player of the year award and could be in line for a second major individual award in a matter of months. World Cup winners, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe as well as Mbappe’s clubmate, Neymar, are also in the running for the top award but our money is on Croatian playmaker, Modric.
Josh Warrington vs Carl Frampton
Frampton to regain world title
Josh Warrington caused a big upset in the featherweight division when he defeated Lee Selby to claim the IBF world title. Warrington became Leeds’ first ever world champion but now faces a huge test in his first title defence.
Warrington’s opponent, former two-weight world champion, Carl Frampton, was set to fight for the IBF title when it was held by Lee Selby but the fight never materialised. There were suggestions that the Belfast-born fighter would step up in weight in search of a world title at a third different weight class but for now it seems becoming world champion at featherweight again is the aim.
If Frampton fights at the level displayed in his two thrilling bouts with Mexican, Leo Santa Cruz, then the bookies’ price of 8/11 could prove an absolute steal.
Betway UK Championship
Rocket Ronnie too good for snooker’s elite
Here at Betting Sites we’re backing Ronnie O’Sullivan to continue on his path to snooker greatness as the Englishman sets his sights on a record-breaking 19th Triple Crown title. Snooker’s Triple Crown consists of its three most prestigious tournaments; the Masters, World Championship and UK Championship. O’Sullivan currently sits tied first on 18 Triple Crown triumphs but he will surpass the mark shared with Stephen Hendry with victory in York later this month. O’Sullivan clinched the UK Championship last year and is hot favourite to triumph once again.
Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora
Whyte too much for ageing Chisora
The 2018 boxing calendar ends with a massive heavyweight rematch at London’s O2 Arena between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora. The two major rivals clashed at Manchester’s MEN Arena in December 2016 with Whyte claiming a split decision after 12 brutal rounds.
Since his win over Chisora, Whyte’s career has been building up towards a first ever shot at the world heavyweight title. Wins over Robert Helenius, Lucas Browne and Joseph Parker left Whyte as mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder’s WBC title. When that fight failed to materialise, along with a possible showdown with Cuban, Luis Ortiz, a rematch with Chisora was mentioned.
Since their last fight, the duo’s respective careers seemed to be going in opposite directions in the subsequent two years but Chisora’s dramatic win over world title challenger, Carlos Takam, has given him a chance of earning another shot at the heavyweight world title.
The winner of this much-anticipated rematch at London’s O2 Arena is likely to face Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium. The Betting Sites team are tipping Whyte to beat Chisora inside the distance this time.
PDC World Darts Championship
Gary Anderson to win third world title
This year’s World Darts Championship at ‘Ally Pally’ will, for the first time ever not include Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in the PDC’s showpiece event. The absence of 16-time winner, Taylor, will only increase the pressure on his successor as the world’s best darts player, Michael Van Gerwen. MVG, winner in 2014 and 2017 suffered a shock defeat in last year’s semi-final to eventual winner, Rob Cross. Surprise winner, Cross, not only dumped out MVG in the last-four but ruined Taylor’s swansong, beating The Power 7-2 in a thrilling final.
The pressure of leading a post-Taylor era seems to be getting the better of MVG who has had an underwhelming 2018 at the oche. If he again fails to claim a third World title then that could leave the door open for The Flying Scotsman, Gary Anderson, to claim a third title of his own. Anderson has won several major titles already this year, including the World Matchplay, UK Open and the Champions League of Darts. Anderson will also be looking to avenge the 4-0 defeat to MVG that helped The Netherlands defeat Scotland in the 2018 PDC World Cup of Darts.
King George VI Chase
Thistlecrack to regain King George crown
Might Bite is the bookies’ favourite to win a second successive King George but it is 2016 winner, Thistlecrack, that gets our vote at 7/1. The Colin Tizzard-trained 10-year old has endured an injury-ravaged couple of seasons but there are suggestions that he could be back to his best. Thistlecrack finished third in last month’s Betfair Chase behind Bristol De Mai and stablemate, Native River. Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Native River could again pose a big threat to the field but if Thistlecrack can reach his pre-injury form then he will take some beating.