JD's Betting Blog: The Champions League, title races in England and Italy plus exclusive tips

Top tipster JD discuses where the value lies in Europe's elite competition, the differences between betting on the Premier League and Serie A, and has two weekend selections
The Champions League

The Champions League saw a couple of upsets in the semi-finals. The Barcelona and Chelsea tie was one of the most memorable in recent times due to the Catalan's dominance over the two legs and their failure to show that in the scoreline.

The Blues deserve the highest praise for their discipline, resilience and character to beat the European Champions and they are now 18/5 (4.60) with William Hill to win the final in 90 mins, with the Bavarians 8/11 (1.73) favourites to complete the job in normal time.    

It was not a good week last week in my own betting due to some surprises and pure bad luck but we have started the week well with a maximum stake selection on Barcelona and Real Madrid both to score over 1.5 goals advised at evens which landed relatively early in both games.

The difference between Serie A and the Premier League

At this stage of the season, it is important to be mindful of some cultural differences and habits between the top leagues from a betting perspective.  English football is famous around the world for its honesty of effort and endevour no matter what the stakes are. In Italy, you will find a slightly different mentality were teams are happy to play out results that are mutually beneficial.  

You will find the draw priced up perversely short in some matches in Italy so it is important to keep it on your side in your betting strategy.

It is almost frowned upon in Italy, if teams that have nothing to play for try too hard against teams that really need the points for a title win or to stay in the division. If we look at the odds for Juventus to win Serie A and how it compares to Manchester United in the Premier League.  

Remember both teams are only three points ahead of their nearest rivals.  Juventus are 1/8 (1.13) to win Serie A with William Hill, Manchester United are 4/9 (1.44) with the same firm. The layers obviously feel that Antonio Conte's team will meet with very little resistance in his final four matches and they have factored that into the price.

Many matches will be priced up on a ''needs'' basis were teams that need the points more will be predictably short in price. Remember, just because a team needs the points, it does not mean they will get them so there can be value out there at this time of season.

This week's tips

Looking ahead to the weekend, the Manchester Derby will be the highlight of the Premier League on Monday night and will go some way to decide who will be champions this season.

I wrote in this column a few weeks ago that Manchester United were too short in the market even with a comfortable cushion. This is not a great Manchester United side and they are perfectly capable of throwing more points and losing this title.

Man City are 6/5 (2.20) to win on Monday night and considering that they have won every home league match with the exception of one, it is a fair price. In the other games this weekend, I like both teams to score between Everton and Fulham at 10/11 (1.91) with William Hill.    

Everton played out a memorable 4-4 draw at Old Trafford last weekend and more goals should be on the menu against this impressive Fulham side. Staying in England, Aston Villa are in danger of being dragged into the relegation mire and they could be worth betting against as in form West Brom are 11/10 (2.10) to win this match.

            Selection One
             Selection Two
Both to score (Everton v Fulham) at 10/11 with William Hill West Brom to win at 11/10 with William Hill

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