Emburey the value bet

SPORTS BETTING
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The Independent Online
Never fall into the trap of trying to back the winner. That is the first rule for any punter who believes that obtaining value is the only way to beat the bookmaker in the long run.

Warwickshire have a favourite's chance of winning the 1996 County Championship, but, at a top-priced 9-4 with Ladbrokes and William Hill, they are at a favourite's price.

Northamptonshire, 8-1 with Coral and Ladbrokes, are four times the price and have certainly got more than a quarter of the chance. If that is not value, it will do until value comes along.

Northamptonshire were only third last year, but, with John Emburey recruited and Curtly Ambrose back for one last year, they have fair prospects of causing a minor upset.

Northamptonshire demonstrated they are in fair shape with a reasonably comfortable four- wicket victory away at Worcestershire on Friday with Taylor (4-32), Loye (66) and Capel (43) clearly in pretty good nick.

Warwickshire, with Shaun "four-wicket maiden" Pollock clearly a formidable asset on Friday's Benson & Hedges evidence against Leicestershire, will be no push-over and it makes sense to have a small saving bet on them at 9-4.

COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP BETTING

Best prices: 9-4 Warwickshire (Ladbrokes, William Hill), 5-1 Middlesex (Coral), 7-1 Lancashire (Coral), 8-1 Northamptonshire (Coral, Ladbrokes), 12-1 Essex (Coral), 14-1 Worcestershire (Coral, William Hill), 20-1 Kent (Ladbrokes, William Hill), Leicestershire (Coral, William Hill), Surrey (Coral, Ladbrokes), 22-1 Yorkshire (William Hill), 25-1 Gloucestershire (Ladbrokes), 28-1 Derbyshire (Ladbrokes), Somerset (Ladbrokes), 33-1 Nottinghamshire (Coral, Ladbrokes), 66-1 Hampshire (Coral), Sussex (Coral), 80-1 Glamorgan (Ladbrokes) 200-1 Durham (Coral, William Hill).

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