Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 06 February 2010
You've probably seen programmes in which domestic pets chase balls on the television screen, and if your cat or dog is so inclined, it would be kind to exclude it from the living room this weekend, otherwise it might go nuts. In three Six Nations games and Super Bowl LXIV oval balls abound.
The rugby ties limp in, squeezed between league games and the Heineken Cup, with most teams having injury problems. Coaches are also still searching for coherence before next year's World Cup. The last two Six Nations winners, Wales and Ireland, are further forward than most.
But France and England could suddenly find their talented pieces fitting – France arguably achieved this by beating South Africa last autumn, and the bookies make them 6-4 favourites, with Ireland next best at 5-2 (Betfred). Martin Johnson has picked an array of exciting backs. It's worth risking £10 at 5-1 (Coral, Totesport) that this bold approach works, giving England a much-needed boost.
Tomorrow's Super Bowl features Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints. They ended the regular season 14-2 and 13-3 respectively, with the Colts scoring 53 touchdowns to the Saints' 64. Both quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, dominate play and throw scores at will. So defensive plays, especially turnovers, will be vital – the Saints specialise in these, so £20 win New Orleans (9-5, Boylesports), and £5 first TD Marques Colston (10-1, Ladbrokes). Proceeds to the RSPCA.
*Andy Murray got going too late to derail the Federer Express, while Justine Henin also lost her final. But Manchester United bashed Arsenal for a net gain.
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