Stan Hey: 6-5 against

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The Independent Online

Oval balls abound as the Six Nations Rugby Union Championships and the Super League season begin today, followed by Super Bowl XLII tomorrow. The unbeaten New England Patriots are favourites, 1-5 mostly, with the New York Giants at 4-1 (Boylesports). The handicap (10-11, +11.5 points) for the Giants seems mean, while you wouldn't back the Pats, -11.5 points, when they only beat the struggling Chargers by nine.

Their quarterback, Tom Brady, threw three interceptions that day, and if the Giants' defence get at him, test his injured ankle, the upset could be on. The Giants can also stop the run, obliterating Green Bay's Ryan Grant in the NFC Championship game, so why not Laurence Maroney too? After three winning bets, it's up to you New York – £10 win at 4-1, plus a fiver each on running back Brandon Jacobs (7-1 generally) or wide receiver Amani Toomer (16-1 totesport) for the first touchdown.

The Six Nations looks unpredictable (4-6 for no Grand Slam winner), as the fall-out from the World Cup continues. England are still experimenting with the backs but stick with big-pack rugby, Ireland keep players that flopped. Could Wales, with new coaches and a team dominated by Ospreys, surprise? Try a fiver at 9-1 Bet365) for the Championship. In Super League, Wigan could revive under new owners so £5 at 12-1 (totesport) for the title appeals.

Last week's wagers

Peterborough never threatened West Brom, but Spurs were unlucky not to draw at Man U. But bookies don't pay on 'unlucky'. £15 went west. The ante-post bet on Madison du Berlais looks doomed, bar one shred of hope: his best form is on good ground not last week's Cheltenham glue.

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