iBet: National Ground dictates the number of finishers
The Grand National, Saturday
Back between 13 and 17 finishers at 7/4 with SkyBet
Back Benfica -1 on the handicap at 5/4
The going is a key factor in the Grand National and not just in terms of betting on the winner. My friends at Oddschecker have been compiling information on the number of finishers over the last 18 years and comparing it to the ground. It’s clear that if it comes up ‘soft’ or worse, then not many horses finish – the last two times that happened were in 1998 (soft) and 2001 (heavy) when there were six finishers out of 37 starters and four out of 40. The going on Saturday is expected to be ‘good/good to soft’. The going has been ‘good’ 11 times since 1994 and the average number of finishers has been 14.9. It’s come up good to ‘soft’ five times since 1984 and the average number of finishers has been 15.6. With that in mind the 7/4 offered by SkyBet that there will be between 13 and 17 finishers looks the bet.
Newcastle have produced some good results in Europe this season but they need to concentrate on staying in the Premier League and might not be at full strength for tonight’s trip to Benfica, which is daunting enough anyway. The Portuguese are awesome at home and the 1.5 available for a home win with Betfair will interest odds-on backers. Those looking for a bit more value might consider backing Benfica giving up a goal on the handicap market at a generally available 5/4.
Betfair gives you better value. To see how much more you can win go to www.betfair.com/betcheckerbetting
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