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Bet of the Day: Tuesday, September 17

Back Napoli v Liverpool to end in a draw

Last weekend could not have gone any better for Liverpool, who have made a flying start to their 2019/20 campaign. The Reds hit back from a goal down to beat Newcastle United 3-1 and maintain their perfect start to the Premier League season on Saturday, and later that day Manchester City crashed to a shock 3-2 defeat at newly-promoted Norwich City to allow the Merseyside giants to open up a five-point cushion at the summit. There is still a long, long way to go, but boss Jurgen Klopp has to be thrilled with his team’s start and he will be eager to see them transform their flawless form over to the European scene when they kick off the defence of their Champions League crown on Tuesday night.

Liverpool are facing familiar opposition in the form of Napoli, who twice went head-to-head with the Reds in the group stage of last season’s competition. The two teams shared the points as they each won 1-0 on their home patch last time round, but will we see similar scenes in this latest meeting?

While Liverpool have raced out of the blocks this season, Napoli have endured something of a rollercoaster ride over the first few weeks. They opened up with a thrilling 4-3 win at Fiorentina that saw all seven goals come in the first 67 minutes of the game, and a week later they were involved in a match that had the exact same scoreline, although this time it did not go in their favour. Napoli appeared to be dead and buried when they trailed champions Juventus 3-0 just after the hour mark, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side came storming back with three goals in the space of 15 minutes to miraculously level it up. However, there was heartbreak in added time as an own goal gifted all of the spoils to Juventus, leaving Ancelotti’s men in need of a lift when they hosted Sampdoria last weekend. They got it in the form of a 2-0 win, setting them up nicely for this fixture.

So can Liverpool maintain their perfect start to the season, or will Napoli beat the Reds in Naples for the second season running?

This is a very close one to call. Napoli’s defence gives me cause for concern – they may have kept a clean sheet at the weekend, but that came against a Sampdoria side who have netted only once so far this season and were royally thumped by Sassuolo a week earlier. They are now coming up against a potent Liverpool attack with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah already in good scoring form early on, so if the hosts do not tighten up at the back they could be the creators of their own downfall on Tuesday night. But on the flip side, Liverpool are not exactly rock-solid at the back either. They may not be the car crash that they were prior to last season, but the absence of goalkeeper Alisson is a huge blow to them and they have now conceded in three of their four games so far. In Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Isigne they are coming up against a couple of players whose recent form matches that of Mane and Salah, so any slip-ups defensively could be punished here.

So all of this would suggest a thrilling affair full of goals, right? After all, Napoli have had a couple of epic 4-3 scorelines already this season and each of Liverpool’s matches have produced at least three goals. I do not see it playing out like that though. I expect both teams to be much more cautious in what is likely to be a tense affair. Neither side is going to want to begin with a defeat and we saw last season that these two can produce low-scoring affairs despite the firepower on show, so I am going with the draw here. It would be a decent result for a Liverpool side who did, after all, struggle on their travels in Europe last season, losing here in Naples, in Barcelona, in Paris and in Belgrade.

Bet of the Day: Wednesday, September 18

Back Sergio Aguero to score anytime, a goal to be scored in both halves & Man City -1 to beat Shakhtar Donetsk

Manchester City dominated the domestic game last season as they completed a clean sweep of the silverware, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup, but once again Champions League glory eluded them as they bowed out to Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals and they will be desperate to make sure that this is the year they finally rule over the continent. So can City make a winning start when they head to familiar territory for their group stage opener on Wednesday night?

If there is a sense of déjà vu surrounding this trip to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk there should be – these two clubs have gone head-to-head in the group stage of the Champions League in each of the previous two seasons, with City usually coming out on top. The Manchester club ran out 2-0 winners at the Etihad Stadium in September 2017 before losing a ‘dead rubber’, with a weakened team, a couple of months later. However, the Premier League champions did complete the double over Shakhtar last season, following up a 3-0 success in Ukraine with a 6-0 demolition at Eastlands, so it is no shock to see the bookmakers making City the odds-on favourites here.

They do not go into this match in fantastic form though. Having opened their Premier League campaign with a 5-0 rout of West Ham United, City dropped points in their second outing as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Spurs. They responded to that with back-to-back wins over Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion, but a surprise 3-2 defeat at newly-promoted Norwich City saw them fall five points behind Liverpool in the title race and it was hardly the ideal result ahead of this long trek to face Shakhtar.

Guardiola is hardly panicking though, jokingly congratulating ‘September champions’ Liverpool, and who can blame him. There will be plenty more twists and turns between now and the end of the season and his team have hardly become a bad side overnight. Shock results like the loss at Carrow Road will occur from time to time but they should not dampen the confidence that City can roll into the Metalist Stadium and leave with all three points in the bag. Shakhtar have been in flawless form at the start of their domestic league campaign, reeling off seven straight victories to storm seven points clear at the summit, but they clearly have not faced a team anywhere near the calibre of this Manchester City outfit and that is highlighted by those previous meetings.

So it is not a case of will City win, more how will they win and how can we back them. Short odds have plagued us in our search for a good price, so we have turned to Paddy Power’s Same Game Multi feature where there is a very, very tempting bet to be had. City overcoming a one-goal handicap feels like something of a banker bet and that can confidently be backed alongside a goal to be scored in both halves – not one single match involving Manchester City or Shakhtar Donetsk so far this season has feature a goalless half! And the final leg of this multi-bet needs very little to back it up – Sergio Aguero to score anytime. In the space of five league games Aguero has already scored seven goals and that means he is already a third of the way to matching his Premier League tallies in each of the last two seasons. So how can we not fancy his chances of scoring here! 

Bet of the Day: Thursday, September 19

Back Rennes to beat Celtic

Any suggestion of an early-season crisis at Celtic Park has been erased in pretty emphatic fashion in recent weeks. A stunning 4-3 home defeat to CFR Cluj ended their Champions League campaign before it ever truly started and just days later fans voiced their discontent with the board’s running of the club as they watched their side limp past Championship side Dunfermline Athletic in the League Cup. However, it has been plain-sailing for Celtic since then and they have now won each of their last six games – a sequence that includes a straightforward Europa League play-off win over AIK and a timely 2-0 Old Form Derby success at Rangers.

So can they now make it seven-in-a-row to start their Europa League campaign on a high? That will be a big ask because first up for the Scottish champions are French top-flight side Rennes.

The hosts go into the match in underwhelming form having followed up a home defeat to Nice with a goalless draw at Brest, but their home form over the past 14 months is something that cannot be ignored. They lost only four league games at home all last season and suffered just one European defeat at Roazhan Park during a run in the Europa League that saw them record an excellent 3-1 win over Arsenal. They have also managed to pull off a home win over French champions Paris St Germain during the early stages of the current season, so this Rennes team is clearly a team that know how to get results on their own turf. There were a few too many draws for their liking at home last season, something which Celtic can take hope from, but I do not see them sharing the spoils here.

Celtic may have cruised through the play-offs in this competition, but this is a team that generally struggles when they head out into Europe to take on decent opposition. They lost two of their three away games in the group stage last season before bowing out at the hands of Valencia in the last-32, failing to score in either leg, and when you look back at their overall European form on foreign soil over the past decade, outside of qualifying ties, it makes for ugly reading. Therefore I have to suggest backing Rennes to come out on top here and pile more pressure on Celtic heading into their matchday two fixture against the side who dumped them out of Champions League qualifying, Cluj.

Bet of the Day: Friday, September 20

Back Utah to beat USC by 1-13 points

Utah continue to climb the AP Top 25 Poll in College (American) Football after extending their perfect start to the season last weekend. The Utes have now won three straight non-conference games to kick-off the season and all three of those victories have come in comfortable fashion. Offensively they have looked very strong, putting up at least 30 points per game to average 32 per outing, while on the opposite side of the football they have also shone, with last weekend’s victory over Idaho State providing their first shutout of the season. This has resulted in Utah moving into the top 10 in AP’s rankings, but will they still be there after this latest round of games?

Next up for Utah is a trip to Southern California to take on a USC team who are looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season. USC fended off a late fightback from Fresno State to open the season with a victory and then made it back-to-back successes when freshman Kedon Slovis produced a headline-grabbing display at quarterback to lead the Trojans to a comprehensive win over No. 23 Stanford. Those victories were enough to maintain their spot in AP’s top 25, but they are no longer among college football’s elite teams after an overtime defeat to Brigham Young (BYU) that saw Slovis toss three interceptions and perhaps cool the hype that came after his starring role in the win a week earlier.

USC will be desperate to haul themselves back into the top 25 by knocking off a top 10 team on Friday night, but I do not fancy their chances. Utah’s schedule has been pretty light so far, but it should be noted that in week one they rolled over a BYU team who, of course, beat USC a week ago. This will be considered Utah’s first real test of the season though, and it is a test I expect them to pass. They are looking very good on both sides of the football right now – they have great balance on offense and they boast one of the best D-Lines in the entire country that will look to force Slovis into another error-strewn performance. The home team has won in each of the last six meetings, but Utah will not be fearing walking into the Coliseum and I fancy them to silence the crowd and leave with the ‘W’ after a closely-contested matchup.

Bet of the Day: Saturday, September 21

Back LSU Tigers -24.5 to beat Vanderbilt

The first three weeks of the college (American) football season could not have gone much better for the LSU Tigers. They came into the campaign ranked sixth in the AP polls, but they have climbed into the top five thanks to a run of three straight victories that includes an historic road win against a top-10 ranked team. LSU had never recorded a non-conference road win over a top-10 ranked team prior to the trip to Austin to face Texas, but they ended that wait in thrilling fashion as quarterback Joe Burrow completed 31 of his 39 pass attempts for 471 yards and four touchdowns, while the defence twice forced a turnover on downs inside their own two-yard line. This all combined for an epic 45-38 win for the Tigers, which they followed up with a 65-14 blowout of Northwestern a week ago, and that means they go into week for ranked fourth in the country. Can they now consolidate that position by making it four wins on the bounce?

LSU are heading back out onto the road in week four, with a trip to ‘Music City’ to face Vanderbilt next on the schedule. While the Tigers have come out roaring, the Commodores have done more than enough to suggest they could be the worst team in the SEC once again by losing back-to-back games. It was no surprise when Georgia rolled over them in a 30-6 matchup in week one, and although they produced a better offensive display a week later, the defense once again coughed up plenty of yards and points to allow Purdue to run out convincing 42-24 winners.

So how can I predict anything other than a win for the LSU Tigers on Saturday? It is not a case of will then win, it is how will they win and by how many points will it be? The offense has set a blistering pace through their first three games, racking up 165 points to average 55 per game, and there is simply no way that Vanderbilt’s unit will be able to keep pace with that. So having seen the Commodores give up 72 in their first two games, this game could get really ugly really fast. I expect LSU to run away with this and set themselves up nicely for those back-to-back home games against Utah State and Florida in the first half of October.

Bet of the Day: Sunday, September 22

Back Dallas Cowboys -17.5 to beat Miami Dolphins & over 48.5 total points

If there is one positive that Miami can take from their first two games of the 2019 NFL season it is that they are two weeks closer to it being over. Very little was expected of the Dolphins heading into the campaign but not even the most pessimistic of fans would have predicted what they have seen so far – a 59-10 embarrassment at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens followed by a 43-0 humiliation against the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. It is the worst start to the season, through two games, that this proud franchise has experienced since 1973, and to make matters worse both losses have come at home. So can they somehow stop the rot when they head out onto the road for the first time this season?

Not even a diehard ‘Fins fan would answer that question with a ‘yes’ because next up is a trip to face a Dallas team who are considered a contender to go all the way this season and have made an excellent start. The Cowboys swept aside the New York Giants 35-17 on opening day as Dak Prescott completed 25 of his 32 pass attempts for 405 yards and four touchdowns, and although he was not quite as impressive one week later, his 26 completions off 30 attempts for 269 yards, three touchdowns and an interception played a key role in the 31-21 victory at Washington that saw Dallas move to 2-0 and take early control of the NFC East. Ezekiel Elliott also played his part in the win, scampering for 111 yards and a score, so things are looking very good for them on offense right now.

Defensively they are yet to get up to top speed, but when you have Prescott tossing touchdowns and Elliott running over, around and through defenses then that buys this unit time to get going. It also helps when you have a matchup against a team like Miami. Quite frankly, the Dolphins suck. They are playing appalling football and several players are desperately trying to force their way out of South Beach before the trade deadline passes. Right now it is almost impossible to be positive about them in anyway and after seeing the Ravens and Patriots torch them in their own hot and humid stadium, you have to wonder what damage Dallas can do to them when the Dolphins head out onto the road for the first time.

This game is going to get really ugly, really fast for Miami and after witnessing losing margins of 49 points and 43 points through the first two weeks, I am predicting another beatdown here as Prescott and Co. once again get that offense firing. And on the opposite side of the football, this game will be the perfect opportunity for the Cowboys defense to make some tweaks and iron out some issues as they look to step up their game after giving up 38 points through the first two weeks, and who knows, we could see another shutout here if the Dolphins are as woeful with the football as they were a week ago against New England. Look away now Miami fans, it may get a whole lot worse before it gets any better!

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Here at Bettingpro, we pride ourselves on having a wealth of knowledge that spans across an array of sports. Whether it is football and rugby, or cricket and boxing, the experts at Bettingpro are not picky, and so we have created the Bet of the Day, where our tipsters find the best bets from that day across any particular sport. 

Daily tips across several sports

Bettingpro's writers cover a huge amount of sports every single day but, with so many different matches happening across football, tennis, darts, rugby, cricket and many other sports, the best bets of the day can get lost. This means that the diamond of a bet in League One could get buried under the tips for Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, The Championship and so on. Therefore, we endeavour to bring you the best bets all in one place, giving you the ultimate one stop place for the best bets on that particular day. 

These best bets will generally come form a lower profile football or tennis match, while they may differ from the opinions espoused elsewhere on the site. 

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Our best bet will be posted as soon as it becomes available each day, The staff on that day will pick their best bet and post it right here every morning, giving you plenty of time to back the tip that day. 

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This is because the object of the Bet of the Day is to be something of a banker, a selection that can be taken with confidence based on the opinion of our writers and the statistical evidence. It may not always be a fantastic priced selection but the aim is to provide a winner and thus ensure a profit at the end of the week.

These picks can be taken on their own as singles or they can be used to bulk up any multiples which's readers have already selected. They may well actually be bets that readers have already considered but just with some reasons that maybe help to reinforce the selection.

However, that is not to say that the Bet of the Day will be a real odds-on choice or will have no value. Our writers are punters themselves and wouldn't ever recommend backing a 1/10 shot or a multiple involving several short priced favourites. We want to provide our readers with selections that will ensure long term profits and will not play into the hands of the bookmakers.

Sometimes it may even be a bookmaker offer that is selected as Bet of the Day as frequently in their desire to entice customers the big bookmakers often take trading risks and offer ridiculously large odds and we feel that it is our duty to the readers to inform them of these opportunities. An example of this was at the Cheltenham Festival when Coral offered Evens on Sprinter Sacre. It was an obvious choice and after featuring as our Bet of the Day Coral were inundated with punters trying to back the selection. The firm stuck with the price but their website crashed when Sprinter Sacre romped home and everyone rushed to get their bets!

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