Bet 1: Back Spain to draw with Italy at 3.40

The pick of this weekend's World Cup qualifiers takes place in Madrid, where Group G leaders Spain take on second-placed Italy. Only the group winners will earn an automatic World Cup spot, and with both teams facing straightforward remaining fixtures, this looks like Italy's last chance to take the initiative.

On the other hand, defeat for either side would almost certainly condemn them to the play-offs, so I can't see them throwing caution to the wind here. As Jack Lang points out in his must-read Match Preview, it's also worth noting that each of the last five meetings between these sides has produced two goals or fewer. A tense, but mutually acceptable draw looks to be on the cards.

Bet 2: Back Birmingham Bears to beat Glamorgan at 1.83

Glamorgan are not the most fashionable cricket county but they are an improving Twenty20 side and having reached the last eight of the Natwest Blast three times in the last four seasons, they earned their first trip to Finals Day since 2004 after a nine-wicket demolition of Leicestershire in the quarter-finals.

But at their current odds, they don't look good value to overcome the Bears in Saturday's semi-final. Birmingham pulled off the performance of the last eight when chasing down a big Surrey score at the Oval, and with their New Zealand trio of Grant Elliott, Jeetan Patel and Colin de Grandhomme all in top form, they should be able to make home advantage count and reach the final.

Bet 3: Back Manly to beat Penrith at 1.67

Penrith missed a big opportunity to secure their NRL play-off place against the Dragons last weekend and now face a crunch game against Manly.

The Panthers have a good record at the business end of the regular season, having won their final game for the last four seasons in a row, but they could be up against it taking on a Manly side that also needs the win to clinch a top eight spot.

The Sea Eagles haven't been at their best in recent weeks, but their kicking game has often got them out of trouble, as it did against the Warriors last time. They will also be strengthened by the return of Curtis Sironen, while Penrith must do without key man Dylan Edwards. Back the home side to edge a tight one.

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