Cross Sport Tips
Cross Sport Special (Football x NBA x UFC x Boxing)
This weekend, Canelo Alvarez returns to fight in Mexico for the first time in over a year while the Miami Heat take on the New York Knicks in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference semi-final. We break these down, as we pair up games for our Cross Sport Special for this weekend. Before we do, head to our Cross Sport Specials page to check out some other special offers we have. You can also read about our new feature; the Pick 11 Jackpot Bet here.
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Bayern Munich (vs. Werder Bremen) & Miami Heat (vs. New York Knicks) to win @2.30
Last week, Bayern Munich received a lifeline from Dortmund’s draw against Bochum, which allowed them to regain the top spot in the Bundesliga by a point after beating Hertha. However, their upcoming match against Werder Bremen poses a challenge, despite Bremen’s struggles as a team. Bremen’s top scorer, Niclas Füllkrug, who may not play in this game, has scored the most Bundesliga goals (16), while Marvin Ducksch has scored nine goals in the Rückrunde (the second half of the season). Bremen’s strikers have scored a league-high 31 goals, compared to Bayern’s 23, but have not translated these goals into positive results, having the worst home record in the current Bundesliga season (16 points: W5, D1, L9). Bayern has faced Bremen 26 times in the Bundesliga and has never lost. Although Bayern has faced some problems in recent weeks, they are aware that they cannot afford any more slip-ups if they are to retain their title, especially as they are now in the business end of the season.
Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-final in the NBA sees the Miami Heat hosting the New York Knicks. After winning Game 1, the Heat suffered a setback when their 6-time All-Star player, Jimmy Butler, sustained an ankle injury, causing him to miss Game 2. As expected, the Knicks took advantage of Butler’s absence and won Game 2, aided by the return of their Power Forward, Julius Randle, who had missed Game 1 due to injury. Despite the Heat’s efforts to compensate for Butler’s absence, they were outplayed by the Knicks, who out-rebounded them 50-34 and had a better shooting percentage, especially from beyond the arc (40% compared to the Heat’s 34.7%). However, Butler is expected to return for Game 3, and this could make a significant difference. In the six games he has played in this season’s playoffs, Butler has led his team to five victories, including four against the top-seeded Bucks, making it the most surprising upset of the playoffs so far. He currently leads the playoffs in Points Per Game (35.5), Free Throw attempts (59), and Player Efficiency Rating (31.5). With Butler back in the lineup, the Heat have a good chance of winning.
Arsenal (vs. Newcastle United) & Canelo Álvarez (vs. John Ryder) to win @3.15
Arsenal faces a tough challenge as they travel to Newcastle United, who have won 8 of their last 10 games and scored an average of 3.3 goals in their last 6 matches. Despite this, the Gunners must win to keep pace with league leaders Manchester City. Arsenal comes into this game with renewed confidence following their 3-1 win over Chelsea, which ended a four-game winless streak. One significant change made by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was dropping Thomas Partey for Jorginho in midfield. Partey has been underperforming in recent weeks, especially against Manchester City, where he struggled. In contrast, Jorginho brought composure to the midfield against Chelsea, and the team looked in control throughout the match.
Newcastle is a more physical side and Partey’s athleticism would be needed but given his lack of form, it’ll be interesting to see how Arteta approaches it. Regardless, Arsenal’s impressive frontline of Martinelli, Ødegaard, Saka, and Jesus, who have scored 15, 14, 13, and 10 goals respectively, is expected to pose a significant threat to Newcastle throughout the game.
On Saturday, unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez will defend his title against Britain’s John Ryder in his home country for the first time since November 2011 when he beat Kermit Cintrón. While Alvarez rebounded from his loss in a title bid at light heavyweight to Dmitry Bivol with a win in his trilogy against Gennady Golovkin in defense of his super middleweight belts, he lost his No.1 pound-for-pound ranking. He will be eager to not only defeat Ryder but also do so quickly. While John Ryder is a good fighter, he is clearly outmatched in terms of talent. This will be the biggest fight of his life yet, but he’ll have the entire crowd against him besides being a clear underdog and that could be too much to overcome.
Napoli (vs. Fiorentina) & Jéssica Andrade (vs. Yan Xiaonan) to win @2.98
Napoli has been crowned the official champions of the Serie A after securing a draw against Udinese on Thursday night. Despite Sandi Lovric putting the hosts ahead in the 13th minute, Victor Osimhen, who has been the team’s talisman throughout the season, scored a crucial equalizer in the 52nd minute to clinch the Scudetto for Napoli. This victory marks their third-ever title and the first in 33 years. While there may be a risk of a slight dip in urgency from the players in their upcoming game against Fiorentina, they will want to celebrate their league win with a victory in front of their home fans, which they were denied last week. Fiorentina has had a remarkable season by their standards, reaching the final of the Coppa Italia and the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.
However, they have struggled in the league and have only won one game out of their last five. Ahead of their match against Napoli, they are likely to rest key players due to their upcoming Thursday game against Basel, as they are now beyond reach of the Top 6. This should make way for a Napoli victory.
Jéssica Andrade is set to make her return to the UFC Octagon in the upcoming Strawweight division fight against Yan Xiaonan, following her loss to Erin Blanchfield in her last outing. Andrade was a short notice fighter against Blanchfield and submitted to the rising star in the second round. Her last Strawweight fight came against Amanda Lemos a little over a year ago, which she won by submission in the third round. Although Andrade’s record of 24-10 may not be the most impressive, her experience fighting top contenders and champions across three different divisions makes her a tough opponent to face. Andrade is expected to rely on her wrestling skills rather than striking in this fight. On the other hand, Yan Xiaonan is coming off a significant win against Mackenzie Dern, and a win against Andrade could potentially put her in contention for the title. As one of the division’s best strikers with excellent conditioning for long fights, Yan Xiaonan presents a formidable challenge. However, Andrade’s versatility is predicted to give her the edge in this match-up.
Juventus (vs. Atalanta) & Gilbert Burns (vs. Belal Muhammad) to win @6.20
After a four-game winless streak, Juventus managed to secure a victory against Leece in Turin with Leandro Paredes and Dušan Vlahović both contributing goals, and Paul Pogba making a good showing from the bench. Having dropped from 2nd to 3rd, Juventus would go for a win this weekend as they aim to return to the Champions League next season. Atalanta will be a tough opponent for Juventus, though, and the Old Lady will have to be on the top of their game to come away with 3 points. In the last 7 matchdays, Atalanta have picked up 16 league points – the most in that period – and have won 3 in a row.
Despite this, Juventus has historically performed well at the Gewiss Stadium, which could give them a psychological advantage. In fact, in their last 17 away games against Atalanta in Serie A, Juventus has only lost once, winning 11 and drawing 5.
Brazilian fighter, Gilbert Burns faces a tough task this weekend in his fight with Belal Muhammad in UFC 288. Belal Muhammad is riding a 9-game winning streak and has all but guaranteed victory at the Prudential Center saying “After I beat Gilbert Burns at UFC 288, if you don’t give me my respect, you’re just a hater.” Muhammad feels disrespected and has had claims for a title shot ignored, so he’s taken a rather dangerous route by accepting this fight on short notice. He knows victory would get him closer to his shot at gold. Burns, who previously competed for the title but lost to Kamaru Usman at UFC 258, is also eager for another chance at the championship and views this fight as a potential pathway. Both fighters are highly skilled, with Muhammad being adaptable and confident in both striking and grappling, while Burns is explosive in his punches and takedowns. Ultimately, the outcome of the fight could hinge on preparation, with Muhammad potentially disadvantaged due to accepting the fight on short notice, giving Burns a possible advantage.
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