The World Rally Championship rolls on into Argentina this weekend and there’s a great each-way bet on Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen available at ComeOn! Sportsbook for those in the know
Changing a major sporting calendar is never something done lightly. The fans like the regularity, the teams, sponsors and venues all need to plan huge tracts of time ahead, and the media coverage has to be scheduled and touted not presented as a pick-n-mix lucky dip of locations and times. However the decision to swap the Rally of Portugal (that would typically be next) with the Rally of Argentina, is a triumph of common sense over tradition.
The 2015 World Rally Championship kicked off in Monte Carlo, the oldest and most famous rally on the calendar. Mention it and you’re instantly gambling news of the race will produce one of two reactions. First there are those that follow the sport, who recall classic races of years gone by, usually accompanied by memories of grainy super-8 footage from the fifties or sixties (which they all claim were the golden age of rallying) and perhaps the current crop of drivers, their standings and potential in the next round.
Rally Of Argentina
• Ogier needs fourth season win
• Latvala wants 2014 win again
• Mikkelsen a superb each-way bet
The second reaction is from those that could possibly recognize a rally car four times out of ten, have vague memories of watching coverage on television as a child and can’t help but recall the phrase “Monte Carlo Or Bust” because the 1969 film with Tony Curtis, Dudley Moore and Peter Cook (amongst others) clung on in their consciousness far more than the actual sport itself. Tell these people that Sebastien Ogier won this year’s rally and their eyes will glaze over.
Mention the second round, the Rally of Sweden, and just about everyone pictures the undulating back roads of this picturesque Scandinavian country, all covered in snow and lined with pine trees, the high pitch scream of the engine and the intonation of the co-driver reeling off incomprehensible directions as the man sat next to him tempts the laws of grip and momentum to kill them both on a almost second by second basis. This year the unstoppable Ogier took the win in the snow.
Is Ogier Unbeatable?
The Rally of Mexico is perhaps more salient to the schedule change. The first true gravel race of the year has been run 29 times now, and as Ogier once again showed his true mastery of the sport, it is more the location that prompted the changing of the overall calendar for the World Rally Championship in 2015. Those of you that have been paying attention will already have seen the sense, and indeed you do have to wonder why no one had thought of it before.
Rather than have drivers, cars, teams, the media pack and fans traipsing back over the Atlantic to Portugal after Mexico, only to then have to return to South America for the Rally of Argentina, the organizers have finally spotted the very obvious advantage of having the two south American rallies consecutively in the calendar. The sponsors, only too glad to have a more localized market on which to operate for the months of March and April, the teams, able to move themselves far more cost effectively between the two.
The 35th Rally of Argentina kicks off on Thursday based in Villa Carlos Paz in Cordoba, where narrow gravel roads, that are noted for the pooled water that creates such dramatic photo opportunities for those with the shutter speed to capture them, saw Jari-Matti Latvala victorious in 2014, indeed it is the win by the Finn that has made for some interesting prospects if you’re apt to gamble on sports in Norway by logging into ComeOn! Sportsbook or similar.
Now it might seem strange for a Finn getting a win to be good news for gamblers in Norway, but the way the season has shaped up this year, it’s an ill-wind of which they could take full advantage. Obviously nothing in rally driving is set in stone, they’re all driving close to the edge and you only need a piece of bad luck to see your favored car tumble down a ravine, valiantly try to wrap itself round a tree, or roll over like an over-excited dog in the park, but there are some things we can glean from the results so far.
Who Will Come A Cropper In Argentina?
Ogier has won every race so far this year, making him firm favorite to take the championship over all come end the of the season, but there’s also some pressure on him because he has. He is expected to do well, very well, and his major competition, such as it is, is Jari-Matti Latvala whose results this season have been less than desired. He managed a 2nd in Monte Carlo, which pushed hopes he could challenge for the title, but then retired from Sweden, and only managed 15th in Mexico.
However it remains true he won last year, beating Ogier by a minute and a half, and so there are more than a few people, including the bookies that think he might do it again. This is why his odds of winning the Rally of Argentina at ComeOn! Sportsbook are just 3.60 to Ogier’s still favored 2.70. This is as close as the odds have got on these two since the start of the season, and it signposts a furious competition between the two.
Ogier will be trying to gain a fourth win in a row, Latvala a repeat win from last year to shake off the demons that have haunted his season so far this year, and as those two keep a close eye on each other, it is Andreas Mikkelsen of Norway that might be worth backing. At the moment his odds are 11.00 to win, but an each way bet on this driver (who has come third in all three races thus far this year) might well garner good earnings for those into mobile sports betting.
Norwegian gambling laws allow for online betting so there’s no reason you should put the odd Krone on Mikkelsen picking up at least a second place as either Ogier or Latvala comes a cropper. The chances of Latvala pushing too hard and giving himself and his car issues are quite high, and Ogier has created a rod for his own back needing to keep up his superb unbeaten record this season. For canny gamblers this is an each-way bet that is far more likely to go their way than not.