Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
May is a huge month in the world of sport as we’re treated to major events in Golf and Tennis, the European football seasons come to a close and the playoffs take place across the NHL and NBA.
We’ve swerved the football for this latest edition of our Month in Sport accumulator as there are plenty of other tournaments to go at and we’re covering football elsewhere – including in our Business End Accumulator.
Read on to see who we’re backing for some of the biggest events in the sporting calendar and to back our huge 2,149/1 sevenfold accumulator.
FST’s Month in Sport accumulator
NBA Playoffs – ongoing
Best Bets: Milwaukee Bucks to win series vs Boston Celtics at 5/7 & Phoenix Suns to win series vs Dallas Mavericks at 1/3
The NBA playoffs are into the second rounds and we’re backing Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns to beat Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks respectively.
The Bucks are already 1-0 up against the Celtics despite the absence of one of their star men in the shape of Khris Middleton. Boston made a statement with their 4-0 thrashing of Brooklyn Nets in the first round but some of those games were close affairs, and defending champions Milwaukee are a big step up in class – as they showed with a convincing 101-89 win at TD Garden in Game 1.
Phoenix were given a bit of a scare in the first round as they were taken to six games by New Orleans Pelicans. The Suns finished with the best overall record at the end of the regular season and should be too strong for a Dallas Mavericks outfit who are overly reliant on Luka Doncic in their best-of-seven series. The Mavs did manage to beat Utah Jazz in the previous round despite Doncic missing a few games – but Phoenix clicked into gear towards the end of their series with New Orleans and should be able to avoid an early exit as they bid to go one better after falling short in the Finals last year.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez vs Dmitry Bivol – Sunday, 8th May
Best Bet: Alvarez to win by KO, TKO or Disqualification at 11/4
Mexican superstar Canelo returns to the ring in the early hours of Sunday morning as he returns to light heavyweight for a showdown with unbeaten Russian Dmitry Bivol.
Canelo may be jumping up in weight class but he should have far too much for Bivol. The Mexican already has a notable stoppage win against a quality operator in this weight class in Sergei Kovalev and he can beat Bivol without needing the judges too.
Miami GP – Sunday, 8th May
Best Bet: Max Verstapppen to win at 1/1
We managed an entire race weekend without one of the Red Bull-powered cars suffering a fault and if they have indeed managed to get on top of their reliability issues we could be in for another Max Verstappen win at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix.
Verstappen has won both races he has completed and had the beating of World Drivers’ Championship rival Charles Leclerc from the start of qualifying to the end of the race in Imola, despite a huge time deficit in the practice sessions.
It’s hard to know exactly how the race will pan out at a brand new circuit but the Miami International Autodrome looks to have two lengthy flat-out sections that should favour the superior power of the Red Bull engine, providing they can keep pace with the Ferrari through the technical-looking section between turns 1 and 8 and turns 11 and 16.
PGA Championship – Thursday, 19th May
Best Bet: Viktor Hovland to win at 18/1
Viktor Hovland won the Hero World Challenge just before Christmas, showing he is ready to defeat top-class fields, and his Majors record is already solid. In May, the US PGA is being staged in his adopted home state of Oklahoma, and the Norwegian could be ready to make a breakthrough.
French Open – Sunday, 22nd May
Best Bets: Rafael Nadal to win at 6/5 & Iga Swiatek to win at 2/1
The French Open begins on May 22nd and we’re backing Rafael Nadal to win the men’s singles and Iga Swiatek to take the women’s title.
Nadal won a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January.
The super Spaniard will turn 36 in June but has shown he can still operate to a high level, particularly on his beloved clay. Nadal has claimed silverware at Roland Garros a record 13 times and although he was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals last year, that came on the back of an interrupted preparation.
The King of Clay understands that Paris is his best chance of another Major success and he will certainly be fully focused on the challenge ahead.
Polish star Swiatek claimed French Open glory as a teenager two years ago and is a worthy favourite to regain her crown.
The 20-year-old warmed up for last year’s French Open title defence with a dominant victory at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, before running out of steam and crashing out in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.
But, despite her tender years, the world number nine is already the most consistent clay performer on the WTA Tour and her imperious forehand is well suited to the demands of this slower surface. A bit of luck with the draw and she could take some stopping.
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