The Tour de France is the biggest race of the year, no other race is given half as much attention. I've gone through some of the many markets that offer picks that are interesting.
Top 10 Finish
Richie Porte at +800 - if he finishes the race, he'll be in the top 10 3pts win
Alejandro Valverde +225 - he has too much class and experience to be 9/4 to hit the top 10. 2pts win
Dan Martin +275- he was 5/1 earlier in the week but I didn't act fast enough, I think he can top ten it this year as he seems to be riding really well. 1pt at 11/4
Overall Head to Heads
This is a match-bet for the duration of the Tour, who will finish the higher of the two. If just one rider finishes he is declared the winner of the Match-bet, but if neither finish, the bet is void and you get your money back. Here are some that interested me:
Porte to beat Contador - as per my overall preview, giving Porte a chance to beat Contador at what looks like a very big price for a two-horse race!
Mikel Landa to beat Joaquim Rodriguez - 1.5pts at 6/4 with PP
Romain Bardet to beat Tejay Van Garderen - 1.2pts at 5/6 with PP
This is a market, as you have probably guessed, on what will the time difference be between the winner and the 2nd place rider. Everything suggests that this race could be a very tightly run affair with not much in between the leaders. The betting reflects that too with 1 minute to 2 minutes and 59" the 6/4 favourite with PP. Second favourite is 0 to 59" at 13/8 with 3 minutes to 4 minutes and 59" 5/1 and over five minutes 5/1.
The last six winning times are 7'37", 4'20", 3'21", 1'34", 39", 1'12" .. so the average for the last three years has been around 1 minute and 8". Last year I recommended a winning bet at 6/4 that the winning margin would be between 1 minute and 2'59". I think it will be really tight this year too and I think it will be in the 1-3 minute mark again so that looks like a bet again to me.
2pts on 1 minute to 2 minute 59" at 6/4 with PP.
Number of Finishers
This is always an interesting market to me for betting picks, how many riders will make it to Paris! The line seems to be mainly settled around 160.5 finishers, which is slightly below the average number of finishers over many years. Last year it was 160, in 2014 it was 164, 2013 was 169, 2012 was 153, 2011 was 165, 2010 was 170. If you were going for betting odds on unders on each of the last 5 years you'd only have won once, with the average number of finishers coming in at 164.2. But in 2009 it was 153, in 2008 - 143, 2007 was 140, 2006 was a ridiculously low 136 and 2005 was 155. Now you would have won 5 out of five on those years and the average was just 145.4, making the ten-year average 154.8 finishers.
This year I think it could be less than the 160.5 line that Bet365 have for a few reasons - 1. it's a hard route this year with a tricky opening week and a brutally hard finish to the race. 2. The Olympics are just a few weeks after the Tour finishes and a lot of riders will have one eye on the Olympics if they are well out of contention heading in to the third week - Cavendish for example will be long gone I think by the time they get to Paris. And 3. there have been a lot of guys getting sick this year. I don't know what it is, whether it's the poor weather and all the rain, or guys aren't taking whatever medicines they used to to prevent colds and so on for fear of violations, or they're getting back doses of something they are micro-dosing! Whatever it is, there could be several who end up abandoning sick. So I think under 160.5 looks good, the price is short, but still worth a bet.
4pts on under 160.5 finishers at 8/11 at Bet365