Too little too late for Labour (6th June 2017)Polling begins in less than two days and the latest betting from Sporting Index shows that Labour are making a strong late surge, but it won't be enough to deny Theresa May of her premiership.
As it stands, the leading spread betting firm has projected the Conservative Party to win 362 seats, while Labour are heading for their worst ever election result at just 207 seats.
However, the current prediction of 207 red constituencies is way up on pre-campaigning forecasts of just 170. Jeremy Corbyn's popularity has surged since 5 May, with the prediction on his party's seats rising an astonishing 40 percent.
Sporting Index had the Tories on course to smash Margaret Thatcher's 1983 haul with a record 405 seats, but a raft of selling from spread bettors has forced that commanding figure down 11 per cent to a current mark of 362.
As for the Liberal Democrats, the spreads suggest campaigning hasn't gone too well for Tim Farron and Co. His party have shed 17 seats on Sporting Index's initial prediction, down from 31 to a mere 12.
Ed Fulton, political trading spokesperson at Sporting Index, said: "The election is still Theresa May's to lose but the momentum is undoubtedly with Jeremy Corbyn. The latest spread betting figures would get Theresa May over the line with 362 seats, but Labour have surged 40 per cent since campaigning started and any further boost could propel us towards a hung parliament."
"As it stands, Jeremy Corbyn is about to lead his party into its worst ever election result with just 207 seats. It's tough reading for the Lib Dems too, with today's spread showing just 12 seats will be yellow once the votes are counted."
First MP to be elected at 22:50 in general election (7th June 2017)The first constituency to announce its election results will arrive at 10.50pm tomorrow night in the UK, according to leading spread betting firm Sporting Index.
Sunderland South's speedy voters have held the record for first MP to be elected in any constituency from the previous five UK general elections and is also responsible for the quickest ever ballot count at 10.48pm from 2015.
Despite predicting turnout to dip from the 2015 election to a mark of 63 per cent, the traders at Sporting Index still believe the first MP will arrive a couple of minutes later than the current record of 22:48.
Bridget Phillipson secured her seat as MP for Houghton and Sunderland South in 2015, and it's widely expected the Labour MP will retain her position after the votes are counted on Thursday evening.
Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Sunderland's constituencies have always led the way for first past the post records in recent general elections, and it will take a quick turnaround in any area to beat the record of 10.48pm held by Sunderland South."
"That said, Washington & Sunderland West and Sunderland Central could give their neighbors a close run, and all eyes will be on when the first results are announced tomorrow evening."
Exit poll puts Tory majority hopes in the balance (8th June 2017)This evening's exit poll showed the Conservatives are leaders in the pack of the general election race but may fall short of a majority vote.
The results indicate that a hung parliament is possible with Labour on course for 266 seats and SNP and the Liberal Democrats plummeting to 34 and 14 respectively.
However, Sporting Index currently have Conservative seats at 330 with Labour at 239. To win an overall majority a party needs to win 326 seats.
Ed Fulton, political spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The exit poll has raised a few eyebrows this evening and shows that a hung parliament could be on the cards at this rate."
"The polls have been wrong before, but all eyes will now be on the first past the post in what will be a tense wait for Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn's parties."
"Our traders are currently predicting the Tories will get a majority by the narrowest of margins, but it looks like it's going to be much closer than anyone thought."
Rooney to remain with United beyond summer (13th June 2017)Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney will remain at the club beyond the summer transfer window, according to traders at Sporting Index.
Traders at the leading spread-betting firm estimate that Rooney has 170 days left at the club, taking him past deadline day at the end of August. Speculation has been rife that the Liverpool-born striker was due to head to the Chinese Super League to re-boot his career while other transfer gossip suggested that Rooney was in favour of a return to his boyhood club Everton.
However, after latest reports suggest that no club is willing to meet the striker's high wage demands, Sporting Index have revised Rooney's quote, meaning they expect him to stay with the club until the January transfer window re-opens in 2018.
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "Rooney has been adamant that he is looking for first team football as he enters the twilight years of his career, and it looked certain that he would be off to China or back to where it all started for him at Goodison Park. However, it looks as if his wage demands may scupper any chance of a move to either."
"The exact quote for Rooney's remaining days at Old Trafford is 170, which is just under one month away from the January transfer window re-opening in 2018, suggesting the front man will still be with Jose Mourinho's side after the summer at least."
Warburton to play just 105 minutes of Lions Tests (23rd June 2017)British and Irish Lions tour captain Sam Warburton will play a total of 105 minutes in the three-test series against New Zealand, according to spread betting firm Sporting Index.
The Welsh back-rower strained his ankle during the opening twenty minutes of the Lions' first game of the tour and has struggled to establish himself as a regular starter in the matches since.
Warburton will now have to settle for a place on the bench for the first test having failed to secure a place in the starting XV, and the spread betting firm predict the flanker will play a bit-part role throughout the tests.
The three-test series could prove a rugby classic, with both teams unleashing their attacking flair. New Zealand ran in 12 tries in their 78-0 victory over Samoa last week, and the spread betting firm envisage a total of 16 tries being scored over the three tests.
However, Sporting Index's traders can't see the British and Irish Lions scoring many of these, with only eight tries predicted in their remaining four tour games.
Gatland's side have crossed the whitewash 11 times in six games on tour thus far, and despite selecting an attacking backline for the first test in Auckland, tries may prove hard to come by against a formidable All Blacks defence.
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "We already know that coach Warren Gatland is leaving Warburton out of the starting line-up to face the All Blacks in Saturday's first test, opting for Peter O'Mahony as captain."
"Gatland chooses his players on merit and form, so Warburton's early injury has diminished his chances of getting regular playing time for the remainder of the tour, leading our traders to predict a total of 105 minutes."
"Warburton himself has stated that he will stand aside if it would be in the team's best interest, making it more likely that we will not see an excessive number of minutes on the pitch from him."
Chris Froome to win Tour de France by 133 seconds (30th June 2017)The 104th Tour de France will be decided by 133 seconds, according to leading spread betting firm Sporting Index.
Six of the last seven Tour winners have streaked clear by three minutes or more, but this year looks set to be a closely run race with Sporting Index quoting a winning margin of just 133 seconds.
Despite a disappointing fourth place in the tournament's traditional Tour warm-up, the Critérium du Dauphiné, Chris Froome is predicted to get the better of Colombian rival Nairo Quintana in cycling's most famous race this year.
However, it's Richie Porte who is the Team Sky rider's closest competitor this year, with the Australian laying down an early marker for the Tour de France when he finished ahead of Froome in the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this month.
Four different riders are predicted to wear the `maillot jaune' before the 21st and final stage finishes on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
The Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish, looks unlikely to add more than one stage success to his 30 career victories this year as he continues his quest to surpass Eddy Merckx's record of 34 Tour de France stage wins.
Sporting Index expect just 165 of the 198 riders that start stage one to finish the race.
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index,said: "Chris Froome faces an uphill battle if he is to win a third consecutive Tour de France title this year, with Richie Porte a serious challenge to Froome's crown on a course that is expected to suit the Australian.
We think this could be a highly competitive Tour and predict a winning margin of 133 seconds."
"Froome's preparation has been far from ideal, entering the Tour without having won a race this year for the first time since 2012. With the margin of victory set to be a slim 133 seconds, the Team Sky rider knows he faces his stiffest competition yet with the likes of Porte and Quintana nipping at his heels."
Confederations Cup curse could spell early World Cup exit for Germany or Chile (30th June 2017)The winner of the Confederations Cup final between Germany and Chile this weekend could find themselves on an early flight home from Russia at next year's World Cup, according to research from leading spread betting firm Sporting Index.
Since the Confederations Cup first started in 1992 - renamed the Confederations Cup from the King Fahd Cup in 1997 - no winner of the tournament has ever gone on to win the World Cup the following year, a statistic this is sure to send the shivers down the spines of finalists Germany and Chile.
Brazil have been the biggest victims of the Confederations Cup curse, winning the tournament in 1997 and recording three wins in a row in 2005, 2009 and 2013 - only to miss out on lifting the World Cup in each of the four following tournaments.
The five time champions have not won the World Cup since 2002 in Japan and have not qualified for this year's Confederations Cup - but this could be a blessing in disguise for Neymar and Co. next year in Russia if they are to mount a serious challenge.
The Brazilians came closest to breaking the Confederations Cup curse in 1998, however they lost out 3 - 0 to hosts France in the final, with Zinedine Zidane bagging a brace.
The French also have a history of poor World Cup performances after lifting the Confederations Cup following their 2001 triumph. Les Bleus suffered a shock loss to World Cup new boys Senegal on the opening day in 2002 and against Denmark in their final group game to finish bottom of the table and first team to board an early flight home.
The Confederations Cup has also seen two of the tournament's top scorers crocked for the following year's World Cup tournaments. Brazilian Romario finished with the golden boot in 1997 after netting seven times, only to miss France '98 through injury.
The same fate fell upon France's Robert Pires after he finished top scorer in the 2001 Confederations Cup in South Korea and Japan, only to miss out on the 2002 World Cup after suffering cruciate ligament injury towards the end of the Premier League season with Arsenal.
Ed Fulton, trading spokesman for Sporting Index, said: "The Confederations Cup curse has claimed a few big scalps in the last twenty years, none more so than Brazil. Their poorest World Cup performances have followed on from winning the Confederations Cup, not least their earliest exit in 16 years when they were defeated by France in 2006. The country also suffered a humiliating worst - ever defeat to Germany when they were thrashed 7 - 1 in the 2014 World Cup semi-final on their own soil."
"With Germany looking to win back to back World Cups next year in Russia, it'll be interesting to see who triumphs between Joachim Lowe's side and Chile in the Confederations Cup final this Sunday. They could be the nation to break the mould and put the Confederations Cup curse to bed by seeing off Mexico this weekend and returning to Russia next year as world champions."