2017 University Boat Race Betting Preview

Updated Thursday 21st February 2019, 12:42 PM

The 2017 Boat Race between university rivals Oxford and Cambridge will take place on the River Thames this Sunday 2 April. This will be the 163rd such race between the men’s eights, and Oxford are the bookmakers' favourites to exact revenge for their defeat by Cambridge in 2016. That result extended the number of wins to 82 for Cambridge, leaving Oxford trailing with 79 wins, so will Oxford make it 80 this year, or will Cambridge defy the current odds and upset their rivals once again?


  • University Boat Race Winner: Oxford 4/11, Cambridge 9/4, Dead Heat 100/1


  • Cambridge won the boat race by 2.5 lengths in 2016, ending a run of three consecutive victories for Oxford. Whilst Cambridge have won more races than Oxford overall, they haven’t won two consecutive races since the nineties, when they won every race from 1993 to 1999. Since then, the Light Blues have won six races, and Oxford have won 11. 
  • Oxford are used to trailing Cambridge as far as the overall stats are concerned, but their rivals seem to up their game whenever Oxford close the gap. In 1993, Oxford needed just one win to even things up, but Cambridge then won seven races in a row, setting the Dark Blues back for another few years. Oxford then closed the gap to a difference of just two races in 2015, but last year’s Cambridge success widened it to three.
  • There has been just one dead heat in the history of this race, and that was in 1877.

Sports.net’s View

The success of Cambridge in 2016 was all the more satisfying for the Light Blues due to very testing conditions which had seen the Cambridge vessel come close to sinking in the women’s race. The men fared much better in their race, and were in the lead after just one minute. Cambridge appeared the strongest of the two teams throughout, and the race really came down to the superior way in which the eventual winners handled the choppy conditions.

Cambridge were 8/13 favourites to win in 2016, with Oxford priced at 5/4. The odds are very different this year, with Oxford available at just 4/11, so we need to consider whether or not to side with the favourites at paltry odds or put money on Cambridge winning their second race in a row for the first time since the nineties.

The Met Office weather prediction for the weekend suggests that there could be some breezy conditions in places, and whilst London is expected to enjoy fairly settled weather, the same was expected last year. Given the fact that Cambridge have the greater number of wins overall, and were able to handle poor conditions better than the dark blues last year, we will side with the Light Blues to spring a surprise and hope that their previous well-earned victory will motivate them to repeat the feat.

  • Sports.net’s Top Tip: Cambridge to win the 2017 University Boat Race – 9/4 

*Please note, odds may change as the race approaches.

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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2019 12:42:02+00:00
Published By Sports.net

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