27th April, 12pm
The Champions League semis are done and dusted, two quite remarkable ties that saw underdogs Chelsea and Bayern Munich dispose of the Spanish giants. The bet last week was weighted towards Chelsea beating Barcelona, and that was exactly what they did, a 1-0 trimuph setting up the superb second leg. We took home a decent profit as well! The final is a few weeks off yet and we’ll be having a look at that a bit closer to the time.
In the meantime it’s back to Premier League action this weekend, we’re getting close to the crunch at top and bottom. For the big game of the weekend we have to wait until Monday night, in what is being billed as the title decider at the Etihad. Not for me though, yes this game will have a huge bearing on things, but I think the title is going right to the last game of the season unless Man Utd manage to win there which is clearly a big ask.
Those of you who’ve been following the betting diary since the start of the season would have noted some of the trading sections towards the end of last year. We looked at the possibility of laying City at long odds on, with the theory that their price would be back over even money at some point. A few weeks ago it was as long as 6/1, a massive potential trade! Now we’ve got Man City at 2/1 and United at 1/2. I think this price reflects the two difficult games City face if they are going to win the league. Firstly at home to United, then away at Newcastle. These prices will swing again, but I still wouldn’t want to pick a winner!
Lets get on with a bet for the weekend. There are a couple of interesting looking matches on Saturday with prices that certainly seem like value. These are:
3pm. Stoke v Arsenal
5:30pm. Norwich v Liverpool
We’ve got two underdogs at home to faultering teams here, but the prices don’t seem to reflect this too well. Stoke can be backed as high as 4.6, while Norwich are at 4s. Two difficult places to go, two decent prices.
Arsenal have a history of struggles away at Stoke, while Norwich are within a single win of Liverpool in the table after 35 games. I think we’d be lucky to pick up two winners, but I’m going to suggest a single on each of them with a small side bet on the double.
Saturday 28th April. Two outright bets and one double.
1. Stoke to beat Arsenal. £4 @ 4.6
2. Norwich to beat Liverpool. £4 @ 4.0
3. Double of Stoke and Norwich. £2 @ 18.4
Enjoy the big games!
17th April, 4pm
It was an eventful Grand National on Saturday, with the closest finish in Grand National history. It was won by a nose on the line by Neptune Collonges, a 33/1 shot in the official results that could easily have been backed at 40/1 or better on the exchanges! Well done to those of you who picked it.
We had interest in a couple of horses in the big race, but sadly neither of them managed to finish. Killyglen was first out, unseating the jockey at the canal turn. Deep Purple faired a little better and made it as far as the 19th before pulling up. As we pointed out in the preview, the Grand National is a hugely difficult race to predict, its generally wise to keep your stakes low when having a flutter on it.
This week we head back to the football, its a huge week with the first legs of the Champions League semi-finals taking place. The two fixtures are:
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid
Chelsea v Barcelona
We’re going to have a look at the Chelsea v Barcelona game tomorrow night. The last Champions League game Chelsea played was at home to Benfica, and they made tremendously hard work of it against 10 men, perhaps even a little fortunate to qualify in the end. Barcelona have an exceptional record in the competition this year, the only blemish since the group stage being the 0-0 draw in Milan. But this doesn’t necessarily tell the full story, most of the opponents were never likely to cause a problem for them. Its only in the latter stages of these tournaments that they will meet teams that can genuinely present a challenge.
Lets have a look at the latest prices from Betfair:
Even the DRAW NO BET market is similarly unbalanced:
If Chelsea play like the did against Benfica, this is a great price, Barcelona could rip them to pieces. If Chelsea play like they did against Spurs, they could make a mockery of these prices.
So what’s it to be?
Difficult choice! It depends which Chelsea turn up, how well Barca defend, and who gets the important decisions (there’s some history to the referreeing of this fixture!) I think better than 4/1 is an incredible price for a Chelsea home game, it shows a huge amount of respect to Barcelona. But if Chelsea are going to get through, they probably do need to win it. They will have to find the balance to contain Barca, but in a home game they surely will have their chances.
DRAW NO BET. Back Chelsea at 4s, we win if Chelsea win. A draw is a refund.
Match odds. Back Chelsea for half your stake at 5.2. Back the draw for the other half at 4.2.
These options are variations based on Barcelona not winning. If you agree, take your pick of the bets!
For me, its this:
Wednesday 18th April. 7:45pm, two bets in the match odds market.
1. Cheslea to beat Barcelona. £5 @ 5.2
2. Cheslea to draw with Barcelona. £5 @ 4.2
This is a similar bet to laying Barcelona for a liability of £10, but is weighted towards the Chelsea win.
Enjoy the game.
13th April, 2pm
Its Friday the 13th – No susperstition here, in fact 13 is lucky for some! It’s a big weekend in sport, but we are going to concentrate on the racing today, with an article from our guest horse racing tipster. It is of course the Grand National this Saturday, one of the biggest betting events in the racing calendar. Without further ado, lets hand over the reins to our racing man:
Saturday at Aintree is a big day in racing. We’re getting towards the end of the jump season and this is the one we’ve all been waiting for. The richest and most famous jump race at the notorious Aintree course.
Settle down at 16:15 on Saturday afternoon and watch as the 40 or so runners are gathered up before the tape is lifted. Its a guaranteed race of thrills and spills, tough on the jockeys and horses alike. Which one will triumph? A difficult question for anyone, even a big racing fan. But this is all part of the appeal, it really is a race that can be won by a big priced outsider, as we saw with the 100/1 outsider Mon Mome in 2009. In other recent years we’ve had 33/1 winners, 20/1, 16/1 and 14/1 in the mix. Rarely in fact does the favourite actually manage to win it.
The field this year is lead by Tony McCoy on Synchronised, bidding to win the race and complete the Grand National and Gold Cup double. He will start as favourite, but a price of around 8/1 is short for a race of this difficulty and field size. History is not on his side either, it’s been 78 years since the double was done.
Looking further down the field there are a couple of horses that have caught my eye. I’m going to suggest a mid-priced runner and an out-and-out outsider. I would look to make a couple of small each way bets here, no more than a couple of quid on the outsider.
Pick 1 – mid price:
Killyglen. Price approx 15/1.
This horse was running a decent race in the National last year before falling close to the end of the race. Jockey Robert Power knows what it takes to win at Aintree in the National, having ridden Silver Birch to victory in 2007. If he can keep in the running towards the latter stages of the race, he’ll be in with a decent shout.
Pick 2 – outsider:
Deep Purple. Price approx 80/1.
A recent win at Sandown in a reasonable length race is perhaps an indication that this horse can indeed last the distance. Has a decent record over jumps, only falling on the very odd occasion. I’d be surprised to see it as a winner, but with Jamie Moore on board, this definitely makes a good each way outsider punt.
All the best with your bets, I hope you enjoy the big race.
Thanks for this contribution, we close with a final word on one of the best offers around to place your Grand National bets. BetVictor are offering an industry best 6 places for the Grand National, and if you are yet to bet with them you can get started with a £25 free bet! If you’d like more information and the latest Grand National offers, our Grand National page is well worth a look.
We’ll finish today with the summary of the two bets:
Saturday 14th April. 4:15pm. Grand National.
Bet 1. Killyglen. £3 each way @ 15/1
Bet 2. Deep Purple. £2 @ 80/1
Prices taken from BetVictor where you will get 1/4 odds for SIX places!
12th April, 11am
We really thought we had a cracking bet on the Blackburn game, it seemed the market agreed as well. On Betfair the DRAW NO BET price moved from 2.74 early afternoon to 2.3 just before KO. This in itself was a great potential trade, but it still looked a value call, particularly when the Liverpool team was announced. However, Liverpool got themselves off to a flyer, with 2 early goals the reward for their initial pressure. Things were going wrong for us until the first penalty incident, which could have turned the whole thing round. Liverpool down to 10, a forward taken off and the penalty to be taken with an hour of the game left. But Yakubu missed it with a tame kick and it remained 0-2.
Blackburn did get one back before half time though, before another penalty was awarded in the second half. This time Yakubu dispatched it for 2-2, and it looked like there was only going to be one winner. Liverpool had other ideas though, and the 10 men snatched it in injury time with a fine header from Andy Carroll. Extremely unlucky to lose both the bets here, on another day they’d both have comfortably been winners.
Last night the title race took yet another twist, Man Utd beaten 1-0 at Wigan while Man City thumped West Brom 4-0. An interesting few weeks await!
We’ll be back tomorrow with a look at the weekend football and the Grand National.
10th April, 11am
The Easter weekend was a feast of great football, with big results throughout. The good news for our latest bet came on Friday afternoon, when Newcastle continued their march towards a possible 4th place finish with a 2-0 win at Swansea. It was the finishing of Cisse that made the difference, with the latest Newcastle number 9 looking a fantastic find. His accuracy in front of the goal could yet be the all-important factor in what will be a real scrap for the final Champions League spot.
At the summit it was a big week for Man Utd, who benefited from a frankly awful decision early in their win over QPR. Man City continued their spectular implosion with another eventful away loss, although it should be said that Arsenal were fully deserving of the 3 points. With a game in hand on the three teams immediately below, the third place finish is theirs to lose now. Credit must go to Arsenal for turning round a season that started a shambles, including the 8-2 mauling by Man Utd amongst other poor results.
At the bottom, things go from bad to worse for Wolves, another loss at the weekend and Arsenal up next. The bets aren’t quite off, but the best price now is 1/50 on, with most bookies pricing 1/100. The writing is on the wall, and maybe Wolves will look back on the sacking of Mick McCarthy and wonder if they should perhaps have stood by their man till the end of the season? Terry Connor was left with an almost impossible task to keep them in the Premier League, they now need to start making plans for next year.
The only positive for Wolves this weekend was that the four teams immediately above also all lost, but the games are starting to run out. For the other 4 teams competing to stay in the league, there are more big games coming up this week. Tonight Blackburn host Liverpool, then tomorrow Wigan host Man Utd and QPR host Swansea. Not the easiest selection of fixtures.
Lets get on with a bet! There’s a price in the football tonight that has appeal.
Tuesday 10th April, 8pm. Blackburn v Liverpool.
We’ll start with a look at the match odds (prices from Betfair):
And a look at the DRAW NO BET market:
To be honest, these prices puzzle me! Liverpool have lost their last 4 away games, and although Blackburn lost last time out, it was a very late loss to title-chasing Manchester United. Prior to this, they beat a decent Sunderland side. Liverpool have looked a poor side on the road, and I can’t see how they can be such strong favourites for this game. They have lost 6 of their last 7 away Premier League games, the only exception being a win at rock bottom Wolves.
I’m sorely tempted to strike an outright bet on Blackburn here, a price of nearly 3/1 for the home side has plenty appeal. Liverpool’s league season is as good as finished, they’ve nothing to play for other than local pride with Everton currently sat 4 points above them in 7th place. In fact, I’d wager that the upcoming FA Cup semi final, also against Everton, sits a lot higher on the priority list than an away game to Blackburn in the league.
I’m going to strike 2 bets on this, one with the safety net of the DRAW NO BET market, the other on Blackburn outright.
Tuesday 10th April. 8pm. Blackburn to beat Liverpool.
Bet 1. Match odds market. £10 @ 3.75
Bet 2. DRAW NO BET market. £10 @ 2.74
5th April, 12pm
Friday marks the start of something of a Premier League rarity. Easter is always a busy time for football, this year there will be six consecutive days of Premier League matches! Plenty of action to get stuck into with a bet or two then!
The games begin at the peculiar time of 16:30 on Friday afternoon, when Swansea host Newcastle live on Sky Sports 1. This is a meeting of two of the surprise packages of the season, I think it is fair to say that both have achieved more than most would have expected. However, looking at the way both teams have approached the season their success is nothing short of fully deserved. Lets have a look at the current match odds from Betfair:
Newcastle go into the game with a potential place in next seasons Champions League still very much a possibility. However, this is a must-win game if that is going to happen. For Swansea the season is starting to peter out, they are as good as safe in 11th place, and just recently have shown a few cracks from the team that started out so well. They did have a superb record at home for most of the season, but this has now been undone by a few of the bigger teams and they lost their last home outing 0-2 to Everton.
Newcastle does look a big price at better than 2/1, but I think it might be the safer option to stick with the DRAW NO BET market. This gives us the security of our money back if the game ends in a draw, and only the Swansea win can defeat us.
The current prices in this market are:
Better than even money for a team chasing Champions League football, this is good enough for me.
Friday 6th April. 4:30pm. Newcastle to beat Swansea, in the Draw No Bet market. £10 @ 2.28
Finally, let me point you in the direction of the updated offer from Stan James. They have just reviewed their free bet offer and its now a simple £10 free bet. If you are yet to sign up, their website is well worth a look, and you can take advantage of the free tenner with all the upcoming football!
2nd April, 2pm
A couple of coupon-busters in the Premier League this weekend, but it didn’t stop us from recording another profit! The FBS tipster pointed out value in two particular fixtures last weekend, those were Cheslea and Newcastle, both of whom recorded impressive victories. Unfortunately the Saturday accumulator didn’t come off, but the Sunday double did and this put us in profit overall. Final score last weekend +£5.
There’s plenty football coming up this week and we’ll be having a good look at this throughout the week. Check back towards the weekend for our thoughts.