27th Feb, 1pm
Another thriller in North London this weekend saw Arsenal recover from 2 goals down to beat Spurs 5-2. This was good news for our bet, which returned another winner. Quick point of note for anyone watching the game, at 0-2 you could have had massive odds on the Arsenal win, and those watching were probably aware that 0-2 was extremely flattering to Spurs. Even a single goal back for Arsenal lead to a very nice trading opportunity, but for those brave enough to bet at 0-2 down and leave the bet to run, there were some huge profits to be had! Of course its always easy in hindsight, but these are the sort of opportunities traders around the world are looking out for.
The Arsenal bet will conclude our betting action for February, be sure to check in later this week for an update on the Premier League games this weekend.
23rd Feb, 5pm
Two winners from Tuesday night, with a slightly strange team selection from Andre Villas-Boas probably helping bring them home! It was far from a cagey affair, chances aplenty and the Over 2.5 goals bet was done and dusted before the half time whistle. Napoli ran out eventual 3-1 winners, and Chelsea have got a fair job on their hands for the return leg.
This weekend we are back into the Premier League, and I’ve got my eyes on a bet in one of the Sunday games. There are 3 Premier League games, two of which are on early due to the Carling Cup final at 4pm (no bets on this one, Liverpool at 1.4 is the likely outcome, but too low for a bet for me). Of the Premier League games, we are looking at possibly the biggest of the day, which is Arsenal v Tottenham.
Signs of a power shift in North London? Odds like this would have been unthinkable a few years ago, when Arsenal were guaranteed to be strong favourites every time. Not this time though, and in fact it is Spurs sitting pretty in 3rd place in the league, with Arsenal 10 points behind and caught up in a dogfight for the final Champions League place. By the time this game kicks off, it is likely that Arsenal will have dropped down to 5th or even 6th, and the 3 points could be hugely important to their season.
As for Spurs, do they still think they are genuinely in with a chance in the league? My verdict is no, but they will be keen to cement their position for another bash at the Champions League next season. It is a tough couple of weeks for Spurs, with Man Utd next up, followed by trips to Everton and Chelsea. I suspect that they would be happy to get through this spell with as little as 4-5 points, with an easier looking run in towards the end of the season to consolidate the Champions League place.
The suggestion therefore is a cautious bet on Arsenal, in the Betfair “Draw no bet” market. There are generous looking odds of just under even money here, and the only result that will turn us over is the Spurs win.
Sunday 26th Feb. Arsenal v Spurs.
Arsenal to win (DRAW NO BET) @ 1.88. Stake £10.
21st Feb, 1pm
No bets over the last week, probably a good thing considering some of the FA Cup results. There were some real coupon busters this weekend, with Chelsea failing to overcome Birmingham at home, and Spurs being held to a 0-0 draw at Stevenage! The replays might offer some value here, a Chelsea / Spurs double could add up to a reasonable price (particularly given Chelsea current form) and I believe they will both get the job done at the second attempt. We’ll check on this next week and see what the odds are.
Tonight and tomorrow we have a couple of decent looking Champions League games, and its Chelsea under the microscope tonight with a tough looking trip to Napoli. Under fire Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas really needs something from his team tonight, but my guess is that its not a game they will win. Napoli were undefeated in two games against Premier League leaders Man City, and their only loss to date in the competition was away to Bayern Munich. There are appealing looking odds on Betfair of just over 2.4 for the home team, and they might well feel they need to win the home leg if they are to progress from this tie. The alternative to backing Napoli outright is to take the price from the “Draw no bet” market” – this gives us insurance against the draw, in which case the stake is refunded. Only a Chelsea win would turn this bet over, and the current price of 1.7 definitely has appeal.
In addition to the match odds markets, an alternative betting option for this game can be found in the goals markets. A quick look at the over 1.5 / 2.5 markets on Betfair shows the following prices:
Over 1.5 goals 1.46
Over 2.5 goals 2.34
There’s a big gap between these two prices. Convert the odds into inplied percentage chances and we have:
Over 1.5 goals 68%
Over 2.5 goals 43%
I don’t think either side will be happy with a 0-0. Chelsea will want an away goal, and Napoli will be looking to win it. Napoli tend to play with 3 very attacking players, and Chelsea look set to start without both Ashley Cole and John Terry. Their game plan will be to exploit the gaps left when Napoli push forward with the hope of catching them on the break. I think Chelsea are good enough to score, but I’m not convinced they will be able to keep Napoli out. Over 2.5 is a shout against the market, but I think its a bet that has some value.
With the above in mind, I’m going to strike two bets.
Match bet – take the safer option and go with the “Draw no bet” market:
Napoli (Draw no bet) @ 1.7. £10
Over 2.5 goals @ 2.34. £10
Hopefully we get to see an entertaining match bring these two home!
6th Feb, 6pm
A decent betting start to the month, Newcastle did the business for us with a 2-1 win over Villa. They were perhaps a little lucky to actually win this, Villa giving a decent account of themselves and certainly had the chances to at least draw the game. Still, we were well overdue a little bit of good fortune on the pitch, so we’ll take the £20 win and move onto next week.
At the moment I’m looking at some of the Premier League matches for next Saturday. The big one is Manchester United hosting Liverpool, which is always a feisty occasion! We’ll see how Liverpool look tonight with Suarez back in the team before deciding if we should strike a bet on this game. Update to follow later in the week.
3rd Feb, 1pm
We finished January with a double in the Premier League. The first part was beaten fair and square by an impressive 3-0 win for Liverpool, but we have to feel a bit hard done to losing the second bet as well. Even the Newcastle manager admitted that his side were lucky to take the points. Had Blackburn not missed a penalty it could have been very different. Unfortunately this is not the first time a missed penalty has cost us, but that’s the nature of the game.
This weekend, assuming the weather doesn’t affect things, we have a tasty looking selection of Premier League games. To get our betting back on track, lets go for a single. There is a particular match on my radar with a decent price to go with it:
Sunday 13:30. Newcastle v Aston Villa.
The current prices from Ladbrokes are as follows:
Newcastle: Even money
Aston Villa: 11/4
Note that the Ladbrokes live odds banner to the right will update these if there are any changes!
Switching these prices to decimal odds, we have:
Aston Villa: 3.75
My money has to be on Newcastle for this. Aston Villa have been up and down all season, their only win in the last 4 being the game against a struggling Wolves side in a local derby. I just can’t see a lengthy trip to Newcastle going well for them.
Newcastle have also seen wins and losses of late, but are generally a strong side at home. Despite the mid-season blip they are still within 3 points of a Champions League place, and playing before Chelsea in 4th on Sunday they have the chance to go level on points. This is the sort of game they will be expecting to win, doing so would leave them very well placed for a push towards the end of the season. I think even money is a decent price, and will have £20 on it.