28th November, 6pm
Another winner to report from the weekend! Stoke winning 3-1 at home to Blackburn was more than good enough for our bet on Over 2.5 goals to come in.
This week there are some Carling Cup fixtures, with Man City travelling to Arsenal and Chelsea hosting Liverpool tomorrow night, before Man Utd entertain Crystal Palace on Wednesday. However, these Carling Cup games can be a bit of a betting lottery, you never quite know what sort of team they are going to put out or how seriously they are taking the competition. I think it is fairly certain that we will see a number of changes to the teams for all the top clubs. On this basis, I am reducing my stakes to just a £10 bet, but I think there is possibly some value to be had out there.
The game I fancy is Chelsea v Liverpool, a rematch of the recent league game that Liverpool won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will certainly be looking to put the record straight here. Without knowing exactly what the teams are, its risky to try to pick a winner, so instead lets return to the over 2.5 goals market. On Betfair we can already get better than even money, and I think this is a price worth a look. Both teams are scoring and creating chances, but neither have been watertight at the back. If there are indeed a number of changes to the teams, these could easily unsettle things, particularly in defence. Put another way, I wouldn’t even consider backing under 2.5 goals in a game like this!
Todays bet. £10 on Chelsea v Liverpool to be over 2.5 goals. Price 2.06 on Betfair.
24th November, 1pm
Another winner last night, with Arsenal doing the business with a 2-1 win over Dortmund. A huge price on Betfair, they could have been backed at 2.3 yesterday afternoon. We’ll settle for the winner at 1.55 in the draw no bet market, and perhaps Arsenal did ride their luck somewhat, with two of Dortmunds better players forced off through injury. Even so, the Man City result in Naples does show the difficulty of some of these big European away games, backing home teams at big prices can certainly pay off.
Final note following the midweek games, the price on Man City to win the Premier League was affected by their loss to Napoli, with them now priced at 1.77. Small movement, possibly a sign of things to come during the difficult run of fixtures they now face?
This weekend we will be looking at the Premier League again. The first game of the weekend sees struggling Blackburn travel to Stoke, who are having a few problems of their own. Last season Stoke was generally regarded as a difficult place to go, their success built on a solid defence and making the most of their attacking strengths such as the long throw. This season they have been struggling to keep clean sheets, and the table reflects this with them currently down in 14th.
Blackburn are languishing in 19th, although recent performances have shown they are capable of improvement. It certainly seems a little luck is due to go their way as well! Picking a winner is a difficult task, either team is more than capable of taking the points on their day. Instead I am looking for goals in this game, Stoke and Blackburn have 2 of the 3 worst goal differences in the league, despite scoring a few themselves. A draw doesn’t suit either team and I really can’t see a 0-0 here.
So over to Betfair, where the Over 2.5 market is currently trading at around even money. I think this is a fair price, and will be backing it for £20 from the off. Lets hope for some goals!
21st November, 11am
A nice winning treble to report from the weekend! Lets see if we can continue the winning ways with a look at this weeks Champions League action.
The English teams are all in action again:
Man Utd v Benfica
Napoli v Man City
Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund
Bayer Leverkusen v Chelsea
A fairly tricky looking set of fixtures this, but also a chance for all the English teams to all but qualify. In a reversal of league fortunes, it is Man City who have the most to do to ensure qualification, with matches remaining against Napoli and Bayern Munich.
However, the price that catches the eye today is that on Arsenal, who can be backed at 2.14 for their home game on Wedneday. This is against a Dortmund side that have won just 1 of their 4 Champions League games to date, having also conceded 3 each time in away losses to Olympiakos and Marseille. They managed a late 1-1 draw at home to Arsenal, so to stay on the safe side, I’d suggest backing Arsenal in the “DRAW NO BET” market on Betfair. Current price is 1.53, but when the market settles a bit more this could be 1.55. £20 on this for me today.
I’ll end today with a quick note on the Premier League title race. Chelsea losing at home to Liverpool has left it looking like a two horse race already, with the 3rd best team (Chelsea) now available at a staggering 20/1! It’s still November! At the top, Man City are as low as 1.73 on Betfair. This is too low for me with their upcoming fixtures, and I think it’s safe to lay this. Should they emerge with maximum points between now and Christmas they then have a tough start to the new year, with one of their best players Yaya Toure off to the African Cup of Nations. We’ll continue to watch this as the season progresses.
18th November, 2pm
Yet another near miss! We’ve not had any luck so far this month, with winning bets turned into losing bets by the width of a post on a couple of occasions. The Premier League is back tomorrow, and lets hope we can return to winning ways.
There are a few interesting matches tomorrow, with Arsenal and Man Utd up against Premier League newcomers, and Man City hosting highflying Newcastle. We are well into the season now, and the form is in the book. Arsenal have recovered from their shaky start, City are looking unbeatable, and United are always there or there abouts. So I’m going with a treble of the three of them tomorrow.
Best current odds are:
1.33 Man City
1.53 Man United
Rolled into a treble, this would pay out at around 3.5. I’ll be having a £10 bet on this, which would return £35, lets hope it does!
14th November, 12pm
I’m afraid its another near miss! A pasting for the bookies this weekend, as England upset the odds to beat reigning World Champions 1-0 at Wembley. The believers could have had better than 5s (4/1) on Betfair that England would do the business. Sadly, not such good news for our bet, which looked almost nailed on when Frank Lampard put England ahead right at the start of the second half. Spain contrived to miss an open goal, hit the post and put another chance narrowly wide, although ultimately failing to test Joe Hart quite as much as had been expected.
England play again tomorrow, and hopefully this is a chance to reverse our betting fortunes. Current odds on Betfair show England as favourites at 1.79 for the win, with Sweden out at 5.6. It won’t be a formality against a Swedish side that is generally well organised and difficult to break down. Their last outing was a 2-0 loss away in Denmark, but prior to that they had been both scoring and conceding goals, although the overall trend is definitely positive, including a decent 3-2 win over Holland.
England will be experimenting again tomorrow, possibly even more so than Saturday, with numerous changes around the pitch. There’s talk of Carson getting a game in goal, Sturridge up front and Rodwell in the middle. I suspect this game will be less one-sided than the game on Saturday (even though Spains control of the game ultimately came to nothing!), with Sweden more than capable of causing problems. For much the same reasons as Saturday, I am going to suggest another crack at Both teams to score on Betfair. The price is around the same at even money, it’s £20 on this for me.
10th November, 2pm
Current odds for the England game, again taken from Betfair:
The price on England has come in a little, whilst Spain are out to 1.92. It seems some of the other backers have been happy to take the odds of 5 or better on England, but it still doesn’t look like value to me. Spain are a tough proposition.
The Over 2.5 market is settling down at around 2.22 – 2.24. I think this is a fair price, but perhaps one that could be approached as a trade rather than an outright bet.
The Draw no bet market has almost settled with England at around 3.5, and Spain at around 1.4. I don’t fancy either of these prices!
Instead, I’m going to switch across the the “Both teams to score” market. The current price on Betfair for “yes” is 1.98, just under even money. On the basis that Spain are very strongly fancied to score in this game, this pretty much equates to an even money bet on whether or not England will score. It’s a friendly, and there will be a lot of substitutes, adding to the potential for late defensive errors. I think England will score, so its £20 on “yes” for me today.
8th November, 4pm
Sadly what seemed like a reasonably well thought out bet came unstuck again last week, with Man City running out comfortable 3-0 winners against a poor Villarreal side. At the moment it seems Man City are stepping up to every challenge presented to them, it will be interesting to see how they get on with the upcoming run of Premier League fixtures. Of their next 5 games, they have tough looking games against Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. If they take 12 points from these games the title race could end up being a bit one-sided. My take on these fixtures is that they would be more than happy with 8 points from the possible 12, which would be enough to leave them sitting at the top of the table, even if United win all their games in the same period.
Looking back at the Premier League outright odds, the current prices from Betfair are:
Man City 1.91
Man Utd 3.05
Clearly the market thinks it’s going to be a 2 horse race! Interesting to note that Newcastle, despite sitting pretty in 3rd, are still such huge odds. Their next game is away at City and they are clearly expected to fall away after this.
As things stand, my advice for a long term bet would be to lay Man City. Similar to Man Utd earlier in the season, I feel the price is a little too low, and at some point will be back above evens. They do not have the experience of being top and are going to get pegged back at some point. There were certainly signs against QPR that this will be the case, and the run of games above (combined with other tough cup games against Arsenal, Napoli and Bayern Munich in the same period), is likely to lead to dropped points in the league.
This week the Premier League takes a break for a couple of International friendlies. First up are World Champions Spain, who England play at Wembley at 17:15 on Saturday. Unsurprisingly Spain are strong favourites, with England a huge price of 5.1 for the win! Value? Probably not, Spain have picked a fearsome looking squad, and in fact their price of 1.89 looks generous to me. England will potentially be playing an experimental side, or at least changing a few players – Wayne Rooney will be missing for one.
At the moment the other markets on Betfair are still settling, I would particularly like to see the “Draw no bet” market before deciding where to invest this week. Towards the end of the week there might also be a better indication of the starting line ups. If the price is too low on Spain in this market, then the Over 2.5 market is another option, with the current spread showing 2.2 – 2.3, which seems a fair price to me.
Update to follow on Thursday.
1st November, 11am
October was a month of close run things, lets hope November is a month of taken chances. We start the month on a Champions League Tuesday, and all four English teams have group games over the next couple of nights.
Arsenal v Marseille
Genk v Chelsea
Manchester United v Otelul Galati
Villarreal v Manchester City
My sights are trained on the Man City game on Wednesday. City are currently priced at 1.61 on Betfair for the win. Last week City only nicked a late 2-1 win at home to Villarreal, and for a potentially tough away game in Europe this price looks a bit short to me. Villarreal haven’t been as strong as in previous years, but are still a decent side on their day. That said, they have lost all 3 Champions League games to date, so another loss here wouldn’t be a great surprise.
Looking at the way the group is set up, its getting close to make or break time for City. Villarreal aren’t going to qualify, but need something here to even have a chance of making the Europa League 3rd spot. I see City going all out for the win, and at the moment no-one seems to be able to keep them out, so with that in mind lets venture into the goals markets. I’m loathe to go with Over 2.5 goals because I suspect Villarreal would be happy to hold them to a 1-1, so my pick here is for Both teams to score. Current price on Betfair is even money, I’ll be having £20 on it.