Monday, November 30, 2009
BLACKPOOL- PRESTON NORTH END
This is a very big local derby, with no love lost between the two "neighbours" and often involving crowd trouble. Unlike in the EPL, where sometimes the players are so far detached from the fans, that they are unaware how vital these derby games are, both sets of players here will be up for the battle ahead and know how important the match is to the supporters.
This series of games has been totally dominated by the visiting team in recent seasons, regardless of the venue and Preston have collected four points from their last two visits to the seaside resort, including a famous 3-1 win last season, a result which kick started their season and was talked about for weeks afterwards. They arrive in similar shape this season, looking to get something going, after a four match run without a win. They certainly played well enough last week, outplaying Newcastle for much of the game and creating 16 attempts on goal, before conceding a late winner to the league leaders. The similarities do not end there, as the match is being played at exactly the same time of year and in very similar conditions with rain and high winds creating havoc all over the UK.
Three points for the visitors would see them move back up into a tie for seventh in the table, just outside the playoff zone. They will be without central defender Youl Mawene, which is a big loss, but is offset somewhat by the news that key player Richard Chaplow is fit to start and he will strip much fitter after playing with a pain killing injection in the last game, following a recent operation. Chaplow ran Blackpool ragged last year and with on loan Stoke player, the talented Michael Tonge , alongside him in the centre of the park, I expect PNE to create plenty of chances and dominate the midfield. They will get huge support from the 1750 travelling fans, which is their full ticket allocation and I expect them to make the short journey home in bouyant mood.
Blackpool are having a fantastic season under the effervescent Ian Holloway, they are unbeaten at home (6-2-0) and could move into the top four with a win. However, a fine win over Newcastle aside, their other seven home opponents have all been bottom half teams and almost all arrived out of sorts and struggling for any form at all, they will face a far sterner test this evening and in my notebook, I have Preston as the classier outfit and the more likely of these two ,to eventually challenge for a top six spot. They collected more points from losing positions than anyother FL side last season and unlike in recent years, when they have depended upon their form at Deepdale to keep them in the playoff hunt, this camapaign, they are averaging almost as many points (1.375/1.44) per game on the road, as at home.
7 points Preston +1/2 ball 1.85 asian line.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
PREMIER LEAGUE MANCHESTER CITY- HULL CITY
City did us a favour at Liverpool last weekend and they must be kicking themselves for not collecting the three points that were clearly there for the taking. They have got into the nasty habit of drawing games they should win, but I expect to see them at their best today,against an inferior opponent, in a game they should run away with.
Hull have collect seven much needed points from three home games, but have ridden their luck at times in that sequence coming back from one down against Stoke , two down verses West Ham and nearly blowing a three goals lead against Everton in midweek. The last two were very stressful, high tempo, mentally draining games played in the past seven days and there might well be a let down today, especially returning to the stadium where many of their problems stemmed from last season. This was the venue where Phil Brown kept his players on the pitch at half time in a 5-1 defeat, I doubt many will have any positive memories returning here today and remember, football like a lot of sport is played as much between the ears as with the ball.
We will surely see goals today, the visitors last 13 starts have seen six of those produce four or more, with Hull ending up on the winning side only once in those games. The Sky Blues have both scored and conceded in ten of their last eleven matches, with seven producing at least four goals, more are on the cards today and most should be in the visitors net.
7 points Manchester City -1.75 goals 2.13 asian line.
WEST HAM UNITED- BURNLEY
The Hammers will see this as something of a must win game, three points could take them clear of the drop zone and with the next two visitors to Upton Park , being Chelsea and Manchester United, they would be priceless in the battle for survival. West Ham are the best team at the foot of the table IMO, but seem incapable of keeping a clean sheet, their last ten starts have been "over", with 8 producing four or more. Burnley last six on the road have been "over", last five of which have produced four or more, the last four at least five ! So they are certainly not tightening up ! Both clubs have an attacking instinct and will look for the three points, we will see goals.
7 points "over" 2.75 goals 2.05 asian line.
Friday, November 27, 2009
We have discussed Nimes several times in recent years and especially how strong they are at des Costières, where they have only lost nine times in 65 starts over the last four seasons, considering there were two relegation campaigns included in that sequence, that is a pretty impressive run.
They look unlikely to be dragged into the relegation scrap this time round and a top ten finish is on the cards. Nimes have yet to lose on home soil this season and are in tip top form, losing just once in seven starts, winning five of those. Caen might well be the strongest side in Ligue 2, but their form has tailed off slightly in recent games and they have only scored once, against lower league Dunkerque (in the cup), in three outings. This is due in part to both strikers Traore and Toudic being injured and neither seems likely to return for several weeks.They have only collected two of their nine league wins on the road and already dropped points at three teams, Chateauroux, Guingamp and Strasbourg, below Nimes in the table. Certainly no lost cause for the hosts, who are playing with confidence and they look a solid bet getting a handicap start.
6.5 points Nimes +1/4 ball 1.80 asian line.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Two nice winners yesterday, the only thing I got right in the Rubin game was the weather forecast ! Having said that, the game was fairly open and as always with such bets, the first goal is key.
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
PORTO - CHELSEA
Both are already qualified for the knockout stage and only first place in the group is up for grabs. A win would seal the deal for the Blues, but a single point would ensure they remained in pole position, ahead of the final group match and that seems a far more likely result IMO.
Chelsea were very happy to settle for 0-0 in Madrid on Matchday 4, before an Aguero goal caused them to burst into life. With a long campaign ahead and some much bigger games on the immediate horizon, starting with a London derby visit to fellow title challengers Arsenal on Sunday, they seem certain to adopt a similar approach this evening. They will definitely not wish to pick up any further injuries, they are already without Bosingwa and Lampard tonight and seem unlikely to take a chance with Drogba, who will probably be warming up the bench.
Hosts come into this game refreshed, having not played for a couple of weeks and with the unusual bonus of having had most of the squad together during the mini break, which has enabled them to really put in some intensive work in training. This is a very experienced european club, looking to win a group stage for the third year running. They played well in the reverse fixture, losing to a single second half goal from Nicolas Anelka and creating more chances (16) than the home team. Actually, after four rounds no team in the CL have had more attempts on goal than Porto, who have totalled 76 an average of 19 per start. I accept that fellow group members Apoel and Atletico have hardly set the competition on fire, but those are still impressive numbers, especially alonside Chelsea's total of 49, which equates to 6.75 per game fewer than the Portugese champions.
I expect Chelsea to settle for a point and if there is to be a winner, feel it is more likely to come from Porto, who have lost just twice in 13 home starts in the CL over the last four seasons, getting a "point", at least, from meetings with Liverpool, Arsenal (twice) and Chelsea (back in 06-07) , they know the Blues well and what to expect this evening, in a game of few surprises. Draw, or narrow home win.
7 points Porto +1/4 ball 1.80 asian line.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
GLASGOW RANGERS - VfB STUTTGART
We discussed before the Sevilla game how negative Rangers are, especially at Ibrox, in europe, where they persist in playing 4-5-1 and try to hit teams on the break. This is crazy in Champions League group games, it worked for them in the UEFA Cup when it was a knockout tournament, but sooner or later you need to win matches to progress. Guess that time has come, but even against a struggling Stuttgart team, I am not sure that they are up to the task.
This is quite possibly one of the worst Rangers team's in a decade, the club have no money to rebuild and they have conceded three or more in their last three home european ties, including four against both Sevilla and Unirea. This evening they are set to switch to 4-4-2 and IMO that will just confuse the players,which will not take much, to give you some idea of how negative they have been in these games, top scorer Kris Boyd, with 86 goals in 123 starts for the Gers, is set to make his first ever CL start tonight !
He is happy beating up on the SPL lesser lights, but I am not so sure and obviously neither is Walter Smith, about his ability to do so agaisnt the more savvy european defenders. The Rangers backline is short on both confidence and experience and if they concede once, anything could happen.
The visitors have really struggled this season and are currently fighting a Bundesliga relegation battle, but I suspect they are too good to remain at the foot of the table for long..... famous last words The CL , especially on the road, where they have drawn at Unirea, Sevilla and won at Timisoara (who currently lead the Romanian league) has given them respite from Bundesliga frustration and they know that two wins will see them progress to the knockout stage and salvage their season and probably save coach Markus Babbel's job. They restricted those three opponents to very few chances on goal , keeping Sevilla to eight shots on target in 90 minutes of football was a real achievement and they are unlikely to have too many problems keeping this limited Rangers side at bay. I have to take them off level ball.
6.5 points Stuttgart level ball 1.99 asian line.
I am very keen on Unirea here getting the handicap start. Do not get me wrong, I am very impressed by this Sevilla side and know a couple of good judges who think that they have the strongest squad in La Liga, pretty sure I told you that earlier in the season and sitting just three points off the top of the league, they might just prove that by putting in a big title challenge in 2010.
They have already secured qualification from this group and will finish top with a point this evening, or a win in their final home fixture, so three points in Romania is surely not a top priority. They were missing nine players at the weekend , so will not wish to lose any more tonight to injury, especially with a very exciting campaign, battling on two fronts, ahead of them.
Hosts are on a five week unbeaten run and have come to terms with Champions League football and given themselves a good chance to qualify, with four points from two games with Rangers. They are looking for a little bit of history by becoming the first Romanian side to qualify through the group stage and facing a Sevilla team that cannot be fully motivated, I give them a great chance to do so.
I am sure that the Spanish side would rather take three league points at the weekend than a win here, whereas this is Unirea's biggest ever game. No weather concerns in Romania, I like the quote, draw or narrow home win for me.
6.5 points Unirea +1/4 ball 1.97 asian line.
RUBIN- DYNAMO KIEV
Only two points seperate the four teams in Group F and it would be a major coup for either of these clubs to progress from a section containing european giants Barcelona and Inter. Not much love on the pitch, when Kiev face Russian teams and they have a very solid record in these fixtures. Rubin have just secured their second domestic title in a row and to do that, whilst they are involved in their first ever CL campaign is a fanatstic achievement, even more so for a team that had never played in the top flight of Russian football until 2003. Kiev arrive here on the back of a fine 3-0 win over big rivals Shakhtar at the weekend, which has given them a big six point lead at the top of the table, they have changed their game plan since these two last met and now play at a very high tempo, more like an EPL club.
So, what to expect, both will surely look to win, with a final group game against the big two to come. The first meeting between these two produced four goals and I expect this to get very stretched after the break, with end to end action, "over" for me. Temperature is set to be around zero come kick off time, with maybe a few snow flurries or rain, this seems unlikely to bother either team much.......... so not sure why I mentioned it !
6.5 points "over" 2.25 goals 2.01 asian line.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
XEREX DEPORTIVO- SPORTING GIJON
It is difficult to win football matches if you do not score any goals and Xerex, in their first ever season in La Liga are finding them very hard to come by. They have scored just three times in ten league starts and not at all, in 9 of their last 12 in all competitions, their only goal in the last 450 minutes of football coming in a 2-1 home cup loss to Osasuna. They have firmly targetted three points today as vital if they are going to launch a survival bid, but they have a return to Segunda written all over them and lack the quality required for La Liga.
Gijon do not have any real stars, but are a strong well knit squad, who have developed over the last two seasons and are proving tough to beat, they could climb into the top five with a win today and off level ball they look a good shout. Player for player they are a stronger team and will be looking to bounce back after a cup blip immediately before the mini break, they have already collected road points at Bilbao, Valencia and Deportivo and meet nothing approaching that quality today.
Sometimes these basic stats can be misleading, but not in this case, in their last three outings Xerex have aveaged 42% possesion and just six attempts on goal, allowing opponents an average of 17, that is simply not good enough and now that their early season euphoria has evaporated, I would argue that recent performances have actually declined.
5.5 points Gijon level ball 2.01 asian line.
City are a funny side, they looked content at 0-0 before a Liverpool goal woke them from their slumbers , then the Sky Blues were far superior and they really should have won the game. Mark Hughes team are surely going to have to be more adventurous away from Manchester if they are going to challenge for a top four spot.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
BRENTFORD - WALSALL
I discussed the Bees in midweek (with subscribers), they scored five and whilst they did not play particularly well in the first half, it is hard to quibble with that and I assessed that game pretty well, he added modestly !
Brentford have been very busy in the loan market since then, signing two classy and tall ( this is important as the Bees have a lack of height in the team and have been conceding from set plays) youngsters from Arsenal and Ipswich. The keeper who is just 19 is held in very high regard and made his full debut for Poland in midweek. That makes three of the home side who were on international duty and gives some indication of how far the Bees have come in the last 18 months, when they can bring players of quality to the club, albeit only on a temporary basis.
What people tend to forget, is that quality loan signings can also help the regular players at the club. Even these young loanees bring with them a degree of knowledge, most of them have trained with the first team and are being brought along in the right manner, playing with them on a daily basis can only be of benefit.
I think that the Bees will keep the momentum up and see off this Walsall side who are well coached, but create relatively few chances, something I also discussed recently. John Bostock will return to the home side again, he is a 17 yo of almost limitless potential, was the youngest player ever to make his debut for Crystal Palace aged fifteen and was then "poached " by Tottenham amid much controversy. He has been allowed to come to the Bees on a loan deal, which might be extended, to gain match experience, he is two footed, which means he can play almost anywhere across the middle and set Division 1 on fire last week with two goals against a very solid Millwall defence on his debut, one directly from a corner. He was the best player on the pitch by a country mile land will probably be so again.
He can be backed at big odds with William Hill to score and also massive odds to get another two or more, this might be unlikely but I feel we will never see these odds again, so why not try a little.
Bostock is an example of what I meant by these youngsters being so more advanced than their lower league counterparts. I accept that he might be an exception, but he is very experienced and advanced for his years and was extremely composed in his post match interviews last week, where he impressed me greatly, as much as he had done on the pitch, hopefully some of this will rub off on the Bees own up and coming players.
6 points Brentford -1/4 ball 1.90 asian line
1.5 points Bostock to score anytime 4.50 William Hill
0.75 points Bostock to score twice 21.0 William Hill.
0.25 points Bostock to score a hat trick 67.0 William Hill.
LIVERPOOL - MANCHESTER CITY
Hard not to see goals in this one, each has managed just a single clean sheet in ten starts and I expect both to score today, something that can be backed at 1.75 in places. That looks a good solid shout in my opinion, or even the "over" option, but I am going for a more speculative bet and will take City to score twice.
Sooner or later it will click for the visitors and with Liverpool already having conceded twice at home to Lyon, Birmingham and Villa, I see no reason why City cannot do likewise, regardless of the final result. Those three sides all get forward quickly and City also have bags of pace up front and it is difficult for me to see them not having a deal of joy against a pedestrian defence, who are starting to make getting caught out of position, into something of an art form. Sky Blue heaven for City fans, unless they mange to concede three !
4 points Manchester City to score two or more goals 3.20 general quote.Back later.
Bit short of time overnight so my four match previews were very brief, might try to pad a couple of them out a little before posting on here, but I want to watch three games today, including one live, so time is not really on my side. Anyway, please check back later.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This playoff takes place in Sudan and perhaps surprisingly, the locals are said to be supporting Algeria, but I do not believe that makes much difference at all and with the tickets being snapped up in minutes, I suspect that the majority were picked up by supporters of the two nations and with over two million Egyptians living in Sudan, they probably have the bulk.
This game is taking place because the two could not be seperated on points, or goal difference, after six group games, Egypt needed to win 2-0 in the home game with their bitter rivals at the weekend and after taking an early lead, had to wait until the 96th minute to find the all important second. The match was played in an extremely tense atmosphere, there is very little love lost between these two, the visiting team bus was attacked on the way to the satdium and things are unlikely to be much calmer tonight.
The reigning Aftrican Champions surely have the upper hand after such a recent and vital win, especially given that the home coach said that was about as bad as his team could play. His midfield was certainly off their game, but will be helped in that regard by the team news tonight, which allows him more options with Shawki and Hosni fit to return to the squad, whilst his counterpart must do without midfielder Lemmouchia and keeper Gaouaoui, who are both suspended. This gives a firm advantage to the Pharaohs IMO, who have handled similar pressure well in recent ACN championships and I think the odds are fair enough.
5 points Egypt -1/2 ball 2.02 asian line.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA- PORTUGAL
Portugal hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg and will doubtless try to protect that. Bosnia have promised to take the game to the visitors and "attack like famished wolves", they are certainly a side with goals in them, most of their talent lies in going forward and they struggle to keep cleansheets. They will be severly handicapped by suspensions to Spahic, Muratovic and Rahimic, which will limit their defensive options still further and I believe they will simply go for it sooner rather than later, this could be suicide of course and even without Ronaldo, the Portugese have enough talent to carve B&H open on the break. The visitors are at their best and happiest when they do not have to make all the running and surely we will see goals this time, which is normally the case in Zenica, with the five group games here averaging 4.8 goals.
5 points "over" 2.5 goals 2.05 asian line.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Having said that, I remain in excellent form , with six winners from just eight selections last week on the email service. That makes six winning weeks in a row, during which I have given 65 selections, 40 of which have won, giving a 61.54% strike rate and making almost 93 points profit, that is about as good as it gets, regardless of what other sites might tell you. Whilst there is only limited output on here, I hope that you have still done well over this period and I will continue to post previews on the blog whenever circumstances allow.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 14TH
Three selections today, just brief comments I am afraid, but I am keen on all three, especially xxxxxx, however, I have reduced stakes slightly as the weather is very bad in the UK, with heavy rain and high winds and it is impossible to know which games might be affected.
BRISTOL ROVERS - CARLISLE UNITED
Unless the weather takes a big hand here, it is very hard to see this game not producing goals. Carlisle appeared in my stats round up earlier in the week, they create a lot of chances and have done so all season, even when they were struggling earlier in the campaign. Now those chances are turning into goals, with ten in their last four starts and their last five games have averaged 3.8 goals. Their confidence is high and they will take the game to Rovers and arepeat of their 3-2 win here last season is not out of the question and there are certainly far worse 33-1 shots out there.
Hosts were expected to suffer a backlash this season following the loss of Rickie Lambert to Southampton, but started their year on fire and were pushing for a top four place, however, there has now been a levelling off and results have nosedived, they have lost six in a row and conceded an enormous 18 goals in the progress, two or more in each of those games.
Hard to see the hosts keeping a cleansheet and this seems certain to develop into a shootout.
6 points "over" 2.5 goals 1.85 asian line.
1 point "over" 4.5 goals circa 5.50 general quote.
The rest of the email is for subscribers to the email service.......
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In the Championship QPR have been impressing many observers, including me and they are certainly racking up the chances, creating a division high 230 and hitting the woodwork eleven times. WBA are in second spot, which is as you might expect, but keep an eye on Ipswich Town, who are surely better than the league table suggests. They are third in the attempts on goal table and no team have managed more shots on target. Key marksman at the moment is Nicky Maynard of Bristol City with an incredible 34 attempts on target, they might struggle when he is missing.
Few surprises in Division 1, with champions elect Leeds also running away with this table, they have created 242 attempts on goal, no other team has more than 188 and Walsall are really struggling to create, with just 100 , 9.5 per game fewer than United. Carlisle have been near the top of this table all season, they remain in fifth, with only Leeds and the three relegated clubs above them. They are on a four match unbeaten run, scoring ten goals and I think there is more improvement to come from them. Swindon are on the playoff fringes, but are hovering around the relegation zone in this table and goals are obviously going to be a problem for them this season, they have failed to score in three of their last five starts and it is easy to understand why.
Jermaine Beckford has 71 attempts on his own which will surpise no one, keep an eye on Rickie Lambert who is now settlled at Southampton, he has 45 and the woodwork has thwarted him four times. He is not simply a goalscorer and has a number of assists to his name, I can see him and Saints having a big 2010.
In Division 2 Notts County and Crewe lead the way, Alex create so many chances, that they are ideal to follow in the "overs" market and can always be considered against almost anyone if the price is right, no draws for them this season either, so ideal for a straight win bet . I pointed out earlier in the season that Barnet were creating little and not much as changed in that regard, they seem a little short of playoff quality to me. The woodwork has not been kind to one or two in this division, especially Port Vale who have managed to hit the post or bar, a Football League high 13 times, unlucky for them ! They are on a long unbeaten run and maybe the draws will turn into wins, once the woodwork stops getting in the way.
Key player for leaders Bournemouth is Brett Pittman, who has 73 attempts on his own, just 45 less than the entire Barnet squad. They will do well to hold on to the 21yo, who has some spectacular goals to his name, in the transfer window.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
That is a strike rate of over 73%, but you will see that it is "only"around ten selections per week. I changed my approach for subscribers a couple of months ago and have been giving far fewer selections, the benefits of this are clear for all to see. I am not giving this as a sales pitch, there are no available slots for new subscribers in any case, infact, there is a waiting list. Just trying to explain how difficult it is now for me to post more than two or three match previews on the blog per week, when I am only operating from a base of ten selections and subcribers are paying for those.
Today, I have just one selection and it is rated "very strong" so I will not be posting that on here, but I will put some stats on the blog in the next 24 hours which I am certain will help you pinpoint some future winners, so please check those out.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
PREMIER LEAGUEHULL CITY - STOKE CITY
These are two clubs which have gone very different ways in 2009, during the calender year, Hull have collected a meagre 16 points and Stoke, who now look a secure EPL side over two and a half times more, with 41 , that is almost a point a game more.
The mood at the two clubs is, as you might expect completely different too, the visitors are cock a hoop after winning at Spurs and fancy their chances against almost any non top 4 (5) side and even facing one of those at the Brittania. Hull take the field expecting to lose, boss Phil Brown is on his way out of the club, everyone knows that, but the board seem unable to take the decision and allow him more time to work on the tan. The team are under enormous pressure, they have not scored in 292 minutes of football and Geovanni, who has scored four of their last six goals is suspended today.
Stoke have spent wisely and have a strong, closely knit squad, such is their strength in depth now, that big money summer signing Huth, who returns from suspension today, might have to wait his turn on the bench. These are options that Brown simply doesn't have. The visitors have collected just four point less than Aston Villa in 2009, the Villans are considered a top six or seven side and people would be falling over themselves to back them here at circa 2.60 and I feel Stoke are a good value price.
6 points Stoke -1/4 ball 2.23 asian line.
WEST HAM UNITED- EVERTON
Both teams are struggling and have striker problems today, which is why the "over" odds have drifted, however, I view things a little differently and still expect to see goals today. It is defensively that these two have really lost their way, the visitors are without a clean sheet in eight starts and looked lost at times in the home defeat to Benfica on Thursday. West Ham were given the run around by Aston Villa in midweek, but managed to claim three much needed points, but they have conceded two or more goals in seven of their last eight starts. H2h wise this is a fixture which normally produces action aplenty and Everton have scored two or more on four of their last five visits to East London. I am sure that both managers will be greedily eyeing up the three points and will surely go for it, David Moyes might well have Saha, Heitinga and Neill back in the team today and if so, they would be my idea of the more likely winners, but the "over" looks a much stronger bet, especially given the odds.
6 points "over" 2.5 goals 2.12 asian line.
Friday, November 06, 2009
DERBY COUNTY-COVENTRY CITY
I must admit that I am surprised by how poor Derby have been this season, when I expected them to at least challenge for a playoff spot. Nigel Clough has been in charge at the club for exactly ten months and I for one, thought that he would have turned them around by now. Admittedly his side have really struggled with injuries this season and there have been one or two recent signs that they are about to turn the corner and I fancy them to get a much needed win on Friday evening in this Midlands derby.
Clough's first win as coach came in this fixture back in January, which gives him and his team positive mental memories and facing a team struggling just as badly recently, they should be able to put that to good use. City have a very small squad and have also had a crowded treatment room, goals have been very hard to come by with just one in 360 + minutes of football and that came in a game where they were already 2-0 down.
Huge boost for County with the return of Dean Leacock, Jay McEveley and especially key striker Rob Hulse, who likes to play against City, scoring in both games last season. The home faithful will again turn out in huge numbers for this televised fixture and I feel we will see a return to form for County and a much bettter 2010 in prospect for them.
6.5 points Derby County -1/4 ball 1.92 asian line.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The weather remains pretty dismal in the UK and underfoot conditions will not be ideal for two sides that like to try and play football. I rate both of these better than the league table suggests and expect both to be knocking on the playoff door at least, especially Rangers. H2h meetings are traditionally very close and I feel both will start very cautiously this evening, Palace will be happy to keep things tight as the visiting side, against such a strong home team and QPR will be nervous after their terrific run came to an end on Friday night, with a loss to a physical Leicester City side, who knocked them out of their stride.
Hosts have kept an incredible 13 clean sheets in 15 first half starts and Palace have gone in level at the break in 8 of their last 11 games, only trailing in one of those. Given those stats and the prevailing conditions, I see the half time draw as offering terrific value.
6.5 points Half Time draw 2.20 + exchanges.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
It has not been possible for me to post any NFL selections on here this season, like on soccer, our core sport, I have been far more selective with bets this season and games previewed for subscribers to the email service. This has paid off handsomely, with six winning bets from just seven selections, a 86% strike rate, however, it leaves me with little opportunity to post anything on the blog, which I know has disappointed several of you. In addition, I have given one outright bet (reproduced below), the Saints are now favourites in almost every list at around 4.0 (3-1) making the 25-1 we bet at, available only in dreams.
There will not be any previews on the blog today, I only sent subscribers one (very big) bet so obviously that will not be possible to post, so until next week........
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13THNFL
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - DETROIT LIONS
I do not normally like to give up such big handicap starts this early in the season, when many teams are happy just to record a win, but there appears to be a huge gulf in class between these two and in a couple of weeks time, this line would probably be three touchdowns and not two.
Saints have a terrific offense and scored a NFL high 463 points last year, they have brought in defensive guru Gregg Williams to tighten things up on the other side, where they will be far more aggressive this year. If they can get the two to both work, another trip to the Championship game (at least) is on the cards. Quarterback Drew Brees is telling anyone who will listen, that he is a firm believer and said "We all see this window of opportunity that we have and know we don't get many chances like this. We feel like it's our time."
Lions were dire last year and thumped 42-7 by the Saints in week 16, they will probably improve this season,that will not be hard, but I am not sure that throwing a rookie quarterback into the deep end, albeit the first overall draft pick, is a good idea. Matthew Stafford has thrown one touchdown and four interceptions in pre season and is likely to be in for a torrid time from the revamped Saints defense. I take New Orleans and will start our Superbowl book with a little on them too, they have a reasonable early schedule and the chance to build up some momentum.
6 points New Orleans -13 points 1.91 .......... even 13.5 points is acceptable to give up, but look for 13.
2.5 points each way New Orleans 21.0 + 1/2 odds 1,2...... up to 26.0 available.
Swansea and Wrexham both won yesterday, hopefully, some of you took adavantage, it was a very good day overall with subscribers enjoying a couple of other email winners too and over 22 points profit on the day.
If you are betting on any of the games in the UK today take care, the weather is poor with heavy rain and high gusty wind, best to take a quick look in running before getting overly involved. The Oldham ground in particular is notoriously exposed and has always had my vote as the coldest ground in England, it's nickname of "Ice Station" should tell you all you need to know !
I saw that Huddersfield have been very well supported in that game this morning, perhaps people feel that the better footballing side might enjoy the conditions more, but it will not be a day for "fancy dans". Better to watch a little of all UK games first and then make up your mind.