Good day to all. So the four bets on the opening weekend of the season meant we ended around one point down. No biggie. Bent couldn’t find the net, Norwich failed to nick a late winner against Wigan and the Arsenal match (easily the poorest of the weekend) ended in a dismal 0-0 draw to mock our over 2.5 goals bet. Sunday brought some much needed salvation as West Brom bagged a goal against United and we picked up the both teams to score bet with relative ease. A mixed weekend, but it’s a nice feeling to know that they have some purpose again eh?
My midweek foray into the Championship betting markets was a sharp reminder to never straight bet in that league. I thought I was on relatively stable grounding when I wagered on the three strong home favourites on Wednesday night. Unfortunately the ludicrous league is the most unpredictable on the planet. Leicester got done by Bristol City, Blackpool lost to Derby and Millwall rubbed salt into the wound by throwing away another two goal lead to draw 2-2 with Peterborough. Urrggh. Luckily Dynamo Zagreb pummelled Malmo in their Champions League qualifier. Good old Dynamo.
Onto this weekend and unfazed by last week’s failure to fire, I’m wading in with a back of Darren Bent to score anytime against Blackburn. Blackburn kept only one clean sheet last season away from Ewood Park, conceding two or more goals in 12 of their 19 matches on the road. So there is potential for goals here. Let’s face it, where there is potential for goals, Darren Bent is usually lurking in similar areas. Bent is top price 4/1 with Coral to score first which is worth a tickle, but I’m playing safe again and backing him in the anytime market at 6/5, also at Coral. Don’t let me down again Darren.
For the main course of weekend betting I face a dilemma. Being a sports trader I have a very strict rule never to bet in a match involving my own team (Liverpool), so I must confess I won’t be on this selection myself for ‘personal reasons’. That’s not to say it isn’t a decent wager though. With my ‘Liverpool fan’ hat on I am very confident we will beat a depleted Arsenal side at the Emirates on Saturday and at 2/1 with Betfred and Paddy Power, it’s ‘ok’. Switching to my, much more suitable ‘rational betting’ hat, I am still very confident we will win, but were I to back Liverpool it would be at 11/10 in the ‘draw no bet market’ (Stan James and Betfair).
Having a dilemma seems to be a running theme this week. Newly promoted Swansea entertain ‘should have been relegated’ Wigan in a clash of the titans this weekend. For the purposes of this column we will assume Swansea will be ‘in and around’ the relegation fight come the end of the season. Now, when Wigan played away against teams who were ‘in and around’ the ominous drop zone last season, six out of those seven matches ended with both teams having scored AND over 2.5 goals. The only exception being a 0-0 draw with Birmingham City and their once miserly defence. Sure, the Swans showed decent organisation in the first half against Man City but if they’ve any realistic hopes for survival they need to be beating teams like Wigan (no disrespect). I think they’ll go for it.
The dilemma is as follows: I think Swansea will score, I think Wigan will score, I don’t think it will end 3-0 to either team, but I think it could end 2-1 to either team, or perhaps 2-2 – Cue a 0-0 stalemate. There is also a danger it could end 1-1.
From this (rather crude, but also fairly scientific) outlining of events, I have deduced that backing both teams to score is worth a go at 10/11 (widely available). But I will also be having a wager on the over 2.5 goals at 11/10 (also widely available).
Drama over. Good luck and bet with caution.
Aston Villa v Blackburn – Darren Bent to score anytime @ 6/5 (Coral)
Arsenal v Liverpool – Liverpool DNB @ 11/10 (Stan James and Betfair)
Swansea v Wigan – Both teams to score (10/11) and Over 2.5 goals (11/10) (both widely available)