Back Page Betting: Weekend Wagers

by Nick Higgins

I’ve just about got over a fantastic week trading the Champions League fixtures and am ready to dive head first into some more Premier League action this weekend. Last week we nailed the over 2.5 goals on Wigan v Bolton at a very handy 10/11, whilst also pocketing a lovely profit from the lay of 0-0 in the half time market. Our luck ran out in the QPR v Blackburn game where we’d also backed over 2.5 goals. With the score 1-1 at half time I thought we were home and dry with maximum profit for the weekend but typically the second half turned into a bore and we were left rueing what could have been. Nonetheless, it was yet another profitable weekend so we all had a little extra beer money. More of the same please…

This week’s first bet comes in the game between QPR and Chelsea. It will come as no surprise that I expect Chelsea to win this one comfortably, especially after resting the likes of Juan Mata and John Terry for the midweek thrashing of Belgian side Genk. The bet here is a cheeky ‘Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals combo’ at 10/11 with BWIN. At first sight this might seem odd, but take into account that this bet would have landed in six of Chelsea’s eight games this season, and would have only failed to turn profit in their opening day stalemate with Stoke and their 3-1 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Both of which I feel we can let them off for.

Next up it’s Blackburn v Spurs in a game in which I think there will be goals. We all know about Blackburn’s defensive frailties by now and it really doesn’t look as if they are going to close the floodgates any time soon. Meanwhile Spurs have got some defensive issues of their own with a number of their first choice back four following in the footsteps of the once great Ledley King, spending more time on the physio’s table than the pitch. Despite their extensive injury list and midweek Europa League tie, Tottenham look decent value at Evens with Boylesports. But instead I will be backing over 3.5 goals in this game at an attractive looking 9/4 with SkyBet.

The final selection this week comes from the Midlands derby between Aston Villa and West Brom. Despite this not being the most ferocious derby of the weekend, usual derby rules still apply. It is likely to be scrappy and means we can throw most of the stats book out of the window. In fact, the only bit of the stats book we like to keep in our armoury for a match of this nature is the chapter on bookings. Having a little wager on a red card in a derby game is one of my preferred betting past times and I’ve already profited handsomely from this tactic this season (Newcastle v Sunderland). This time the stats are in our favour again as the appointed referee is none other than Phil Dowd. Here are a few stats about our man Phil: He has averaged five yellow cards per game this season, he gave out the most yellow cards and second highest number of red cards in last season’s premier league (12 reds in 38 games – that’s an average of one every 3.1 games!) and, perhaps most importantly, Dowdy sent off Paul Scharner for West Brom when he presided over this fixture last year. In total there have been three sendings off in the last seven head to heads between Aston Villa and West Brom. All of this bodes well for the final bet of the weekend where I will be backing a sending off in the Midlands derby at a humungous 4.7 on Betfair.

Good luck and bet with caution.

*Please note the order of the bets featured in this column are not always the order in which the matches take place over the weekend.

Bets:

QPR v Chelsea – Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals @ 10/11 (BWIN)

Blackburn v Tottenham – Over 3.5 goals @ 9/4 (SkyBet)

Aston Villa v West Brom – Red Card to be shown @ 4.7 (Betfair)

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