Feels good to be back and looking for games. The break was good and allowed me to do some programming to do major checks throughout all leagues for certain stats, patterns etc that I am interested in. I won’t jump straight in with them but hopefully they will form a basis for a profitable future.
The Champions League in midweek put a lot of the other leagues in perspective and it’s amazing how strong the Premier League is. Spain has come out of Europe very badly and it could be Barcelona are their only survivor in all European competition after the return legs, and even they didn’t look that convincing. Elsewhere in Spain Valencia still haven’t been paid, got knocked out of the UEFA cup and are on a poor run and the could implode with all their problems. Barcelona visit Atletico Madrid in an interesting game that they won 4-2 last year. They have their own problems though with Aguerro being labelled as having a bad attitude by the fired former coach and were comprehensively outplayed in midweek.
A corner bet to start.
Arsenal v Fulham (Premiership: Sat Local Time)
Arsenal host Fulham and I think it could be quite a tight game. At home only Liverpool average more corners than Arsenal as well as being the only team with a higher average supremacy than Arsenal. At the Emirates the average supremacy is 5.5 and if we take out the visits of Liverpool and Man Utd we get an average supremacy of 6.4. The handicap line is 3.5 and of these remaining 11 games Arsenal would have beaten that line in 8 of them and in the 3 they didn't they were damn close as they were 2, 3 and 3 corners to the good. Fulham lost by 6 corners at Anfield and 9 corners at Old Traffford already this season and that's enough for me.
++ Asian Handicap Corners – Arsenal (-3.5) @ 1.9 on Bet365 (1pt)
Leeds v Scunthorpe (English League One: Sat 3pm Local Time)
Many a time this season I thought Leeds have been overestimated pricewise so was a bit shocked to see what looks like value in their price tomorrow. Leeds have won 10/16 at home but interesting 8 of these have been by more than one goal. They come into this game on the back of 4 straight away wins, whereas Scunthorpe have lost 3 games in a row and 4 of the last 6 away games. They have lost away 7 times in 17 matches this season which is decent form but of those 5 have been by more than 1. The bottom line is that the Leeds on a handicap of -1 would have won 13/33 times but then 4 would have been void so it’s actually 13/29 which is odds of 2.23 and as we can get 2.65 and that Leeds are on much better form that Scunthorpe we have some value. An additional interesting stat is that 63% of Leeds home games and 71% of Scunthorpe away games have been 2 or 3 goals and 2-1 Leeds looks a decent bet.
++ Asian Handicap – Leeds (-1) @ 2.65 on Bet365 (1pt)
Palermo v Catania (Italy: Sun local time)
Not the first time this season we head down to Sicily. Palermo have won 9/12 at home this season with the losses coming against Fiorentina, Inter and Juventus who make up 3 of the top 4 placings. In those 9 wins they have scored at least 2 goals 8 times and this week host the team with the worst away record in the league. Catania have not won away all season and managed to draw 5/12 but have never scored more than 1 goal and managed just 2 goals in the last 8 away games. The Palermo win is 1.83 and I think this is cracking value but I will try and strangle a little bit more value out of the game. If we take the Palermo home and Catania away games together 7/24 have been H/H as HT/FT (3.42) and 9/24 have been D/H as HT/FT (2.67). As we can get the better price on D/H it makes sense to split the stake and have H/H as a cover
++ HT/FT – Home/Home @ 3 on Skybet/Stan James (½pt)
++ HT/FT – Draw/Home @ 4.5 on Skybet/Bet365/VC/Coral/Ladbrokes (1pt)
Maritimo v Setubal (Portugal: Sat local time)
I don’t really look at Portuguese games much but this stood out as William Hill offer some value on the clean sheet. Martimo have kept a clean sheet in 5/10 home games and Setubal have scored in just 2/9 games so taking both those the chance of a clean sheet is 12/19 (63%) which is odds of 1.58. Nacional have let in 11 goals in 10 homes games but 6 were against Benfica so it’s just 4 in the other 10 games and I think this is enough with odds of 1.83 available.
++ Home Team Clean Sheet – Maritimo @ 1.83 on William Hill (1pt)
The champions league was pretty close to my analysis with 4 draws, 2 away wins and 2 home wins and just wish I had taken my own advice and backed every draw. The one selection was Inter Milan to beat Man United and by all accounts they were lucky not to be behind in the first half and I think United could rue the fact they couldn’t turn domination into a goal. It seems the English league remains incredibly strong with no defeats and 2 of the 3 wins by English clubs. I watched Barcelona and they looked nothing like their normal selves and it could be that the Spanish league is especially weak this season and that they are not as good as people think. The performances of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid would back that up as well as some of the other Spanish teams in Europe this season.
February has been horrible so far with just 1 win in 9 selections and I will be glad o see the back of it.
Nothing in the league games in England that appeals so I started to look at the Champions League. The 2002/2003 season saw the knockout phase in the European Cup back after the previous experiment with 2 group phases and I have put together all the results since then which gives 152 knockout matches, ignoring the six finals.
81/152 games have been home wins (53%) with 45 draws (27%) and 30 away wins (20%). What is very interesting is that of the above stats if we look at matches in the last 16 phase we have 50% home wins, 25% away wins and 25% draws but in the first leg of these ties we have 40% home wins (16/40), 32.5% draws (13/40) and 27.5 away wins (11/40) and there is not time in any other round when an away win is more likely. For the draws that comes out to a price of 3.07 and as you can back every game at 3.3 or more except the Inter Milan v United game which is 3.1, it could be argued they are all value.
Of the 40 first leg games in the last sixteen 23 have been under 2.5 goals which is odds of 1.73 and is actually less games that I thought. All in all 50/80 last sixteen matches have been under 2.5 goals which is 62.5% and odds of 1.6 which is roughly what the bookies offer.
Not sure what this tells us but I thought I’d include it and I think it may have more use in later rounds.
Inter Milan v Manchester United (Champions League: Tue 7:45UK Time)
Personally, I think Inter Milan look to have a great chance against Manchester United. Vidic missing is an enormous loss to United and I don’t think they will be able to replace them. United have only won 2 away ties in the knockout phase since 2002 and for all their glory in the domestic league this season they have lost away at Arsenal and Liverpool and managed a draw at Chelsea. They have won away at West Ham, West Brom, Bolton, Stoke, ManchesterCity, Blackburn and Portsmouth. West Ham and ManchesterCity are placed 9th and 10th and are the highest placed of that bunch and 4 of them are in the bottom 5. Fair enough you can only beat what’s put in front of you but I think people may have got a bit carried away. Inter Milan are 9 points clear in Serie A and have won 9 and drawn 3 of their home games this season. AC Milan and Juventus are second and third in the league and both have visited Inter Milan and come away a loser. I just think the price is too high to be missed and when Jose Mourinho is involved Man United always have a harder time.
Lost Thursday through being ill and although better today it’s not enough time to do everything from scratch so I’ll have to miss this weekend out. No bad thing really considering the recent run, but there are some games in midweek I will look at.
Not much around this midweek. Kidderminster look good value in a game that is live and I’ll have a bet on a 1-0 score.
Manchester United v Fulham (Premier League: Wed UK Time)
I’ve looked a lot at the HT/FT bets lately and I’m pretty sure there is value in them and this game looks a case in point. This game looks to be low scoring with only 7/11 matches at Old Trafford being over 2.5 goals and only 2 of Fulham’s away games. Fulham have been drawing every single away match at half time and this record has to be broken at some stage but hopefully not in this game. United have led at HT and FT in 6/11 home matches which is odds of 1.83 which is the price skybet offer with no-one else over 1.73. 4/11 games at Old Trafford have been drawn at HT with United going on to win and this is what I hope will happen again. 4/11 is 36% and should be odds of 2.75 but Betfred offer a massive 5 on this. If we take the Fulham away games as well we get 10/23 matches with the HT/FT of D/H which is equivalent to 2.3. Maybe the best action would be something like 1pt on the H/H and 0.83pt on D/H but I’ll stick with the straight bet as its easier.
I had just two bets this weekend and then also mentioned Hertha Berlin, who frustratingly went on to win at a very nice price. Oxford won, which was not the hardest thing in the world to predict but they did it by a 3 goal margin which I didn’t predict and strike that one off as risky bet that didn’t come off. However, the Valencia v Malaga bet really hurt. It was the match here and Malaga should have been leading at the break with all the clear cut chances they created. Albert Luque was really back to his pre-Newcastle form and it was good to see and Malaga are a decent team to watch. They were made to pay by David Villa in the second half, much like England, as he doesn’t need much of a chance to score. It was a nice goal but Malaga were good enough to get back on level terms and still looked the more likely to win and had late chances. Maybe the win bet was a bit bold but after watching the game have to have been happy with it despite losing. Valencia go to Deportivo next weekend and if they still haven’t been paid could well be another selection, especially as Moretti went off injured and Marchena and Albelda will be suspended. Deportivo have a UEFA cup match this week though so I need to see how well they are doing qualifying etc.
Elsewhere, Real Madrid outclassed Gijon 4-0 and people were walking out with around 15 minutes to go as it got a bit ugly. Gijon only have to play Villareal next weekend and then have a decent run of games when they can hopefully accumulate the points needed to get up the table to safety. Sevilla won against 10 men but still aren’t convincing and Betis did well against Barcelona but couldn’t hold on. They have a few players back now and could be one to watch.
It’s been a hard start to the year but would have been so different on just that one result at the weekend. The next couple of months are normally a very good time to find some decent winners as clear patterns have emerged.
FA Cup weekend again which cuts down on the available games I look at. The only thing I found in England was in the conference and that is listed as a bet below. Also no premiership games means no corner bets. I would like to start looking at other leagues for corner bets but I need time to start digging.
Real Madrid come to play in Gijon this weekend but I couldn’t get a ticket so will settle for PPV on the TV. Valencia’s players still haven’t been paid overdue wages and it will be interesting to see if that affects them. I was tempted by Hertha Berlin in Germany but I don’t really bet much there and they have such a long Christmas break I think it makes recent form much less worthwhile.
Oxford v Barrow (English Conference: Sat UK Time)
Oxford have won 11/16 home games (2nd best in the conference) and Barrow have lost 9/14 away games. That bottom line gives us a 20/30 chance of a home win which equates to 1.5 and is only slightly less than the best price on offer of 1.57. Oxford have won 10 of their last 11 home games and Barrow have lost 6 of the last 7 away and only won once in the last 11 games. Everything points to an Oxford home win but I found it interesting that 7/16 Oxford home games and 6/14 Barrow away games have been a victory to the home side by just one goal. I thought of betting on the margin of victory being one goal on Bet365 @ 3.5 but really 1-0 is unlikely and Barrow scoring 2 goals is as well so 2-1 to Oxford looks slightly crazy but great value. Of the 30 matches (Oxford home and Barrow away) 9 have ended 2-1, which is odds of 3.33 so I think it’s worth risking a point at 9 on 2-1
++ Correct Score – 2-1 11 @ 9 on SkyBet (1pt)
Valencia v MalagaBilbao (Spain: Sat 10pm Local Time – UK)
As I mentioned above Valencia have had severe problems with finances and I read on goal.com “The team have been waiting on their wages for several weeks and, even though they do not yet know when they will be given their pay cheques, the coach claimed that there is nothing to be worried about.” It must provide some distraction and Malaga have been in great form recently. They lost 3 of their first 4 games of the season, drawing the other, but since then in 18 matches have lost just 4 times to Barcelona and Real Madrid and then away at both Deportivo and Bilbao which are very hard places to visit. They have won 5 of their last 8 games and lost just once compared to Valencia who have lost 3 of the last 4 and who, after going undefeated in their first 8 games taking 20 of a possible 24 points, have now taking 17 points from the last 14 games. Their home form is old but Santander and Gijon have already won in the Mestalla and I think this could be a good chance for Malaga and a win could see them in 4th place!
++ Win Market – Malaga @ 5.5 on Betfred/Skybet/Stan James (1pt)
I went into this weekend really happy with my selections knowing any 2 turned a profit and pretty confident of that but ended up with just one winner and it being the lowest price of the lot. City won 1-0 to start it off, Cagliari lost 1-0 and then Bilbao lost 2-1. The only winner was the corner bet and when I saw 6 corners at HT and knowing Arsenal were down to 0 thought that bet was doomed. Got some luck there thankfully as they only managed another 4.
A weather disrupted weekend and very little of interest in the lower divisions. Not many big games around but I am looking forward to the Seville derby on Saturday night which should be fiery. I saw Sevilla last weekend and some of their cup game in the week and they really have missed Luis Fabiano. I like Betis, and although they are wildly inconsistent I could see them winning.
I do like the look of West Brom against Newcastle, especially with all the bad press about Newcastle. The one worry would be Newcastle have Smith, Viduka and Martins back training so could post a semi-decent forward for the first time in a while but I do think the 3.5 on them to get relegated could look good value pretty soon as Kinnear looks out of his depth and doesn’t stop making headlines with his endless talking.
A corner bet to kick off
Arsenal v Tottenham (English Premier League: Sun Local Time)
Betting on the live game gives many more corner markets which is handy. I looked at North London derby games going back to, and including, the 04/05 season and found only 1/9 was more than 11 corners. In fact 7/9 games were under 10 corners which is odds of 1.29 and I think this can be put down to the style of football you get in these games. It’s tense and with much less free flowing football and when I looked Arsenal against Everton games as a comparison I found 6/10 games were 11 or more which made me think there is a pattern in Spurs games. Even the 4-5 Arsenal win in 2004 produced just 7 corners and the 4-4 draw earlier this season 10. Only 1 of the 4 recent White Hart Lane matches has been more than 10 and that was 12, which in the 9 matches was the highest corner tally! Bet365, Betfred and Blue Sq offer evens on under 11 but Paddy Power is the standout at 2.1
++ Total Corners – Under 11 @ 2.1 on Paddy Power (1pt)
ManchesterCity v Middlesborough (English Premier League: Sat Local Time)
City have been strong at home and 7 of their 8 league wins have been at the City of Manchester stadium. The only teams they have not beaten there are Everton, Man United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool and in the Spurs game they were down to 10 men before the half hour mark. It’s the margin of victory that I like here as 5 of those 7 home wins have been by 3 goals or more (5/12 = 42% which is odds of 2.4). Boro turn up in a sorry state with no win in 12 games and 5 consecutive away losses. I could see City getting a few if they get ahead and West Brom and Fulham have both beaten Boro by 3 goals recently. If we take the Asian Handicap of City -2 we will get a big pay day if they match beat that but a 2 goal margin will return our money and I think the odds look too good to turn down. Taking all City home and Boro away games we would win 7/24 which is 29% and odds of 3.4 and the money would have been returned twice. Bet365 offer a tasty 4.7
++ Asian Handicap – ManchesterCity (-2) @ 4.7 on Bet365 (1pt)
Valladolid v Atheltic Bilbao (Spain: Sun 5pm Local Time – UK)
I have been really impressed with Athletic Bilbao recently. After taking 5 points from their first 9 games they then have taken 24 from a possible 36 in the next 12 games. They have won 5 of the last 7 games and finally started to win away as well. They lost to resurgent Almeria last weekend but otherwise have only lost at Real Madrid, Sevilla and Deportivo which is no disgrace. Llorente is having a great season for them and they visit Valladolid who won for the first time in 5 games at Atletico Madrid last weekend. I like Athletic at 3.5 to win but I find it very hard to see them losing and so draw no bet (Asian Handicap (0)) looks best. Stan James offer 2.45 and Pinnacle offer 2.53 on the AH.
++ Draw No Bet – Athletic Bilbao @ 2.5 on Bet365 (1pt)
Cagliari v Atalanta (Italy Serie A: Sun 3pm Local Time – UK))
Back to the island again as their home record is so strong and stats wise it’s hard to turn this down. Most of the following is copied from the post a week or so back! In Cagliari’s 3 first home games they lost to Lazio and Juve and drew with Milan. Since then they have won 7/8, drawing the other, and led at half time in 6 of them. All in all they have led at HT and FT in 5/10 matches with the 5 winners all in the last 8 games. Atalanta have won just once away all season and lost 7/10 matches, being behind at HT and FT in exactly half. Their one win came in their first away game at Bologna and have lost 5 of the last 6. If we take the bottom line stats Cagliari winning at HT and FT looks to be a 10/21 chance which is 2.1 and so the 3.5 that is available looks good value. Coral have 3.4, Betfair a little better and then after that it’s 3.25. The straight win looks to be a 1.5 chance and evens is available.
A shame this weekend as Sevilla let us down on Sunday night. I was at the game and they really were poor considering they played over an hour against 10 men. They deserved to lose and the team they put out showed they didn’t take the game as seriously as they will the Copa del Rey in midweek. Another game where the bet looked solid but if I knew the team in advance would have left it alone. On the plus side the 1-0 for Gijon moves them 10 points clear of the drop zone and not far from the 40 odd points needed to stay up.
The weekend started well as Fulham won leading at both half time and full time. I tracked a load of these games this weekend and was very pleased with the outcome and may look to do a few more. The corner bet was a clear loser as Bolton scored early and Spurs then had 8 corners to Boltons 2.
In midweek we had a big corner win as Pompey and Villa shared 22, Cagliari landed the HT/FT result at a nice price with Leicester the only team letting us down drawing 0-0
A loss of half a point this weekend but with the midweek haul of 1.85 it’s not so bad.