Friday, 26 February 2010

Bolton tackles Wolves whilst Wigan face a difficult trip to Birmingham

This is the time of season that all football fans love and hate in equal measure. It's the time in which your team can pull a good run of form together and pull itself to safety but it's also a time in which results mean everything and good performance count for very little.

The first game I'm looking at for Saturday is the Birmingham vs Wigan Atheltic game. Watched Wigan at home to Spurs last weekend and thought they were very poor despite getting a shocking decision to allow the Defoe's goal which was clearly offside. They will travel to Birmingham knowing it will be avery difficult game, It's not in Martinez's nature to set his team out to keep it tight and claw out a 0-0 or anything like that. When they get things right going forward Wigan can score goals, with Rodallega, Nzonzi and the new signing Victor Moses they do have goals in them. It's whether they'll be able to break down a Biringham defense which has been strong all season. Birmingham also have a freedom with their Premiership safety all but secured, think they may be allowed to express themselves a little bit more and attack. Think over 2.5 goals is over-priced here whilst it is a possiblity that as thhe odds would suggest its mor elikely to be a low-scoring game I think we could be in for a few goals in this game as Wigan will be going all out to try and get three points whilst Birmingham are looking to push up the legaue further.

Birmingham Vs Wigan tip:
Over 2.5 goals @ 2.44 (Betfair)

Second game I'm going to look it is the crucial relegation battle between Bolton and Wolves. Both teams find themselves in serious danger of going down, atlhough personally I think both may just avoid the drop. But back onto the game at hand Bolton come into it on the back of big defeats away at Blackburn in the league and at Tottenham in the FA Cup replay. However they are back on their own patch at the Reebok for this game and they haven't loss their since Owen Coyle's first game in charge against Arsenal. Wolves haven't been the greatest away from home but managed to pick up a superb victory at White Hart Lane a couple of weeks back. I think however this game is more important for Bolton who will have marked this down as a "must-win" game. I think they may well do that with the home advantage here. I'm also happy to take under 2.5 goals here with Bolton looking to keep it tight at the back like they've done in their last few home games under new manager Coyle.

Bolton v Wolves tip:
Home Win @ 2.10 (Betfair)
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.88 (Betfair)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Sunday's Premiership action

No few than five Premiership matches to choose from tommorrow. But I've focused my attention on two games here.

Firsly the Fulham v Birmingham game, think this will be a reasonably close game with both teams well matched. However I think Fulham's recent run of form and particuarly that of Bobby Zamora should see them have enough to beat Birmingham, who have been the suprise team of this year's Premiership. They suffered defeat last time out at West Ham and some of their players who have played in nearly every match this season may be starting to feel the strain of all thoose matches. I'm going for the outright Fulham win here.

Fulham v Birmingham tip:
Fulham @ 2.10 (Bet365)

The other game I'm going to look at is the Wigan Vs Tottenham match, both teams vitally need the points for different reason. Tottenham's challenge for the Top Four is somewhat wavering with thier recent inability to find the back of the net. Wigan themselves have gone through a frustrating run of three draws in games they could have easily took all three. The pitch at the DW Stadium doesn't look the best, what with them sharing it with the rugby team and all, think it may make for a scrappy game. Neither team has been firing in the goals recentley and I think the unders should be good here. Also opting for a Wigan draw no bet here, as I think they are capable of causing an upset, I say upset but Tottenham's recent away form is poor so I for one wouldn't be at all suprised to see them get beat.

Wigan Athletic v Tottenham tip:
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.80 (Stan James)
Wigan DNB @ 2.75 (PaddyPower)

Friday, 19 February 2010

The Premiership returns

After all the FA Cup and Champions League action one would have been forgiven for forgetting the Premiership for a while. But this weekend it's back and as always there's some terrific fixtures to look forward to.

The Saturday lunchtime kick-off sees Manchester United visit Goodison Park to take on Everton. Both teams come into the game on the back of European wins midweek. Everton will surely still be on a high after beating Chelsea in their last Premiership game. Man Utd on the other hand didn't play that well in Milan bit managed to come away with the win, in the league they battled well for a point after going down to ten men against Villa last time out. Both teams have important players missing, Everton are without Cahill and Fellaini whilst United will be without Ferdiannd, Giggs & Nani. It's difficult to oppose United likewise it's very difficult to bet against Everton when they are at home. Think we could be in for a tight game here and think the early kick-off isn't really ideal for the teams having played midweek so there may well be a slow start to the game. Also think there's two very good goalkeepers on show and Tim Howard will be looking to impress against his former club. All things considered I'll take the unders here.

Everton v Man Utd tip:
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.85 (Bet365)

West Ham take on Hull City in what will be termed a "six pointer" due to the importance of the game regarding both teams fight against the dreaded drop. West Ham played well and won against an in form Birmingham last time out and came away with a 2-0 win. Hull City on the other hand lost away to Blackburn after Boateng was harsly sent off, depsite being down to ten men their performance was still very poor like they have been for the majority of the season away from home. They are still without a win all seaosn away from home and I can't see that changing against West Ham. I think there's more confidence around Upton Park since the club was taken over and I fancy West Ham to come out clear winners here.

West Ham V Hull City tip:
West Ham (-0.75) @ 2.00 (Bet365)

A team in the news a lot recentley is Portsmouth. Their financial crisis continues to rage off the field whilst that they still have all the troubles on the pitch as it looks incresingly likely that they are going to be relegated. Despite all that they put in a good performance against local rivals Southampton in the FA Cup, O'Hara and new loanee Owusu-Abeyie impressing the most. Stoke City battled well for a point against Man City in midweek after being reduced to ten men, they were denied the win by a (very,very) harshly disallowed goal right at the end of the game. Stoke aren't as effective away from home but they've managed to pick a few points up on the road recentley. Portsmouth's last two home games have ended in draws, whilst Stoke have drawn their last three away. I expect a close game as well therefore i'm opting for the draw.

Portsmouth v Stoke City tip:
Draw @ 3.3 (Boylesports)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Arsenal take on Porto in the Champions League

Arsenal on paper at least face a very tough Champions Legaue first leg away at FC Porto. Porto have got a brillaint record at home but their last two defeats come at the hands of two English clubs, with Chelsea and Man Utd both taking away 1-0 wins. Whilst the Portuguese league is of decent standard it doesn't compare to the class of teams the Premiership has to offer in my opinion. I managed to catch the second half of Porto's 0-0 at Leixoes in which they were guilty of some poor finishing. You can however expect Porto to be fired up for this Champions Legaue tie against Premiership opposition.

Arsenal played well in the group stages on the Champions Legaue without ever really hitting top gear. They got their Premiership title challenge back on track with a crucial 1-0 win over Liverpool in their last game. This should give them extra confidence going into this tie. It is true however that Arsenal look set to be without a number of players Arshavin, Eduardo, Gallas, Almunia, Song and long-term absentee Van Persie. Despite all these missing players I still think Arsenal have enough skill and quality to overcome Porto in this match. Think Arsenal's style of football should work well against Porto who themselves play in a similiar attacking vein. Any team that contains Cesc Fabregas is always worth chancing. I'm therefore opting for Arsenal on the level handicap.

FC Porto v Arsenal Tip:
Arsenal (0) @ 2.13 (Bet365)

Elsewhere back in the Premiership, Bolton travel to Wigan for a Lancashire derby which will be keenly contested as both teams need points in their respective fights against relegation. I've been impressed by Bolton's recent performance under Owen Coyle, they showed just how good they can be in the first half against Tottenham in their FA Cup tie at the weekend. Wigan are very much hit and miss team but they seem to have hit a poor patch of form lately and haven't won any of their last four home games (drawing 2, losing 2). As a result I like the look of Bolton on the Asian Handicap +0.25. The past three games between these teams as produced just the two goals in addition both teams have had low-scoring games recentley. Also think the tension and the importance of the game should ensure we see a tight game with few goals, I'll therefore happily take the under 2.5 goals option as well.

Wigan v Bolton tips:
Bolton (+0.25) @ 1.98 (Bet365)
Under 2.5 goals @ 1.81 (Betfair)

Monday, 15 February 2010

Football is a game of contrast

Contrast in football playing style is often open to debate and people have their opinions on the correct way to play football. Two teams I'm backing tommorrow definitley have a large contrast in playing style but cna be equally effective in their own right.

Firstly I'm backing Stoke City in their Premiership match against Man City. Firstly the Britannia as become a stronghold for Stoke City with the loud vocal backing from their supporters. As a result the Britannia is probably one of, if not the most intimidating stadiums in the league. Whilst home advantage is a big plus for Stoke here it's not the only reason I opted for Stoke in this match. Man City haven't been playing great football over the last few weeks despite picking up home wins against Bolton and Portsmouth they were outplayed for large parts in thoose games, Mancini's honeymoon period is over and Man City have dropped points against lesser sides like they did under Hughes. Defeat to nothing more than an average Hull City side showed their vulnerabilities away from home were their record (W3, D5, L4) is very average for a side which is suppose to be challenging for the top four.

Stoke themselves have been in a decent vein of form since the new year, and are undeafeated in 2010 in fact. They come off the back of the FA Cup tie against their opponents in this match, Man City, in which they managed to come from behind to force a replay. This should ultimately give them even more confidence and I tihnk the Stoke crowd will really be up for this one. My only concern is the injury to probably their best player in Ethertington. One thing you can guarantee is that Delap will be launching in thoose trademark long-throws of his, which Man City struggled to cope against on Sunday and which in fact resulte din Stoke's equalizer in that game.

I wouldn't put anyone off backing Stoke to win the game outright. But I'd rather play it safe and take Stoke on the Asian Handicap at +0.25.

Man City v Stoke City Tip:
Stoke City (+0.25) @ 1.90 (Bet365)

Meanwhile the Champions League semi-finals kick-off with Man Utd v AC Milan and Lyon v Real Madrid. I've opted to stay clear of the Milan/Man Utd, think it's got a good chance of being under 2.5goals but the odds offered don't appela to me. I'd like to focus my attention on the other semi-final, which in my opinion will probably be the most entertaining game of the two.

Lyon have not been in the greatest form domestically and have only won two of their last five game. But when it comes to the Champions League they often prove a very tough team to get past. Real Madrid on the other hand have been poor by their very high standards in the competition in recent seasons. They splashed the cash this summer and brought in some of the world's best, Ronaldo, Kaka & Xavi Alonso to mention just three. They come of the back of four straight wins in La Liga and have been in good scoring form. Think Real Madrid will win this one with all the attacking talent they have. Also fancy we could be in for a high-scoring game with neither team famous for its defending and with Cristiano Ronaldo about you always know he's capable of winning a game with an individual piece of magic.

Olympique Lyonnais v Real Madrid Tips:
Real Madrid to win @ 2.15 (BoyleSport)
Over 2.5 goals @ 2.12 (Betfair)

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Setback for Denman as Tricky wins

Denman is my favourte horse and one of the reason I got involved in racing (and the reason behind my alias on this blog). At his best he's an unbelievably good chaser shown with his Gold Cup success in 2008 and his two Hennessy victories. Today he went off at 1/6 for the Aon chase at Newbury, it was as a near to a certainty as you can get in racing. Luckily I avoided the temptation to stake anything on Denman since I generally don't bet at such low odds as I see the huge risk isn't worth the potential small gains. I obviously like everyone else thought Denman would win comfortably and canter up. But two terrible blunders from the great chaser, the second of which unseated McCoy saw him out of the race. This left the two Grand National favourites Niche Market & Tricky Trickster to battle it out, It was Tricky Trickster who powered home and willingly stayed on strongly over the closing stages. Definitley a good sign for any Grand National ante-post backers of Tricky Trickster.

However the setback for Denman obviously comes as a worry ahead of the Gold Cup at Cheltenham it is reassurring to know that Nicholls said after the race that's he's 100% fine and didn't suffer any injuries during the race. Drama seems to surround Denman wherever he goes and I wouldn't rule out another amazing comeback story at Cheltenham as he comes up against his old nemisis Kauto Star and the newcomer on the block Imperial Commander amongst others. One things for sure come the 19th of March if Denman's running I'll be backing him. The way I look at it is that this little setback as just made the price on a Denman win a lot more attractive.

Friday, 12 February 2010

The Magic of the Cup

This weekend sees FA Cup action, I make it almost a rule of mine never to get involved on betting in FA Cup games unless there's something that really jumps out at me. The magic of the cup has it is always phased very rings runs true this year. Reading beat Liverpool after extra time at Anfield whilst Leeds United knocked out Manchester United on their own patch. Add to Arsenal's probably slightly less shock exit at the hands of Stoke and all that means the FA Cup is thrown wide open with three of the "Big Four" being knocked out.

Despite my usual absense of betting in the FA Cup I felt this was a perfect opportunity to get involved in the FA Cup outright winners market and I subsequentley backed three team, thoose being Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur & Fulham.

The backing of Chelsea almost speaks for itself, what with the exits of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United they are by far and away the best team in terms of quality left in the competition. They got a very good draw with a home game against Cardiff, can't engage too many problems there but they will be without both Terry & Cole so I wouldn't completely ruleout Cardiff. If Chelsea do progress whoever they come up against they are going to be firm favourites, they've got a fantastic cup record which is another reason for my backing of them.

Secondly I backed Tottenham (prior to the Leeds replay) and thus got a decent price on them (prices matched between 9/1 and 10/1). They are very good team on their day but have had a dip in form over recent weeks. They however will surely be taking the FA Cup very seriously this year and showed that with an impressive win against Leeds United in the replay. They face a Bolton Wanderers side who will surely see Premiership survival as a more important objective this season rather than the FA Cup., hopefully that will mean they'll field a weakened side and mean Spurs can progress.

The final team I backed was Fulham at a nice looking 16/1, this was prior to Notts County knocking Wigan out in the replay. This of course means Fulham will face Notts County on Sunday and surely must be strongly fancied to come through that tie. Looking further into the competition, Fulham will probably need some luck if they are to go all the way as there's still a good number of Premiership sides who are higher in league than Fulham till left in the competition. But Fulham continue to impress under Roy Hodgson, particularly at home where they've beaten Manchester United and Liverpool amongst others this season. Therefore this is going to be my first tip of my blog, Fulham are trading at 14.5 on Betfair and I still think that's good value. If they progress through to the next round and either draw a Championship team or a bottom-half Prmeiership team you could expect their price to be much lower (especially if an other one of the bigger clubs gets knocked out).

Fa Cup Tip:
Back Fulham to win the FA Cup 2009/10 @ 14.5 (Betfair)
With a view to trade

Thursday, 11 February 2010

An Introduction

Hello there and welcome to my blog, I'm currentley 20 years old so you would think that would mean I'd be reasonably inexperienced in the world of betting in general. I would however strongly disagree, I've always had a strong interest in sports and with me currently studying maths and finance I feel that with the two elements combined I should be able to make a profit betting on sports.

I'm particularly focused on two sports, football and horse racing although it isn't uncommon for me to bet on other sports. The past two years (2008 & 2009) have resulted in losses due to betting, they do say you find out more about yourself when you lose than when you win. It was often silly late night bets on sports I knew little about that got me into trouble. I'll engage in more detailed figures about the previous years and this years performance soon but for now I just wanted to get the blog up and started.

I collect together my bets using a number of different sources using a number of different methods. The majority of my football bets tend to be based on my own opinion, I also like long-term bets on such things as league winners. I mostly focus on the Prmeier League since it's the legaue I know best. My horse racing bets come from a systemtic approach largely evolved around Adrian Massey's fantastic ratings.