4 Mar 2011 16:14:00
EPL: Alex Ferguson and Mark Clattenburg, Bolton Wanderers v Manchester United (PA)
After taking a short break it is good to be back. There has been plenty of football to savour over the last few weeks and no doubt a few of you have bitten the hand off the bookmakers with some wins.
JD on…late season value
At this stage in the season there is great value to be had in some matches and a real opportunity to make big money. Punters should look out for some fundamental things when making their selections at this stage in the year.
Generally you will find teams that have struggled all year and are now battling to survive in their league will pick up more points than they usually do. The players in these clubs suddenly realise that this contract may be their last one and don’t fancy playing in a division below.
These same players don’t want to be part of the failure of relegation or a possible cut in their fat wages. Suddenly they realise they have a fight on their hands and will roll their sleeves up accordingly. About time, too, would say most of their fans.
If we look at the Premier League over the last week or so, Wolves, West Brom and West Ham all picked up valuable points and there was a noticeable difference in the quality of their performance. Be wary about opposing teams that have a lot to play for at this stage of the campaign.
Betting for them on the double chance market (to win or draw) can be more profitable at this time of year as bookmakers will naturally roll out long odds on a win due to their position in the table. For example, I know hindsight is easy, but if we take the odds on a West Ham victory last weekend against Liverpool, you could get around 12/5.
Liverpool had played on the Thursday night before so some people would have certainly fancied West Ham to get something from this match. You could get around 1.66 for the Hammers to win or draw this match. That’s a nice price and a 66 per cent return on your investment. They won 3-1 and the 12/5 on a home win would have paid too.
Bookmakers make mistakes in their pricing all of the time. Take the odds last Saturday on Borussia Dortmund to win in Munich, a whopping 10/3, to beat Bayern at the Allianz (above). Again, things are easy to assess in hindsight, but there is no way that Dortmund should have been priced that long.
They are the runaway leaders in the German Bundesliga and have been a model of consistency, winning 10 out of 12 away. They won 3-1 and I know several punters that were laughing all the way to the bank.
JD on…Arsenal’s trophy drought
The odds on Arsenal winning nothing (again) this season have to be worth a bet. The 8/11 on Mr Wenger being potless once more when all is said and done looks generous.
Frankly, we shouldn’t be surprised they failed to beat Birmingham in the League Cup Final. Arsenal are a team punters should steer clear of, given their habit of imploding when you least expect it in the recent past.
Arsenal haven’t a prayer of winning the Champions League and face Man Utd in the FA Cup which will be no picnic. They are still adrift in the race for the Premier League title so things are looking less than bright for Wenger and his troops. By the looks of it Arsenal couldn’t win an argument this season so snap up 8/11 on no silverware being added to the Emirates trophy cabinet.
JD on…Wayne Rooney’s escape
Referees have been in the spotlight this week in England after some notable incidents in both of Manchester United’s last two games. Mark Clattenburg has been getting it in the neck for failing to send off Wayne Rooney for his elbow on Wigan’s James McCarthy and when you see the incident again and again it is hard to figure out how ‘Wazza’ escaped unpunished.
Being a referee is a tough job but the assertion that Clattenburg dealt with this incident “appropriately” is a joke. Unless the rules have changed over the last week or so weren’t we led to believe that striking a fellow professional like that was punishable by a sending off? If referees are not strong enough to deal with big name players and managers they should not be officiating.
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* Crewe – Burton Albion (Over 2.5 goals) @ 4/6 (1.66)
* West Ham to win @ 5/4 (2.25)
JD is Goal.com’s betting blogger is a professional punter with a stock market background. You can visit his personal site here.