No, these aren’t ‘sure games’. If you were hoping for sure games, thanks for coming, but this column isn’t for you.
For everyone that has managed to make it to this second paragraph, I reckon you aren’t actually looking for sure games. Well, because you aren’t new to staking on football [sports] games, and you know that *there are no sure games*.
So if nothing is certain, I’m thinking why not always go in big? The bookies work hard, but I assure you they aren’t perfect; sometimes they drop the ball, and this column is a chance for punters to pick it up every once in a while when they do, and smile to the bank.
This is about, what I call ‘good value bets’. You know, like if the bookies were ever dumb enough to put ‘Harry Kane Anytime scorer’ at 1.50 in a North London Derby, or if they gave a cool 1.65 for Under 1.5 in an Atletico Madrid vs Getafe game. You get the idea already.
Note: Odds may defer from bookie to bookie, so they aren’t binding. But these were the odds at the time of writing. Let’s hope they only go higher.
Here are the picks for this week:
Norwich City vs Manchester City – Both Teams To Score @1.75
Manchester City are definitely going to score. In fact, they may get half a dozen. The Citizens aren’t really the concern here, it’s their hosts Norwich City. But should we really be concerned?
Norwich have scored this season against Liverpool and Chelsea – two games they lost – as well as hit three against Newcastle United.
Norwich City play a pretty attacking system when they have the ball, and have been outscored in the league by only City , Liverpool , Manchester United, and Spurs [both 7]. They also boast the sixth most shots on target per game in the Premier League [5.3]
There’s the little matter of Teemu Pukki, the second top scorer in the league [5 goals], and a player that has scored in all but one of his games this season.
The Canaries have goals in them, and bagging a cool 1.75 for a single Norwich goal – even if they get beat 12-1 – is not a bad call at all.
Hamilton Academical FC – Celtic – Away Team Over 2.5 @1.77
Celtic have scored 17 goals in their four matches this season. That’s an average of more than four/game. They’ve hit seven past St Johnstone, five past Motherwell, three past Hearts, and another two against Rangers in the derby. They can score.
But can they score three vs Hamilton on Saturday? Their last matches seem to suggest the answer is a YES.
Celtic scored three in each of their last two meetings, and have had three or more goals in four of their last six meetings.
Now, I’ll be honest with you, if you want to be a chicken, and go for Away Team Over 1.5 [i.e Celtic to score two or more] @1.21, that’d be very cool. It seems like a steal. Celtic have failed to score two+ goals in only one of their last six meetings, have scored two or more goals in ALL of their matches this season, and TWO is exactly the average number of goals conceded by Hamilton Academicals in the league this season [8 goals in 4 games].
Whether you want to be a chicken or not is totally up to you.
Leganes vs Villarreal – Home Team Under 1.5 @1.43
Villarreal may have the worst defence in the league [8 goals], but they are facing the side with the second-worst offence in the league [1 goal in 3 games for Leganes]. How the f**k have Espanyol not scored a single goal?????
Let’s not lose focus. This is about Leganes. They are the ones with a single goal in three games. They are the ones that haven’t scored more than one goal in their last five meetings with Villarreal. They are the ones that haven’t managed a single goal in their last 5 home matches in La Liga!
That’s really damning stats, and if you were feeling really lucky, you could go even bigger and stake on them not managing any goal @3.15. Outrageous, you say?
Fiorentina vs Juventus – Juventus win @1.70
While Juventus are a perfect six of six points to start the season, Fiorentina are the direct opposite – they can’t buy a point let alone a win.
Juventus aren’t the side Fiorentina would have wanted, as they seek to bounce back from their defeats against Napoli and Genoa. Sarri’s Old Lady have looked good so far this season, and have the in-form Cristiano Ronaldo who’s already scored in the league this season, but bagged five goals in two games during the international break.
The stats don’t favour Fiorentina either: They’ve lost five of their last six games against Juventus, and haven’t won a single game in their last 16 in Serie A.
One thing is for sure, Juve will not hold back, and will chase the match until they ensure victory.
Airbus UK Broughton vs Barry Town – Barry Town win @2.14
I’m not going to pretend I follow Welsh football, or that I’ve seen even a single game in the Welsh Premier League. But I find it a bit staggering that you get 2.14 for a Barry Town win in this game.
The away side are 2nd on the log, unbeaten this season, and they face Airbus UK Broughton who are 10th [in a 12-team league], and have lost four of their five league games this season.
Barry Town have won their two away games so far, while Airbus have lost twice at home already.
Now, as I’ve admitted already, I have no idea why there’s such a ridiculous value for a Barry Town win. I also realise that the Bookies are right half the time. But this still looks like one you could give a punt.
Too scared to go all out for the win? A Barry Town double chance is at 1.32. Not bad at all. Not bad.
BONUS: Liverpool vs Newcastle – Liverpool win or draw
If your bookie is so dumb to give you any odds for this – even if it’s a 1.02 – please take it.
Liverpool aren’t going to lose at Anfield. They haven’t in the last 40 games. Or can they?
Good luck with your bets, and let’s do it again next week.