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Friday, December 29, 2006

TheSheet - England - Dec 30th

(Click the image to see the sheet in full size)

No-one should be too surprised by what you see there ...

Three home win picks in :
- Chelsea (74%) to beat Fulham @ 1.22 at Ladbrokes
- Bolton (62%) to beat Portsmouth @ 2.05 at Canbet
- Man United (71%) to beat Reading @ 1.21 at Globet

(oops - apologies for the earlier typo)

Theoretically the sheet says that both Chelsea and Manchester Utd are not at fair value (rated at 86% and 90% value respectively) when it compares their dominance to a 9 year history of similar games - as the favoured team only wins about 7/10.

But I still expect to see a huge number of accumulator bets with these two teams paired up - and it will probably payoff too.
(which makes it twice as hard to preach about value betting on the forum)

Three possible value plays in :
- Tottenham (49%) to beat Liverpool @ 2.70 at PaddyPower
- Sheff_Utd(22%) to surprise Arsenal @ 7.50 at SportingOdds
- Everton (51%) to beat Newcastle @ 2.25 at Betsson

Arsenal (57%) are the only away side given a good chance of winning when they travel to face Sheffield United but the price of 1.53 (at Ladbrokes) is very bad value - as the bookies anticipate plenty of money following the Gunners and have offered a lousy price.

However one other away side worth a possible punt is Wigan Athletic (40%) to win at Watford because the 2.70 price (at PaddyPower) is better than the 2.50 fair value price.

Good luck with your Saturday punts.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Undercover agent Ashley Cole strikes back ?

Is Ashely Cole really a loyal Gooner working undercover to screw Chelsea's season from the inside ???

Watch the video and then see what you think !

Nah - he's just a useless c*nt !!
55K per week! You're having a laugh ...

Another nice buy by Abramovich !!
Hah haha haha haha ha haa

Liverpool to be milked as a "cash-cow" ?

Dubai International Capital, the investment company behind the proposed takeover of Liverpool, are reportedly already planning to sell the club in seven years time having made a huge profit from their ownership of the Anfield club.

According to The Daily Telegraph, "DIC see their investment in Liverpool as purely a business deal built round the new stadium Liverpool are planning at Stanley Park. When they sell in seven years time they are hoping to make a huge profit, providing a return of around 25 per cent on their investment for every year of ownership. There appear to be no plans to invest in new players."

The newspaper claims to have seen a confidential document circulated among possible investors in order to persuade them to join a consortium and that DIC plan to borrow around £300million of the £450million required to buy Liverpool and are actively pursuing new partners.


To me - this seems to be the death knell of the football model as we know it in Europe. And seems to be one step away from franchising "Liverpool FC" and taking them anywhere at all.

Why not just be done with it and rename them the Liverpool Shieks and they can play the Manchester Rowdies for the "Soccer SuperBowl" somewhere in Arabia or Asia and play a whole round of meaningless "exhibition" games all year round.

While there is a lot of money in football - it is not a business! Companies do not attract loyalty and a following like football clubs do. This whole "super-owner" thing is going to end in tears ... eventually.

The English FA, or UEFA, or FIFA need to put an end to these deals - or the competitive fabric of football is gongi to be permenantly damaged.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Sheet - English Premier league - Dec 26/27

(Click the image for the full size sheet)

Here is the sheet for Boxing Day - and there is a good mix of obvious bets - and less obvious bets at tasty prices.

The obvious is Home wins for
- Chelsea 75% to beat Reading (1.20 @ VCBet)
- Man Utd 73% to beat Wigan (1.20 @ Interwetten)

The less obvious (and better priced) choices are :
- Bolton 62% to beat Newcastle (1.95 @ VCBet)
- Tottenham 53% to beat Aston Villa (1.83 @ SportingOdds)

Value Bets has two good options :
- Sheff Utd 49% to beat ManCity (2.35 @ Canbet)
- West Ham 50% to beat Portsmouth (2.35 @ Betsson)

So that's six games where the home team can be backed with some expectation of success ...


Then there are two bets to consider laying the away favourites as they are at such lousy prices :

Arsenal (51%) at Watford are just 1.45 !!

I don't care how poor Watford are - the Arse are still very consistant and the 6-2 over Blackburn was not totally convincing - as it was just 3-2 with 5 minutes left.

Take Watford +1.25 goals start(1.90 @ PinnacleSports) as I make it about 60%-65% likely that you'll get some sort of payout as an arsenal winning by 2+ goals is only about 35-40% chance.

Liverpool (31%) at Blackburn are only 1.95.

But Rovers are much better at home and will surely have a reaction to the 2-6 thrashing by Arsenal. I much prefer taking Blackburn on +1/2 handicap to avoid defeat than backing Liverpool here.

Take Blackburn +1/2 goal start(2.15 @ PinnacleSports) rather than Liverpool -1/2 at 1.80 - as this game will be fairly even.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn

... And THAT was a game to be added to the video archive of all Gooners - as the game summed up this current Arsenal side completely.

Arsenal gave up a goal inside three minutes after Kolo Toure knocked over ex-Gooner David Bentley in the penalty area and Blackburn's Shabani Nonda put the visitors 1-0 up.

That seemed to strike a nerve within Arsenal and the next 30 minutes we were treated to some of the slickest passing that I've seen in the Premier League as Fabragas Cesc pulled the strings and really made Arsenal play some beautiful stuff.

Surprisingly though Arsenal's equaliser came through the air, as Toure headed onto the crossbar and from a second corner Gilberto Silva was left free to head in from the back post. 1-1

Then Robin Van Persie and Adebeyor created a goal chance for Alexander Hleb who converted sweetly (2-1) and then Lucas Neill bundled over Van Persie for a home penalty which Adebayor stroked home. (3-1).

The second half started well with Tomas Rosicky almost scoring when his effort was deflected onto the woodwork, but then Arsenal seemd to relax and Blackburn got back into the game - this time through an overhead kick by Nonda. (3-2).

Then Arsenal were grateful for the agility of Jens Lehmann who saved brilliantly from Pedersen to preserve the lead and it looked like it was gonig to be a nervous last 5 minutes.

But Arsene Wenger does seem to know how to produce a side full of invention, and suddenly the Gunenrs switched back on to score three more goals in five minutes (plus injury time).

Van Persie started it with a great shot after running around several Blackburn defenders (4-2), before Arsneal and Cesc produced a magnificent move to set up Van Persie again (5-2), and there was even time for Mathieu Flamini to make it six, after he reacted to the rebound off a Cesc shot (6-2).

So Arsenal dish up a Christmas treat for all Gooners, and all neutral viewers, but in several patches they just seemed to drift off and on another day we could possibly have been cursing our luck and staring at a 3-3 draw !!

All that remained was for the home fans to stream out of the stadium happy - and for Arsenal fans everywhere to remember to raise a glass (of French Claret?) on Christmas Day and toast what was - in the end - a hugely enjoyable match.

Have a great holiday period guys - see you all on Boxing Day.

Here's a video of the highlights (10 minutes or so).

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Sheet - Italy Serie A - Dec 23rd

( Click the sheet to see the full image )

And here is the second of the Saturday sheets as we take in the Serie A action - which plays it's last round before a short mid-winter break.

In midweek the Italian Sheet went 3-0 on it's recommendations - but as always I will remind you that past performance is not guarantee of future returns so you always need to make up your own mind and not bet blindly.

We have three very strong home win recommendations here - with all teams rated as 75+ likely to win - and also considered to be at fair value too.
- Fiorentina to beat Messina (1.30 @ BetFred)
- Inter Milan to beat Atalanta (1.25 @ Bet365)
- AS Roma to beat Cagliari (1.25 @ Bet365)

There is also a half recommendation for
- AC Milan to win at Udinese (2.20 @ Bet365)

If you like value bets - where the odds seem to be greater than the risk then there are two other matches to take a look at :
- Liverno are considered 51% likely to beat Torino (2.25 @ Bet365)
- and the Draw between Parma and Lazio is a 39% chance and paying 3.00.

Ok ... that's the lot for Saturday good luck with it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Sheet - England Premier League - Dec 23rd

( Click the sheet to see the full image)

The sheet is up for the fixtures this weekend - and with a full round of games on Saturday it seems like the old days too!

And this time it seems that we've got plenty of potential bets to conisder as well.
- Fulham to beat West Ham (2.45 @ Betsson)
- Arsenal to beat Blackburn (1.36 @ PaddyPower)
- Man United to win at Aston Villa (1.65 @ Gamebookers)
- Liverpool to beat Watford (1.22 @ SportingOdds)
- Middlesbro to beat Charlton (1.80 @ PaddyPower)
- Chelsea to win at Wigan (1.45 @ VCBet)

Phew !! That's 6 games out of 10 that look worth a punt.

Additionally - value hunters might like the look of :
- Man City at home to Bolton (53% rating at 2.50 @ Eurobet)
- Newcastle at home to Tottenham (44% rating at 2.50 @ Bet365)

So there seems plenty of option for punters on Saturday afternoon.
Good luck.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Sheet -> Italy Serie A - Dec 20th

(Click the sheet image to see the full size version)

Here is the sheet for all the Wednesday night Serie A football in Italy, but once again there is nothing too stunning is what the maths have to say.

There are 3 picks that look like probably winners - but annoyingly they are all at less than fair value :

- AC Milan to beat Catania -- Odds 1.36 at BetFred
- Palermo to beat Ascoli ---- Odds 1.29 at BetFred
- AS Roma to win at Torino -- Odds 2.00 at Interwetten

Note that there is a bit of anamoly with the AS Roma pick, there are just 7 other games where the away side has been favoured this much, and it's gone badly for them with a 2-3-2 record.

I still go with AS Roma here as that -300 point margin equates to a whole goal advantage and I'd make this about 55%-60% likely to finish in an away win.


Elsewhere the sheet sees potential value in big underdogs playing away from home - but I think that's not a likely scenario - and the bookmakers know it too which is why they're offering such big prices.

However, there might be a bit of value in taking home side Cagliari when they face Fiorentina. I know that Fiorentina are 4th but they're just 3-2-3 on the road ... while Cagliari are 2-5-1 at home.

A draw is very possible (Cagliari have drawn 10 of 16 games in Serie A) and I'd rather make sure it was on my side in any bet - so let's take the asian handicap bet and back Cagliari with a start of +1/4.

(Best price is 1.83 at PinnacleSports)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Carling Cup - Liverpool v Arsenal Postponed

Ref Martin Atkinson's made the decision to postpone Liverpool's Carling Cup tie with Arsenal.

Yorkshire official Atkinson felt foggy conditions at Anfield on Tuesday night left him little option but to call off the quarter-final.

Both Reds manager Benitez and Gunners counterpart Arsene Wenger wanted to play and Atkinson said he did all he could to keep the match on, but felt the conditions could compromise safety.

"We are all disappointed the game could not go ahead," said Atkinson. "It's a massive game and from an official's point of view we want to be officiating.

"From the situation, we can't do that. For us to start the game and then have an assistant not being able to see an offside decision would bring the game into a farce."

Wenger admitted he had been keen to see how his side, which was to have included a number of fringe players, would cope against an expected stronger hosts' line-up.

"It's very much disappointing because the young players had a good opportunity to play tonight," he told Radio Five Live. "We had a good mixture of experienced and young players and I think it would have been very interesting."

Wenger said he would have happily played the match on Wednesday night but there was not enough time to put everything in place."It is impossible in 24 hours to rearrange a game," he added.

Anfield stadium manager Ged Poynton explained: "You need 10 days' notice minimum to inform Merseyside Police for their requirements."

US Poker Players Still Playing Online

Although the US senate attempted to put the block on US players playing poker online there are still plenty of good places that are prepared to accept US players.

The website keeps their eyes on the ball, and one of their main contributors over their is our own "Gambling Gal" Elle - who also looks after our poker section on the main Guide site.

She has blogged on the topic today.

If you're looking for a good place to play then see her poker lab rat blog piece here or go straight to her list of top 3 poker sites for US players.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Sheet - England - Dec 16/17/18

( Click the image to see the full sheet )

Picks for :
Arsenal to beat Portsmouth
Newcastle to beat Watford
Manchester Utd to win at West Ham

Good value (but risky) on :
Charlton (226%) at home to Liverpool @ 6.00
Everton (175%) at home to Chelsea @ 7.00
Man City (130%) at home to Tottenham @ 2.50

Also worth considering :
Sheff Utd (168%) away at Wigan @ 4.70

The Sheet - Italy - Dec 16/17

Click to see the full size sheet.

Very tricky in Italy this week with 6 of the 10 games within 100 ranking points so many of the games are rated as high draw chances.

The picks :
- Inter Milan to beat Messina
- Udinese to beat Cagliari (just 5 pts off)

Possible value in :
- Ascoli (124%) to beat Torino @ 3.00
- Catania (114%) to beat Empoli @ 2.20

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wigan 0 - 1 Arsenal

Late Adebayor Strike Reminds Gooners of the Old Days.

There was a familiar chant last night, as "one-nil to the Arsenal" rang out, but it's been a while since this current crop of Gunners has heard it.

Arsene Wenger's skillful side moved back into 3rd place with a display of tenacity and resilience against Wigan - to suggest this young team in transition is rapidly toughening up.

This match was drifting towards its final minute still goal less, when the substitute Cesc Fabregas conjured a flash of genius to arc a sublime pass over the hosts back-line for Emmanuel Adebayor to gather.

The Togolese striker had missed two clearcut chances earlier but now the big man steered his shot accurately beyond the distraught Chris Kirkland and into the corner of the net to secure Arsenal's first away win in five attempts.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Man United now Premier League favourites !!

It was another frenetic weekend of Premiership action with Manchester United beating their local rivals 3-1, Bolton writing the final chapter of the Alan Pardew story at West Ham and Arsenal earning a point at Stamford Bridge.

It’s also been a significant weekend for Premiership odds because for the first time since December 2004 we see that Chelsea are no longer favourites to win the Premiership ! are now giving Chelsea away at 19/20 for the Premiership.

Is this an early Christmas present - could this be one of the bets of the year by the time May rolls around ?

Gavle Goat Form - Last 20 years.

Here is a "form guide" on the Gavle Goat over the last 20 years.

In 1985 the 12.5-metre high goat first made the Guinness Book of World Records. Burned down in January.

In 1986 the local merchants took over building the goat again. From this date on, two goats are built each year, one by the merchants and one by Vasaskolan. The big goat was burned down the night before Christmas Eve.

In 1987 the goat was carefully treated with fire-proofing. It still burned down the week before Christmas.

In 1988 the goat was spared. Its survival was now included on British betting lists.

In 1989 the goat burned down before it was even built. A public collection was taken up and a new goat was built, which burned down in January. In March 1990 another goat was built for the premiere of the film "Black Jack".

In 1990 the goat was spared. Many volunteers guarded it.

In 1991 the goat was accompanied by an advertising sleigh - which turned out to be an unauthorised construction. It burned on Christmas Eve morning. It was rebuilt to be sent to Stockholm in a campaign to stop the closing of the I 14 regiment.

In 1992 the goat burned after eight days. The Vasaskolan goat burned the same night. It was built again, but burned again on 20 December. The starter of all three fires was arrested.

In 1993 the Vasaskolan goat made the Guinness Book of World Records, measuring 16 metres high. It was spared this year.

In 1994 the goat was spared.

In 1995 the goat burned down on Christmas Day morning. It was rebuilt for the town's 550th anniversary.

In 1996 the goat survived. For the first time it was monitored by a web camera.

In 1997 the goat survived with minimal damage by fireworks.

In 1998 the goat burned on 11 December, despite a snowstorm. It was built again.

In 1999 the goat burned a few hours after being built. A new one was in place for St. Lucia Day.

In 2000 the goat burned a few days before New Year's. In 2001 the goat burned on 23 December. The starter of the fire, a 51-year-old man from USA, was arrested.

In 2002 the goat survived.

In 2003 the goat burned down two nights before St. Lucia Eve. A new goat was in place about a week later and it survived in one piece.

In 2004 the goat burned down on 21 December, three days before Christmas. The goat was not rebuilt.

In 2005 the goat burned down on 3 December. A new goat was in place on 8 december and managed to survive.


Note that most companies have suspended all betting on this now - with only SportingOdds offering a tiny odds of 1/5 on the NO (the goat will survive).

Here is the Gavle Goat Webcam link again - if you want to see how it's going.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Arsenal unlikely to get Chrismas Wish

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that Thierry Henry will miss all of Arsenal's Christmas programme and is unlikely to be available until after the New Year because of a hamstring injury.

Henry has been sidelined recently with a neck problem but Wenger is more worried by the new setback. "Thierry Henry has started his rehabilitation," Wenger said. "He's still not completely free with his hamstring but he starts to work again.

"We hope we can build him up and make him competitive again. The neck problem is sorted out. It was sciatic nerve problem but the hamstring is the most troubling at the moment."

Asked if Henry would be out until the New Year, Wenger said: "Realistically, certainly yes. I wouldn't set a precise timescale as it's difficult to predict but Christmas certainly we will miss him."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Chelsea 1-1 Arsenal

Mathieu Flamini gave Arsenal a surprise lead with 12 minutes to go before Michael Essien levelled with a stunning 35-yard strike six minutes later.

Chelsea then hit the woodwork twice as they searched for the winner but the game finished even.

So Arsenal exported our Emirates curse to Stamford Bridge - let's hope we left it there.

Consider :
- home side dominates
- concedes the first goal against run of play
- hits posts
- eventually gets equaliser
- pushes for winner
- has to settle for a point

... sound familiar at all?

Much better to be on the giving end this time.

The Sheet - Italy - Dec 10

(Click the image to view the full sheet)

Saturday proved to be a good day for the sheet in England - so here is the sheet calculations for Sunday in Serie A.

Two games are chosen by both halves of the sheet - with Atalanta and AC Milan seen as likely winners and the price on Atalanta is a good one too.

Elsewhere Inter Milan are seen as likely winners - but the price is awful - so value punters may actually be tempted on Empoli at prices higher than 7.00 and a 30% win chance.

Finally - the SONAS half of the sheet thinks that Cagliari are worth a shot at home to Parna ... although the vlaue calculation says that it's only fair value at best.

OK .. I hope that helps you on Sunday.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Sheet - England - Dec 9/10/11

( Click the image to see the full sheet )

The sheet is back for the weekend - and we will be hoping that it can follow last weeks example when it went 3-0. (see Forum thread )

This week the sheet picks as many as five games to have a punt in - and all the picks seem to be around fair value or better.

Manchester United vs Manchester City
The first game is the lunchtime derby game with Manchester United given a huge edge in home/away form - and although City have traditionally done very well in avoid defeat in this fixture (4 draws in the last 5 seasons) they've never had to overcome such a large ranking difference of +474.

The sheet takes Manchester United to win and probably by a 2+ goal margin.

Liverpool v Fulham
Less controversy about the next pick as Liverpool have been very good at Anfield this season and Fulham always seem to struggle when travelling.

Again the sheet says Liverpool are likely to be big winners by a 2+ goal margin.

Tottenham v Charlton
Also favoured is North London side Tottenham who have been pretty good at the Lane this season - and there is not reason to think that they won't beat relegation threatened Charlton. The price of 1.60 at Interwetten is very good.

Bolton v West Ham
Home comforts is the key to pick number four - although this one is only expected to be by a one goal margin - but the best price of 1.85 at Canbet is well worth chasing as good value.

The final pick is one that I personally did not want to see - but cannot disagree with as it looks at the Sunday game:

Chelsea v Arsenal
Chelsea have gone 2.5 seasons in the league without a home defeat (Arsenal won 2-1 there in 2004) and it's hard to see the Blues being beaten this time either.

The sheet says that this will be the tightest of the 5 picks this weekend in England but still sees enough in the numbers to make Chelsea a 56% favourite to win and the price of 1.75 (available generally) is fair value.


OK - lets see if we can get 4 out of 5 and ensure a profit - you'll understand if I say that I'm personally hoping that Sunday's game DOES NOT go to form.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gavle Goat Watch : Some Background

Day two of the Goat watch and so far ... nothing has happened !!

The Gavle Goat (known in Swedish as the Julbocken i Gavle or Gavlebocken) is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw that stands in (Slottstorget) Castle Square in central Gävle. So here is a bit of background - from the Wikipedia entry :

It is erected each year by a local association called the Southern Merchants, and another version is erected by a group of students from the Natural Science Club of the School of Vasa.

The Natural Science Club's goat holds the world record for the largest Yule Goat, but since 1994 the Southern Merchants' goats have been larger and had more publicity afforded them.

Both goats have famously been the targets of frequent arson attacks and vandalism, so much so that over the years they have been guarded by the police, webcams, soldiers, volunteers and dogs, and whilst the city officially discourages the attacks on the goats they have brought it recognition and tourism from around the world.

The goat has since had a history of being burnt down almost every year, 2005 being the 22nd time and price tag for constructing the goat is around 100,000 Swedish kronor.

So as of Dec 7th - the goat is still standing - and the bets are still on.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

UEFA Champions League - Last 16 Found

The draw for the UEFA Champions League first knockout round will take place on Friday 15 December at 12.00CET after Manchester United, Arsenal, Porto and newcomers Lille sealed the final four spots in the last 16 on Wednesday night.

Group winners were :
Chelsea (ENG), Bayern Munchen (GER), Liverpool (ENG), Valencia (ESP), Olympique Lyonnais (FRA), Manchester Utd (ENG), Arsenal (ENG), AC Milan (ITA)

Runners-up :
Barcelona (ESP), Internazionale Milano (ITA), PSV Eindhoven (NED), AS Roma (ITA), Real Madrid CF (ESP), Celtic FC (SCO), FC Porto (POR), LOSC Lille Metropole (FRA)

Draw conditions :
* Clubs from the same association must not be drawn against each other.
* The winners and runners-up of the same group must not be drawn against each other.
* Group winners must not be drawn against each other.
* Group runners-up must not be drawn against each other.
* All group runners-up will play their first-leg matches at home.

The next set of games will be a two-legged knockout round of 16 - to be played 20/21 February and 6/7 March

Goat of Gavle - Will it Survive ?

Arsonists who enjoy burning down a festive Swedish straw goat may have met their match this year.

In the 40 years since the tradition started, the giant goat of Gavle has often gone up in flames within days.

But this year the 13-metre (43ft) high goat has a coat of flame-resistant chemicals, and the authorities are determined it will see in the New Year. "No-one is going to get our goat this year," says a local spokeswoman with confidence.

But Curacao bookie is allowing people to bet on whether the giant goat of Gavle will survive through Christmas Day.
Last year's goat did not survive
Will The Straw Goat Of Gavel Last Through Christmas?
No, goat will not survive 2/3 (1.66)
Yes, goat survives until Christmas 7/5 (2.40)

Last years goat (shown right) did not survive after two culprits dressed as Father Christmas and a gingerbread man got close enough to the goat to burn it down using flaming arrows.

And since 1966, just 10 of Gavle's giant goats have survived beyond Christmas Day. Aside from being burned, several were beaten down and the 1976 goat was hit by a car.

RELATED LINKS : Forum : they had the original post. : offering odds on the event
Gavle Goat WebCam : To keep an eye on your bet.


Champions League Outright Markets

Barcelona eased through to the knockout stages of the Champions League after a regulation 2-0 win over Werder Bremen at the Nou Camp, and are now 3/1 favourites with bet365 to retain their title.

Ronaldinho opened the scoring with a 13th minute free-kick, and Eidur Gudjohnsen doubled Barca's lead five minutes later to send Bremen into the UEFA Cup.

Barcelona dislodged Chelsea from the head of the betting despite the English champions topping Group A following an equally comfortable 2-0 win over Levski Sofia.

Andriy Shevchenko scored the first for the Blues on 27 minutes, before subsititute Shaun Wright-Phillips sealed the win late on.

Chelsea are now 7/2 shots with bet365 to triumph in the Champions League final.

Paddy Power can't choose between the two market leaders and offer them both at 7/2, while Skybet have Chelsea as 3/1 favourites with Barcelona next best at 4s.

There were no shocks with most teams already through to the knockout stages, and Roma progressed from Group D with Valencia who they beat 1-0. Roma remain 25/1 outsiders with most firms.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday Football

There is a wee bit to choose from on Tuesday, with the Champions League and the Premier League playing at the same time as fixture congestion (due to a late start after the World Cup) starts to bit.


In England we have Blackburn travelling to Charlton is a game that they COULD win - but it's hard to be confident about a Blackburn side that are just 1-2-3 so far on their travels.

Consider taking Blackburn on the level ball asian handicap bet which works like a Draw-No-Bet option - return your stake if it finishes all-square.

Best Price is at PinnacleSports (as usual) here you can get Blackburn at 2.04

We also have Tottenham hosting Middlesbro and I'm more confident about going for a winner there as Spurs should have enough firepower and desire to get past Boro team that does not travel well.

Take Tottenham at any price over 1.70.
Best price is 1.75 @ Austrian bookmaker Interwetten.


In Europe both Barcelona and Chelsea should win - but you don't need me to tell you that or find you prices although you can read Cruiser's preview of the Barcelona v Werder Bremen game here.

Perhaps Olympiakos are worth a shot in their game with Shaktar Donetsk? The Greek side need to win - and the Ukrainian side has lost all 8 of their previous away games in the Champions League.

Take a look at RedLine's preview of this game as see what you think.


Good luck with whatever you're betting on tonight.

Monday, December 04, 2006

UEFA CL : Porto v Arsenal - is the "fix" in ?

So we have an important match in midweek for Arsenal and Porto in Europe's biggest competition, with both sides looking for qualification, and either side could be eliminated if they lost ...

..or could they?

A draw suits both teams as they'll qualify at the expense of CSKA Moscow - who will be eliminated on head-to-head record - so then the draw has to be the cynics choice.

Let's assume that the "fix" has not been officially agreed between the two clubs, but that both sides start off playing tentatively and if the scores are still level after 70 minutes then I expect to see both sides start playing a 5-5-0 formation.

And certainly the bookmakers agree as I've just nipped off an checked the prices and the draw is an extremely short 4/5 (1.80).

Best prices :
Porto win - 3.75 @ Bet365
Draw ------ 1.80 @ Ladbrokes and BetFred
Arsenal win 4.30 @ PremierBet and SportingOdds

Hmmmmmm ... deal done eh?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Arsenal beat Tottenham 3-0 : VIDEO

Arsenal put an awful week behind them with a 3-0 win over Tottenahm in the first North London derby to be played at the Emirates Stadium.

A 20th minute goal from Adebeyor put the Gunners on their way, followed by 2 penalties from stand-in captain Gilberto Silva.

Here's a video of the Gooner highlights that I found online.

It was a result borne out of hard work from the Arsenal side - rather than a stunning passing display - but that seems to be true of all derby games these days eh?

And after the disappointment at both Bolton and Fulham it was good to get back to winning ways.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday CRACKER - Aussie Football

The first pick of the "weekend" is the Australian A-League pick by Money-Man on the main site.

He makes a good case for taking Melbourne to win and I'll go for the league leaders on the AH+0 bet (which works just like a draw-no-bet play) for 20 points.

Best prices are :
- 1.91 @ PinnacleSports
- 1.88 @ Bet365

If you prefer Melbourne to win straight up then you can get a price of 2.50 @ Gamebookers

This one kicks off around 9am in Europe - so get on it sharpish if you're about.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday night football crackers

There are five English Premier League games on tonight - and I've written previews for all five of them on the main site.

(see the English Football Betting page for the links to the detailed previews or click on the individual matchlinks below)

But here is a summary of the bets I like the look of tonight.

Manchester United vs Everton.
20 points on Man United on -1.25 AH at PinnacleSports at 1.84

Liverpool vs Portsmouth
20 points on Liverpool clean sheet at BetDirect at 2.00

Fulham v Arsenal
20 points on Theirry Henry score anytime at Eurobet at 2.10

Aston Villa v Man City
17 points on Aston Villa -0.5 AH at VCBet at 2.00
3 points on 1-1 correct score at VCBet at 6.50

Bolton v Chelsea
10 points on Draw/Chelsea HT/FT bet at Ladbrokes at 4.50

Ok - that gives you action for all five games - and I'm looking for 3-4 winners for a nice little profit for the night.

Remember - you don't have to take any or all of these bets - it's your money and your decision.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Midweek football coming up

After a few days AWOL from the Blog, it's good to get back online to have a few punts ...

And the midweek schedule may have a few games worth a punt in midweek with 6 games in the English Premier League, 16 games in the UEFA Cup, and a round of the Coppa Italia too.

More soon.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Moneybookers Phishing Scam

Just a warning to all internet punters out there - don't trust your emails to be genuine - and make sure that you take extra care with all sites that need ID's and passwords.

A new round of emails being sent out by scamsters pretending to be from Moneybookers. It's supposed to be from but of course it is NOT.

Here is a graphic of the scam email .

(click to see fullsize version)

None of this is real - it is a scam to get your id and password.

If you have fallen for it - then please immediately go and change your password at

Remember do not click on email links to go to bank accounts or payments site ...

Monday, November 20, 2006

UEFA CL Spreadsheet

(click to see full sheet)

Here is the spreadsheet for the midweek UEFA Champions League games - and as usual there are a fair number of selections to consider.

So far this season the spreadsheet has had a very good run in the Champions League going 20-2 for home matches and 6-1 for away picks.

However - many games have been bankers with low prices - so the yield per bet is +33% - which respectable but not mind blowing.

The sheet takes 4 games on Tuesday - 3 of them at home :
- Arsenal (72%) to beat Hamburg at 1.25 (BetFred)
- Benfica (80%) to beat Copenhagen at 1.50 (Interwetten)
- Lille (80%) to beat Anderlecht at 1.62 (BetFred)

And we also have an away choice with :
- AC Milan (85%) likely to win in Athens at 1.77 (Gamebookers)

I certainly like the three home bets - but I'm not too sure about AC Milan winning away on the road as they're looked somewhat average in Serie A this season and had to accept another 0-0 draw on the weekend.

Good luck with your punts.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Aussies to Win First Cricket Test


Will The Lively Gabba Wicket Play Into Their Hands?

The Australians got off to a flyer in the First Test at Lords last year and are 4/9 with bet365 to go 1-0 up this time around. There’s been plenty of support for the hosts while England have been friendless at 13/2. The Draw is priced at 3/1 for those who think the teams will cancel each other out.

Australia are also 4/9 to command a 1st Innings lead (England 13/8), while bet365 have Top Batsman markets available for both teams in the Gabba Test Match. Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss are joint favourites at 3/1 for England, while Paul Collingwood could be a spot of value at 13/2 to get the most runs.

It’s a close call for Top Australia Bat with bet365 making Ricky Ponting the marginal 10/3 favourite ahead of 4/1 shots Langer and Hayden, while Martyn and Hussey are 5/1.

bet365 are also offering a range of exciting Batsman Matches, including Strauss (5/6) v Langer (5/6), Cook (5/6) v Bell (5/6) and Ponting (8/11) v Pietersen (EVS).

Finally, remember that there are a wide range of In-Play opportunities available. The bet365 In-Play console will show the odds as they update in real-time.


Apologies for the lack of action on the weekend - but we had a storm here that put out the phone lines for a while and also hit a few homes quite badly.

I was tied up with a few REAL world issues - helpng out the neighbours - and had to put the online betting to one side.

We should be back in action in midweek in the Champions League.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Sheet - Italian Serie A - 18th/19th Nov

(Click the image to see the sheet in full size)

And I've also run the sheet for the Italian Serie A fixtures this weekend - and again it suggests four games indicated as likely winning results :
- AC Milan (60%) to win at Empoli on Saturday
- Inter Milan (79%) to beat Reggina
- Livorno (64%) to beat Parma
- AS Roma (59%) to beat Catania

The sheet also suggests that the best "value" on Sunday may be to get on Ascoli to surprise Fiorentina at a huge price of 6.25 at Betsson.

I'm not hugely convinced about that - after all Ascoli are 2nd to last with a 0-4-7 record - but it is true that Fiorentina are just 2-0-3 on the road and so perhaps the price on a home win is a little bit big.

Good luck with your punts.

The Sheet - English Premier League - 18th/19 Nov

(Click the image to see the sheet in fullsize)

Here is the weekend sheet for the English Premeier League with four games indicated as likely winning results :
- Arsenal (80%) to beat Newcastle
- Chelsea (73%) to beat West Ham
- Portsmouth (66%) to beat Watford
- Manchester United (70%) to win at Sheffield

Some of the matches (ManUtd and Chelsea) have only a small number of data observations of previous matches with similar rankings as so those estimations should be treated with more caution.

Elsewhere there does look to be a little bit of value around the other games with Man_City, Bolton, Middlesbro and Blackburn all available at better than 110% value - well according to the sheet anyway.

Good luck with your punts.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Irish Legend Ray Houghton Picks

Today we have links to audio (MP3) previews from a tipster at one of our leading UK and European bookmakers - Paddy

Razor Ray Houghton shares his football insights into this weekend's Premiership talking about five games this weekend including Arsneal, Spurs and Liverpool.

Check out the page and have a listen & see what you think!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

International football

Nothing really grabs my fancy tonight in the limited international calendar.

England are playing in the Netherlands of course - but English friendly games are littered with mass substitutions and the games rarely tend to flow well.

Although I try to banish the Sven era from my memories I have I've got a faint recollection of a large number of 1-1 draws under Sven - with England starting well and then tailing off.

I do NOT expect England's stars to play 90 minutes (or else McClaren will be in trouble with Fergie, Benitez and Mourinho) ...

so 1-1 again ?

Elsewhere - Chris does have a couple of previews and a bit of advice on a two competitive games in the international football section now.

Poker Freeroll at 32Red

I like the 32Red Poker Room (we rated it at 90% - see our review) it's clean simple graphics make it easy to play and being a PRIMA skin you know that you've got a reasonable RNG generator and access to a network of tournaments.

But the other good thing about 32Red Poker is that they also run several of their own tournaments and free rolls each month that are exclusive to their site.

On Wednesday night (at 9:45pm) they're running a Euro2008 free roll, with a minimum of $1000 in prizes (down to 50th place) and they'll bump the prize pool up by $100 for every Irish goal and by $500 for every goal by San Marino.

There are no hooks to this - simply download the 32Red Poker Room register for the free roll and you're in ...

See you in the poker room.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Gooner Reserve Makes England Squad !!

Matthew Connolly - an almost unknown 19-year-old - was given his chance to train with the England team yesterday ...

... by virtue of being in the right place at the right time.

Manager Steve McClaren has had to deal with eight withdrawals from his squad to face Holland at the Amsterdam ArenA tomorrow evening, so the England head coach did not have enough players to stage an eight-a-side practice match as his players assembled at Arsenal's training ground in London Colney.

Young Connolly happened to be on the site to train with Arsenal's reserves but ended up with three lions on his chest and with the chance to train with Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney as a "ringer".

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cracker Summary

Stuttgart came back from conceding the first goal to beat Hanover 2-1 and go to the top of the table - and also enabling us to collect.

Our performance has been less than stellar so far with a 17-11 record over the first 28 bets, which has allowed us to grow the bank from an initial 100 units to 114.65

The target of 500 units still seems a long way away - but we will see what we can do over the next fortnight to bring us closer.

Catch us back here soon for more ... and good luck with your punts.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Cracker Bets

Lets take in a Bundesliga game first up where high flying Stuttgart travel to face Hannover.

VfB Stuttgart have good last 10 form at 6-3-1 and a good away record of 3-2-0 as well, and a win today would move them to the top of the table.

Hannover are bottom of the league, just 0-2-3 at home, but did surprise massively in midweek by winning at Bayern Munich.

So do you think that Hannover are likely to build on that result and win again??!

Bollocks! They are bottom of the table for a reason - and they are far more likely to throw up a shocking result in my opinion.

There is a risk of the draw though - so we will take Bet365's Draw no Bet option at 1.66.

Take Stuttgart for 25 units @ 1.67 (DNB) at SportingOdds

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Recommended Arsenal Book

I just got this book through the post today.

Thoroughly recommended for any Gooner that is missing the old stadium, or that likes to read a decent club history.

It's the official illustrated History of Highbury Stadium, and it also covers the period earlier as well as talking about the clubs' formation and struggling early seasons at some pretty manky fields in South London.

Plenty of old photos and stories, Brian Glanville has done a good job of bringing it to life, and plenty of new information (to me) and I'm sure for other Gooners too.

Xmas is just around the corner - so get it for yourself - or get your significant "other" to buy it for you (instead of a pair of socks).

Arsenal Stadium History: The Official Illustrated History of Highbury Stadium - 93 Years of Innovation, Passion and Pride

(oh ... Get the Hardback version - it costs a few quid more - but it's well worth it for a book that you'll read plenty of times over - and keeps it in good nick.)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Saturday Crackers

With 83 units in the bank, I think that we will probably try 5-6 bets, making it a standard bet of 15 units per play.

The first one is to take Man City to beat Newcastle in the lunchtime kickoff - I make it slightly over 50% - so a price of 2.20+ is worth a shot.

Take Man City for 15 units @ 2.25 at Betsson Sportsbook
(not the lower exchange price)


Another game where i think that the home side is over priced is at the Riverside where Middlesbro take on West Ham.

I know that West Ham have won two on the trot - but both were at home - and the Hammers are typically poor when playing away.

Boro are not world beaters but they've beaten both Everton and Newcastle here recently - and again I was expecting prices at about evens.

The 2.34 price at Mansion Exchange is too tempting especially as it's commission free.
Take Middlesbro for 15 units @ 2.34 at Mansion Exchange


Let's also take a wee trip to Tuscany and back Fiorentina to beat Atalanta on Saturday evening.

Both teams are in the top 7, so it'll be a good clash but I think that the home side have the ability to win this match.

They're 3-0-2 at home, with wins of Reggina, Catania and Parma ... and before losing 1-3 against Roma last weekend they'd won 5 games in a row.

Take Fiorentina for 15 units @ 1.69 at Mansion Exchange

That's three bets for Saturday now ... with more to follow

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Top Managers Betting on Football ?

The Football Association is to investigate allegations that several Premiership managers have laid bets on top-flight matches. FA rules forbid managers and players betting on competitions they are involved in.

"We will see if there has been any breach of our regulations and we would welcome any information that would help our inquiries," said an FA spokesman.

The claims were made by a former employee of bookmakers Victor Chandler but the bookmaker has obtained a High Court injunction prohibiting the naming of the managers accused.

"He wants to maintain his clients' right to privacy," said PR guru Max Clifford, who has been representing Gibraltar-based Chandler.


Gooner says :

You might well think that HARRY REDKNAPP would be at the top of that list ... but I cannot possibly comment ...

But we can recommend VCBet as a good place to have a punt ... eh Harry ??

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cracker Bet POLL-Axed

Referee Graham Poll did his best to chop down our bet by sending off James McFadden for dissent after just 18 minutes at Goodison tonight.

McFadden said something to the referee as he ran past him after a penalty appeal for a challenge on Andrew Johnson had been waved away.

Everton then had to hang on with 10-men and defend fiercely, and fora long time it did look as if our draw angle would pay off ...

But with extra-time looking imminent, Adebayor found space to head home Mathieu Flamini's 85th-minute corner.

That's 50 units down the drain.

Wednesday's Cracker

There was just 1 win and 2 draws in Tuesday's DNB treble - but that's the beauty of the bet - as it stayed alive to add an extra 10 units into the bank which now stands at 132.50.

On Wednesday we are going to Goodison Park to oppose "young" Arsenal in the Carling Cup.

Arsenal are taking a second string side to this cup match, needing to rest players before two important games coming up (see full Everton v Arsenal match preview here), and so I do not see why Arsenal have anything but a small chance (about 15% in my view) of winning in normal time at Goodison Park.

So I'm recommending that we take a 50 unit 1X bet on Everton.

The standard double chance offers at the bookmakers are poor at just 30%, but we can construct a 42% payout at Mansion Exchange with a liitle bit of work - which is what we are going to do.

So ...

Take 30 units on Everton @ 2.44 at Mansion Exchange
Take 20 units on the Draw @ 3.56 at Mansion Exchange

That's 50 units staked and we will return 73.20 units if Everton win, and 71.20 units on the Draw.

That's a nice profit of between 42%-46% for a game that I feel has just a 15% downside risk.


And of course as a Gooner, I can always hope for Arsenal to draw during normal time and win in extra time too ...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tuesday's Cracker

A little bit of a diversion today - as I've gone for a treble - but it's not a risky one as it's a Draw-No-Bet (DNB) option that gives ocverage in the event of draws.

Taken directly from Michu's DNB forum thread and this one also leverages off PaulR's German match previews too.

A draw-no-Bet Treble for 30 units :
Dortmund v Aachen ...... Dortmund @ 1.20
Stuttgart v Hamburg .... Stuttgart @ 1.33
Chesterfield v Charlton . Charlton @ 1.36

Place it at Bet365 and potentially get a return of 2.17 if all three sides win.

There should be some profit in there for us.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sunday Summary

Not so good as we just went 2-2, with Ajax and Frankfurt doing the business for us.

Arsenal slipped to a 0-1 loss after a late West Ham goal, while the All Blacks thumped England 41-20 (inflicting England's biggest ever home loss) and covered the 14.5 point margin.

So that means around a 20 point loss to the bank.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday's Cracker Selections

A little late today (sorry) but you still should have plenty of time to get these on.

We will start with the rugby where the bookies are going overboard and offering England with a huge start at nearly even money.

Sure the All Blacks are the best side in the world, but this is NOT the strongest All Black selection (that is being saved for the games against France) and on Saturday Wales showed us that the gap between the hemispheres closes markedly when playing games in Europe.

The All Blacks will probably win - but the Twickenham factor will mean that England keep it close and certinaly well within the 14.5 points we are being offered.

20 Units on England +14.5 pts @ 1.96 @ PinnacleSports

There are two very good games in prospect in Germany today - but although the Schalke v Bayern Munich game is undoubtedly the match of the round it too tough for me to comfortably take the home side.

Instead I'll go to Frankfurt where the home side take on Monchengladbach who have an awful 0-0-4 away record. It's a little bit complicated by the fact that Frankfurt played in the UEFA Cup on Thursday though so I'll take the Draw-No-Bet option at 1.57.

20 Units on Frankfurt Draw-No-Bet @ 1.57 @ SportingOdds

I'll also dip into the action in Holland and take Dutch powerhouse side Ajax to ease past Heracles Almelo. Ajax are 9-0-1 this season winning their last six in a row. A slight concern about Heracles artifical pitch. But I'll take that risk.

20 Units on Ajax to win @ 1.44 @ Ladbrokes

Finally to England where there are three possible options.

I'll sidestep the Spurs v Chelsea game - even though Chelsea are 6-2-0 in their last 8 visits to White Hart Lane - because I think that Spurs will have a surprise in store for the Blues this this time.

I'll also avoid Villa v Blackburn too. Blackburn have had a very tough fixture list with games on Sunday (League) , Thursday (UEFA Cup) and Sunday again. Too many injuries and fatigue as well to back the visitors and Aston Villa have gone cold after a good start to the season.

Instead I'll go to Upton Park where Arsenal will face a West Ham side who will have been relieved to finally get a win (over Blackburn) last time.

But for West Ham to get something here they're probably gonig to have to play negatively - and that's just something that West Ham do not do often at home in front of their own fans. The Hammers will try to play good football - and I think that Arsenal will take up the challenge.

20 Units on Arsenal to win @ 1.62 @ PremierBet

So that's it - 4 bets for 80 units in total - and we are going to need three winners to turn a profit today. I think we will get that - and let's hope for our first clean sweep eh?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday Summary

So that was Saturday.

It was not the best of performances as the bets went just 2-3, but due to the staking and odds that was enough to ease out a small profit of +8.80 points and take the bank to 142.35

I'll take a look at the card for Sunday and see if we can find a couple of bets to build the bank.

Football Betting Crackers (Sat 4 Nov )

Starting bank : 133.5 Units (+33.5)

Remember we have already placed the 40 unit double on
ManYoo and Liverpool - 1.82 @ Interwetten

Additional Saturday crackers :

Werder Bremen v Energie Cottbus
Take 20 units on OVER 2.5 GOALS - 1.50 @ SportingOdds

Auxerre v Le Mans
Take 20 units on Auxerre - 1.90 @ Eurobet

Bolton v Wigan
Take 20 units on Bolton - 1.99 @ Mansion Ex.

Fulham v Everton
Take 20 units on Fulham - 2.80 @ Bet365

I make that a total of 120 units placed - I did warn you that we'd have to be aggressive ... so that leaves us with just 13.5 units in the bank.

We'd better get some payoffs tonight - or it will be a short campaign.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Sheet - EPL - 4/5 Nov

The sheet for the English Premier League is out now - and there are no real surprises with Liverpool, Newcastle and Man United favoured at home while Arsenal are picked to win at Upton Park.

I'm not sure how Newcastle will back up after their efforts in Italy - playing Thursday / Saturday has got to be a tough task - especially if Newcastle don't get players back off the injury list.

So that's probably a game I'll leave alone.

The sheet suggests that the prices on both Tottenham (5.50) and West Ham (6.50) are worth a look as they take on London rivals at very favourable prices.

Of course they're both derby games - so perhaps the home advantage is over stated on the sheet - and certainly Chelsea seem to enjoy playing at White Hart Lane with a 6-2-0 record in their last 8 visits.

Arsenal have more trouble at Upton Park - they're just 2-3-1 in their last six visits - including draws in each of their last three trips. But then West Ham have been AWFUL recently - a trend which the sheet jumps on.

Oh - and a wee word on Fulham v Everton.

Fulham have won more games than they've lost at home in each of the last six seasons going 50-21-29 over in those 100 games.

Fulham have also beaten Everton here in each of the last five seasons ... so that 2.80 price on the home side is a bit tempting.


good luck with your punts.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Saturday Bet Alert - EPL

It's just a quick blog in order to take the pair of good early prices.

Liverpool to beat Reading @ 1.37
Manchester United to beat Portsmouth @ 1.33

All bets will be for 20 units this Saturday - except this looks so good that we will make it double strength.

Take 40 units @ 1.82 at Interwetten

... more to follow ...

UEFA Cup - slim pickings.

Palermo and Newcastle appear to be trying to outdo each other in seeing who can leave out more first team players - so I'm not interested there.

Perhaps I'll be tempted into putting a tenner on Nancy to beat Polish side Wisla Krakow 1-0 - see the site preview - the correct score price is 7.00 which seems good considering that Nancy have won 1-0 three times at home already this season.

Nothing for the Cracker scheme though - we will wait until the weekend data sheets come out and plan our attack them.

Good luck if your punting on the UEFA Cup tonight.

Small Steps

Wednesdays "Christmas Cracker" bets showed a small profit (again), as we had a 2-1 record with that Handicap bet on Lyon being the lossmaker.

I knew I wasn't happy with the bet and should have stuck to the basic profit making schemes instead of trying to get fancy.

Still - a profit is a profit - and that's three winning days in a row which can't be too bad.

I'm not sure if there will be a Thursday Cracker bet yet ... every man and his dog seems to be on Serie A surprise package Palermo to beat Newcastle in the UEFA Cup (at around 1.70 to 1.75) but I'm not so sure.

I'll post again later on (here and on the forum) if we're taking anything.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Wednesday's Crackers.

Things are not so easy on Wednesday.

Sure - there are three very likely winners in AC Milan, Lyon and Real Madrid - but the bookeis are protecting those games with very low prices and there is not that much value.

Ideally I like at least 3 bets - and the aim is to land a majority of winners for a profit. We've done this so far going 4-2 and 3-1 on the first two days.

But it's a bit of a struggle tonight - as I don't usually like taking AH at over 1 - and the likely winners are very short prices.

So today we will not risk the full bank - as I've got a feeling that I'm pushing too hard.

1-Nov Bets :

Benfica v Celtic
... Take Benfica -1/2 AH for 25.00 at 2.00 odds at Bet365

Real Madrid v Steaua and AC Milan v Anderlecht
... Take Madrid/Milan (double) 25.00 at 1.37 odds at Eurobet

Ol. Lyon v Dynamo Kiev
... Take Lyon -1.75 AH for 25.00 at 1.80 odds at Bet365

I feel Lyon are the strongest of the home sides on Wednesday, and are most likely to complete a 2/3 goal win.

Choosing your first bookie

We get plenty of requests on the forum for recommendations on the "best bookie".

Now we do a lot of work in testing and ranking our favourite bookmakers and also in finding the best free bet offers but it's still a bit of work to match them up to each punter.

This depends a lot on what the person is looking for - and some of the criteria could be things like :

What is your Favourite Sports
European Football, American Football (NFL / NCAA), Tennis, Other sports.

What is your Preferred Competitions
Main Leagues Only = English Premier, Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga (etc)
Minor Leagues as well = Turkish leagues, Australian league, Jpanese leagues, Lower divisions.

Which markets do you prefer ?
1x2 Betting, Handicaps and AH betting, Over/under or special bets.

Are other features important?
Ease of use, Money transfer options, Joining bonuses.

All these factors will go into finding the best bookmaker for your betting sport, style and league type and it does take a while to find the best bookie that matches to your type.

For most UK punters who are just start out betting online - we recommend four places that are safe, reliable, cover a lot of local games and styles and off a nice free joining bonus.

1) Bet365 = 92% (see Bet365 Review)
2) BetFred = 85% (see BetFred Review)
3) SportingOdds = 80% (see SportingOdds Review)
4) PaddyPower = 75% (see PaddyPower Review)

Depositing GBP 30-50 in each of these four bookies and playing it through will see you earn a series of bonuses (which is always nice) - and you'll get a feel of which of these bookies suits you best.

American and European punters will have slightly different tastes and requirements and will almost certainly prefer different books.

US punters seem to be happiest at :
1) PinnacleSports = 91% (see PinnacleSports Review)
2) CanBet = 77% (see CanBet Review)

And all US players are welcome at both these books - no state restrictions.

While European punters seem to prefer :
1) Bet365 = 92% (see Bet365 Review)
2) EuroBet = 78% (see Eurobet review)
3) Interwetten = 60% (see our Interwetten review)

So get in there and choose your first couple of bookies (it's always recomemnded to try at least 2-3 in order to compare what's best) and see how you find them with a small deposit.

Then you can continue on with your favourites - or come back and check the reviews in more detail - as you'll probably have a much better idea of what you're looking for in a bookie.

Good luck with your punting.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A small profit

Tuesday's crackers went 3-1, with Inter Milan (1-0), PSV Eindhoven (2-0), and Liverpool (3-0) all winning - but Bayern Munich were held to a 0-0 draw with Sporting Lisbon.

Overall 80 points were staked and and 96.8 units returnd for a profit of +16.8 which is a yield of +21%.

I'll have the Wednesday Crackers out soon.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Crackers for the Champions League

The Christmas Cracker went 4-2 on the weekend so the bank had a small rise to 107.5 units.

We'll continue our search for profits on Tuesday night in the Champions League and so we have four more bets for Tuesday - using a total of 80 units.

31-Oct PSV Eindhoven v Galatasaray
... Take PSV for 20.00 at 1.50 odds at Ladbrokes

31-Oct Liverpool v Bordeaux
... Take Liverpool 20.00 at 1.42 odds at Eurobet

31-Oct Bayern Munich v Sporting Lisbon
... Take Bayern Munich for 20.00 at 1.44 odds at Bet365

31-Oct Spartak Moscow v Inter Milan
... Take Inter Milan for 20.00 at 1.92 odds at Canbet

I'm hoping that this combination of singles should add more cash to our total.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Christmas Cracker Begins

So the Christmas Cracker betting scheme started yesterday on the forum - as attempt to take a small amount of disposable cash and increase it five-fold by the end of November so that you can have a good Xmas.

Saturday went well with four wins :
- Lens to beat Auxerre ... 1.97 @ Mansion Exchange
- Bayern Munich to beat Frankfurt ... 1.30 @ SportingOdds
- Liverpool to beat Aston Villa ... 1.63 @ Mansion Exchange
- Bordeaux to beat Sedan ... 1.60 @ Globet

And a value bet that went horribly wrong :
- Bolton +1/2 AH to not lose to ManYoo ... 2.00 @ Bet365

And today we're waiting on Lazio to complete the weekend's punts :
- Lazio to beat Reggina ... 1.73 @ Bet365

So we should see a profit yield from Weekend One - and I'll probably continue the scheme in midweek in the Champions League as there do look to be a few good value plays.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sat 28th Oct : English Premier League

So the sheet is out for the wekeend (on the forum) and all the rankings and trends cause a bit of a problem with the picks for this week.

NEWCASTLE to beat Charlton
Newcastle 1012 (but -112 H) are in massive decline to Charlton 708 (-8 A) and so although that 1.85 looks good now - it might only be described as "fair value" at best.

Perhaps Newcastle's 3-0 win over Pompey in the midweek carling Cup will help confidence - and it is "only" Charlton that hey are facing who have lost all four away from home.

I'll stick with the pick for a home win.

LIVERPOOL to beat Aston Villa
Liverpool 1213 (+20 H) face a tough Villa side 881 (+44 A) that's proviing hard to beat - indeed no-one has managed to do it yet.

Liverpool beat Reading 4-3 in midweek (too many goals conceded) and have an upcoming Champions Leauge game too - so will probably be all changed again.

Still Liverpool do very well at home (despite punters jibes) going 15-3-1 last season and 3-1-0 this season and that 109% value is tempting.

Again - I'll probably stick with the bet.

ARSENAL to beat Everton
There's nothing wrong with Arsenal's form 1215 (+0 H) as they're going exactly to sheet level and have won their last two home games 3-0, as well as thumping Reading 4-0 last week.

Everton (890 +55A) though are doing very well and are proably playing like a 950-1000 point side. If that was the case then the Gooners drop to 57%-58% likely to win (making the 1.45 price just 84% value) and a tough one to recommend.

It's not a great bet on the home side then (unless your a Gooner) and they almost turn into LAY territory if you think that Wenger might be tempted to rest players with CSKA Moscow due up on Wednesday.

As a result I have no recommendation on this game.

Sheffield Utd v Chelsea
The sheet says Chelsea are awful value at a price of just 1.35 and are only 58% likely to win.

Trends have Sheff.U (-12H) and Chelsea (+54A) so if you made corresponding changes to the ratings then the winning likeihood probably jumps to around 69% making odds of 1.35 value at 94% (or thereabouts) for Chelsea.

Bascially if you move quickly and get that price then a bet on Chelsea is OK - if the price drops avoid it ... or perhaps even try the LAY bet.


Gl with whatever you're trying this Saturday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

US Poker Players Welcome At Doyles Room

With all the changes going on in the gambling scene in the US recently it's good to see one of the biggest names in the poker world making a stand ... Doyle Brunson.

"Doyle's Room" - the self titled trademark of Doyle Brunson's poker site - as recently issued a couple of press releases re-iterating that they WILL NOT be banning American players from their site.

We picked them up and republished them (see the link above) and it appears that this has been noticed by some of the bigger poker sites out there with posting this blog about it.

If you're looking for a good place to play - then why not support the "poker legend" Doyle Brunson as he makes his stand against stupid senators who seek to ban online poker - unless they can make a buck out of it.

Visit Doyle Brunson's site here

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Where is the Wednesday Wager?

Well - I have had a look and there seem to be a lot of trappy games around UK and Europe this Wednesday evening.

Nothing really appeals in the Carling Cup - although I suspect that Blackburn v Chelsea will be the pick of the games to watch.

Chelsea will feild a strong side - and this competition really is Blackburn's best chance of Silverware - so they'll give it a go too.

Both Fiorentina and Atalanta seem to have major injury worries - I'll nip off and do some research on that - while neither Inter Milan nor AS Roma appeal at prices of less than 1.30.

Bayern Munich are home to Kaiserslautern in the Cup - that'll be on TV here - and looks like a banker - but again at just 1.22 it's hardly a tasty play.


So I can't really find anything for you - although Cruiser has posted three Serie A games on the main site worth consideration.

And Fred Done from BetFred has his Carling Cup views and prices onsite too.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Carling Cup Choices

There is plenty of action in England on Tuesday night - but it's all in the Carling Cup which has a reputation for understrength line-ups and shock results. Team line-ups are frequently not known until just before kick off and you end up having to take a punt based on rumour an innuendo.

With that said - I can see plenty of visitors looking for previews - so here is what I think MIGHT happen - but please keep all stakes small.

These Carling Cup ties are not the most attractive betting opportunities that you'll find all season.

Arsenal to win at West Brom @ 1.80+ (Main preview)
The young Arsenal side that Arsene Wenger likes to field do surprisingly well in the Carling Cup - often making it through to the semi-final stage.

Prices started at a laughable 1.60 - but have risen to 1.80 and you might be able to get 2.00 around kickoff time which would be worth chasing.

Chesterfield to hold West Ham AH +3/4 @ 1.95+ (Main preview)
I'm not sure that Chesterfield can win (although that's a very big 6.00 price at Mansion Exchange but I do think that they can make it uncomfortable for West Ham.

West Hanm will probably edge the tie - but mayneed extra time or even penalties in order to do it.

I will take the underdogs but want the draw on my side so take the +3/4 goal handicap that also gives you half your money back if they lose by only one goal.

Henry favoured in European Player of the Year Vote

Henry Leads The Way In Race For The "Ballon d'Or"

Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry is the 6/4 favourite with for the 2006 European Player of the Year Award. French magazine France Football awards the "Ballon d'Or" for the best European Footballer of the calendar year.

Italian players feature strongly in the betting after their heroics in Germany during this year's World Cup. Fabio Cannavaro is priced at 100/30, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon at 20/1 and Andrea Pirlo at 25/1.

See site for more.

Monday, October 23, 2006


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has indicated that he will not be buying in the January transfer window.

The Gunners are now emerging as genuine contenders for the title after a stuttering start to the season, with Sunday's 4-0 win at Reading the fifth successive Premiership victory for the North London side.

Wenger has seen Chelsea and Manchester United outspend him regularly in recent seasons but insists he will not even be looking for a bargain when the transfer window reopens in just over two months' time.

The Gunners have been linked with France World Cup star Franck Ribery but if the midfielder is to pull on a red and white shirt in the future it will not be this season, according to his fellow countryman.

He said: "We have a squad and we will not buy in January. We will keep with the squad until the end of the season. In January we will jump over the transfer window."

The Frenchman expects two of his injured players, Lauren and Abou Diaby, to be back in action by then anyway with summer signing Julio Baptista now only a couple of weeks away from a return.

The Sheet - England Profits

Regular readers will know all about "The Sheet" which is a complicated prediction Spreadsheet that is posted on the main forum every weekend.

It contains data from 9 and a bit seasons now - including match odds- and tries to produce statistical outputs of the "most likely" results. It's these numbers that make up the result percentage numbers in my English match previews each week.

This week the sheet had five likely results and successfully went 4-1 with only Charlton letting the sweep down when they drew 0-0 at home to Watford :
Charlton 59% @ 2.00
Chelsea 80% @ 1.29
Everton 56% @ 1.65
Man Utd 58% @ 1.95
Tottenham 56% @ 1.80

(qualification is 55%+ expectation at home, or 50% expectation away)

A 10pt bet on each would have returned a +17pt profit for a yield of just over 33% which is better than a slap in the face with a wet fish.

The Sheet also suggests potential value bets and "value hunters" may taken five different bets this weekend :
Wigan @ 2.35 won 4-0
Blackburn @ 2.40 lost 0-1
Reading @ 6.50 lost 0-4
Man United @ 1.95 won 2-0
Middlesbro @ 2.50 won 1-0

(qualification for this system is value rating of 105% and at least 30% winning chance)

Overall the value bets went 3-2 and again a 10pt bet on each would have returned +18pts for 36% yield.

So a profit this week for the sheet on both EPL systems - backing up well from the 7-1 midweek pick rate in the UEFA Champions League and hopefully it helped you into a bit of cash.

Catch you next week.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A good start to Sunday

A good start to Sunday ... as the perrenial losers NZ Knights were outclassed again - this time losing 2-4 away to Adelaide in the Australian A-League.

The Knights have turned into a bit of a banker team on the forum and it's still pretty easy money made by simply blind betting on their opponents to win - as that is the Knights seventh straight loss.

In truth it was a bit of a surprise to see the Knights actually manage to score twice - as they'd only managed one goal in thier first eight games ...

Still - it's an easy bet that still manages to pay out @ 1.25

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Easy Enough In England

We've got just a five match program this Saturday in the English Premier League, but it's still easy enough to find a reasonable bet in the top flight.

Everton host Sheffield United, and although the Blades have avoided defeat in their last two games - this one still has the look of a home win about it - even if the top price of 1.65 is a little means.

And Chelsea should have few problems in getting past Portsmouth at the Bridge - Chelsea are 22-2-0 in their last 24 home league games - and although Pompey soent a bit during the off-season and had a good start - it's is hard to see past the home win at 1.30.

Then to complete the treble why not take Charlton (2.00) to beat Watford at the Valley? I know the Charlton are bottom of the league but they've had a tough, tough fixture list and this game against the Hornets who are also struggling should be an easier task.

A treble bet should pay somewhere between 4.00 to 4.30 if your bookei is any good - and it looks to me like having a fair chance of winning too.

Good luck in whatever you take today.

Bremen in the Bundesliga

I'm looking to take Werder Bremen in the big Bundesliga clash against Bayern Munich tonight.

Werder Bremen are scoring well right now - winning their last league game 6-0 over Bochum, and also beating Levski Sofia 2-0 in the Champions League in midweek.

While Bayern Munich are without doybt the most successful club in Germany - they still struggle away from home - and have not won more than 50% of their away games in any of the past 5 seasons.

You can get a tasty price of 2.50 on Werder Bremen - mainly because you're opposing the uber-club in Germany - and I think that's worth a shot.


Oh I'll also take Hertha Berlin to beat Monchengladbach too ... but you should have already seen my more detailed preview of that game on the main site ...

Gl to all punters.

Hurricane Relief?

I see that Google has decided to put the Hurricane relief fund ad at the top of this blog - and that seems pretty apt for me.

New Zealand may be a lot of things to different people ;
- 60 million sheep,
- a South Pacific island haven,
- the location for the Lord of the Rings films,
- and the home of the mighty All Blacks

But if you live in Wellington during Springtime (September and October) then you'll know that the only bloody consistant thing is the gale force North-Westerly winds that hammer the place for two months solid.

It does your head-in as it's almost constant for the whole time - banging against the houses that perch on top of the hills - and basically making it awful to go outside at all - it could make you go potty.

Take my advice ... if you're coming to New Zealand for a holiday then try February through to April when the weather settles down and this f*cking wind goes away ....

Running with the Russians

Just a quick one to start the Saturday bets as our Lativan Forum regular Jason has provided use with a preview in the Saturn Ramenskoe v Rostov game in the Russian 1st Division.

The raw statistics might suggest a close game with Saturn 4-5-1 at home this season and Rostov having won their last four games in a row.

But our man actually gets to watch this stuff and says that Saturn have dominated the recent head-to-head games, and should be favoured to grab the home win here.
(click link above for full preview)

PICK : SATURN @ 1.90.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bundesliga Derby Bet

Friday night has a local derby in the German Bundesliga as Borussia Dortmund host VfL Bochum.

Dortmund have won this fixture on each of the last four occasions, and Bochum are coming off a 0-6 home thrashing by Werder Bremen last weekend.

All all seems to add up to a solid home win for Dortmund and the price of 1.50 (1/2) on offer at several bookies seems more than fair.

THE PICK : Dortmund to win.
THE PRICE : 1.50 @ PaddyPower, SportingOdds, BetDirect and Interwetten.

Get the full preview at my Bundesliga Football page.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

UEFA Cup - Oppose weakened sides ?

AS I alluded to in the earlier post - it's hard work trying to find out good team news ...

But it appears that two Italian sides Parma and Palermo are both going to field inexperienced teams in this round and concentrate on their upcoming Serie A games on the weekend.

You can catch the Odense v Parma preview on the main site and that price of 2.30 (13/10) at Interwetten looks good enough to me.

And according to reports the Palermo coach will also make many team changes for this cup game - with the only certain starters beintg keeper Fontana, Barzagli and Pisano - and only because they are suspended in Serie A this coming weekend.

Opponents Frankfurt remain unbeaten in the German league, but have drawn six games and just one win after 7 rounds. Frankfurt did impress in the previous round of this UEFA Cup, outclassing Danish side Brondby 4-0 at home and then drawing 2-2 in Denmark.

The best price for Frankfurt is 2.40 (7/5) at Mansion Exchange and Betfair Exchange

These two games are worth a "tiny bets" only (don't go mad) - and only because I've spent the last hour trying to find some value plays tonight.

Frankfurt @ 2.40
OB Odense @ 2.30

We need one winner to make a profit.

... and yes I know I should not be listening to "missing players" gossip .. but that's the UEFA cup right ?

"Pulling teeth" in the UEFA cup

After a very successful last couple of days in the Champions League (where the spreadsheet went an impressive 7-1) it's back to the UEFA Cup and a relative paucity of information.

The trouble with betting on the UEFA Cup is that it seems to be a lot less highly prized in Europe - than in the UK - and with the games being played on a Thursday night it tends to put a lot of teams under pressure to field less than full strength sides.

We also have the situation of a half-baked group stage, where 3 of the 5 teams from each group will progress, so there isn't the incentive to go out an win the opening game, rather teams are seeking to avoid defeat.

All this combines to make finding a good bet rather like "pulling teeth" ...

To illustrate the point - take a look at the UEFA Cup previews over at BookieLabRat and they've had a look at the games for all 4 British sides - before deciding on a draw in each of them !!

But we've been fortunate enough to source a couple of good betting ideas from local punters on the forum - with Jhon and Jez both providing some good ideas - so check out our own UEFA preview page for some picks.

I'll be back later if I can find anything that I'll be wagering my own cash on.