Football

Melbourne to lead us to Victory?

6 fold – Melbourne Victory, Newcastle, Oxford Utd, Celtic, Juventus and Bayern @ 5.34/1 with William Hill

Melbourne Victory

The Victory have recently bounced back from 3 losses at the end of January, gaining 7 points in 3 games, which started against their Melbourne rivals, Melbourne City. In their last 15, Victory are joint table toppers, with Sydney, after collecting 32 points in that period. In contrast, Adelaide only managed 13 points in the same time period, and have only managed 3 points (all of which were draws) in their 9 games away from home all season.

Bayern Munich

Bayern currently sit top of the Bundesliga, 5 points clear of RedBull Leipzig. They are the in form team in the Bundesliga at the moment, only dropping 4 points from 10 games. They play a Hamburg side who sit 1 place, and 1 point, out of the relegation zone, and who have only managed to pick up 8 points away from home this season (11 games).

Newcastle

Newcastle come off a 2-0 victory against Aston Villa that sent them top of the Championship. Their home form has been impressive, only dropping 8 points in their last 15, and I fully expect that run to continue against a Bristol City side that haven’t won away in the league since September. Their leakiness in defence, conceding 21 goals in 10 games (2nd most in the Championship), should be exposed by the wealth of attacking options available to Rafa Benitez.

Oxford

Oxford are the riskiest team to be put in the acca tomorrow, but I am confident of them securing a victory over a Chesterfield side who seem to know their relegation fate. They have only lost 2 of their last 11, winning the rest, and have only dropped 3 points out of the last possible 21 on their travels. In contrast, Chesterfield have only managed to pick up the odd victory all season, their last of which came against another struggling side in Coventry, 7 games ago. Even though I think this is the match that would, if any would, let the acca down, the price is slightly too big, and should be taken.

Celtic

Do I even need to explain my reasoning for Celtic? Only dropping 2 points all season (25 games) they will play Hamilton who have only managed 21 points from 25 games, and sit 11th, of 12, in the SPL. Yeah, if this loses I may just give up on betting on everything until Cheltenham, not just the horses!

Juventus 

Juventus have won their last 8 in a row, form which has put them 7 points clear at the top of Serie A. They play at home tomorrow, a place which has served them well this season, managing to pick up every single point. They face an Empoli side who sit 17th, but are a clear 8 points above the team below them. I can only see this fixture going one way.

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Football

Seagulls to shit all over Ipswich?

4-fold – Brighton, Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and Colchester all to win @ 5.74/1 with Betfair

Brighton

Brighton currently sit 2nd in the championship, and if they win tomorrow have a chance of going top (if they better Newcastle’s result). They’ve won their last 7 at home, not losing since Reading beat them back in September. Tomorrow they are playing an Ipswich side that are heavily reliant on their young striker on loan from Manchester United, Tom Lawrence, who has scored 3 in their last 4. Ipswich have only managed 1 other goal in those games, but with a solid defence Brighton should be able to keep the youngster out.

Sheffield Wednesday 

Sheffield Wednesday are in the acca for the exact same reason as they were in our treble last Friday. They have done well recently, even though the results alone don’t look like it when you see them out of context. In their last 6, they have won 3, drawn 1 and lost 2, however, when you realise the 2 losses have been a narrow 2-1 loss to Brighton, and to Middlesbrough in the cup, they haven’t done that bad. Wednesday are also on a good run of form at home as well, picking up 25 out of the last possible 33 points at home. Whereas Blackburn have the 3rd worst away record in the league, only managing 9 points from 14 games.

Millwall

Millwall has always been known to be a difficult place to go, and this year it has been no different, with both Bournemouth and Watford finding out in the FA cup. They are unbeaten in 5 at home, and with Port Vale’s away form this run should easily be extended. Port Vale have only managed 8 points from 14 games away this season, and a change of manager hasn’t made much of a difference. They have only managed to pick up 1 win since the change, and that was against fellow strugglers Chesterfield 1-0 at home.

Colchester

Colchester seem to have turned a corner since their 2-1 loss to Yeovil in mid November, losing only 1 in 12 and that was to a in form Exeter side. They’ve won 5 on the bounce at home, and go into tomorrow’s match full of confidence. In contrast, Crawley haven’t won in 4, and have only managed 1 win in 14 away from home. Having only picked up 12 points on their travels all season (16 games), they have the worst away record in League 2. As everybody knows in League 2 anybody can beat anybody, but this looks as nailed on as I’ve seen in a while.

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Football

Saturday 11th February – Football Tips

Saturday 11/2/17
6 fold – TNS, Brighton, Derby, Leeds, Luton and Monaco all to win @ 12.66/1 (BetVictor)

TNS

TNS are 31 unbeaten, only failing to win once in that run. That game being a 3-3 draw in their last away game, where they conceded a 94th min equaliser. Since then they have won 3 on the bounce, scoring 13, and haven’t conceded. Carmarthen on the other hand are a mid table side, and their form in their last 11 proves this, winning 4, drawing 3 and losing 4.

Brighton

Brighton are currently 2nd in the Championship, and on a superb run of form at home, winning 6 on the bounce. They need to bounce back on from a couple of disappointing results Saturday, after losing to a good Huddersfield side and drawing 3-3 away at Brentford. They will face a Burton side who are in a relegation battle. They have won 3 of their last 12, losing the rest, showing why they are where they are. Also, with the uncertainty around their manager Nigel Clough going to Nottingham Forest to follow in his father’s footsteps, that could provide an unwelcome distraction. 

Derby 

Derby’s home form speaks for itself, winning 7 of their last 10, drawing the rest. The key to Derby’s home record is that they don’t concede many, 4 goals in 10, 2 of which came in the cup against Leicester, and the other 2 coming against a fellow promotion contender in Reading. Tomorrow they play Bristol City, who are struggling, picking 1 point up in their last 10 away from home in the league.

Leeds

Leeds have won 10 of their last 12 at home this season, with only Newcastle able to beat them, and Wigan snatched a draw with a last minute equaliser. Cardiff on the other hand have been a mixed bag this season, and find themselves in a pack of teams stuck between mid table and the relegation zone.

Luton

Luton have done well this season, and find themselves currently sitting in a playoff spot. In recent weeks they have won 4 of their last 5 at home, but the main reason for backing them tomorrow is the poorness of their opposition, Crawley. They have only managed 12 points away from home all season (15 games), the worst in the league. The main problem for this is their inability to find the back of the net, only managing 15 goals away from home, and conceding almost 2 goals a game when on their travels (conceded 29) they should find this very difficult. 

Monaco 

Monaco are the last team to kick off in the acca at 7pm so hopefully it’s still alive at this point. They sit top of Ligue 1, mostly thanks to their home form, only dropping 5 out of a possible 36. However, they have also played well away from home recently, and are unbeaten in 8 in the league. They play against mid table Metz, and I can only see this game going 1 way. Metz have only managed to score 1 goal away in their last 7, losing 6 of those games and 1 drawing the other. 

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Racing

Saturday 11th February – Racing Tips

It’s a really good day’s racing we have in store here, and hopefully we can put the recent bad run behind us. But whilst it’s a good card at Newbury, they’re not great from a betting point of view, so just the one bet for me. 

I’ll start off with the Denman Chase (2.25) and what a little contest we have here with Nigel Twiston-Davies and Colin Tizzard more than happy to let their stars clash, and good on them for doing so. Plenty others would’ve pussied out of giving their horses a test like this before the Gold Cup, so fair play to Tizz and Nige. At the time of writing, Native River is best priced EVS, with Bristol De Mai 5/4. In short, I think the market has this one wrong. Yes, Native River is rated 2lb higher, but I think BDM has a lot in his favour here: flat track, soft ground and the trip (2m 7f 86y) will suit him more than it will Native River. Native River will go from the front and BDM will stalk in behind. Before BDM’s Peter Marsh demolition he’d always tried to make all, but at Haydock he was happy to take a lead, and that ultimately lead to him producing his best performance to date by a country mile, improving by a stone. So I can see Bristol De Mai stalking and pouncing between the last 2 fences, and whilst Native River will be very difficult to pass, I just think BDM will be too quick for him. 

The Game Spirit (3.00) sees probably the 2nd best 2m chaser in training step into open company for the first time before going back into novice company for his walkover in the Arkle. Altior is currently 4/7, with Fox Norton 7/2 and Traffic Fluide 15/2, whilst Dodging Bullets might as well not bother. When I first looked at this race earlier this week I was keen on Fox Norton as a EW bet to nothing at 4/1. However that was before I realised he’s giving Altior 5lb and Traffic Fluide 10lb, and added to the fact he’s not going to he fully fit after sustaining a cut to his leg and hasn’t run since the Shloer in November. So I think the most likely danger to Altior is Traffic Fluide. But he is coming off a lay off of 385 days since finishing 3rd behind Un De Sceaux and Sire De Grugy in the Clarence House, and whilst he goes well fresh, it’s a huge ask. Altior will be scruffy at a few fences, but will have far too much speed for the others to cope and wins going away by 6 lengths. 
Double: Bristol De Mai and Altior @ 2.53/1 with Bet365, SkyBet and William Hill

So the double will be my only bet tomorrow, because whilst there are some otber decent races tomorrow, they just don’t appeal as betting races. High Bridge will probably win the Newbury opener, but do I want to back him at 11/10? No. The Pertemps qualifier is one people aren’t really bothered about winning unless they need to get their mark up, so I don’t particularly like those. Though I would like to see Tobefair carry on his incredible run. The Betfair Hurdle (3.35) I already have my tip up for (Kayf Blanco 40/1 EW for those that missed it on Wednesday). The 4.10 is a messy little race, no EW angle with just the 7 runners, but Lessons In Milan needs to win to have a chance of getting in the National so he may go well. And finally the bumper usually produces a good one, but it’s wide open and nothing appeals at the prices. 

Over to Warwick, and it’s just as difficult. The Mares Hurdle (2.05) is a horrible little race and if forced to pick one I’d probably go for Whizzzey Rascal, but my money will be staying in my pocket there. The Kingmaker (2.40) is just as bad. I started at the top and managed to rule out every single horse in the race, so I can’t be touching that one either. 

For me, the race of the day takes place over the water in Ireland, the Naas bumper (5.00), where 2 horses at the head of the Champion Bumper market in Carter McKay and West Coast Time go head to head. West Coast Time does appeal here actually, as the prices are only the way they are because of the trainers. West Coast Time put in probably the better debut, but I’ll make a decision on backing him in the morning, as the 15/8 should still be around. 

So overall not a great day from a betting perspective, but Sunday looks much better, and Carlingford Lough will win his 3rd Irish Gold Cup too!

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Racing

Friday 10th February – Racing Tips

As usual for this time of year, there’s not too much on midweek, apart from Meydan and the occasional Thursday Irish meeting, but I’ve got one for tomorrow at Kempton. 

4.50 Kempton – Whatswrongwithyou 7/4

This is one I’ve had in the tracker for a couple of weeks, and he won on his second attempt in an Irish point in December. On his debut he was 2nd to Invitation Only and we all know what he’s gone on to do, and despite disappointing behind Death Duty in a Grade 2 at Navan in December, he remains with plenty of potential. So clearly the form of Whatswrongwithyou’s first point is strong. He backed that up after not too far off 2 years off the track at Lingstown back in December. He understandably showed his inexperience early on as he was quite keen, but the strong pace helped and he quickened impressively 2 out and put the race to bed quickly. He won by 10 lengths that day, and that was after being heavily eased so he’s clearly some tool. 

He makes his rules debut tomorrow for his new handler Nicky Henderson. This is a race Nicky Henderson likes to win, having won it in 5 of the last 8 years. 4 of those were with horses making their debut under rules, so the stats are certainly in Whatswrongwithyou’s favour, so I expect him to be able to make a winning debut here. 

Bigger prices were available earlier but I was working, so will just have to make do with the 7/4 currently available with most bookies. 

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Football

Friday 10th February – Football

Treble – Sheffield Wednesday, Doncaster and Napoli all to win at 3.38/1

Sheffield Wednesday 

Sheffield Wednesday have had a mixed last 5, if looking at results out of context, winning 2, drawing 1 and losing 2. However, when you see that the 2 losses have actually been a narrow 2-1 loss to Brighton, and to Middlesbrough in the cup, they haven’t done too badly. Wednesday are also on a good run of form at home as well, picking up 22 out of the last 30 available points. They seem like a safe bet, especially considering they are playing against a Birmingham side who are on a awful run of form, winning 1 of their last 11.

Doncaster 

I’ve seen Doncaster a few times this season, and they have looked like deserved leaders on every single one. Away from home they have picked up 16 of their last 21 available points, only dropping points against a top side in Plymouth, and Mansfield, who have a decent record at home. They are playing Newport tonight, who currently sit bottom of the football league for a good reason; they are awful. I’d be shocked if they are able to get anything here, even though they are 4 unbeaten, all of which came against teams on poor runs of form.

Napoli

Napoli are coming off a superb 7-1 victory against Bologna, and are currently on a purple patch of form, winning 10 of their last 12. Genoa haven’t won since the 15th of December, losing 6 of their last 8 since then. On paper this should be an easy victory, so let’s hope so.

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Racing

Betfair Hurdle – A 40/1 Tip

I’ve decided to bring back the blog on a regular basis. It’s something I enjoy doing, and I think it’s probably the best way to preview a days racing or to give reasons for my bets. Recently I’ve been doing huge threads on Twitter instead of using a blog, which clogs up timelines (and slows my phone down for hours!) so I thought it was time to start the blog again. 

The bet here is Kayf Blanco in the Betfair Hurdle at 40/1 EW. I tweeted on Monday night that I was shocked that he was a 50/1 shot, but decided to wait until closer to the time. Fast forward 48 hours and I had to take the price before it went completely. Followers may have seen I put him up on Twitter earlier at 40/1, with reasoning to follow later on, so here are my angles for backing him!

The key piece of form here is his run at Sandown on 3rd December, where he finished 3rd behind Brain Power and Consul De Thaix. He was receiving 5lb from Brain Power and giving 5lb to Consul De Thaix that day, and both have given the form a huge boost since. They both ran in the Wessex Youth Trust at Ascot 2 weeks later where they again filled the top 2 spots in what was a very competitive race, albeit we could only see very little due to the heavy fog. Brain Power is now rated 162 and is a serious Champion Hurdle contender (although he would be the worst winner in history) and Consul De Thaix is up to 140. Kayf Blanco runs off 136 on Saturday, so is weighted to comfortably reverse form with Consul De Thaix. Yes, Consul De Thaix is an unlikely runner, but with Consul De Thaix having been priced up at 5/1 before news filtered through that he probably isn’t going to run, there is no way Kayf Blanco should have been 40/1. And now he isn’t. He’s 28/1 in one place only (Betway). And I still think he’s overpriced. I’d have him as a 14-16/1 shot, so if you’re not on, I’d still recommend backing him now. 

Some may be put off by the fact he has finished 4th at Exeter since that run at Sandown, and on face value was disappointing. However, he was severely impeded by a faller in front of him 3 out and was quite badly kicked, which required stitches. I’m more than willing to forgive him that run as it’s a big ask to recover from an incident like that. Incidentally, the horse that fell in front of him, Lord Of The Island won at Sandown last weekend and the winner has won again, so the form of that race looks ok from what we’ve seen so far. His trainer Graeme McPherson has reported that “he’s over that now and seems to be in good order at home.” 

Some may argue that after having 22 runs under rules he’s starting to become exposed, but McPherson says he’s always viewed him as a low-140s horse, so if he’s right he’s still got half a stone or so in hand. And experience is never a disadvantage in these competitive big field handicaps. 

Hopefully the heavens will open a bit, and with the frost covers down the ground should be a bit tacky, which will suit him, so everything is in place for a big effort. The price implies he’s still a longshot, but I think he’s more than capable of outrunning his price so fingers crossed he can at least make the frame. 

Of the others in the race, I think Clyne is probably the most likely winner, being 5lb well in for his cracking run behind The New One at Haydock, so I can’t see him being too far away. 
Selection: Kayf Blanco 40/1 EW

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