Saturday 31 October 2009

Weekly Round-Up

It's been a busy week, lowlighted by a record Premium Charge deduction on Wednesday, but what can you do? It seems churlish to gripe about it, but that doesn't seem to stop me.

Anyway, the NBA season is underway and once again greedy people are backing teams at low prices with still far too much time left in the game. On opening night, Cleveland were 1.53 favourites to beat Boston, raced out to an early 10 point lead, hit 1.2 and then went on to lose. The next day Golden State (1.41) had a 10 point half-time lead against Houston and were also trading at 1.2. The second half started with two Houston 3-pointers and the lead was down to 4. Golden State went on to lose. Charlotte (1.91) traded at 1.01 yesterday against New York, before they finally won in double-overtime. I think it's fair to say that 1.01 was not a value back.

The World Series continues to offer value with people happy to back the Yankees at short prices. 1.54 on game one, which they proceeded to lose 1-6. They did win game 2, and for game 3 late tonight, they are a more reasonable 1.9, but on the road against a decent pitcher this is not a value back. Both games were unders and tonight's game should continue that trend.

Rugby Union last night gave me a nice winner. My ratings had Wellington as value at 1.41 against Southland and obliged. Wellington easily beat Southland 32-13 five weeks ago, and repeated with a 34-21 win early this morning. They might find the final against Canterbury a little tougher though!

And finally to football. I mentioned a month ago that at the start of the season, I divided the Premier League into four groups:

A. Big 4 (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United)
B. Europa (Aston Villa, Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur)
C. Middlers (Blackburn, Bolton Wanderers, Fulham, Sunderland, West Ham, Wigan)
D. Strugglers (Birmingham City, Burnley, Hull City, Portsmouth, Stoke City, Wolves)

My theory was that intra-group games would provide more draws and lower-scoring games than inter-group games. After today we have 21 such games played, and the results are promising. To a £1 level stake, backing the draw would have you exactly £10 ahead, and backing the Unders would have you up £5.82. Not a single team has scored more than 2 goals in any of these fixtures, and only three matches have been Overs AND not a draw. Next week's games to watch for are Chelsea v Manchester United, Hull City v Stoke City and Wigan Athetic v Fulham.

In the Championship today, the 100% record of away win predictions continued with Swansea 1/2 goal favourites to win at Scunthorpe. They won 2-0.

One other observation is how there can be value in the immediate aftermath of a goal. Today I was looking at the Bolton Wanderers v Chelsea 3.5 goals market as Chelsea went 3-0 up after 81 mins. There was suddenly £4,332 to back at 1.66. As it happened, this was a winning lay for someone, but if you have the intestinal fortitude to ride out a couple of minutes, you could have laid off at 1.41 just two and a half minutes later. That seems a value bet to me.

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