English Premier League –
Everton vs Manchester City
Manchester City -1.5 @ 1.78
We’ve got a title challenge!
Not exactly what Pep and his side were hoping for, but it’s going to be Liverpool that will look to push the Champions through until GW38.
Life with Frank Lampard at the helm very much started better than it’s going at the moment – three losses on the spin and just two points outside the relegation zone, it’s looking grim for the Evertonians.
While Manchester City aren’t in their best form in the league (we say this as they have earned 10 points of their last 15, low on their standards), they’ll know that it’s well and truly time to put the foot down.
You know Pep will be putting his players under immense pressure come this weekend.
This one could be ugly for Everton.
Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – Winner (incl. Overtime) – Sacramento Kings @ 2.60
The NBA All-Star break is often seen as a marker point in the season; players get judged on their performance before and after this mid-season week off, teams start to push for playoff spots or rest their better players in the hopes of a higher draft pick.
Both the Nuggets and the Kings fit into the “push for playoffs” territory in my opinion – with the Nuggets sitting 6th in the West and looking for home court advantage in the playoffs, and the Kings hoping to push for a play-in spot after acquiring for 2-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis at the trade deadline.
It’s rumoured that Sacramento’s owner forced this trade to get a proven player to help push for a playoff run – their first in 16 years.
An impatient owner and fanbase has the Kings staff desperate for a playoff appearance rather than another high draft pick.
With this in mind and the respective home and away records of the teams (Denver just above .500 on the road with Sacramento just below .500 at home) and the Kings looking somewhat rejuvenated since their blockbuster trade, we’ll take them at the generous price of 2.60 at home to defeat a Denver team that is so reliant on Nikola Jokic.
FC Augsburg vs Borussia Dortmund – 1×2 & Both Teams to Score – Dortmund & Yes @ 3.05
It’s a tough time to be a Hertha Berlin fan.
Stuck in another relegation fight, without a win since December 18 and well behind fierce rivals Union Berlin.
Dortmund have been a tough team to gauge over the couple of months. Big wins against Frankfurt, Hoffenheim, Union Berlin and Mochengladbach leave them in the title race.
But poor results against Leverkusen, Hertha Berlin and Rangers in the Europa League could come back to haunt them.
The reverse fixture in Scotland this week could see their European run come to an end, trailing 4-2 and likely to be without star Norwegian striker, Erling Haaland.
The wonderkid could be back in action in the league however, against 16th placed Augsburg. Marco Rose’s side have won their last two league outings and very convincingly so.
Marco Reus scored four goals in those two fixtures and at 32 years old, still has plenty to offer going forward for
Augsburg on the other hand, have lost their last two league fixtures and sit in the relegation playoff position.
Only one point behind Hertha Berlin in 15th, you would think even at home, they will struggle to get any result from this one.
They will be desperate for a result, so don’t expect them to sit back to battle it out for a draw.
Something else that will weigh heavily on this fixture is Dortmund’s impressive recent record against the hosts.
Four of the last five contests have gone their way, with three of those four wins seeing this market get up.
Factor that in, plus the recent goal-scoring exploits of both sides, this seems too good of a price to pass up.
English Premier League –
West Ham vs Wolverhampton Wanderers – 1×2 & Total
West Ham & Under 3.5 @ 2.55
West Ham may have stuttered in their last couple of games with two late draws, but we’ll back them in to bounce back against a Wolverhampton team, whilst in form might be tested on such a short turnaround time between key matches.
With an unlikely tilt at Champions League qualification on the line (currently 5th spot), West Ham won’t be short of motivation.
Given Wolves are proving to be a difficult team to breakdown, might be safe to assume we won’t see too many goals.
English Premier League –
Crystal Palace Vs Burnley
1×2 Draw @ 3.50
Operation ‘get us out of the mess we’ve got ourselves in’ has started in earnest at Burnley, who’ve won the last two after previously having won one all season.
They’ve only actually lost to Liverpool in the last five, and that by only a single goal.
Wout Weghorst looks an upgrade on Chris Wood, and with Maxwel Cornet back from the AFCON they look like they will have the tools to dig themselves out of trouble.
Next up they travel to Crystal Palace who have struggled recently.
The 4-1 thumping of Watford the last time out was their first win in seven matches and despite having plenty of attacking options (Zaha, Eze, Olise to name but a few) having a twenty goals a season man is something they continue to miss, with Benteke and Edouard not proving to be particularly prolific.
These two have drawn the second highest number of matches this season with eleven (Brighton having drawn twelve) and with Burnley being the away team expect Sean Dyche to go to Selhurst Park and be happy to grind out a point.
English Premier League – Leeds United vs Tottenham Hotspur – 1×2 Tottenham Hotspur @ 1.91
Spurs visit Eland Road after a beating from lowly Burnley, which so happens drag Leeds further into the mire.
But that is not an easy trip to make.
Afterwards, in the post-match press-conference, Conte seemed to be double-bluffing the players by saying the board will have to look at his position – a strange move, but could this put a rocket up the squads rear-ends?
This tip however comes from the form of Leeds rather than Spurs up and down form. After conceding 16 goals in 4 games they’re being dragged into a relegation scrap.
But we all know they will not change, however Conte will.
Can you see an attack led by Kane-Son partnership not piling on the misery for Leeds?
Having struggled at LAN events previously, Gambit looks to have improved significantly with solid performances this tournament, now on a 3 game winning streak convincingly beating NIP and Vitality 2-0 as well as the up and coming Copenhagen Flames 2-1.
Faze has also performed well winning 2-1 against Fnatic, Liquid and Mouz. Despite this, they can be quite inconsistent at times, especially with individual performances.
There is still the uncertainty of Rain playing due to Covid.
Overall, Gambit at 2.90 to take this match 2-0 looks like a great price
A-League – Adelaide United Vs Central Coast Mariners – 1×2 Central Coast @ 3.10
Adelaide United are coming off a thrashing to Macarthur FC last weekend and despite the fact they’ve picked up a couple of wins in their last handful of matches, including an impressive win over title favourites Melbourne City, they’ve been punching above their weight for much of the last two months.
For that reason, and the fact that Central Coast served it up to Melbourne City during the week, this one has upset written all over it.
The Mariners are in good scoring form and if they can put some pressure on Adelaide early, that’s their path to victory in this important clash.
Super Rugby –
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force –
1×2 Melbourne Rebels @ 1.90
Week 2 of the Super Rugby season and we see the Melbourne Rebels return to their home fortress at AAMI Park.
It’s true they don’t come into this with a strong form line, putting up an embarrassing week 1 performance away to the Queensland Reds resulting in a 23 -5 loss.
The Queensland Reds though i believe are a far stronger unit than the team they will be playing this week in the Western Force, and humid, muggy conditions in Queensland didn’t suit Melbourne at all.
Western Force on the other hand, had a 6 point loss away to the Brumbies in round 1, and come into this with a 2nd away game off a short break.
Due to Covid restrictions, this is the first home game in 300 days for the Rebels, and I think they will lift for their home faithful and get their season back on track with a win.
La Liga –
Levante vs Elche
1×2 Elche @ 3.95
Here we go again!
Last week Elche demonstrated in dramatic fashion the passion and grit that has helped them turn their season around.
And it is not only this passion and grit that has helped them get results, their entertaining and direct attacking style of football has proven to be a threat this season to even the toughest of opponents such as Real Madrid, Villareal and Sevilla.
The best thing about Elche is that they have only gotten better as the season has progressed and right now they seem to be on a winning run from which they will aim at continuing this weekend at Levante’s home ground.
Now Levante sits last on the table, with strong signs of possible relegation this year as they have struggled to get results due to injuries, suspended players and overall a lack of squad depth.
However, they have managed to get 2 important results against strong teams Atletico de Madrid and Celta de Vigo.
They certainly don’t want to go down without putting up a fight, but considering Elche’s form and their upcoming fixtures, Levante will most certainly face a fired up Elche ready to take away the 3 points at the hosts home ground.
While the bookies might favour Levante this weekend, just like last week I put my faith and passion on Elche to steal the 3 points and continue running with their winning form. 3 UNITS FOR ELCHE, COME ON!
La Liga –
Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao
Both Teams to Score
Yes @ 1.88
Barcelona have been lifted by a plethora of January signings and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang hit the ground running with a hattrick against Valencia last weekend.
On Sunday, Barca welcome Athletic Club to the Camp Nou and will need to be wary of their opponents, who thumped Real Sociedad 4-0 last time out and have enjoyed impressive cup campaigns this season.
Xavi’s men have still been leaky at the back despite the upturn in form, conceding five goals in their last three league games, and have a tough assignment in the Europa League away to Napoli to contend with before facing Los Leones.
Bilbao are a savvy side, have a number of attacking options and an open game is in store, making the price for both teams to score an enticing one at these odds.
NBA – Memphis v Minnesota – Minnesota +3.5 @ 1.88
It’s always tough on both sides of the All-Star Weekend but we’re going to have a go at this matchup between the Grizzlies at the Wolves.
Without a doubt Memphis were scorching hot coming into the break, dominating on both ends of the court ranking second in the league in points but also backing it up with a league high in blocks and forcing opponents into taking tough shots.
On the flip side of that, we’ve got a Timberwolves side that is producing subpar numbers but we know how explosive they can be from game to game, led by the likes of Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.
We’re going to ride these two and co. here covering the spread in six of the last nine.
A-League – Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix – 1×2 Wellington @ 3
Life under interim manager Mark Rudan hasn’t started quite as the Wanderers would have hoped with the former Western United boss yet to turn results around.
Four losses out of five with Rudan in the dugout isn’t pretty reading for the red and black faithful who are desperate for a return to the clubs glory days back in the early days of its existence.
Wellington on the other hand are a team in form and are breathing down the neck of the teams in the top six.
Undefeated in six matches including wins against table toppers Western United and Macarthur, the Nix are hot despite yet another season of being unable to play home games in their own country due to Covid restrictions.
The Wanderers head into this Sunday fixture fresh off a mid-week loss against Newcastle on the road which will no doubt be another blow to their already low confidence.
A win for Wellington will see them climb into the finals series places and the form they are in, the 3.00 on offer looks tremendous value.
Dota2 – Team Aster vs Invictus Gaming – Total Maps Over 2.5 @1.91
Team Aster comes out as the favourite at 1.76 which is understandable since they’ve taken the last two series against Invictus Gaming.
The match odds being this even just screams a third map for me.
Plus, when teams of equivalent skills have more matches with each other, the higher the chances of getting a third map become as evidenced by the last matches of Team Aster and RNG who had four matches in a span of one month and 3/4 went over 2.5.