Australian Open Men’s Singles – Dan Evans vs David Goffin – Correct Score: 3-0 @ 2.65
As far as riveting first round matches go, well, this could be the definition!
Former top ten player and former Grand Slam Quarter Finalist David Goffin faces off against Daniel Evans, who, after a strong 2021, is really coming into his own.
Evans has started off 2022 in hot form, not dropping a set in his five matches so far which has included wins over Jan-Lennard Struff, Denis Shapovalov and John Isner.
Goffin on the other hand, whilst having two wins this year, has only played five matches since the US open, and has most recently lost to Andy Murray just yesterday where he had to retire hurt.
Goffin’s last win in 2021 came all the way in May in the clay courts of Rome, with Evans also leading the Belgian 2-0 in the h2h.
An in form Evans versus an out of form injured Goffin may see a 3-0 result, despite the fact they are probably a lot closer when both at their best. Take the 2.65 on offer.
Cincinatti Bengals vs. Las Vegas Raiders – Handicap (incl. Overtime) Cincinatti Bengals -5.5 @ 1.93
The Bengals have shocked the world and won a division that next to nobody predicted them to win at the beginning of the season.
Joe Burrow has come back from a horrific injury last year to lead this team over the Ravens, Browns and Steelers to the AFC North title.
More importantly, he now has a chance to give the people of Cincinnati their first playoff win since 1991.
In their quest to end this lengthy drought, they’ll host the Las Vegas Raiders in the playoff opener this Sunday.
The Raiders have gone through a lot of internal turmoil this season, somehow managing to snag a wildcard spot in the AFC despite very inconsistent play year round.
They’re a poor team defensively, giving up 25.8 points per game to their opposition (7th worst) – this poses an issue against Burrow’s Bengals, who are the 7th ranked offense in the league.
Burrow and his top receiver Ja’Marr Chase are a true spectacle to watch in full flight.
With the Bengals high-powered offense getting a chance to play at home in front of a crowd that will no doubt be rowdier than all others at the prospect of a playoff victory for the first time in thirty years, we just don’t fancy the inconsistent Raiders showing up at their best.
English Premier League – Liverpool vs Brentford – Both Teams to Score Yes @ 2.02
In recent weeks, the Reds, although one of the sturdiest sides in the land, haven’t held a clean sheet in all competitions for a month now.
Since the 1-0 win at home against Aston Villa, they have conceded 10 goals in six games. Their form in this time has been decent (only one loss) but it now seems teams have found a way to penetrate Jurgen Klopp’s back four.
They host a Brentford side on Sunday afternoon who have been very up and down, with wins against Aston Villa and Watford weighed down by poor results against Brighton and Southampton.
One constant of their season though has been their ability to find the net.
Averaging just over a goal a game, they have scored at least one in their last three and all of their attacking options look likely to be available this weekend, a rare luxury at this time of the season.
Liverpool are not quite as lucky, with both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on international duty at AFCON, plus Divock Origi is still considered unlikely with a lingering knee injury.
However, they still have plenty of options going forward that include Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino, who should all get a start in the absence of the aforementioned Salah and Mane (and despite their midweek League Cup clash against Arsenal).
Given how these two sides play and their recent deficiencies at the back, we’ll take them both to find the net in this one, for what looks like a decent price.
Serie A – Atalanta vs Inter Milan – 1×2 Inter Milan @ 2.33
Biggest game of Serie A this weekend. Atalanta are eight points behind league leaders Inter Milan, and need a result here if they’re any chance to have a shot at the Scudetto.
Both teams heading into this with some momentum. Atalanta are coming off two comfortable wins, including a 6-2 rout of Udinese last week.
Inter Milan however, have strung together seven league wins in a row, and conceded just one goal in that time.
Atalanta play a free flowing style, but for all their praise for their attacking flair, Inter Milan have actually scored more goals this season.
Atalanta’s home record isn’t fantastic either (two wins in their previous eight matches at home), and still aren’t convincing against other top teams.
So will go with the title defenders here, but this promises to be an exciting game.
English Premier League – West Ham Vs Leeds – Handicap West Ham -1 @ 2.60
Leeds travel to West Ham for the second weekend in a row after the two sides met each other in the FA Cup 3rd Round last weekend.
West Ham ran out comfortable 2-0 winners in that one, with a depleted Leeds team not causing them too many problems over the 90 minutes.
The Hammers then followed that up with a midweek 2-0 win at home to relegation fodder Norwich, with in form Jarrod Bowen getting both goals.
It’s difficult to see much else than a repeat of last weekend here. Leeds potentially have 12 members of the first team squad out, including no recognised fit strikers after youngster Sam Greenwood (who made his debut last weekend) joined Bamford, Gelhardt, Roberts and Rodrigo on the injury table.
Although West Ham are missing Kurt Zouma at the back they still have a very strong side to pick from going forwards, with Lanzini coming back into the side and looking dangerous to add to Bowen and Antonio.
Leeds backline will be missing Strujik, Llorente and Cooper, with 18 year old Leo Hjelde (who also made his debut last weekend) likely to start again.
Only Norwich have conceded more goals away from home all season, and considering last weekends result between these two and the players Leeds will have available, I expect David Moyes side to bag at least a couple at the London Stadium this weekend.
English Premier League –
Tottenham v Arsenal – 1×2 Tottenham @ 2.45
The North London Derby this weekend could have a significant bearing on the chase for the Champions League places on offer in the Premier League this season. Both sides come in to this with some strong league form behind them, Tottenham unbeaten in the league since Antonio Conte took over and Arsenal winning four of their last five, scoring fifteen goals in that run and putting in an outstanding display in their defeat to Manchester City.However, The Gunners put in a turgid display away to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup before seeing Granit Xhaka sent off against Liverpool in midweek, and his loss is exacerbated by Thomas Partey being away with Ghana currently. Added to that there are doubts over Emile Smith-Rowe, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Martin Odegaard and while Tottenham will be missing the superb Son Heung-Min, Harry Kane looks to have got his appetite back and Lucas Moura has been terrific since Conte’s arrival.Arsenal performed resolutely at Anfield on Thursday but playing for 70 minutes with ten men will have taken a lot out of them and it remains to be seen if there will be any additions to their significant list of absentees. Tottenham on the other hand have a relatively clean bill of health, are at home and know that with two games in hand on their fierce rivals they have a good chance to put some daylight on them and continue their revival under their Italian mastermind coach.
English Premier League – Everton FC – Leicester City FC – Double Chance & Both Teams to Score Draw/Leicester City FC & Yes @ 2.33
BTTS – Everton have scored 8 and conceded 12 in their last 5, Leicester have scored 13 and conceded 13 in their last 5.
Everton are currently missing arguably their best DEF, Yarry Mina and Leicester have Jonny Evans, Pereira and Soyuncu likely to be missing. I’ll be impressed if either keep a clean sheet.
Even with their woes at the back you have to fancy Leicester to get something on Merseyside.
Their makeshift defence kept Liverpool at bay for a 1-0 win last weekend, although a Schmeichel penalty save helped.
With Everton continuing to go get dragged into the relegation scrap, they’re highly unlikely to go more than 1 goal up in the currently intense atmosphere in Goodison Park, who are not happy with Benitez, his tactics and how the club is being run…
NFL – Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers – 1×2 Cowboys @ 1.61
With the 49ers winning in overtime against the Rams from a 17 point deficit, the rivalry continues on Jan 16th when these two teams face off at Cowboy’s home stadium in Arlington.
Looking at past stats, the Cowboys have a 4-1 advantage over the 49ers in the past five matchups between these two squads.
Despite Deebo Samuel and Elijah Mitchell having a combined 437 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns in the past two weeks, they will be up against a Cowboy’s defence that leads the NFL with 34 takeaways. Expecting a Cowboy’s win here.
Tundra Esports vs Team Tickles – Total Maps Over 2.5 @ 1.99
Team Tickles now stand in 2nd place in the round robin stage and I can’t believe they’re still being underestimated by pricing them 2.65 (as of writing) to win against Tundra who is only sitting at 4th place.
Considering the fact that both teams have very similar results against the teams they both went against, this match might be more even as the odds suggest and I believe this could be a closely contested one which is why I’d rather go with the over 2.5.
Cricket – Australia vs England – 1st Innings Khawaja, Usman Over 27.5 @ 1.85
The 5th & final Ashes test has been moved from Perth to Hobart, due to the extremely strict Covid restrictions in place in Perth.
The series has already been decided with Australia coming into the 5th test holding a 3-0 lead.
Australian batsman, Usman Khawaja returned to the team in the last test, after a 3 year hiatus, and after scoring 100’s in each of the 2 innings he has held his spot.
I believe the over 27.5 line for his 1st innings score is of value here.
With England struggling big time, and Khawaja coming into this test full of confidence and form, I am backing him to bring his good scores from Sydney over to Hobart as well here.