Australian Open Women’s Singles –
Kaia Kanepi vs Maddison Inglis
Correct Score: 2-0 – 1.75
The old and the new collide on Melbourne Park on the first Saturday of the tournament, with a young Australian in Maddsion Inglis hoping to steal the eyes of a nation to make it to her second week of a Grand Slam for the first time ever, in the same tournament that she had won her first Grand Slam match ever!
Up until the start of this tournament, Inglis had only won $500,000 in prize money from five tour wins. At 24 years old, a venture into the second week of a slam would truly be something.
Kaia Kanepi on the other hand is 36, has won over 500 matches on the tour, been as high as number 15 in the world, and has reached Grand Slam quarter finals on nine occasions.
But, she has never been to the second week of the Australian Open.
She’ll have no better chance to do so now than against a youngster in Inglis, who defeated Grand Slam finalist Leylah Fernandez in Round 1, but does not have the experience and class of Kanepi.
The Estonian is coming off two strong wins against Angie Kerber and Marie Bouzkova, both in straight sets, with this on paper being a rather stress-free task in comparison.
I expect the power off the Kanepi racket being too much for Inglis, who will need to serve exceptionally well to win this match.
Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers – Handicap (incl. Overtime) – Green Bay Packers -5 @ 1.92
The Packers take on the 49ers at home after a week of rest in this playoff matchup.
There’s a few key aspects of that sentence; Packers at home (they’re 8-0 in games at Lambeau Field this year) and week of rest (critical after the longest regular season in NFL history).
Both of the above aspects are enough to justify tipping Green Bay here, but there’s another key component not mentioned yet; the likely MVP in Aaron Rodgers.
He’s guided this team to a 13-4 record, equal best in the NFL, whilst putting together a fantastic season personally.
He’s on the quest for another Super Bowl before he retires – with the support of a raucous crowd in Green Bay, we just don’t see him failing.
Compare this to the 49ers, who snuck into the playoffs in the last week of the regular season and won their wildcard matchup over Dallas in a gritty, tough battle.
With an extra week of pain and punishment on their bodies and an unconvincing run into this matchup, there’s a bit pointing towards a Green Bay victory.
English Premier League – Leeds United vs Newcastle United – 1×2 & Both Teams to Score – Leeds & Yes @ 3.35
Leeds have had a mini resurgence of late, following two heavy defeats to Manchester City and Arsenal.
A comprehensive 3-1 win against Burnley was followed by a 3-2 win away to West Ham and now, they return to Elland Road to host a Newcastle side who have managed one win across all competitions all season.
New signings Kieran Trippier and former Leeds boy Chris Wood should help the Magpies in the long run, but there is still a lot to be fixed at St. James Park.
Eddie Howe has his work cut out for him and despite being 15th in the league, Leeds aren’t going to make things any easier.
One thing both sides have in common is the ability to score. Both average over a goal per match, but that’s not the most damning stat.
Leeds have not kept a clean sheet in their last seven matches, whilst Newcastle have not done so in their last six.
Factor in some of the injuries to both sides, which are mostly to defensive-minded players, on paper, goals should be flying in on Saturday.
Take into account the form of both these sides and you’ve got a decent price for Leeds to take the points at home.
A-League – Wellington Phoenix vs Western United – Highest Scoring Half – 2nd Half @ 2
Wellington will fancy themselves at home, on the back some good form in the FFA Cup, but they’re still rooted to the bottom of the ladder of the domestic competition, and without Gary Hooper they appear toothless up front.
Western United will look to get going again after a three week Covid-interrupted break. For their impressive form this season so far, they too have scored just five times from six games.
I can see the start of the match being quite tepid, with neither team playing regular football in the last month. If there is goals in it, expect them to come later.
Australian Open Men’s Single
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia Vs Matteo Berrettini
Winner Berrettini @ 2.36
It’s a battle of the big hitters on Rod Laver as the exciting teenager Carlos Alcaraz meets seventh seed Matteo Berrettini in the third round of the Australian Open.
This will be their second meeting in the last three months, with Alcaraz edging out Berrettini in the QF’s of ATP Vienna last October in a deciding set Tie-Break.
Alcaraz has also had a very easy start to life in the Aussie Open, breezing past Alejandro Tabilo and Dusan Lajovic in the first couple of rounds.
Berrettini despite having a stomach bug at the start of the tournament which he’s since shaken off, has also had a routine passage through, beating Americans Brandon Nakashima and Stefan Kozlov in four sets each.
All this has left the bookies making Alcaraz the favourite for this match.
While it’s it’s easy to make a case for Alcaraz, this seems a very tight one to call, with Berrettini having much more experience at Grand Slam level.
His serve is up there with the best on tour, and at 2.36 I think this is just a little bit of value. I’m going for Berrettini to sneak through here in what should be a competitive hard hitting affair.
Australian Open Men’s Single
– Daniel Evans v Felix Auger-Aliassime –
Over 40.5 @ 2.03
Both players start to 2022 have been great.
World No.7, Aliassime, led Canada to victory in the ATP Cup, beating Bautista Agut in the final.
Dan Evans (World No.24) didn’t drop a set in the same comp (but knocked out because of the team format).
He then followed that up by not losing a set until knocked out by eventual champion, Karatsev, at ATP Sydney.
Felix did not play a follow-up tournament after the ATP Cup and this could have left him out of knick, going four sets vs Ruusuvuori (world no.90) and five vs Davidovich Fokina (world no.50), both easily clearing the 40.5 line.
However digging deeper and Felix has form for taking five-setters deep.
In the 18 grand slam matches he’s played since the start of 2021, subtracting 2 involving retirements, 10 have cleared this 40.5 line.
A genuine looking pick ’em match, you can see this being a very tight affair, with big chances going 5, but you expect both to win a set at some point.
NFL – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Los Angeles Rams – Handicap Rams +3 @ 1.88
With both teams coming into this week off solid wins, this matchup will be an interesting one to watch.
The Rams came out with heaps of energy against the Cardinals having terrific coverage against quarterback Kyler Murray.
However, despite missing their top two running backs, the Bucs were still able to score a decisive victory against the Eagles.
Rams are currently 2-0 against a Brady led Buccaneers squad, looking for them to take the win here but taking the handicap in what could be a close game.
Dota2 Perfect World DPC 2021
Team Aster vs Royal Never Give Up – Correct Score (In Maps) 2:0
There’s a strong case for Team Aster to sweep the series 2 to 0 against Royal Never Give Up. Don’t get me wrong, Royal Never Give Up is still performing decently.
The team consists of previous 2018 PSG.LGD members with TI experience, however, they are clearly not on the level of the current PSG.LGD.
RNG lost 0-2 to PSG.LGD and even lost to LBZS who currently sits fifth in the standings. Meanwhile, Team Aster has only lost to PSG.LGD in a close series which went to the third map.
After that loss they have swept everyone else with a 2-0 scoreline. Why go against the trend when it’s showing no signs of stopping?
The Cincinatti Bengals have been a bit of a feel good story this season, winning their first playoff game in 31 years last week, and I am backing them to continue their good form this week against the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans come into this match as the No.1 seed in the AFC Conference after finishing the season 12-5, and this was done with their star player, running back Derrick Henry, missing half the season after going down in Round 8.
He returns this week, further strengthening the Titans team. Whether he can have the same level of impact he had before going down injured remains to be seen.
The Titans while being the No.1 seed, in my opinion had a fairly easy draw this season, being in one of the easiest divisions, and have been far from impressive.
In the last eight games of the season the only game they won by more than three was vs. the 3-14 Jaguars, who had the worst record in the entire league this year.
The Bengals on the other hand finished 10-7 in one of the toughest divisions in the league, and I think they can continue on from last week, and if not win, at least cover this handicap.
English Premier League – Everton vs Aston Villa – 1×2
Aston Villa @ 2.70
Stevie G has revolutionised the Villa with an attacking and flowing style of football that allows them to create plenty of chances game in game out.
This has seen them achieve decent results against top teams this season and with the introduction of Coutinho in the mix, they can only get better.
Everton on the other side have had a rocky season with lots of bumps along the road.
They have yet to show some sort of brilliance in their play and being far away from anywhere near the top or middle of the table, I doubt they have the confidence and motivation to reinvent themselves against a fiery Aston Villa.
Although playing away, you can see Aston Villa have great energy throughout their squad and will be sure to put it all against a struggling Everton, likely securing the win.