English Premier League –
Brighton vs Liverpool
Liverpool -1.5 – 2.31
After successfully tipping against Brighton last week, we’re going in again!
Four losses on the spin, Brighton are on the slide, now down to 13th. Luckily for them, you would think they are too far in front of the relegation zone to be in much danger.
They of course, are not going to be playing in Europe either next season, so their strong start to the season now sees them not playing for an awful lot, unfortunately.
They come up against the form team in the league, a team who I genuinely believe will win the league, in Liverpool.
In order to win the league, they can’t afford to drop points.
Despite losing mid-week to an Inter Milan side who were pretty unlucky to lose over two legs, you can’t see them losing here.
Expect an emphatic response.
Serie A – AC Milan vs FC Empoli – 1×2 & Total – AC Milan & Under 3.5 @ 2.10
Under Stefano Pioli, AC Milan’s dreams of a first league title in eleven long years is well and truly real.
Top of the table after a massive win away against fellow title contenders Napoli,
are in the box seat with ten games to go.
An early elimination from the Champions League back in December could come as a blessing in disguise, with only Coppa Italia fixtures to come outside of the league, giving them a strong run to the end of the season.
Mid-table Empoli are up next, who after a great start to the season, are without a win since December 15.
The first contest between these two sides this season ended 4-2 to Milan, but we’ve gone for the unders in this one due to Empoli’s extremely poor record away from home of late, as well as the fact that seven of Milan’s last nine matches have been under 3.5 goals.
One goal in Empoli’s last four away matches in the league, combined with Milan’s recent record against them as well (three wins in their last five in all competitions), we’ll back the hosts to continue their charge for the title and extend their unbeaten run to nine.
Serie A –
ACF Fiorentina vs Bologna
1×2 ACF Fiorentina @ $1.65
Fiorentina are still eyeing off coveted European competition spots on the ladder, and while they’ve had a couple of hiccups of late, will see this home game against Bologna as a must win match. Fiorentina haven’t lost to Bologna in the Serie A in their last 15 matches – quite a stat.
No injury concerns for the home team – unlike Bologna who will be missing Arnautovic – and Krzysztof Piatek is still in fine scoring form with 6 goals from 8 matches. Scoring goals hasn’t been an issue for Fiorentina, so might come down to their defensive steel.
Hard to see Fiorentina dropping this one.
English Premier League –
Everton Vs Wolves – 1×2 – Wolves @ 3.30
Wolves were being touted as top 4 dark horses a few weeks ago after winning six out of eight games between mid-December and the back end of February.
Three defeats in a row, two of which were against fellow top four hopefuls Arsenal and West Ham look to have put paid to those hopes.
However, at the time of writing they’ve arrested the slide, stuffing likely relegation candidates Watford 4-0.
They next travel to Everton, themselves in trouble after a pretty terrible season all ends up.
Frank Lampard (the 3-0 hammering of Leeds aside) has lost every game he’s managed so far, including a heavy 5-0 defeat to Spurs in their last game.
Although their home form is better than the away, they’ve still only won two games at home since last September and with Wolves looking a tough team to beat for sides outside the top six it’s a bit baffling how Everton are considered the favourites here.
Backing Wolves at this price looks the play.
English Championship – Blackpool v Swansea City – 1×2 Blackpool @ 2.34
The Tangerines host the Swans on the Lancashire coast in what will be a cold and very wet Saturday afternoon.
And there is probably no better time to do so.
Blackpool have won four of their last five at home and five in their last seven, their two losses against high-flying Bournemouth and a better-than-average Middlesbrough team.
This form has catapulted them into very outside chance at a Playoff run, so all to play for.
Swansea arrive after a 5-1 drubbing at home against the runaway leaders and champions elect, Fulham.
Fulham have done this to plenty of sides already this season, but what is notable for Swansea was Ryan Manning, their fourth red card since the start of 2022.
This indiscipline and awful form outside of Wales that has seen them not win in six, scoring only two goals (both of them come against a free-falling West Brom) means their season is looking over.
ESL Pro League – Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Mousesports- Winner Ninjas in Pyjamas @ 1.73
Despite Mousesports’ impressive 2-0 win against G2 this tournament, their recent form has been relatively mixed, losing against Entropiq and Nip just before this.
On the other hand, Nip have been relatively decent taking wins against Entropiq and Fnatic in 2-0 fashion.
H2H’s between Nip and Mouz are also quite telling, with Nip having 11 wins while Mouz are only at 6. Taking the Danes in this one at 1.73 seems like a solid play.
UFC Vegas 50
Marlon Moraes vs Song Yadong – Moraes to win @ $2.90
Marlon Moraes may be riding a three fight skid but he has fought the divisions elite in recent times.
After almost putting Merab Dvalishvili out in the first round last time he was finished in the second. Prior to that he was beaten by Corey Sandhagen and Rob Font.
Compare that to Yadong who lost to Kyler Phillips last time and defeated Casey Kennedy before that. Respectable no doubt but Moraes has the class in this one.
We could easily be tempted in to taking Moraes by decision here but rather than shoot the lights out, we’ll take it anyway, anyhow with the underdog in the co-main event this weekend.
BAFTA – Best Film
Belfast @ 3
The British film academy’s night of nights takes place this Sunday, and I think there is some value to be had in the betting markets here, with Belfast currently $3.00 to take out the best film category.
I think it should be much closer odds to the $1.57 favourite, ‘The Power of the Dog’.
While TPofD has been lauded in certain film critic circles, I think ‘Belfast’, a fantastic movie in it’s own right (far better of the two in my opinion), has a big edge in the fact it will resonate greatly with the British jury deciding on the winner, due to it being an entirely UK film, with UK director & cast, as well as being set in Belfast.
I think this gives the film better than a $3 chance.
La Liga – Rayo vs Sevilla – 1×2 – Sevilla @ 2.30
Sevilla have had a stellar season so far. It has been a long time since we had seen a Sevilla with this much energy and quality all around.
Although they’ve had some upsets lately, they have still shown great signs and have performed well enough to maintain their position.
Rayo however, have declined in form and have struggled in recent weeks. And even though they’re playing at home this week, Sevilla will be chasing those 3 points with everything they’ve got.
English Premier League –
Arsenal v Liverpool
1×2 Liverpool @ 1.85
Two of the most in-form sides in the Premier League meet at Emirates Stadium in a crucial game in the outcome for the title and Champions League positions.
At the time of writing Arsenal have won eight of their last ten league games while visitors Liverpool haven’t dropped a point since a draw at Chelsea on 3rd January.
This game is The Reds’ game in hand on leaders Man City and they know that a win is imperative if they are to regain the title from Pep Guardiola’s side.
Arsenal, and particularly Mikel Arteta, deserve huge credit for where they find themselves at this stage, in pole position for the top four, but their run of four wins have all just been by a single goal against opponents at a far lower level than Liverpool, they conceded in each of the last three games and have a wretched recent record in this fixture, their only win coming in 2020 after The Reds had already won the title.
Liverpool came to the Emirates in the League Cup Semi Final in January without Sadio Mane and Mo Salah and came away with a comfortable 2-0 win, have only conceded one goal in their last five EPL games, a massively deflected Milot Rashica effort against Norwich and have no major injury concerns.
This is a real pressure test for Liverpool but they’ve stood up in the face of these many times in the last few years and knowing their title dreams rest on victory here, they should be backed to keep them alive with victory over the Gunners at a very attractive price.
ATP Indian Wells
Ivashka, Ilya vs Struff, Jan-Lennard
Total Games Under 21.5 @2.20
This week we turn to a big serving first round matchup in California between Ivashka and Struff.
Both players are currently in their midst of their own struggles, Ivashka 2 from his last 5 and Struff unable to record a victory over the same span.. so we turn to their H2H records to help us out with this one.
Struff leads the tie 2-1 though Ivashka does hold the most recent victory. Interestingly enough, all 3 matches have ended 2-0 as well has the last 6 of Ivashka’s wins. Going in as the favourite, that’s the side we’ll lean hoping that Ivashka can take the match 2-0 but we’ll also cover if Struff breaks out of his slump and continues the H2H trend.
NRL – Brisbane Broncos v South Sydney Rabbitohs – Asian Handicap Brisbane 8.5 @ 2.07 2 units
The premier Rugby League competition in the world, Australasia’s National Rugby League returns this weekend for what promises to be an intriguing season 2022.
We saw plenty of big names move clubs in the off season, as well as the announcement of a new club for 2023 in the Dolphins.
The biggest move of the off season was Adam Renoylds leaving his childhood club South Sydney to take up a lucrative contract with the Brisbane Broncos.
While both of those teams will face off in the opening round, Renoylds won’t be there after contracting COVID in the last week.
After two lean years at the foot of the table, Brisbane are looking to bounce back this season and have made some very astute signings.
Reynolds is still one of the elite playmakers in the game and will make a huge difference in the halves, while the addition of forwards Kurt Capewell and Ryan James will add some much needed grunt in their pack.
All three signings bring a wealth of experience to a team that has been crying out for leadership in recent seasons.
Beaten Grand Finalists in 2021, it’s a very different looking Souths outfit this season with Reynolds leaving and Wayne Bennett departing as head coach.
Rookie Lachlan Ilias will take over the 7 jersey while Jason Demetriou is now the boss after being Bennett’s right hand man for some time.
On top of that, South Sydney will also be without superstar fullback Latrell Mitchell as he still serves a suspension picked up last year.
While Renoylds is a huge loss for Brisbane, we still fancy their chances of giving it to the Bunnies at home.
A new number 7, Bennett gone and no Latrell leaves South vulnerable, particularly on the road to a Brisbane outfit eager to make a statement in 2022.
NBA – Houston Rockets vs Dallas Mavericks – Houston Rockets Total (Incl. Overtime) – Over 106.5 @ 1.84
Yes I know, why back the overs for currently one of the worst two teams in the NBA.
Let’s review their most recent home games shall we? In the match against the Lakers, they ended up with the W on a 139-130 OT win where they scored 120 in regulation time.
They scored 123 against the Grizzlies where they also got the win.
Lost to Utah where they scored 127 after OT but they did score 117 in regulation.
Maybe worthwhile to mention 2/3 of these teams are above 0.500 too.
Dallas does have a decent defensive rating and they allow 104 pts on average when they’re the away team but given Houston’s current streak they just might be able to go over 106.5 tomorrow.