Be successful in sports betting

2014 French Open – Murray’s Powers Of Recovery To Be Tested By Verdasco at Roland Garros

The screw is starting to turn in the French Open. The final matches of the fourth round take place today, with Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray taking on Dusan Lajovic and Fernando Verdasco respectively. A place in the last eight is up for grabs.

However, one man whose fate has already been decided is Swiss star Roger Federer. The 32-year-old will not be in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros for the first time since 2004 after his five-set defeat at the hands of Ernests Gulbis on Sunday.
Djokovic in cruise control

Conversely, Novak Djokovic has already sealed his place in the last eight following a bloodless straight sets victory over Jo-Wilfried Songa, setting up a quarter-final clash with Milos Raonic tomorrow.

Djokovic is long odds on to see off the Canadian – 1/9 with Bet365 is the best price available at the time of writing – and also heads the outright tournament betting at a top-priced 11/10 with Betfred, though he’s generally an even-money chance.

The 27-year-old, who has yet to taste victory in the French Open, is clearly in excellent form and is 8/11 with Paddy Power to see off Raonic 3-0 in the sets betting, which is an appealing option as far as odds on shots go.
Nadal nailed-on for further Roland Garros success?

However, he could be displaced as tournament favourite if Nadal comes through his tie with Lajovic. The Spaniard has triumphed at Roland Garros on no less than eight previous occasions, and can be backed at 6/4 with 888sport to enhance that already tremendous record this year.

Nadal is widely expected to brush Lajovic aside – indeed, he’s as short as 1/150 in the match betting and just 1/5 with Paddy Power to prevail in straight sets.

Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is 20/1 with Paddy Power to end his French Open hoodoo this time round. The Scot showed courage aplenty when getting the better of Philipp Kohlschreiber in a thrilling third-round bout which went right to the wire.

Verdasco the victorious?

However, the 27-year-old’s powers of recovery will be fully tested when he clashes with Verdasco who, in contrast to Murray, had a relatively easy time of things in the last round, outpointing Richard Gasquet in straight sets, dropping just eight games in the process.

The Spaniard is a 13/10 chance with BetVictor to get the better of Muzza, who is clear favourite at a standout 4/6 with Stan James. It is poised to be a close call, but from a betting perspective Verdasco makes plenty of appeal given how hard a match Murray had in the last round.

French Open Round 4 betting advice:

Fernando Verdasco to beat Andy Murray – 13/10 (BetVictor)

World Cup dark horses: can Belgium win in Brazil?

Can you name a famous Belgian? After the World Cup the likelihood is that you will be able to name several.

With a squad boasting some of the best young players in Europe and what looks like an easy draw in the group stages, Belgium have been tipped as one of the teams to watch in the later stages of this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

The likes of Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku make the Red Devils a match for anyone and at the time of the draw, in October last year, Belgium were the fifth ranked side in the world after dropping only four points in qualifying.

They have slipped to 12th since then, but after a stellar qualifying tournament and with Man United starlet Adnan Januzaj now in their ranks Belgium will not be daunted by the task at hand.

Players to watch:

Almost too many to mention. They have possibly the best goalkeeper in Europe in Thibaut Courtois of Atletico Madrid, and a decent deputy in Simon Mignolet of Liverpool. At the back are the Man City and Arsenal captains, Vincent Kompany and Thomas Vermaelen, plus Toby Alderweireld of Atletico and Spurs's Jan Vertonghen. In midfield there's Eden Hazard of Chelsea, Man Utd starlet Adnan Januzaj and the much-maligned Marouane Fellaini. Up front is Romelu Lukaku. And that's just the tip of the iceberg for coach Marc Wilmots.

Why they could win it:

This exceptionally talented group of players has untold potential and has not been scarred by failure at previous tournaments – partly because their predecessors didn’t qualify. It is also a squad with strength in depth, with the likes of Nacer Chadli and Moussa Dembele ready to come off the bench.

They have plenty of goodwill on their side. Last year Goal.com noted that it had "become cool and hip to like Belgium". Former World Cup winner, Marcel Desailly, has tipped them to reach the final. "When you talk about Belgium, there is a smile on the face," he told Laureus. "I am sure Belgium will perform and will be the surprise of the World Cup."

Were they to win it, it would be the tournament's biggest shock in 84 years, says Sam Pilger of Bleacher Report. "But don't dismiss it happening."

Why they might not:

Belgium undoubtedly have a 'Golden Generation' on their hands. But things do not always go according to plan... as weary England fans can attest.

Despite remaining unbeaten in qualification Belgium have not overcome many heavyweight opponents. Last year they lost to both Colombia and Japan in friendlies and in March drew with Ivory Coast. "To live up to its new-found box-office billing, Belgium's hip must match the hype," warned Goal.com even before those games.

They are also without Cristian Benteke, ruled out through injury, and that puts a lot of pressure on Romelu Lukaku to deliver. If he fails, do Belgium have a Plan B?

How far can they go:

The Red Devils should win a weak group featuring Algeria, Russia and South Korea. Unfortunately they will then have to play one of the teams from Group B, Germany, Portugal, Ghana or the US. Beyond that, they are likely to encounter Argentina or France, but a place in the last four is not out of the question.

New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings – 2014 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 1 – Betting Preview and Prediction

The New York Rangers’ wait is over. They now have an opponent in the Stanley Cup Finals after seeing the Los Angeles Kings dethrone the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. Will the Rangers take a step closer toward bringing the Cup back to New York for the first time since 1994? Or will the Kings show no signs of fatigue after winning their third Game 7 of the Playoffs, and win Game 1 of the NHL Finals?

For the third-straight time, the Rangers will begin a series away from home. The Rangers are 4-1 in their last five road games, and are looking to steal at least a game in Los Angeles before going back home for Game 3.

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist will be the focal point of the Rangers. Arguably the best goalie in these Playoffs, Lundqvist could be in for another acid test against the hard-charging Los Angeles offense. The Swedish netminder enters the series with an NHL-leading 2.03 GAA and .928 SV% in this postseason, and his ability to shut down any given team’s offense will be a big factor from Game 1 onwards.

On offense, Martin St. Louis will be the man to watch, as the veteran leads the Rangers in these Playoffs with 13 points (six goals and seven assists). However, Rick Nash has broken out of his slump, and that means a more dangerous offense for the Rangers. After scoring zero goals in the first two rounds, the bruising forward came alive in the conference finals against Montreal, scoring three goals and registering two assists in the six-game series.

The Rangers are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

Betting on the Los Angeles Kings

After surviving three Game 7s as the lower-seeded team, the Kings will finally enjoy home-ice advantage and will begin the Stanley Cup Finals at home, where they are 3-1 in their last four games.

When the Kings won the Cup in 2012, they did so as a defense-first team, with Jonathan Quick anchoring the club’s suffocating defense. However, things have changed, and the Kings are returning to the Finals backed by goals.

Los Angeles is the NHL’s top scoring team in these Playoffs, with an average of 3.48 GF/G. The Kings’ top line consisting of Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik, and Dustin Brown has rekindled its lethal touch, scoring five goals in Los Angeles’ last four games. The Kings’ second line, however, is just as dangerous, if not even deadlier. Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter, and Tyler Toffoli produced 11 goals and 10 assists in the series against the Blackhawks.

The bulk of the Kings’ offense has come from the second line, but with the first line starting to pick up its production, Los Angeles will be a better team than it was in the Western Conference Finals, which is saying a lot, considering the Kings were matched against the defending champions in that series.

The over is 6-0 in the Kings’ last six games.

Writer’s Prediction

Henrik Lundqvist is going to be a tough customer in the net, but the Kings (-155) will get to him and the Rangers in Game 1.

Do NBA Betting Systems work?

Pretty much every NBA bettor is looking for a way to win more money. And the common advice is to keep up on injury reports, study in-depth stats, consider key matchups and focus on one or two divisions.

But while all of this is certainly good NBA betting strategy, some people are looking for a shortcut...a way to cut down on the amount of time it takes to make winning picks. And for these bettors, systems are often a very attractive prospect.

Some NBA betting systems involve looking across the league in search of one key aspect. For example, a certain strategy may call on players to only bet on home favorites who are coming off of two straight losses. Other systems can require more complicated mathematics that are supposedly guaranteed to work.

In either case, it's worth looking at a few simple examples of NBA betting strategies, discuss if you should ever pay for a system, and talk about the overall effectiveness of these strategies.

High Totals System

About.com sports betting authority Allen Moody came up with this system, which is quite simple to learn. With High Totals, you need to find non-conference games where the over/under is 220 points or higher; then you bet the over. Sound too good to be true? Well Moody says that this system went 31-18 (63.5%) from 2004-05 to 2008-09.

The Martingale

Widely used in casino games, the Martingale is also used by sports bettors because of its simplicity and perceived success rate. The main idea behind the Martingale is that you're doubling wagers every time you lose. But after each win, you return to the original wager amount.

For example, if you were to bet $11 to win $10 and lose, you'd double your next wager to $22. Assuming you also lose this one, your next bet would be worth $44. If you won the $44 bet, you'd return to the $11 wager with a profit of $7 ($40 - $22 - $11 = $7). In theory, this is a profitable long-term system; however, if you were to go on a lengthy losing streak, it would devastate your bankroll.

Betting Against Favorites after Blowout Wins System

Okay, so there's no pretty name for this system, but it's worth covering nonetheless. You start by searching for home favorites that are favored by 10 points or more in the spread. From here, you look to see if they won their last game by 15 points or more. Assuming the team blew their opponent out by 15 points or more, you bet on the underdog.

According to SportsInsights, home favorites of 10 points or move who are coming off 15-plus point wins are just 110-149 (42.5%) against the spread since 2003. Anybody who would've bet the underdog every time in these situations would have had an excellent 57.5% win rate.

Top Ten Contenders for the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot Top Goal-Scorer Award

10. Daniel Sturridge (England)

We reckon the Liverpool man will finish as England’s top scorer and is the in the form of his life. Expect his goal-dance to see plenty of action.

9. Sergio Aguero (Argentina)

Coming back to full fitness just in time and we can see him getting into gear in Brazil.

8. Diego Costa (Spain)

A man in form and with a point to prove in his native Brazil.

7. Edin Dzeko (Bosnia)

Another striker in a good run of form and with matches against Iran and Nigeria we can see the Man City scoring a few early on.

6. Thomas Muller (Germany)

Can always be counted to score crucial goals and group games against Ghana and the United States could work in his favour.

5. Neymar (Brazil)

Needs to step up and perform in front of millions of fellow Brazilian and we tip him to do just that.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

A season that has seen the Real Madrid man win the Balon d’Or, top the La Liga goal-scoring charts and help his side to the ‘Decima’ may just end with a Golden Boot.

3. Robin Van Persie (Holland)

In good form for the Dutch national team and we rate him a very good bet to score quite a few in Brazil.

2. Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Maybe this is the time Messi leads his side to World Cup glory, in Brazil of all places, expect a bag of goals.

1. Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)

Our bet to finish top scorer is a player who Jose Mourinho doesn’t see worthy of a first team berth. Expect a blistering group stage display with buckets of goal against Algeria and South Korea.

Using betting tools for our success

All involved long enough in sports betting know that the success depends on the information the bettor has. And we're not talking about information about who is injured and which player is in good shape, but we are talking about serious betting analyses covering different betting system and methods.

To develop such betting systems the punter needs to gather and analyze information about past matches which is a hard work if somebody wants to do it manually. Therefore you should use betting tools to do the job and for the bettor to remain solely to make the needed analysis. Of course the analyzing is the most important part of the job.

Where can we find such betting tools? Actually it is not particularly difficult, as on the internet we can find many similar proposals. The punter is only required to carefully evaluate all the different offers and choose those that suit them best for their needs.

Of course most of this betting tools are paid, but for their making is thrown hard labour, which ultimately should not remain unpaid.

You should carefully consider what you need before you buy a betting tool. This means you need to decide exactly for which sport you want information, about which leagues, which betting markets you are going to use, with which bookmakers you will work, etc. When you have that in mind, you will be ready to buy your betting tool and to get from it the most.

Moreover, if you know exactly what you want, you can order your own betting tool that can work only with your ideas. Since the author will be able to sell it in the future, the price won't be much more expensive and it will do for you a great job.

Using betting tools is a step forward for you to be a truly professional punter and to get the desired profit from sports betting.

Betting prediction for the rematch between Real Madrid and Schalke 04

Real Madrid hosts Schalke 04 in a protocol rematch of the 1/8 finals of the UEFA Champions League. After the thunderous victory with 6:1 as a guest, Real is now confident that they will go further in the tournament. I am sure that many people expected a victory for Real Madrid in the first leg, but hardly there was someone who really believed that the victory will come with five goals difference.

Basically to make betting predictions in the second leg matches after such results as the one in the first match is extremely difficult. In such matches the most important becomes the motivation with which the two teams will play the match. Another important factor that must be taken into account is the schedule of the teams and what they fight for in their home league.

Of course, the main goal for Real in Primera is the title. Right now, the team is on the first place, with three points ahead of the second team - Atletico Madrid. However, what is more important is that they are going to play on Sunday not with any other team, but with Barcelona. Of course, this would be a much more important match for Real than the protocol rematch against Schalke.

More than likely, the main of Real's players will be saved in this match, but this opens up new questions for anyone who decides to bet on this match. The players who normally don't play regularly for Real will have their chance in the match against Schalke. This means they would give everything to impress the coaches and will be highly motivated to perform good enough.

This shifts the focus and now the question is whether the second team of Real Madrid is able to beat Schalke 04 at Santiago Bernabeu? The answer is not easy, especially with the odds that the bookmakers offer.

A victory for Real Madrid in this match is estimated at 1.22 by bet365, which is the highest rate that can be found for this match. Bet at home offers 1.15 for Real, while William Hill gives 1.17. Schalke's chances in this match are estimated at 15 by William Hill and Bet365 and on 14 by Bet at home.

Personally, I'd skip this bet, but if you have to play it I would bet for a possible surprise. Hardly any other time I would have so easy match in which to bet at odds of 15 with such chances for success. Schalke 04 is not a team for odds of 15 and this is why my bet in this match will be to back them.

The draws percentages in the big soccer leagues

Do you wonder in which of the major football leagues in the world the percentage of draws is the highest? If so, I've taken care of that and I have gathered all the information you need. A few days ago I started checking which the championship with most draws is as a part of a betting strategy I want to try.

So if you decide to bet on draws in the matches of the championship of the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1, I am pretty sure you should think again. Indeed, the odds offered by the bookmakers and especially by bet365, Bet at Home and William Hill are good, but is this kind of betting profitable when we talk about these leagues?

Here is some data. The average percentage of draws in the matches between the best teams in Spain for the past three seasons is just under 23. This is expected at first glance, at least because of the large difference in the class of the two giants Barcelona and Real Madrid and all the other teams in the championship. Moreover, the group of three - four teams behind Barca and Real is also a class above the other teams in the league.

The situation in the Bundesliga is exactly the same. In the last years it became something quite common Bayern to make a series of 10-15 consecutive wins in the league. Dortmund also is a class above the rest and makes a lot of wins.

Also for these championships is typical the presence of two or three much weaker than the others teams, which also leads as a direct result of a low rate of draws in the matches.

The teams in the other two of the big leagues - the Premier League and Serie A in Italy are much more equal. The percentage of draws in this championship is around 27%.

However, the league in which we can find the most draws among the top five leagues in Europe is Ligue 1 in France. There, almost every third match is a draw.

So if you love betting on draws, your best league among these five is the French Ligue 1. Will you make some money by betting there is another topic?

Sports betting money management

Correct money management is easy to explain. It is almost impossible to adhere to.

There have been about as many 'systems' for varying the bet size as there are systems to beat the craps table. None of them work and all of them do harm by giving false expectations. Double-up systems, star betting, the Kelly Criterion, etc. all have the same thing in common. They adversely affect the cash flow and they raise the breakeven percentage that must be accomplished.

Any time you vary your bet size by the slightest amount, you increase the breakeven percentage of 52.38. If you refigure your percentage after each bet, your breakeven jumps to over 55%. If you have 1 star and 5 star bets or bet twice as much on some plays, you should understand that only the large bets are meaningful to whether you will be a winner. You might as well not bet the smaller ones. In the end, they won't matter.

Some touts say you should increase your bet when you are on a winning streak and decrease it when you are on a losing streak. The key word is 'are'. If you won yesterday, you 'were' on a winning streak. But that was yesterday. If you know you will win today, why not bet it all? If you know you will lose today, you might consider not betting at all.

The problem with bet size is not the streaks, but the breakeven. If you have a 56% advantage on each bet, over 200 games you will win less than 50% about 17% of the time.You will win more than 60% about 17% of the time. Winning 100 and losing 100 with a 5% unit, you will lose 50% of your bankroll to the vigorish. (100 wins times $50 less 100 losses times $55 equals minus $500 on a $1,000 bankroll).You will lower your bet and never get even. I recommend playing no more than 2% of your bankroll. Anything over 2% is unacceptably risky, even for recreational bettors.

The reality is that each person may be trying to accomplish something different. If your goal is to afford entertainment and not go broke, that is entirely different than my goal of making a living. If you bet $100 a game on Monday night football to enjoy the game, it will cost you $5 a week if you can go 50-50. There is nothing wrong with that. It's cheaper than a movie. But that is entertainment expense, not an excellent investment vehicle.

To do sports betting in a serious way, you must treat it as you would any other business. In sports betting, your inventory is your cash. If you run out of cash, you are out of business. The old saying is that you should not use your rent money to bet with. That is true. But if you're betting for a living it is equally true that you must not use your gambling bankroll to pay the rent.

The amazing thing about sports betting is the return on investment (ROI) that is possible. And there is no magic. The return on investment is a function of the winning percentage and the amount that is invested. The amount invested is a function of how many games (investments) are bet and how much is bet on each game. It is the same as any business. How many widgets did you sell and how much did you gross per widget.

In my case, I average between 1,000 and 1,200 plays per year. Let's call it 1,000. My pain tolerance is a 1% unit. I will bet 1.1% of my bankroll on every bet. That means I will bet 1% of my money 1,000 times...1000% of my bankroll....That's 1000% of my bankroll. And again, I will bet 1000% of my bankroll. The same money 10 times in a year. That is why such a return is possible.

Now if I can win 56% of my plays, I will get a return on investment of nearly 100%. I will win 560 bets and lose 440 bets. I will pay a broker fee to the sportsbook of 44 bets. Therefore, I will win 76 units. (76 times 1% equals 76%). I will win $7.60 for every $100 that I bet. I will explain later how I end up with 100%.

A word here on that $7.60. I've seen many people come to town and try to make a living playing sports. Some of them think they can bet $100 a game and do it. Well, think about it. If they play 20 games a week, they will bet $2,000 and, if they are good, make $7.60 times 20=$152. At $200 a game, they can expect $308. That's pretty hard to live on. I think the minimum that must be bet is $500. That's only $760 a week and leaves no room for a bad streak. To bet $500 at 1%, you need $50,000. Like any business, you should continue to invest some of the profits to grow the business.

As soon as you can draw from the business, you should put yourself on a salary. That way you can know what to expect for an income and won't be bothered by the short term vagaries of Lady Luck.

You just need to know the number of bets, the amount per bet, and the win percentage, and you will know what to pay the IRS next year.

After 19 years, I know the number of plays I have each year. I know what my bet size is. And with 1,000 plays, the standard deviation for my win percentage is 2. So I know I will win between 55% and 57%. Sounds rather dull when I put it that way. And I guess it actually is. Bernard Baruch, the great financier, said he always looked for boring businesses. They were well run, without surprises and he knew what to expect.

I know what to expect. One great lesson my brother, JR, pointed out to me was that with a 56% expectation, your bankroll would reach a new high only 5% of the time. Nineteen out of 20 days you will be below your bankroll high. The novice thinks you should have more money each day. I also know that with a 56% win rate and 100 bets a month, I will lose money every 9th month. Good money management is aided by knowing what to expect.

As a final note on bet size, I should add that I use a plateau system.

I bet 1% of my bank and continue to flat bet until my bank grows by at least 25%. Then I recalculate the 1%. Thus if I started with $10,000, I would bet $100 a game until my bank grows to at least $12,500. At that point, I would refigure my unit to $125. It would stay there until I reached at least $15,625. That way my actual risk reward ratio doesn't get too high. The other thing that I do that is unique and rather arguable is that I never lower my bet. Remember, if you vary the bet, your breakeven goes up. At a 1% unit and 19 year's experience, I'm comfortable that I can ride through a losing streak. If you lose 10 games at $200 a bet and lower the bet to $180, you must win 12.2 bets to get back to even. That is how I get my 100% annual ROI. My actual bet goes up during the year as my bankroll reaches higher plateaus.

Does the Martingale Betting System Payoff?

The Martingale Betting System was developed in 18th century France. It was actually part of a group of betting methods that were classified as “martingale.” Today, Martingale refers to a relatively simple sports betting system that dictates when you win a wager, you bet the same amount on the next wager, but when you lose a bet, you double your next wager.

Some sports gamblers swear by this methodology while sharp sports bettors that understand the math feel that it’s an example of poor money management practices. The fact that this system is still practiced and marketed today says more about the state of a losing gambler’s mind and less about the success or failure of the system. Here’s how it works.

First, it’s important to know that the system is designed for even wagers, which are thought to hit about 50% of the time. A bettor with a bankroll of $500 puts $50 on an early afternoon football game. The bet is lost. Under the Martingale System, the gambler now places $100 on the late afternoon game. If the bet is won, the theory is that the gambler makes back the original loss, plus a $50 profit. Once the bet is won, the bettor goes back to wagering $50 per game until they lose again.

The problem with this system is that it can put a bettor’s bankroll in jeopardy quickly. What if in our example the late afternoon wager is lost too. Now the bettor has to put $200 on the Sunday night contest. If that game is a washout, the gambler’s bankroll has gone from $500 to $150. And with that, the true problem with Martingale comes into focus. There’s only $150 left in the bank, but under Martingale the wager is supposed to be $400. Martingale has all but bankrupt the gambler’s bankroll.

Of course, it’s not as big a dilemma if the original wager was $20, which is a wiser wager if you’ve got a $500 bankroll. Still, even at 20 bucks per pop, using this system the gambler is down $80 after three loses and is due to wager $160 on the Monday night game. If they lose that bet, their bank is down to $260. According to Martingale, the next bet should be $320 and, once again as in the previous example, the money is not there.

What most amateur sports bettors dont understand is how odds work from a mathematical perspective. Did you know that a 50% handicapper will lose 5 games in a row 3% of the time? Eventually the math will catch with the Martingale system and the player will be broke.

Martingale is seen as being a regressive form of wagering where bettors play conservatively when they are on a roll and go for the sky when they are in a tailspin. It’s based on the belief that a string of loses on even odds wagers means that eventually there will be a win to correct the deviation. But this idea that wins and loses even out, which is known as the Gambler’s Fallacy, is illogical for one primary reason—it supposes that our four bets are interrelated, and they are not. Whether one wins or loses the first wager will have no influence on the second and the outcome of the second in no way has any influence on the third outcome. If there is no correlation in the bets the order of wins and losses is controlled by variance, something that no gambler has control over.

The application of any system in sports betting tends to be tenuous. Why? Success in gambling on sporting events is based on solid sports handicapping analysis, expert information and insider insights. A gambler’s ability to utilize all of the information available to them to make the right pick will determine an individual’s rate of success or failure and not some theory regarding odds correction based on probability. If you do practice the Martingale Betting System do so with care.

Should you pay for NBA Betting Systems?

NBA wagering strategies have given rise to an industry within the sports betting world since "experts" are constantly hawking their systems as the best out there. Furthermore, these can't-fail strategies are normally advertised online with clever sales letters and testimonials.

Of course, these systems don't come without a price - and often a steep price at that! So is it worth spending money on an NBA betting system? On average, the answer is "no" because most wagering strategies aren't worth the price being charged for them. In addition to this, many systems don't even result in long-term profits.

However, this isn't to say that every single system is completely worthless. But if you're going to find any NBA strategies, you need to do your research and read reviews before purchasing one.

The Overall Effectiveness of NBA Systems

Many people get interested in systems because they think that these strategies are some sort of get-rich-quick scheme. And if you going into sports betting with that kind of attitude, you're going to end up a long-term loser.

The truth is that no NBA betting system guarantees profits in the long-run; and if one did, everybody would use it and sportsbooks would go out of business. Even systems that are proven winners - like Allen Moody's High Points Total - aren't fool-proof strategies. Instead, they're normally based on small sample sizes like the 31-18 record that Moody boasts of.

It's worth mentioning though that some systems are good for implementing into your overall NBA betting strategy. For example, you could use the High Points Total to find an attractive matchup, then study it further before making a wager. Above all, remember that there's no substitute for hard work and doing your own research.

Why Manchester City, and not Liverpool, will win the Premier League this season

There’s absolutely no shame in losing to the champions – which is what I feel Southampton did at Manchester City.

Manchester City are the obvious candidates to win the Premier League title in my view, not just because they beat Saints 4-1.

They have the best squad of any of the three teams left in the race, and have wonderful strength in depth. World-class players run right through the team; Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero (when fit again).

Liverpool may have the slightly better strike force, but City have the superior midfield for me.

Right across the middle, they have match winners who can turn a game. The likes of Toure, Silva and Samir Nasri have done so on a consistent basis this season. You sense that Liverpool still rely on Steven Gerrard to create chances from deep whilst Philippe Coutinho continues to be fitful at best.

At the back, I feel that Man City are stronger than the Reds too.

This is mostly down to the leadership, strength and colossal defensive ability of Kompany, who makes the whole City defence a solid unit. Pablo Zabaleta is also top-class and Aleksandar Kolarov provides outstanding quality from left-back.

Only Chelsea have a better defensive record this season but that’s assisted by Jose Mourinho’s more cautious approach.

City’s all-round excellence was clear to see against Saints. I was delighted with how we controlled the game in the first half. Despite all the possession though, Manuel Pellegrini’s men defended well and kept us down to few chances.

Then they showed the ruthlessness going forward that cuts teams down in an instant. In full flow, their attacking play is as good as it gets – so they don’t need assistant referees gifting them goals.
The offside that wasn’t given in the build-up to the second goal was an absolute disgrace and one could see it clearly without the need for a replay.

Somehow the linesman didn’t and it summed up the utter incompetence shown by officials this season. Mistakes can be forgiven, but that one was so bad that one wonders how it could have been made.

The third and fourth goals were superb in their simplicity. Two crosses that were fantastic in my view. Saints fans have been critical of Paulo Gazzaniga but credit here must go to the wonderful delivery in both cases.

The real disaster for Saints was the injury to Jay Rodriguez. It was a huge shame to see him in such agony. It’s so cruel for him to have to miss the World Cup as he has deserved to go. No player in the league is as under-rated as Rodriguez, who’s been pivotal to our excellent season.

The rest of the campaign is merely about playing well and not enduring more injuries for Southampton; for City, it’s all about the title.

One day I hope it’s Saints who are challenging for the crown.

Juventus vs. Livorno Preview: Round 32 — The start of something new?

Juventus' first 90 minutes in a post-Napoli loss world looked a lot like the four weeks building up to it. It was a struggle, something that has become all too familiar to us Juventini these days. For better or worse, it's seems as though being completely frustrated is a requirement to watch Juve these days.

What we discovered is that a league loss wasn't the straightaway cure like it was the first time this season. Different kinds of situations, sure, but also the same kind of losses. Bad, bad losses. The only losses we've seen Juventus suffer in Serie A this season.

So much for immediate gratification, huh, folks?

Now with everybody saying the Scudetto race is back on with Roma being five points behind Juventus, a team at the opposite end of the table comes to Turin for a little Monday night football. This Livorno side is far from trying to stave off another team to win the league title. Far from it. When Livorno takes the Juventus Stadium field, they know full well that they need points in the worst possible way.

But in a way, you could say that Juventus is also a desperate team. Desperate in a sense that they want to try and get back to how they were playing a few months ago. Desperate to stop this run of form where they seem to only win by inches with sub-par performance after sub-par performance. Desperate to score more than one goal in a game.

And, probably above all else, desperate to get back to winning in Serie A.

What will it be, fellas? Three points would be cool. So would two or three goals. Oh, and a shutout.

GOOD NEWS

Juventus are at home, in Turin, and will be in front of what will be a sold out crowd. If there's ever a time to maybe get a little extra motivated to try and turn this run of poor form around, it's tomorrow night. The schedule is in their favor with one of Serie A's worst teams coming to Turin and they're going to be home all week. Can't draw it up better than that.

BAD NEWS

I'm just going to steal from the Lyon preview that went live on Wednesday because it still applies to Juventus today. Why? Because not much has changed over the last few days.

If you have watched Juventus lately, you pretty much know things aren't going so hot right now. There are wins and the lead atop Serie A is still pretty comfortable, but the team's actual form has been pretty darn ugly. Winning ugly is one thing, but Napoli pretty reminded us of what we already knew — Juventus isn't playing well at all right now.

The lead atop Serie A is a little smaller than it was a few days ago, but Juventus is still being Juventus right now. And this current version of Juventus we've seen the last four or six weeks, ain't the Juventus we saw the last time Juventus played Livorno.

And just like against Lyon on Thursday, there will be no Arturo Vidal due to a yellow card suspension. Dammit. At least the guy will be well rested for Lyon's visit to Turin later in the week.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

1. Can Juventus snap out of this funk — at least a little bit.

At this point, it seems pretty certain that things aren't going to all be fixed in 90 minutes. As much as we would like that to happen so that Juventus doesn't make us want to pull our hair out, it just doesn't seem realistic at this point. The more realistic thing that might happen is small, baby steps instead of one giant step that involves crushing the opponent. For all the 1-0 wins Juve have had recently, they haven't been pretty. The last time Juve played Livorno, it was towards the start of their unbeaten run, the part where they were blowing right past almost every opponent in Italy. This time, though, things are a little different. And maybe, just maybe, we can get back to the way things used to be.

2. Can Andrea Pirlo get back to being Andrea Pirlo?

I think it's pretty safe to say that the bearded was shut down by Lyon on Thursday night. There were a few moments of Pirlo brilliance, a few perfectly-threaded passes to his teammates, but that's about it. Lyon's man-marking of Pirlo worked almost as well as anybody has accomplished this season. Something else I feel safe in saying: Livorno is not on Lyon's level, just as Lyon is probably not on Napoli's level. And with that, you hope that lesser competition turns out to be the something kick-starts Pirlo

3. If Carlos Tévez plays like he's at full strength.

For one of the few times this season, Juve's No. 10 was rather ineffective before coming off due to an apparent leg injury against Lyon. Even though he did have to come off before the final whistle just a few days ago, Tévez has been included in Juve's 21-man squad by Antonio Conte for tomorrow night's game against Livorno and there's no reason to think he won't be in the starting lineup based on the "No news is good news" theory. You just hope whatever was tweak the other night in France doesn't become a lingering problem.

4. Who will be Tévez's strike partner.

Some places say Fernando Llorente, other places say Dani Osvaldo. The only certainty is that Tévez is starting. The complete uncertainty, at least from the outside looking in, is that predicting who will start alongside Carlitos Neither player stands out when it comes to how they're performing as of late, so there's that. My own gut feeling is that Antonio Conte will probably stick with Llorente and Tevez because that's what Conte does — when in doubt, go with the players that have gotten you to this point. And while I'd like to see somebody else maybe get a shot at showing what they can do these days, my gut just can't stop talking to me. (And it's not because I'm hungry.)

My starting XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini; Isla, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Vucinic, Tevez

Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans Gambling & NBA Handicapping Prediction

The Portland Trail Blazers are struggling, but a matchup against the 26-38 New Orleans Pelicans offers them their most favorable matchup of a brutal five-game road trip.

Portland

For the first time all year, the Portland Trail Blazers have lost four games in a row. That’s a huge testament to how dominant they were early in the year, but it’s also a huge red flag with the playoffs right around the corner.

At this point, the Blazers have gone from fighting for a top-three seed to needing every win to retain any sort of home-court advantage.
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To make matters worse, LaMarcus Aldridge is out for two games and Mo Williams is out for two weeks, leaving doubt in some people’s minds as to whether or not this team will even make the postseason.

Simply put: The chances of this group falling out of the top eight are slim. However, there’s a very real chance that it could get jumped in the standings by the Golden State Warriors, and even the Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies if it’s not careful.

It’s do-or-die time for Rip City, meaning the Blazers must win every winnable game moving forward, including this one Friday night against the Pelicans.

New Orleans

If the New Orleans Pelicans are smart, they’ll swarm Damian Lillard from start to finish.

When LaMarcus Aldridge missed time following the All-Star Break, the point guard picked up his game to a season-high level and completely took over the offense. With Aldridge out again, he’ll look to do the same, making him priority No. 1 for the New Orleans defense.

On offense, look for Anthony Davis to work his magic. Although the big man is clearly known for his defense at this point in his career—he’s averaging a league-best 2.93 blocks per night—he’s becoming a sound offensive player as well.

He’s averaging 20.8 points on 52.3 percent shooting—not to mention 10.2 rebounds with a PER of 26.62—and he should be able to take full advantage of whomever Portland chooses to fill Aldridge’s spot, whether that be Thomas Robinson or Dorell Wright.

The good news for New Orleans is that it has Portland at its lowest point of the season. The bad news is that the Blazers are now desperate, and their first players-only meeting of the year may have been what they needed to turn things around.

Don’t expect this to be an easy win for Portland, but don’t be shocked if the road team comes away with a much-needed victory.

Prediction: Portland 99 – New Orleans 97

Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs betting odds, prediction, trends, preview

Miami is a road underdog again and they are tough in this role. Tony Parker is back and the Spurs are favored on the NBA betting menu Thursday.

Since losing three straight to end the month of January, the San Antonio Spurs are 11-3 SU and 7-7 ATS over their last 14 games including wins in each of their last four games.

The Spurs face a tough challenge at home Thursday night hosting the Miami Heat. San Antonio was an early 2.5-point favorite at home, according to Sports Interaction.

The San Antonio Spurs were hit with a slew of injuries back in January but managed to stay afloat while key players got healthy. Now that the team is back to 100%, the Spurs appear to be rounding into form with a 7-1 SU and 5-3 ATS record over their last eight games.

The offense has been excellent over that stretch averaging 110.5 points per game over the seven wins. With a top 10 offense and defense and a healthy roster, the Spurs should contend with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top spot in the Western Conference over the last 22 games of the regular season.

The Houston Rockets managed to hold LeBron James to just 22 points Tuesday night as the red-hot Miami Heat were finally slowed down in a 106-103 loss. Before the loss, Miami was a perfect 8-0 SU and 7-0-1 ATS in its previous eight games including road upsets over Golden State and Oklahoma City.

James was likely due for an off night after dropping a career high 61 points on Charlotte the night before, but the Spurs should expect him to be back on his game on Thursday.

Since 2011, the Heat are 9-3 SU and 7-5 ATS against the Spurs. With that said, eight of those 12 games have been played in Miami; San Antonio is 4-2 SU and ATS in its last six home games against the Heat.

Both of these elite teams should be comfortable in an offensive showdown Thursday night. The total has gone OVER in eight of San Antonio's last 10 games, each of Miami's last three games, and in five of the last six games between these two rival teams.

Things to avoid when experiencing a losing streak

As any seasoned player knows, gambling at online casinos is a roller coaster ride of emotions from excitement to the euphoria of winning followed by the harsh disappointment of losing and so it continues. The highs are high when you’re winning but the lows can be very low, especially if you happen to encounter a losing streak.

While we all live for the wins, we do need to realize that losses are a part of gambling and everyone inevitably experiences them. The difference however lies in how you handle the losses. Here we look at how to handle losing and streaks and the things that you should avoid doing in order to manage them correctly.

Avoid focusing on recovering past losses

You’ve probably heard it before but never try to chase your losses. This may be easier said than done because it is natural to want to recover the money you’ve lost, especially because it is possible if you do start to win. Keep in mind though that all casinos have a house advantage and that means that at some point you will be on the losing end of it. Instead of obsessing about recouping losses though, focus on good bankroll management and making intelligent, strategic bets.

Do not increase your wagering amounts to win back losses

It is very tempting to chase losses and then increase the size of your bets to do. If you’re already suffering severe losses it will only hurt your bankroll more if you up the stakes and continue to lose. Instead of upping your betting size, decrease your wagering amount until things turn around, that way you can still enjoy playing without worrying about huge losses as this will only take the enjoyment out of your gambling experience.

Don’t play skill games when you’re frustrated

If skill games like blackjack and video poker are your game of choice then you will know that every decision you make has an effect on the house advantage. So you will obviously want to ensure as far as possible that you make the correct strategic game plays with every hand. If you’re experiencing a losing streak it can be very tiring and difficult to keep your head in the game and continue to make sound bets without losing focus and becoming frustrated.

So if you find yourself feeling irritated or frustrated over a losing streak and the tilt factor is taking it’s toll, take a break and if you still want to continue playing, rather change things up a bit and switch to a fun slot or game of roulette. Once you’re feeling better you can return to playing your skill game.

Avoid drawn out gaming sessions

Many players feel that if they stay at an online casino long enough they can recover from any losses they have experienced. While the law of averages agrees that you will inevitably break a losing streak there is no guarantee on when this will happen.

So if you’ve been losing on slots for the last 4 hours, continuing to play for another 3 hours or so is not going to mean that you will win the jackpot. While that can always happen, it is a better idea to stop playing when you feel like doing so instead of forcing yourself to play in an attempt to recoup losses.

Justifying bad decisions with comps

Do not think that you can chase losses, play for extended periods and make irresponsible wagers in an attempt to turn a losing streak around and then justify it all by thinking that you’ll make up for it in comps. No matter how generous a casino is to you, they will only ever comp a portion of your losses (usually 10 to 40 percent) which definitely won’t compensate for the amounts you lose.

Basketball Betting Advice

When people think of basketball they will most commonly think about the NBA but there are also professional basketball leagues in Europe which attract plenty of bets from native punters.

The NBA is the most popular bet for English and American punters though (college basketball also popular in the US) and the NBA season runs from November until June. There are 30 teams from USA and Canada and they are divided into East and West conferences. Each conference is divided into three divisions of five teams and each team will be kept busy with 82 games not including any matches in the playoffs, which are made up of the four best teams from each conference.

Basketball can be one of the most exciting bets for punters who are watching their sport as the action is very much end to end with regular swings in the score.

Types Of Bet

Point Spread

The point spread is a handicap bet on a basketball match and is usually the most popular type of bet to place on a basketball fixture. The idea of the point spread is that the team that is least likely to win is given enough of a head start to make both teams the same odds (so all bets will be a fraction odds on).

The bigger the difference between the two sides the bigger the point spread will be but betting on the point spread requires many of the same considerations in betting on the match outcome. When looking for a value match outcome bet you look for a team that the bookies have underestimated and when looking for a good bet in the point spread you look for a team that has been given a generous handicap for their match by the bookies. It is also worth shopping around with the bookies, the prices will remain the same but the handicaps will differ and you want to find the best handicap for your selection.

Match Outcome

As with all other sports you can simply choose to ignore the point spread and bet on which team you think will win. The problem with this bet for Basketball is that the odds on your favoured bets can be very short (hence why point spreads are usually a more popular bet.

It is always worth having a look at the match outcome odds though as on some occasions you may decide that a bet on the match outcome offers better value than a bet on the point spread.

Total Points

Another very popular bet on basketball matches is a bet on the total points scored during a match. You don’t have to call the exact number of points, simply bet on over or under the points tally suggested by the bookies. The points tally will vary between matches as per the points spread, the bookies select the points tally in order to create equal odds for overs and unders, so you should find you get a shade of odds on whichever outcome you select. Shopping between bookmakers should allow you to pick the best total points outcome selected by the bookmaker for your bet, so if you are planning to bet on overs you want the points offered by the bookie to be lower and if you are betting on unders you want the points offered by the bookie to be higher.

Team To Score First Basket

This is a pretty self explanatory bet on the first of the two teams to score a basket. This bet isn’t a great one for those who are looking for some entertainment in a game as it will be over very early whether it’s a winner or a loser but it can be a good bet if particular teams are very strong or slow starters.

Advice

Make Your Own Point Spreads

One of the best strategies for picking value bets in the point spread is to look at a set of fixtures before you have looked at the bookmaker odds and spreads and to create your own spreads/handicaps that would make the game even in your opinion.

Once you have a list of spreads for the round of fixtures check the bookmaker spreads and whichever ones you disagree on most should offer the best value in your eyes, the more you disagree the better value the bet should be. If your point spreads are the same as the bookies for some matches or very close then those matches are best left along as you have very little edge. As long as you are a decent judge of the sport over the long term you should find this a profitable strategy.

Know As Much As The Bookies

In order to win money by betting on a sport in the long run you need to know at least as much as the bookies as this is particularly important for basketball, especially when it comes to knowing who is playing and who is injured. This will play a large part in how the bookies decide their spreads (if a spread looks too good to be true it probably is) and with basketball teams only made up of five players the dynamic of the team can completely be changed by one missing player, especially if that player is one of the more dominant or talented team members and most likely the point guard.

Norwich City v Spurs, Premier League Betting Preview

Spurs travel to Norwich City for an English Premier League clash on Sunday with maximum points vital for both sides.

Norwich Update

Heading into the weekend Norwich were hovering just above the relegation zone. Home games have generally been low scoring affairs with Norwich scoring 11 goals and conceding the same number from 13 league matches in front of their own supporters. They have won just one of their last 11 league outings, 1-0 at home to Hull but they did hold Manchester City to a 0-0 draw in their most recent home game. However a damaging 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers West Ham last time out keeps the pressure on and there some vital six pointers with the likes of Villa, Stoke and Sunderland on the horizon.

Spurs Update

Spurs were beaten 1-0 at Dnipro in the first leg of their Europa League knockout tie on Thursday but domestically they boast the best away record in the top flight with nine wins from 13 road trips. How much the long journey and energy sapping playing surface in the Ukraine has taken out of the squad will be some concern for Tim Sherwood but he did rest a few key players with a top four finish in the Premier League still very much the priority. Spurs were just three points behind fourth placed Liverpool at the start of the weekend and with six wins and one draw in their last seven Premier League away days, they now bid to complete the double over the Canaries.

Pointers

Norwich have kept six clean sheets in 13 home games but have failed to score in five at Carrow Road.

Spurs have kept five clean sheets away from home and failed to score in three.

The first meeting this season was won 2-0 by Spurs at White Hart Lane with Sigurdsson scoring both goals.

The Verdict

Off the back of a long trip in Europe this might not be the worst time for Norwich to face Spurs and their draw with City here warrants respect. On the other side of the coin this Spurs away record is pretty formidable, especially in recent weeks.

A win is vital to both sides and it could be tight. I'll go with 2-3 goals in total.

Premier League Goalscorers Betting Special: Back Van Persie to continue prolific form

With seven goals in his last nine league games, our tipster's backing Manchester United's red hot striker to feature prominently on Saturday against Crystal Palace

Goals are unlikely to be in short supply in the Premier League on Saturday, as a number of the division’s leading lights take to the field in an action-packed schedule.

The early kick-off brings together a Chelsea side lacking a prolific front man with an Everton team missing leading scorer Romelu Lukaku, currently on loan from their opponents.

The Blues will be hoping leading scorer Eden Hazard can continue to inspire from midfield, with the mercurial Belgian their best bet at 6/4 (2.50) with William Hill to score a seventh in 10 league games.

Meanwhile, Lacina Traore will attempt to fill Lukaku’s boots at the other end and is available at 11/4 (3.75) to follow up his debut goal by hitting the back of the net at Stamford Bridge.

Sergio Aguero’s absence should give Stevan Jovetic another chance to prove his Manchester City credentials after scoring against Chelsea in the FA Cup, and even odds (2.00) could prove great value on him bagging just a second Premier League goal.

Having struck against Liverpool and Manchester United in big games this season, Stoke’s leading scorer Charlie Adam may prove tempting at 8/1 (9.00) to ensure City concede for the 11th away game in 13 this league season.

Likewise, in-form Adam Johnson is definitely worth backing at 7/1 (8.00) to strike a seventh goal in six games when Sunderland travel to the Emirates, where Yaya Sanogo is available at 10/11 ( 1.91) to open his Arsenal account after lively performances against Liverpool and Bayern Munich.

Fulham fans looking forward to Kostas Mitroglou’s long-awaited debut may want to consider 2/1 (3.00) odds on the record signing hitting the net after two goals for the under-21s last week, while Kevin Nolan’s recent goal-scoring exploits make him worth keeping an eye on at 9/4 (3.25) to score his fifth in four games when West Ham take on Southampton.

One man who almost guarantees goals is Robin van Persie, and the Dutchman is not to be missed at 10/11 (1.91) to score an 11th goal in just 15 league starts when Manchester United visit Crystal Palace, where Thomas Ince is available at 11/4 (3.75) to hit a second in two games for the Eagles against his dad’s former club.

Manchester City vs Barcelona – Betting preview

Manchester City

After a couple of seasons of heartache in the Champions League Group Stage, Manchester City managed to follow Bayern Munich through this time around but couldn't have asked for too many tougher Last 16 ties. Facing a team that has been at the pinnacle of European football over the last few years is going to be exciting for Manchester City who remained on course for an unprecedented quadruple with a 2-0 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup Fifth Round on Saturday.

The side are also firmly in contention for the Premier League title and also play in the League Cup Final in England so confidence has to be in a decent place ahead of this game. Manchester City know this is probably the second best team to visit them this season after Bayern Munich who beat City 1-3 here, but they did beat Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow comfortably enough in front of their own fans and Manchester City have lost just 1 of 9 games here in the Champions League in the last two and half seasons.

Manchester City had failed to score in back to back games before the 2-0 win over Chelsea and that also got them back to winning ways at home having lost to the same side in the Premier League a couple of weeks ago. The side are now 18-0-2 at home in all competitions this season although Barcelona are as tough a test as you can face anywhere.

Fernandinho may make his return to the squad for this game, while Sergio Aguero is more doubtful.

Barcelona

Last season may have been a real eye-opening experience for Barcelona and their fans when the team was completely out-classed by Bayern Munich in the Semi Final of the Champions League. There does seem to be a shift in the philosophy of European teams in this competition and I don't think Barcelona are the benchmark any more, although they remain one of the top teams and favourites to win the European Cup.

Like Manchester City, Barcelona are still involved in every competition they have entered this season and remain the favourites to win La Liga despite sharing the lead with Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. The side have got a Copa Del Rey Final to compete in, but they have had a harder time on their travels in the Champions League. Barcelona have won 1 of their last 6 away games in the competition and they have lost half of those games.

Barcelona have only lost 1 of their last 18 games in all competitions and they have won 14 of those games including a morale boosting 6-0 victory against Rayo Vallecano over the weekend. They are unbeaten in their last 8 away games in all competitions, but they have only won 3 and drawn 3 of their last 6 on their travels.

Head to Head

This is the first meeting between Manchester City and Barcelona in a competitive fixture.

Prediction

The winner of this tie will certainly feel the door is going to be open for a deep run in the Champions League simply because of the confidence it would give them to knock out a big rival for the title.

The home leg is going to be key for Manchester City who have been strong here all season and they will know taking a lead to the Nou Camp next month is imperative if they are going to be getting through to the Quarter Finals for the first time. Not having Sergio Aguero to their disposal is a big loss for City and I think that made a huge difference to their approach to recent games, although Manchester City looked a lot better on Saturday in their win over Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Manuel Pellegrini has to show he has learnt lessons from the dismantling at the hands of Bayern Munich, but Manchester City have been tough to play in front of their own fans in this competition and all this season.

I think it won't surprise anyone with the way Barcelona approach the game and they won't sit back and look to soak up pressure, but they do look a team that is vulnerable at the back and will give Manchester City chances. However, I also think the Catalan side can create chances against this City defence and it looks a fascinating game.

When the draw was made, I actually thought Manchester City were going to come through and the whole key to that is taking a lead to the Nou Camp next week. There is no reason to think that Manchester City should be such a big price with the way they have played at home this season, although I do think Aguero is a big miss. If Stevan Jovetic can offer something different up front and Samir Nasri is back to offer more creativity from the start along with David Silva, I believe Manchester City take a narrow lead to the Nou Camp for the second leg.

Sociedad vs Barcelona – Betting preview

Barcelona won 2-0 in the first leg and should be confident for qualification in the Copa del Rey final. But the Blaugrana side always had troubles at Anoeta and did not win on the road against Real Sociedad since 2007.

Real Sociedad is not in the best shape right now … 2 wins and 1 draw in the last 3 matches, no goals scored. Indeed, they played away at Barcelona and Atletico, but they could have done better a few days ago at home when Levante held them to a scoreless draw. But for sure Sociedad is having a good season overall (6th in the league) and was in good form before these 3 bad results. The good news for Sociedad is they lost only 3 matches at home this season in all competitions: against Atletico Madrid, Leverkusen and Shakhtar … and in the last 7 home matches they have 5 wins and 2 draws. Sociedad without Inigo Martinez for this game.

Real Sociedad lineup: Zubikarai – Zaldua, Ansotegi, M. Gonzalez, Jose Angel – Elustondo, Zurutuza – Vela, Griezmann, Xabi Prieto – Agirretxe

Barcelona in pretty good form … won 5 out of last 6 matches, had a great match in the weekend winning 4-1 at strong Sevilla. The catalans alternated great performances with lesser ones but overall they are in very good form this season and some criticism they are getting is totally undeserved … the team is on track in the league, the cup and Champions League. But indeed what changed from last seasons is that Barca is playing more prudent … they can steal beat anybody with 5 goals on any day but they do it less often than in the past. Barca probably without Neymar, Puyol, will also use a little rotation.

FC Barcelona lineup: Pinto – Dani Alves, Mascherano, Bartra, Jordi Alba – Song, Iniesta, Fabregas – Tello, Messi, Pedro

Sociedad looked good in the first leg and now with home court advantage they should make this a close match. Barca’s qualification is pretty safe so I don`t think the visitors will risk more than they need, they will want to play a clever match and avoid potential surprises. Barca has such a tough time at Anoeta, not winning in 7 years, and I don`t think they will suddenly cruise to a big handicap victory here … especially with Sociedad very strong at home and much better overall than in last seasons. Also Barcelona will rest 2-3 players here. Sociedad can hold their own in this match and get a draw or lose a close game. They lost by more than 1 at home only vs. Shakhter (0-2) and they were very unlucky in that game. My tip is Sociedad +1,5 handicap. Correct score prediction would be Real Sociedad – FC Barcelona 1-1 or 1-2.

Spurs winners in top-four betting

Spurs were cut in Sky Bet's top-four betting on Sunday as they beat Everton and Man Utd were held by Fulham.

Emmanuel Adebayor's strike gave Tottenham a 1-0 win over Everton at White Hart Lane in the early kick-off, before a dramatic 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

Steve Sidwell fired the Cottagers in front in the first half, and despite goals from Robin van Persie (78) and Michael Carrick (80), United had to settle for a point after Darren Bent's equaliser in the fourth minute of added time.

Spurs were cut to 11/4 from 4/1 for a top-four finish with Sky Bet following the vital win over one of their chief rivals in the race for European qualification.

Everton are now 9/1 from 11/2 to qualify for the Champions League as they failed to take advantage of the chances they created at Spurs.

Manchester United are now nine points behind fourth-placed Liverpool with a vastly inferior goal difference and they are 9/2 to finish in the top four.

David Moyes was cut to 16/1 from 28s by Sky Bet in their 'next manager to leave post' market.

Fulham's Rene Meulensteen is the 6/4 favourite in the betting, but his team were eased to 2/5 from 4/11 to get relegated following their valuable draw.

Man City v Chelsea – Betting Preview

Form

Manchester City went top of the the Premier League table for the first time this season on Wednesday after another formidable display saw them thrash Spurs 5-1 at White Hart Lane. City have won seven on the spin and scored an incredible 29 goals in the process, they are now 20 games unbeaten in all competitons and have taken 34 points from the past 36 available in the league.

Edin Dzeko struck his seventh goal in six games in the rout of Tottenham, while Sergio Aguero’s opener gave him his tenth in his past eight although the Argentine hobbled off before half-time.

A disappointing scoreless draw on Tuesday at home to strugglers West Ham brought an end to Chelsea’s run of seven wins in a row but they remain just three points adrift of City at the summit in spite of that result. They did, however, earn a seventh clean sheet in nine in that game and Jose Mourinho’s men have conceded just twice in those games. However, of the top eight sides only Liverpool have picked up less points on their travels than the Blues.

Team News

Aguero’s absence was confirmed by City boss Manuel Pellegrini, with the Chilean expecting his star striker to be out for about a month with the hamstring injury that saw him replaced before half-time in midweek. Javi Garcia and Samir Nasri are also out for the home side but James Milner could return from a groin problem.

Fernando Torres and Marco van Ginkel are both out for Chelsea, but Mohamed Salah may make his debut following the Egyptian winger’s transfer from Basel last week after being left out of the squad by Mourinho for the midweek draw.

Head to Head

A last-gasp winner from Torres, thanks to an absolute howler from City goalkeeper Joe Hart, gave Chelsea a 2-1 win when the teams met at Stamford Bridge at the end of October last year. Andre Schurrle had given the home side a first half lead before Aguero equalised just after half-time.
That was only the third win for Chelsea in the past eleven meetings while the Citizens came out victorious in seven of those games and the Blues haven’t came out on top at the Etihad since a 3-1 win there in 2008.

Recommended Bets

It’s ironic, or hypocritical, that Mourinho’s protestations regarding West Ham’s tactics which earned the Hammers a point in midweek should mirror his own in away games with Manchester United and Arsenal already this season. It looks likely that the Chelsea boss will line his team out similarly against the Premier League’s most potent attack but City are a different prospect altogether, although Aguero is a significant loss, but a home win still looks the best bet in the Match Betting market at 20/23.

Yaya Toure is bettered by only Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Aguero in the Premier League’s goalscorers charts so with the addition of penalty duties in the Argentine’s absence is well priced at 12/5 to score anytime in this game, while Eden Hazard is the pick of the likely scorers for Chelsea with his pace likely to give plenty of problems to the hosts.

The Martingale Betting System

The Martingale Betting System is, as its name suggests, a betting system that was devised in France over 250 years ago. It is intended to be used on 50-50 propositions, but it can be used in other ways. Due to the fact that it’s best used on 50-50 bets, it’s an ideal betting system to use when playing roulette, if you are looking for a betting system to use when playing the game. The idea is you double your stake every time your bet loses, and you bank your winning and start from scratch when your bet wins. You’ll have used the Martingale Betting System without knowing if when having a wager with friends; every time you say “double or nothing”, that’s using the Martingale Betting System without you even knowing it.

It should be noted that not betting system is going to guarantee you success over a prolonged period, but that can be used to help maximise your wins and limit your loses. In theory, the Martingale Betting System should help maximise wins, but if you’re not careful, it can lead to big loses due to its extreme style, and the fact that the amount you end up wagering can get out of hand quite quickly if you don’t have the bankroll to support it.

When utlising the Martingale Betting System when playing roulette, it’s best to bet on either red or black as there is as close to a 50-50 chance of winning as you can get when playing the game. Having the 0 and 00 on the wheel does make it slightly less than a 50-50 proposition, but it’s about as close as you’ll get in a casino game that doesn’t involve skill (games such as blackjack and video poker, where you can influence the odds slightly in your favour), and definitely as close as you’ll get in the game of roulette.

So, now you’ve got the basic idea of the system, and what you’re going to be betting on, let’s look at it in action on a fictional casino’s roulette wheel, with the standard 0 and 00 in play.

We’ll take a trip to the casino with $1,000 and we’re going to bet on black. The Martingale Betting System says to start with 1 unit bets, so we’ll start with $1. Let’s say it comes up black. Great, we won $1! So we’ll bank that, and we now have $1,001. While we won’t break the bank just yet, a win’s a win.
For our next spin of the roulette wheel, we’ll stick with black. Another $1 bet on black, but this time it comes up red. So, now we’re back to our initial $1,000. But the Martingale Betting System tells you to double your bet. So we’re going to 2 units, which, in this case is $2, and we’ll put it on red, just to change things up a bit. It comes up… black. Typical! So now we’re down to $998. We’ve lost, so we have to double our bet again. Our next bet is $4 and we stick with red. And, lo and behold, we win. So we win $4. The $4 takes our betting bank to $1,002, and we’re back to winning ways.

The benefit of the Martingale Betting System when playing roulette is that unless you are exceptionally unlucky, gains can be made over the short term, and since it’s 50-50 bets, you have a 50% chance of winning every time. The gains will not be big, as you only ever double your stake, but it’s still a gain.
However, the disadvantage to the Martingale Betting System is only a long-term winning strategy if you have unlimited funds and a casino will lay you any bet you want. Let’s say you start with a $1 bet, it doubles to $2, then $4, $8, $16, $32, $64, $128, $256, and then $512. And if you take our imaginary $1,000, we’ve now wagered it (and more) in the space of 10 bets. And if that $512 bet wins, you’ve wagered a total of $1,023, and you end up winning $1,024. So for that large outlay, you end up with a profit of $1. If your units are $10, you end up wagering $5,120 just to win $10. So you can have a devastating loss or a paltry game.

The idea of the Martingale Betting System is based around Gambler’s Fallacy, in that you have to get a win on a 50-50 chance eventually. However, that is not true. Each spin of the roulette wheel is an independent event, the previous spins have no effect on the current one. So, even though it may have landed on red 10 times in a row, there’s still a 50-50 chance that it comes up red again. And it’s a 50-50 chance that it comes up red the next time, and the next time, and so on.

So, you have to decide if the Martingale Betting System is for you. If you want to have a bit of recreational fun betting on red or black when playing roulette, the Martingale Betting System is for you, especially if you’re not in it to break the bank. However, if you start using the Martingale Betting Sytstem thinking you’ll make your fortune, then it’s not really the system for you, and you might end up on the road to ruin, and there are better betting systems out there that will make the most out of your bankroll. Or if you do want to make big gains playing roulette with a limited bankroll, there are bets that pay far greater returns, not least betting on one number.

If you’re looking to wager small and win big, put your money down on one number, and use a version of the Martingale that way – double your bet every time your number doesn’t come in. While it’s not true Martingale, 35:1 with $32 on it pays out a much nicer return after losing $30 previously!

Just be careful when using the Martingale Betting System, and if you use it carefully it can be a fun way of spending some time at the roulette table.

The Martingale Betting System Summarized:

There is no betting system more famous than the Martingale betting system, and the Martingale betting system is one of the most popular betting systems when it comes to Roulette.

The Martingale Betting System is the classic “double or nothing” betting system.

Every time you lose, you double your stake until you win again. While this sort of betting system can be applied for most other games, Roulette is the best game to handle the Martingale Betting System. We also recommend that if you want to test out the Martingale System, you test it out at High Noon Casino. High Noon Casino offers $60 free so you can test it out at the real money tables, and offer the best choices when it comes to roulette betting limits.

The reason that Roulette is the best game to use the Martingale system on is due to the even money bets that you can place, like betting on red or black, or even or odd. While technically you could use the Martingale Betting System on other types of bets at different odds, it becomes a mess and your risk of ruin is a lot greater.

Sports Betting Strategy

Some people who bet on sports are simply betting on the games to make them more exciting, or are betting on their favorite teams, but if you are like me you are betting on sports to make money.

Making money betting on sports can be tough, but there are a lot of sports bettors who consistently win, and there are even a lot of professional bettors who make a good living off of sports betting. Everyone who is betting on sports is going to have rough patches where they take losses, but if you are winning more often than you are losing you can profit from sports betting in the long run.

Below I’ve listed some advanced sports betting strategy articles for anyone who understands the basics of sports betting, and below that I’ve got the very basic sports betting strategies for beginners.

In order to help yourself make money or a profit from sports betting there are a couple of basic sports betting strategies or tips you will want to understand and follow. None of these sports betting strategies are secrets by any means, but following them will help you win money betting on sports.

The people who don’t follow any of these sports betting strategies are often referred to as “squares” and those are the type of bettors that the sportsbooks will make their profits from.

#1 Sports Betting Strategy – Money Management/Bankroll Management

When you are betting on sports you should always set aside a certain amount of money, which we refer to as your “bankroll”, in which you can afford to lose. Like with any type of gambling, you never want to bet betting on sports with money you cannot afford to lose. Set aside a certain amount of money that you can use for your bankroll for the week, the month, or the season. A general sports betting strategy for money management is to only make bets with 1%-5% of your bankroll. For example, if your bankroll for the NFL season was $1,000 you would be making $10-$50 bets on each NFL game you wanted to bet on. It is also very important that you do not chase your loses with bigger bets. It is common for some sports bettors to be down money and feel in order to win it back they need to increase the size of their bets. This is putting yourself in the wrong mindset and will often lead to you losing even more money. Work with the size of your bankroll, and look to slowly increase it over the length of the season.

#2 Sports Betting Strategy – Bet Sober and Don’t Go on Tilt

Although betting while sober seems like common sense, you’d be surprised how many people bet on sports under the influence. Is it a coincidence that the Las Vegas casinos offer free alcoholic drinks while you are gambling? I don’t think so. I don’t want to sound like your mother here, but betting while under the influence will impair your judgement and should definitely be avoided if you want to become a winning sports bettor.

The second part of this sports betting strategy says “Don’t Go on Tilt”. Going on tilt or “tilting” is a commonly referred to term with poker players and basically means letting your emotions take over, which often leads to bad decisions. If you are angry or upset at something, such as a couple bad beats with your sports bets, you shouldn’t be placing any more bets. Take a break, go for a walk, get your mind clear before you start making anymore sports betting picks.

#3 Sports Betting Strategy – Do Your Homework

This is maybe the most important sports betting strategy. You will always want to do your research before placing your bets. Although going with your hunch when betting your favorite sport may work some of the time, in the long run it will not lead to you winning money betting on sports. In order to profit from sports betting you will need to research, study, and do your homework for each pick you make. Look at stats, find trends, create sports betting systems, analyze past games – basically do everything you could possibly do to ensure you have value in your pick before you place your wager.

#4 Sports Betting Strategy – Line Shopping

A very big step to becoming a winning sports bettor is to make sure you are shopping for the best lines. What this means is that you will have to have an account at a couple of different online sportsbooks and when you are ready to make a bet on a certain team or outcome you check the different sportsbooks and find which book is offering the best line for you (this ties in with our advanced how to find max value article). For example, if you are looking to bet on the New England Patriots on a 7 point spread, you would want to check a couple different sportsbooks to see if any of them are offering the Patriots at 6.5 points, or at the very least find the best price you can get them at 7 points at. Over the course of a sport betting season you can win yourself a lot of money from shopping the lines that would otherwise would not be one. Line shopping is definitely one of the best sports betting strategies used by winning sports bettors.

Money Management and Betting Risks

Every time a punter places a bet, he stakes a small proportion of his bankroll, the size of which may or may not vary, according to the punter's preferences and judgements about staking. Obviously, the smaller the stake as a proportion of the total bankroll, the less significant the impact after either a win or a loss. In terms of risk management, smaller stakes involve less risk of losing the bankroll entirely. For a punter with an edge over the bookmaker, the chances of ever losing it entirely are diminished. For a punter without one, that misfortune will unfortunately be unavoidable, but it will not come around as quickly. In terms of growing the bankroll, smaller stakes will naturally contribute smaller profits, and growth, if a betting edge is accessible, will take longer.

Put frankly, the larger the size of the betting stakes as a proportion of the bankroll, the greater the chance of "bankruptcy" if things go wrong. Five consecutive losing bets at £20 each, for example, would eradicate a bank of £100. If the stakes had instead been £5, the punter could have afforded another 15 losses before bankruptcy. To most punters, this will seem intuitively obvious, yet it is surprising how many still insist on using stake sizes that a proper risk assessment would consider to be entirely unacceptable.

Despite the greater overrounds, many punters like to increase the number of selections to a wager, attracted by the higher returns. The chances of winning a double, treble or accumulator bet, however, will always be less than for the individual selections which make them. It is not initially apparent, therefore, whether the longer-term return will be superior to singles, and perhaps more importantly, how the longer-term risks will compare. Much will depend upon the edge that a punter can on average achieve for his selections and the preferred size of his stakes.

Where the punter fails to gain an edge, both singles and doubles lose money, but the doubles will always lose more, since their disadvantage is the square of that for the two singles considered separately. Conversely, the performance of a punter with an edge over the bookmaker will be superior for doubles than for singles. For singles, profit is proportional to the margin of success, and increases linearly as the prediction rate improves. For doubles, however, profit is proportional to the square of prediction success, and consequently increases faster for the same improvement in prediction rate.

Where a punter has considerable confidence that he has achieved an edge over the bookmaker's odds, doubles are theoretically preferable to singles. By the same token, trebles will perform better still, with profit proportional to the cube of prediction success. As a general rule, the size of expected betting return will be proportional to the nth power of the betting edge, where n is the number of selections in an accumulator, assuming that each selection has the same edge.

A punter should be cautious, however, before imagining that there are limitless profits to be won simply by enlarging the accumulator. Firstly, one must ensure that an edge has been secured for every part of the accumulator bet. Where this is not the case, the increased overround will begin to quickly conspire against the punter, eating into the expected return. Secondly, and more significantly, however, at greater odds, each bet is more likely to lose, regardless of the greater available returns. To be able to benefit from these superior returns, a punter must stake the same for his double, treble, or accumulator as he would for a single. The same is true for higher-priced singles - a multiple bet is really just like a single wager at longer odds, although the overround will be larger. The downside to this strategy will be a considerable increase in bankruptcy risk because of the larger and more frequent losing runs.

Clearly, one way to limit risk exposure is to reduce the size of the stakes on multiple bets, or for that matter, on higher priced singles. Unfortunately, this also reduces the potential to gain at the same time. There always exists a trade-off between the impulse to achieve higher profits and the necessity to control risk. Herein lies the essence of gambling. Risk takers will win more in the short term, but must accept the greater prospect of severe misfortune. Risk avoiders must embrace a slower rate of return, but can potentially look forward to a longer betting "career". Whilst there is really no right or wrong way to bet, it may be argued that proactive risk management offers greater long-term security for a fixed odds sports bettor.

Why people lose cash in sports betting

Sport betting is the in-thing around now. Every sports lover is involved in one form of spors betting or the other. But the question is how many of those who are involve in this sports betting business are successful. Today you will hear a story of a sport betting player who made over a million and in the next few weeks all the money find their way back to the bookies pocket. Is not that the player does not know how to place bets or make accurate prediction of his choice sports. Is a known fact that the major reason while people lose cash in sports betting is lack of MONEY MANAGEMENT. But before we will look into this issue I will like to introduce myself a little. My name is Bright, I have been in this sports betting business for more than four year and within this period I have carried out series of research on how to be successful in sports betting. Initially, it was not easy for me until I came across the few points I will share with you soon. Since then life as a sports bettor has been good.
If you have been in this sports betting business for sometime you will attest that most time you do make a win but on the long run you still have not become successful. For you to be successful in this business, three things are required namely:

1) Good betting system
2) Good money management and
3) A very good plan that you need to follow religiously.

Lack of any of this will result to regrets in this business

GOOD BETTING SYSTEM

Before you kickoff as a sports bettor you must first ensure that you have a very good system that will help you to succeed. There are many sports betting systems on the internet you can look up on your own. The only thing I will do for you here is to give you tips on how to sport a good system. When you go for a sports betting system, it does not necessary mean that you system must have a 100% win rate before it is tagged as a good system but ensure that your system has a very high winning margin of at least 80%. A sports betting system with high winning margin rate will help keep you on the winning track even if you encounter a few loss. For instance, my system made me 400% profit on a bet and this covers up for any loss that I may encounter on a short run. A good system must be able to do that. Am not here to sell a system to you but to advice and educate you on how to be successful in sports betting. If your system has a good return-on-bet of at least 300 - 400% it will help you to cover up few losses. Hit google and search out betting system that best suits you.

GOOD MONEY MANAGEMENT

You will never be successful with the very best sports betting system if you lack a good money management. Good money management is one of the best tools that will help you to be successful as a sports bettor. Every bettor should have a money management plan that he follows religiously. For instance, I place bets of $100 only per bet and when I lose a bet I don't place another bet to see if I can recover my lost cash. Chasing loss bets is a very bad money management plan. I do hear people say that if the lose a bet of $100, they will place another of $200 - $300 so as to recover both the lost and the current stake. The question I always ask is, "what if you lose the bet?"If the bet is lost, you have ended up losing $300 - $400. A good money management system should help you know the following:

a) amount you need to stake per bet
b) percentage of your total cash you need to stake. For me I prefer 2 - 5%. If I stake 2% of my stake per bet, it will take me a 50 straight loss for my account to close up. With this percentage couple with a good betting system you will always be successful as a bettor.

BETTING PLAN
There is a popular saying that he who fails to plan, plans to fail. This saying is also applicable to sport betting. Without a good plan you will still not be successful even if you have a good money management system. A good plan helps you to know the following:

a) The type of sports to bet on. If you chose for instance soccer then
b) the type of league to bet on
c) the clubs to bet on
d) When to withdraw
e) When to increase your stake
f) When to bet and when not to bet.

The question I will you to ponder is this: "Have you been successful in sports betting or not?" Answer it your self and reread the post and know where you are missing it and make amends. On my next post, we will look at how will can get a good betting system, the right money management and the right plan to excel as a bettor. Stay glued.

Seattle Seahawks Vs. New Orleans Saints: Betting Odds, Prediction And Preview

It’s probably the biggest game of the 2013 NFL regular season in the NFC. The Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints are set to face off on "Monday Night Football" at CenturyLink Field in Seattle in perhaps a preview of the NFC Championship game.

The Seahawks enter Week 13 with the best record in football (10-1) and a three-game lead in the NFC West. The Saints are just one game back (9-2) for the No.1 seed, though they don’t have as much of a secure lead in their division, as they sit just one game ahead of the Carolina Panthers.

A win for either team would put them in the driver’s seat to have the top spot in the conference and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The ability to play every postseason game in front of their home fans would go a long way in getting the winning team to the Super Bowl. There are no teams better at home than the Seahawks or Saints. The last time the Seahawks dropped a home game was in 2011. The Saints are not only unbeaten at home in 2013, but they’ve never lost against the point spread.

Fortunately for the Seahawks, they’ll be home on Monday night. The betting line as them listed as 4.5-point favorites. Three of their home wins have come by at least 21 points. They had a near slip up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week Nine, but made a 10-point comeback in the fourth quarter and won in overtime.

For as dominant as the Saints have been this season, they haven’t been nearly as good on the road. They’re 3-2 away from New Orleans, with none of their victories coming by more than one score. On the road, the Saints have covered just one point spread.

Despite the location of the contest, New Orleans might be facing Seattle at the most ideal time. The Seahawks’ vaunted pass defense is somewhat depleted, as two key members of their secondary will be out. A groin injury will sideline starting cornerback Brandon Browner, while and Walter Thurmond is set to miss four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

"We're still trying to work through it. I'll say it again, I've always found myself looking for guys that maybe other people don't see something special in and we take a chance on a guy here or there that needs some extra consideration and care," head coach Pete Carroll said. "And sometimes guys they have issues and things pop up but I've always been kind of hopeful and make guys find the best in them and bring it out. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't."

With a healthy defense, the Seahawks match up well with the Saints. They are second in the league, allowing 180.4 yards through the air per game. The Saints rely on Drew Brees and the passing game for the majority of their points. They are second in passing offense, but could have trouble scoring if that gets stifled by Seattle. Twenty-two other teams average more yards on the ground per game than the Saints.

Betting Odds: Seattle-4.5, 47

Prediction: The Saints might be the second best team in the NFC, but on the road they’ve been no better than average. Seattle’s secondary is somewhat undermanned, but Richard Sherman, possibly the best cornerback in the NFL, will be ready to go. The Seahawks are one of the best teams at forcing turnovers, and Brees threw two interceptions in New Orleans’s last loss. He can't afford to have any serious miscues in a road game against an inspired defense. Russell Wilson leads a balanced offensive attack, and Seattle’s run game should be able to have some success.

Predicted Score: Seattle 24, New Orleans 17

Man United v Bayer Leverkusen – Betting Prediction

United could still be in a bit of a tussle to win Group A. They’ll be sweating over just qualification if they lose out in Germany on Wednesday night. This is a very tough looking match for Daivd Moyes and the Bundesliga side will no doubt be out for some revenge after their 4-2 defeat at Old Trafford. The Germans can be an erratic side, but will United have enough defensively to at least get what would be a pretty valuable point?

Man Utd v Bayer Leverkusen Betting Odds at online bookmaker Bet365

Bayer Leverkusen 6/4, Man United 9/5, Draw 12/5

Man Utd v Bayer Leverkusen Betting Tips:

There is the scenario that United lose this and they will play Shakhtar Donetsk at Old Trafford on Match Day Six for second spot in the group. So the order of the day for David Moyes’ men is simply avoid defeat. That should be enough to see them comfortably through to the next round. However, the damage to United’s qualification has come on the road as they only managed to take a draw against Shakhtar and Real Sociedad. The Red Devils travel to Germany as underdogs on Wednesday and if they do pull out a win and Shakhtar lose, then the Premier League side will be safe. United first met Bayer Leverkusen back in the 2001/02 semi finals, and on that occasion the German side triumphed on aggregate after two drawn matches. United got the upper hand in the 2002/03 group stage, winning both matches. The Red Devils took an exciting, but relatively easy 4-2 win at 4-2 at Old Trafford on Match Day One, but Leverkusen have come back strongly since then.

Manchester United’s away record against Bundesliga opponents is W4 D4 L4. Ten times they have been to Germany in the Champions League and United have only managed to win three of them. If United don’t manage to post three points on Wednesday, then it will be the first time since the 2005/06 season that they will have failed to win an away game in the group. Manchester United have been struggling for wins on the road as they have now gone four in a row without a victory. Their worst ever away run in the Champions League was between February 2004 and 2008 when they went eight away games without a win. Defensively they haven’t been too bad on the road, conceding eight in their last 15 on the road. So there could be some value going Under 2.5 goals for a price of 4/5 with Bet365.

Leverkusen can be a bit hit and miss, although they are second in the Bundesliga. Their defence is not particularly great at all, but they have managed to drop just the two points at home this season in the German top flight. They have won both their home matches in the group so far. What carries them is their great forward talent, with Stefan Kiessling running at odds of 21/10 in the Anytime Goalscorer market, along with Sidney Sam at 2/1. Both are big threats to the United defence. However, the German side have been defeated in eight of their last nine Champions League encounters against sides from England. Not only that, they haven’t managed to keep a clean sheet in five previous matches against the Red Devils. But you can’t ignore their home form, having won their last eight Champions League matches on home turf. They do blow hot or cold and the balance between attack and defence they haven’t nailed down yet. A draw may not be a bad option at all.

Prediction

The Bundesliga side should have a large share of the game here, because United are generally negative on the road. So this could be tense and because top spot in the group is at stake, would look Under 2.5 goals at odds of 4/5 with Bet365.

Form (all competitions)

Leverkusen WWLDWW, Man United WWWDD

Stat Attack

United are without a win in their last four Champions League away games
United’s last three Champions League games have gone under 2.5 goals
Leverkusen have lost 8 of their last 9 Champions League games against English sides
Leverkusen have won their last eight home games in the group stage

Everton vs. Liverpool Betting Odds: EPL Match Preview, Prediction

The Merseyside derby is one of England’s best rivalries and each club has plenty to gain when Liverpool visit Everton Saturday.

Liverpool sit within two points of league leader Arsenal, the team they lost to earlier this month. Everton, meanwhile, sit in sixth place in the league table, five points back of the Gunners.

Everton are unbeaten in their last four English Premiership matches, but their last two have ended in scoreless draws. Goodison Park is a very tough place for opponents to play and Everton already have a win over Chelsea this season on their home pitch.

Everton have been a mainstay in the Europa League, but they aim for a top four finish in the EPL to get a coveted Champions League berth for next season. They can take a significant stride with a win over Liverpool this weekend.

Sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark had Liverpool as the road favorite at +140 with Everton at +180 and a draw line of +240.

The Reds’ only losses this season have come against Arsenal and Southampton. Their list of victories include a triumph over Manchester United.

These two teams have conceded the same amount of goals this season (10), but the Reds’ offense has been superior with seven more goals. Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suárez are tied for the league lead with eight goals apiece.

Suárez has been electric, scoring his goals in just six league matches since he returned from suspension.

Liverpool owner John Henry is flying Suárez back from Uruguay on his private jet after Tuesday’s World Cup intercontinental tie with Jordan, as he wants to make sure his star gets back in plenty of time for the big derby.

Romelu Lukaku leads Everton with five goals and no other player has more than two. Everton win with defense and, in 11 matches, they have just 14 goals. They have scored the least among the top nine teams in the league.

Everton goalie Tim Howard has two clean sheets in his last two matches and the Reds’ offense, which has scored 13 goals in their last five matches, will make it hard for him to make it three in a row.

Last season at Goodison Park, these teams played to a 2-2 draw.

Everton have won the time of possession battle in their last two matches, including dominating it in their last match, but their offense is out of stride. They have to get back on track against a tough Reds’ defense and the prediction calls for neither side to earn a clean sheet.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw

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