Last week hurt me. If I was just a casual punter I would not have bet at all, but I made a commitment to you, valued reader, to continue my betting series in a bid to help you know who to avoid in your own accumulation selections. But why did I wish I hadn’t bet? A little thing that we were forced to call “The Beast from the East”. In other words, a bit of snow, some wind, some slightly chilly weather (can you tell I am from Scotland?) The good news is that this weather is over now, we are back to normal winter-spring conditions and there is a full fixture list available.
So, as you can probably guess from my not too happy tone, I didn’t win last week. But the pisser of the situation was that due to a couple of games being cancelled, I wouldn’t have won all that much if all surviving selections were winners. The weather dealt a blow to my bet on Plymouth and Raith, both of whom had away ties to Rochdale and Forfar weathered off. In a Jack Wils rarity, I tested the waters of betting on the Premier League, picking Watford at 21/20 against Alan Pardrew’s disastrous West Bromich Albion side. This was a winning pick with Troy Deeney capitalising on some hilariously bad defending to leave Alan Pardrew considering what dance would best reflect his angry emotion at the time. My other pick was Millwall hosting Sunderland. The Black Cats took the lead courtesy of a Bryan Oviedo goal. Shaun Hutchinson equalised with twenty minutes to go, though it was Sunderland who came closest to winning it this week, leaving me once again out of pocket.
Last week’s games fully analysed, I think it is about time we focus on this weekend’s selections. You know, the bit you actually read this for…! The usual disclaimer: under no circumstances do I promise you that you will make your millions here. If you follow this series you should be aware that I am showing you the selections that I believe will win, but I very rarely win – week 5 of Betting Bad being a rare exceptions. Basically, you should fervently avoid my selections at all costs!
Preston v FULHAM – 7/5
This is a bit of a risky selection as Preston sit 8th in the table, pushing the boat out for a playoff spot and having won their last two matches. Alex Neil has them playing some nice football and will be desperate to get his team promoted so he can experience the Premier League once more. But in their way stand Fulham. The London club are too big a side to be languishing in the Championship and will be keen to make a statement by taking Preston to the cleaners. Fulham are on incredible form, winning four of their last five games, and have the former Newcastle United misfit forward Aleksandar Mitrović scoring for fun. This game is at 7/5 for a reason, it’ll be hard earned whoever wins it, but I see Fulham winning it. Slaviša Jokanović is grinding out results all over the joint and I envisage him seeing the Cottagers over the finish line.
ROTHERHAM v Rochdale – 17/20
This is the third week in a row that I have staked my money against Rochdale, and quite frankly it is justifiable – they have been woeful. Rochdale did get a rare win midweek against midtable Walsall, though this was only their 6th win in 31 league games this season. Rotherham have been in magnificent form of late. They are 4th in the table, have amassed 62 points and have won their last five games on the bunch. Throw in the fact that Rotherham are at home this weekend and I would say that a price of 17/20 is an absolute steal!
KILMARNOCK v Ross County – 1/1
This game is great value for two reasons. Number one, Kilmarnock are in tremendous form under Steve Clarke. How they have not been relegated in the past couple of years is bordering on miraculous – Kilmarnock are perennial relegation fodder. Under Steve Clarke, they have been transformed into a formidable side who are tight at the back, have a knack for scoring at crucial times in matches and have the confidence flowing in their ranks for the first time in a long time. The second reason is that they play Ross County. County are bottom of the league, playing 28 games and losing 17 of them. Owen Coyle resigned in relative shame this week, his stock having plummeted to a new low. Stuart Kettlewell is stepping in to save their season, but with next to no managerial experience I struggle to see the infamous “new manager effect” toppling the apple cart here. Kilmarnock should win easily, and being the hosts should only benefit them.
LIVINGSTON v Inverness – 23/20
Livingston are in blistering form of late. Having spent the bulk of the season trying to consolidate a playoff spot in the Scottish Championship, Livi have pushed above Dundee United and now stand a very slim chance of pushing for the title. While the title is unlikely, they do want to ensure 2nd place to stand them in good stead for the awful playoff system in Scotland. Inverness have recovered from a terrible start to the season to now be in midtable mediocrity under John Robertson, an impressive feat baring in mind in a ten team league eight teams are in a fight for something! Livi have beaten big rivals St Mirren and Dundee United in recent weeks, and playing at home should see them breeze past the highlanders.
Preston v FULHAM 7/5
ROTHERHAM v Rochdale – 17/20
KILMARNOCK v Ross County 1/1
LIVINGSTON v Inverness 23/20
£5 bet placed at 18.09/1 returns £95.46
I want this win. It is the longest odds since my fivefold placed in Betting Bad 2, which did not win. Rotherham are the only team at unders in this week’s fourfold, and they are close to evens themselves. Fulham are, in my eyes, the only risk here. Rotherham, Killie and Livi are all playing much poorer teams , two of them in the relegation zone. Form is on the side of all my selections. Surely this is a winner! Well, it won’t be. I don’t win. So whatever you do, valued reader, do NOT follow this bet, you will lose.
Money spent so far: £35
Profit – Loss: £23.08
Please gamble responsibly!