Thursday, November 17, 2011


A very quiet day in this part of the world, but it is very much the quiet before the storm, as we are back to normal over the weekend and I for one, will be glad to see the back of international football for the time being.

There are two quarter finals of the Copa Bridgestone Sudamaricana tonight, no bet for me, but a few words about the Libertad- LDU Quito fixture. Where the hosts trail 1-0 from the first leg, very few teams come away from the Ecuadorian capital with too much, but the Paraguayan champions will be kicking themselves that they conceded an injury time goal, after giving as good as they got for 90 minutes and having the better of the early chances.

It was even more galling as the goal came courtesy of a mis hit cross which sailed over the stranded keeper.
I am a little surprised that Libertad were backed overnight from -0.5 1.97 down to 1.82, that now seems very short against a team with as much international experience and success as LDU, especially given that five of the home squad played for Paraguay at Chile on Monday night, one was on the bench, but four started and the three midfielders ( Aquino, Ayala, Samudio) played all 90 minutes, which was a huge blow to the Libertad coach, who has made his feelings known. Obviously each and everyone of these is a key player for the hosts.

Surprisingly, just two members of the LDU team were called up for Ecuador's home game with Peru, which was played in Quito and neither left the bench, so a clear advantage in that respect to the visitors tonight. These are two strong home teams, but Libertad have been done no favours by their own FA and the scheduling of this competition so close to the International fixtures. As I type, the line is now moving back the other way and the bigger quotes for LDU being taken, which makes much more sense. Anyway, no bet for me.

The NFL scheduler has also given a quick turnaround to the New York Jets and Broncos who meet in Denver tonight. The Jets will probably welcome such a quick return to action after losing what could turn out to be a divisional decider to the Patriots at the Meadowlands on Sunday, they were poor with a capital P in that game, quarterback Mark Sanchez had a very bad day at the office and coach Rex Ryan tried to boost his player's confidence by saying that the team have to give him more protection, instead of overly criticising Sanchez, which is good man management. The Jets now trail the Pats by a game and cannot afford to lose this one. Denver coach John Fox has recently bowed to pressure, benching quarterback Kyle Orton in favour of Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, who has posted three wins from four starts, but don't believe the bottom line, Tebow is far from the finished article and has looked way short of NFL standard at times in those games.

He is a fine athlete and his running skills can get him out of trouble, but that can only go on so long. He threw just 8 passes in the 17-10 win at Kansas over the weekend, completing just two ( admittedly one was for a touchdown), but with the injuries to
Knowshon Moreno and Willis McGahee, the Broncos now have very few options on the ground, so Tebow will have to throw more and that spells DANGER. They tried this two games back in a 45-10 thumping by the Detroit Lions and Tebow spent more time on the ground than on two feet. He completed 18 of 39 attempts, was sacked seven times and turned the ball over seven times. Knowing that he will have to throw more again tonight the Jets must be licking their lips in anticipation and they would be my pick giving up the points, but I am saving my real ammunition for the weeeknd. NY Jets -6 points 2.02 Pinnacle/ Vegas line.

Good Luck.


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