Monday, April 09, 2012



Not much went our way on the final day of the US Masters, which is a bit of an understatement. Our sole pre tournament bet on Phil Mickelson outright ( @13.5) was effectively lost at the Par 3 4th hole, when his tee shot hit the grandstand, nine times out of ten this bounces back into play, but somehow found it's way underneath an oleander bush ! Whilst Mickelson got himself back into contention, he could never quite close the gap and was always playing catch up. A small "suggested" saver on Louis Oosthuizen ( @ 7.0) looked the right way to go as he led from the second hole onwards, until caught very late by eventual winner Bubba Watson who birdied four holes in a row coming down the stretch and then won at the second playoff hole, with a miracle second shot from out of the forest !

Keegan Bradley at least earned a share of the top debutant bet, with a nice final round 69, but should have won that market in a canter after giving five strokes to the field on Friday. We spoke about how well he prepared coming into the event and now, with his debut out of the way he can be expected to go very well at Augusta in the future.

There are always positives to take and I am confident that I saw two future winners play at Augusta, so something for the future, but I will leave those for now.

Quite a few games to look at today, but just basic notes, as time is short ......


The Blues target of a top 4 place this season will effectively be over today if Tottenham beat Norwich City at White Hart Lane and they fail to collect maximum points in the evening kick off. Problem for me, or rather Chelsea is that looking at Arsenal and Tottenham's remaining fixtures, it is hard to see too many potential banana skins. But somewhere along the line one or both are probably going to slip up, it is hard for anyone to win 3-4 straight EPL fixtures and the Blues do still have to go to the Emirates, so they will surely want to keep hopes alive until then. Roman Abramovich is obsessed with winning the Champions League and you have to be in it to win it, so whilst the Barcelona semi final will shortly be their priority, for now, Fulham will be a much more important game than the weekend FA Cup semi final . As you might expect, they have a reasonable record at Craven Cottage and a better than average record with referee Mark Clattenburg in the middle, winning over 70% of matches with him in charge. There will be a new manager in charge at Stamford Bridge next season and they need a CL place to attract the best. I have a way to trade this game, but want to see the team news .....





I see this as fairly similar to the Rovers- Birmigham game we discussed recently..... Lots to like about the Rovers performance at Crystal Palace which we previewed in midweek, they have enough chances to have been three up at the break, boss Dean Saunders said it should have been five ! They then showed great heart to fight back from a goal down, but a point was not too much use. A win tonight will see them move to within a point of safety and Bristol City, one of the very few teams Rovers can catch and they have a win-able fixture tomorrow, so a loss tonight could see Donny as much as seven points away from survival. Hosts have scored and conceded in 8 of their last ten starts, including against Reading, West Ham United, Brighton and Leeds United, all of whom would consider themselves to be of a similar, or better standard than City, Rovers last ten fixtures have averaged 2.6 goals.

City are in the top six, but will see this as a fixture they have to look to win, with the post season situation still wide open. They have lost their way a little offensively, conceding an average of 1.7 goals in their last ten starts, including four at Portsmouth another relegation threatened team. Both to score and the "over" is terribly over priced for me, with my own price around the 1.85 mark.
1.5 units "Over" 2.5 goals 2.08 asian line.

That was another wide open encounter ( 1-3) and Rovers followed up with a 4-0 loss at Leicester on saturday, that's seven conceded in the last two starts, 13 without a cleansheet , scoring themselves in ten of those.

They are in big, big trouble and only a win will help what is going to be an ultimately fruitless cause, they have no option but to go for it , bonus with the "over" option is that there is also the chance that they will capitulate once falling behind, with confidence pretty fragile. That win over Brighton at the weekend, has left the visitors mathematically safe and they have nothing to fear, or lose. That was another open encounter with 35 attempts on goal and having scored five on the road at Portsmouth in their last away start, it is hard to see them coming to shut up shop. 1.5 units "Over" 2.5 goals 2.0 asian line.


Preston were much improved at home to MK Dons on saturday and deservedly found a late, late equaliser, much interest surrounds today's game and the return to Stevenage of North End boss Graham Westley. He knows a lot of the home players of course, having only left at the turn of the year and definitely about their huge work ethic, which he introduced and what to expect at Broadhall Way. He has spent a lot of time preparing his team for this game, or, at least as much as possible with the Dons game in the way and this is clearly big for him. Borough have hit the skids, just one win in 14 starts and that came courtesy of an injury time winner over Oldham Athletic, in a match where the Latics felt they were robbed. They were comprehensively defeated at Tranmere on Friday. Only real concern is that Boro played a day earlier so have had 24 hours more recovery time than PNE and with Boro playing such a high tempo style, that could be key, but I could only go with Preston at the odds quoted and the 5.50 for the away win is way too big, I will probably take it for minimal stakes. .

That extra day's recovery time also applies to Hartlepool over my beloved Bees. Brentford have won five in a row and do have a reasonable record here, despite losing heavily last season, which the players remember well and a little revenge has been mentioned, but winning on four of the previous six visits. Only a win is going to keep those slim playoff hopes alive, although they are getting a little fatter week by week and three points would really set up a home game with one of those top six rivals, Notts County, on saturday at Griffin Park, or the "Theatre of Sleepless Nights" as I like to call it ! The Bees did a light training session yesterday morning, before making the long trip north and then did a series of swimming sessions in the North East. not sure how much rain Uwe Rosler is expecting at the Victoria Ground ! Anyway, they have prepared as professionally as always and arrive in possibly their best form of the season, once they got 2-0 and then 3-0 up over Bury on Saturday, they took the opportunity to withdraw key players with today in mind. This could be a draw, it would not totally end the Bees playoff dreams, but they will be looking for the win and really only that would aid their cause, so, the straight away win for me. Brentford to win 2.50 general quote.


Good Luck.

** I got quite a lot of feedback from readers overnight/this morning who said that they were away over Easter/ yesterday and therefore missed the HAPPY HOUR promotion ( see two posts down). Therefore, I will re-open it for two hours this afternoon 13.00 -15.00 UK time. Just email me at with the message title "Happy Hour" and I will send details. **

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