SUNDAY AUGUST 19th
I can live with losing periods, they are part and parcel of gambling and you are going to end up a mess if you cannot accept that they are going to happen, but what I really dislike are those spells when you win one day, lose the next, win, lose, they really wind me up, as they seem like a series of false dawns. I realise that sounds crazy, as it is obviously better than an extended losing period, but at least with them you know that a change is always just around the corner.
After a spell of close to four months virtually without a losing week of note, I expected a couple of losing weeks, instead it has been a month of WLWL sequences and it is frustrating. I had a very good day Friday, a poor Saturday afternoon with all three bets losing and two winners last night ( Fluminense to win by exactly one goal was especially pleasing) to almost bring the day round.
On the plus side, Aldershot Town won on the road and Watford found a late, late winner at Crystal Palace, which along with the win for Cardiff City on Friday meant that all the teams we looked at in the Football League outright markets started extremely well.
Bad news is, that I obviously have a clear conscience and despite the very hot weather, overslept by a couple of hours, which happens about every 3-4 years, so am way behind schedule this morning . Going to see what I can get done in this email and will probably have to put the rest into a follow up.
Let's start on the USPGA tour and the Wyndham Championship leaderboard, where Sergio Garcia leads by one stroke from both Bud Cauley and Tim Clark, but with sixteen players in total within four shots of the lead, it is a wide open field. Cauley is a 22yo rookie, but has posted six top ten's from just 28 starts in the last 12 months, including one third and incredibly, four fourth placed finishes. He might well get that breakthrough win today, but until he does, I would prefer to pass, that elusive first win is always the hardest. Sergio is supremely gifted and has even putted fairly well this week, which has been his achilles heel for many years, but the pressure is on today and who knows how he will respond. He does have seven US tour wins, but only one ( 2008) in the last seven years, he should have had 20 on tour by now and he is not one to trust on the final day. Garcia is ranked 149th on tour for R4 scoring in 2012, he was 51st last year and 180th in 2010 ! We spoke about Tim Clark ahead of the final round at the Travelers Championship in June .....Tim Clark has one win in the US and it is a biggy ( the Players Championship) but is something of a nearly man with nine runner up spots and has not yet built on that breakthrough win, which is now more than two years ago, but he missed most of 2011 through elbow surgery, so perhaps it will still happen, he and Kuchar are -7 for the closing six holes and look the most likely to put in a big run today.
He was off the pace going into that round, but we took a little at 25-1,the South African shot a 67 and came close, finishing in fourth place ( one hole cost him dear), he has since played four events and after returning from the rigors of the Open at Lytham, has finished 15th in the Canadian Open and 11th at the PGA Championship, so clearly he is near the top of his game. He has played wonderfully tee to green this week and is ranked number one for greens in regulation, but the putter has let him down and two short putts missed on the back nine, probably cost him the overnight lead, He is due to sink a few and didn't seem to be overly worried about this in his post round interview.....
Q. I'm going to count myself very honored getting to watch that ball striking display today.
TIM CLARK: Yeah, I felt like I was in control of my ball probably better than the first two days and just wasn't able to make the putts I needed but, you know, it's nice to hit it like that today and obviously that's going to do me good tomorrow.
Q. You must be feeling good going into tomorrow with such control of the ball. The putter, is that an issue or just leave yourself in spots that were hard to make from?
TIM CLARK: No. I just -- I left a couple above the hole which that's going to happen out here. The first two days I was making those putts. Nothing to worry about. Just got to come out tomorrow and really be confident that I'm going to make them.
I believe Clark will find a win before the end of the season, he is ultra hungry after missing last year and is hitting the ball too well and getting into contention too often now for it not to happen soon, I suspect it will be today. Tim Clark to win outright 6.50 +, there is four figure liquidity at 6.80 and 7.0 on the exchanges.
EPL: WIGAN ATHLETIC - CHELSEA
My first EPL bet of the season and whilst it is from the school of the blindingly obvious, I expect it to be a comfortable winner. The visitors are traditionally fast starters and are 6-1-1 , 8-1-1, 7-0-1 and 6-2-0 in the last four seasons, two of those sequences included trips to the DW stadium in August and they won both with a combined 7-0 scoreline. In the last four years Athletic have won just one of their opening two matches ( eight starts).
The hosts have managed to hold on to coach Roberto Martinez, which seemed very unliklely at the end of last season, but have lost Mohamed Diamé and Hugo Rodallega, Victor Moses looks sure to follow suit before the transfer deadline and most likely to Chelsea. He is included in the squad, but it is not certain if he will play and if he does, where his head will be. The Latics have added Ivan Ramis and Arouna Kone an experienced pair coming off big seasons in Spain who have been brought in to add a steady head to a youngish Wigan squad, but Ramis is doubtful today and it is not easy to immediately adapt to the pace of PL football, especially if you are being asked to help others. Chelsea supporters should see PL debuts for both Eden Hazard and Oscar today ( but we are talking about players bought for ten times the price of the Wigan pair) and despite his sending off in the Community Shield, Branislav Ivanovic is available.
Diame, Moses and Rodallega all played big roles in the two matches between the clubs last season, only one could play today and we are not sure how committed he will be, the youngster was raised in South London and has clearly been affected by the talk of a return to the capital. Talking of which, after today Chelsea do not play another PL match outside London until November 3rd, which must be some kind of record. Anyway, they are going to have to take maximum points from these kind of fixtures , if they are to put increased pressure on the two Manchester clubs this season. 1.5 units Chelsea -0.75 ball asian line.
Al Habsi, Alacaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, Gomez, McArthur, Boyce, Beausejour, Maloney, Kone, Moses. In a 3-4-3 is the best guess at Wigan's line up, Maloney and Kone have 13 PL starts between them and that is too little experience upfront IMO.
I have two very confident selections for the overnight football action from the MLS and Brazil and will include those in a second email in about 90 minutes time.