There’s a very fine line between bravery and stupidity, and this week I’m boldly walking that line in the glaring spotlight only this column can provide. With beads of sweat appearing on my forehead as I tap away on my keyboard and contemplate another week of punting pressure, let me first take you back to last weekend. The two heroes from last week’s betting column were the Central Coast and Wellington, whose positive results combined to recoup most of my outlay. The chief villains were the Melbourne Victory and Brisbane. Melbourne conceded a late equaliser at Etihad Stadium, while Brisbane also failed in a home fixture. This week I am ignoring those very recent results and betting on Brisbane to beat the Central Coast and Melbourne to beat Wellington. Brave or stupid? We’ll know by Sunday evening.
SEASON BETTING TALLY
Wagered = $1,000 – $10 per suggested bet
Collected = $679.70
Profit/Loss = – $248.50
% Profit/Loss = -24.9%
CHEEKY ROUND 11 A-LEAGUE MULTI
Andy’s Bet: Adelaide to win, Perth to win or draw and Melbourne Victory to win @ 4.65 (TAB Sportsbet)
Adelaide United v Gold Coast United (AEDT 2000)
Five weeks ago these two teams met at this very venue, with Adelaide prevailing by the odd goal in three. That match was officially listed as a Gold Coast home match, but they sold the rights to give Adelaide hosting duties. It is an unfortunate sacrifice the Gold Coast board believed was necessary to balance the books, although coach Miron Bleiberg might wonder about a potential three points handed away. Gold Coast have lost their last 5 matches away from home, conceding 13 goals during that spell. Hindmarsh Stadium has traditionally been a fortress for Adelaide, but not this season as the Reds have won only 1 of their last 5 fixtures on home turf – that 2-1 win against Gold Coast in Week 6. Adelaide playmaker Dario Vidosic was set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines to recover from a serious back injury, however the Reds marquee man was miraculously back for a 45 minute stint against the Victory last weekend. Adelaide coach Rini Coolen will be delighted to have both Vidosic and leading striker Sergio van Dijk available for selection in the same starting lineup. Adelaide will not get a better chance to kick-start their season than right here. Back them to win and for the ambitious punters out there, I’m liking the generous odds for Adelaide to walk into the half-time sheds 1-0 up.
Andy’s Bet: Adelaide to win @ 1.95 (Multiple Sites)
Andy’s Bet: Adelaide to be leading 1-0 at half time @ 4.20 (Sportsbet)
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC (AEDT 1730)
With such a tight squeeze in the middle of the A-league ladder, this match between 5th and 6th is sure to be keenly contested. I have discussed the discrepancy between Newcastle’s home and away form in previous articles. Just for those who aren’t aware, Newcastle have the second best home record and the joint worst away record. If you wish to keep things simple, back the Jets to win this week because they’re playing at home! However, if over-analysis is your thing, be warned, Sydney have the joint best away record and have picked up most of their points this season on their travels. Quite the conundrum. Newcastle defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley is likely to miss for the Jets and his absence would be a significant blow. Not wishing to over-complicate things I’m going for the simple approach and plumping for a home win.
Andy’s Bet: Newcastle to win @ 2.55 (TAB Sportsbet)
Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners (AEDT 1945)
Brisbane just might be sinking faster than the titanic. The Roar’s record-breaking unbeaten run has ended with three consecutive defeats, the most recent of which came midweek in New Zealand against Wellington. If anything is going to awaken Brisbane from their early season siesta it will be the visit to Suncorp from last season’s runners up for a replay of the Grand Final replay. Yes, this is the second time these sides have met in Brisbane this campaign, following on from last season’s epic showpiece decider. Brisbane scored late to sneak a 1-0 victory in the Grand Final replay on the opening day of this season, while the Grand Final itself was similarly low scoring, with scores in that match locked at 0-0 at the end of normal time. Brisbane are no longer the competition’s form team, however they are still top of the table, so, despite their run of defeats they haven’t sunk even slightly. No Titanic’s to be found here then.
Andy’s Bet: Brisbane to win @ 2.12 (Centrebet)
Andy’s Bet: Under 1.5 goals @ 3.85 (Multiple Sites)
Perth Glory v Melbourne Heart (AEDT 2200)
When doing my research for this fixture I stumbled across a stat that made me sit up and take notice. Perth have played 4 times at nib Stadium this season and let through just the single goal, with the tight defence contributing to three victories without conceding. Pretty conclusive evidence and enough to convince me to wager on the home side in this one. Shane Smeltz is the Glory’s chief attacking threat and the New Zealander is sitting second on the goalscoring chart, netting five times already this season. Smeltz terrorised the Heart defenders earlier this season, scoring a brace in the Week 2 fixture played in Melbourne. He is a good bet to score anytime, not just because he leads the attacking line, but also because he normally takes Glory’s penalty kicks. The Heart have been the competition’s big improvers during the last month, rising from the foot of the ladder to the dizzying height of third! Sydney followed up a defeat of Brisbane with an uninspiring display last week, so it will be interesting to see how the Heart back up after the biggest win of their short A-League life. I can’t go past the Glory to win at home and have added Shane Smeltz to score anytime for a Saturday night bank booster.
Andy’s Bet: Perth to win @ 2.32 (Centrebet)
Andy’s Bet: Shane Smeltz to score anytime @ 2.40 (Sportsbet)
Melbourne Victory v Wellington Phoenix (AEDT 1700)
This season the words Melbourne and victory have most frequently been used to describe the red and white half of the city, rather than their more fancied navy blue neighbours whose club nickname contains the aforementioned word. Funnily enough, I’m not sure the Melbourne Draw has the same ring to it. Nevertheless, one of Melbourne’s two victories this season came against this week’s opposition. A 2-1 win by Melbourne in Wellington was hailed as the catalyst upon which the Victory’s season would take off. However, the expected reaction did not occur and Melbourne’s season has continued to remain in neutral. There were some positive signs for Melbourne last week as Harry Kewell finally put in a good shift. It feels like the rest of the team are waiting for the marquee signing to take flight before they flap their own wings. The Phoenix may have been in good form recently, but those positive results have coincided with a flurry of home fixtures and Wellington’s finest are yet to win on Australian soil this season. They have scored 2 goals in 4 trips across the Tasman, teasing me into adding the Victory to win to nil alongside the standard Victory to win bet.
Andy’s Bet: Melbourne Victory to win @ 1.75 (Multiple Sites)
Andy’s Bet: Melbourne to win to nil @ 2.65 (Centrebet)