Archive for month: January, 2013

F.A. Cup betting : 4th Round

26 Jan
January 26, 2013

Manchester United vs. Fulham

Player Markets

Back Rooney to be first goal scorer (EW) @7-2

It is very likely that Rooney will be named in the starting line-up for this cup tie. He both started and scored against West Ham in the last round in the absence of van Persie. Rooney is a player who improves with match sharpness and with important European and Premier League fixtures around the corner this game provides a decent opportunity for him to see some significant game time. He has looked sharp on his return from injury and was certainly sharp enough for some of the Tottenham defenders at White Hart Lane last Sunday. When he has made it onto the pitch this season he has proven to be efficient in both creating and scoring goals. Evens about him scoring during the match is at least a fair prospect and with van Persie’s absence he is likely to play in an advanced role and be favourite to open the scoring

Cheltenham / Leopardstown January 26th.

26 Jan
January 26, 2013

Horseracing Markets

Back Johns Spirit (EW) @9-2

Cheltenham’s novice handicap ‘chase run at 12:40 looks a competitive affair but on a day where so many runners are moving up in class, there is a potential class dropper in Johns Spirit. Last time out he took on a field of solid handicappers at Sandown, some of which have stepped up in grade to contest the card’s feature handicap at 1:15. Back against novices the selection must have a leading chance, particularly as it seems that he remains progressive. It is noteworthy that with Johns Spirit back down in trip there has not been a reapplication of any headgear. Clearly connections feel that he will travel well enough throughout the race in this company. Also, it seems as if he has probably gone well enough at home since his last outing.

Back Ted Veale (EW) @9-1

The feature handicap hurdle at Leopardstown at 3:20 is probably one of the day’s hardest puzzles to solve but the case for Ted Veale is convincing. The son of Revoque still remains a horse of great potential and it is no surprise that connections have decided to have a shot at this very valuable prize. It appears as if he has been campaigned in plain sight and it is his progression that will see him well handicapped. He is undoubtedly a talented individual having run in 4 year old point to points and also been sharp enough to win on the flat. His close up second in a graded race last time also demonstrates that connections have not felt the need to hide him away. Part of the trainer’s modus operandi is to employ the very best jockey available heading into a significant race. Davy Russell has been booked even though his retaining owner has runners in the field. While the price could be more desirable in a race against 29 other runners, it is worth examining Ted Veale’s claims in light of the fact that sometimes it pays to focus on the obvious.

Naas January 19th.

19 Jan
January 19, 2013

Horseracing Markets

Back Solwhit @10-11

If following the money counts for anything, backing Solwhit in the 1:35 has to be the plan. The winner’s cheque is nearly on par with the prize money for chasing home Hurricane Fly in next Sunday’s Champion Hurdle. The main difference about this assignment is that Solwhit receives a considerable weight allowance from his main rivals. It is also encouraging that he returns to the race track sooner rather than later and connections don’t feel that they need the extra time to prepare.

Back Tofino Bay (EW) @4-1

Tofino Bay reopposes Aupcharlie, in the 2:10, who seemingly beat him comfortably enough at Christmas but on very different ground. The going at Naas is going to be nothing but very heavy, conditions in which Tofino Bay clearly excels. The ground at Leopardstown last month was on the yielding side of soft and no real help to a confirmed mudlark. Tofino Bay has some very strong novice hurdle form to his name and has a touch of class to go with his resolute endurance qualities. He just has a lot more appeal at the projected prices.

Premier League betting : January 12th

12 Jan
January 12, 2013

Q.P.R. vs. Tottenham

Player Markets

Back Defoe to be first goal scorer (EW) @9-2

There’ll be plenty of edge to this fixture with Harry Redknapp facing Tottenham for the first time since his departure from White Hart Lane. Unfortunately for Q.P.R. an open contest would probably suit Spurs very well with the pace of Bale and Lennon capable of stretching the game. Bale returns from suspension and will be fresh and ready for action and in Defoe, deployed in a central role, he may find the perfect attacking foil. Defoe is still helping himself to plenty of shooting practice but since Adebayor has been playing in the central role, Defoe has been less prolific in front of goal. It will interesting to see how much use of Adebayor is made of before his on/off trip to South Africa. Defoe still remains of great interest on the each way market seeing as Spurs appear to be finding the net with a pleasing frequency of late

Stoke vs. Chelsea

Player Markets

Back Ba to be first goal scorer (EW) @9-2

Demba Ba scored with great frequency as a Newcastle player but his opportunities in the front line of a talented Chelsea team will be far greater. He could not have made a better first impression on his teammates after scoring twice on his debut against Southampton. It is clear how things pan out if some of the Chelsea midfield don’t have faith in the principle finisher. They simply don’t pass the ball to the centre forward. Stoke have performed well defensively and as a result have seen themselves creep up the table as teams around them have been unable to hold onto leads or given up cheap goals. The Potters have been known to struggle against mobile forwards and the combination of Mata, Hazard and Ba will cause them a great deal of trouble. Luiz appears to have added steel in the centre of midfield which will give Chelsea a better chance of dominating the play in that area. Ba converts around 1 in 7 of his goal scoring chances which is highly respectable by any standard. Importantly in the context of the above wager he’s very likely to make an impression with one of his first few efforts at goal. He is also likely to see plenty of game time seeing as he was a late substitute in Wednesday’s cup tie.

Aston Villa vs. Southampton

Game Markets

Back both teams to score @4-6

Neither team has been in great form of late but there are good reasons as to why opportunities are likely to present themselves to both sides. Artur Boruc made a very shaky appearance between the sticks during the home game against Arsenal. His handling was far from assured and the lack of confidence transmitted to the rest of the defence. Southampton were fortunate that Arsenal played poorly and failed to take advantage of the situation. Benteke continues to shine when others around continue to struggle but he may have enough about him to ensure that Villa get into the game. Working against the home side will be the fact that they endured a gruelling trip to Bradford during midweek and as a result fatigue may enable Southampton to crank up the pressure late on in the game. A lack of scoring goals has not been part of the Saints’ problems this season and it will be a surprise if they don’t add to their total here.

Manchester United vs. Liverpool

Game Markets

Back both teams to score @4-7

Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez are probably the two in form forwards in the Premier League at present. More importantly they seem to be able to inspire those around them to higher levels. United are still on course to score close to 100 goals in the league this season but more surprising is the fact that they look set to concede at least half that number by the conclusion of the campaign. Neither defence looks lock tight at present, especially in view of the fact that Liverpool have coughed up 3 goals to both Stoke and Aston Villa in the last month, and United managed to gift 3 goals to an average looking Newcastle side. At present neither side is probably good enough to control the game in central midfield for long periods and as a result the game is likely to ebb and flow with great frequency. While it is difficult to name an outright winner, the chances of both teams having success in front of goal are better than average.

Distribution of Goals per Game Update.

11 Jan
January 11, 2013

Division wide goal fest or just a few freak results?

It seems as if goals have been flying in at all rates throughout the current Premier League season, particularly over the festive period. With the hiatus provided by the F.A. Cup 3rd round ties, now appears to be a good opportunity to review the number of goals scored this season in a statistical light. Firstly, goals have been scored at a greater rate per game, on average, since the start of the campaign. The last two completed seasons have each produced an average of 2.81 goals per game. The current rate is running at 2.87, so clearly the end of season total is on target to post a three year high.

Premier League Goals Distributions 2012/2013

Some results stand out in the memory, particularly Chelsea’s 8-0 demolition of Aston Villa and Arsenal’s 7-3 success over Newcastle. The question then becomes whether these results are in line with the goings on from the rest of the season’s fixtures. Singularly, these two seemingly freak results are not out of place when compared to the rest of the data set. Using the Poisson distribution as a guide, it was well within expectation that we would see 2 games producing 8 or more goals by this point in the season. The fact that there have only been two such results shows that the data has not been skewed by just a handful of high scoring games. Indeed, it can be expected that there will be 2 more games played that yield 8 or more games before the conclusion of the fixture list.

More surprising is the fact that there have been more goalless games than may have been statistically expected. Indeed, there have been nearly 50 % more 0-0 games than the model predicted. 3 goal games have been the most commonplace outcome and there is little reason why this should not continue. The most exciting revelation from this observation is that teams seem to be playing for a result once the scoring has been opened and as the season draws on this more likely to be the case. Overall, the data set is overly represented at both extremes and at the integer value nearest the mean. Intuitively, it appears that any biases have cancelled each other out and there is probably value in using this data to help make predictions for the remainder of the season.

The contribution of the teams placed first and second in the table warrant comment. For all of Manchester United’s free scoring it has been highly surprising that they are yet to score more than 4 goals in a single league game. Given their goals per game average and the quality of their forwards it would have been statistically more probable than not that they would have hammered an opponent by now. It is probably only a matter of time and is one reason as to why the goals per game rate is likely to be maintained at nearly 3. Manchester City are yet to really hit full stride and as a result have probably underperformed in front of goal. Aguero has had a truncated campaign while Balotelli hasn’t fired at all. Again, any improvement from City will also help to maintain the league’s scoring rate. As things stand they have not produced a skewing effect on the data and further reiterates that it is likely that the high scoring rate is a division wide phenomenon.

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