Wednesday 16th September 2020
In Across the Leagues today:
The early rounds of the domestic cup competitions will present us with a few opportunities to go upset-hunting this season.
The FA Cup 3rd round is an annual event for such an activity. We have that to look forward to.
Last night, in the 2nd round of the Carabao Cup, Oxford Utd of League One held Championship favourites Watford to a 1-1 draw, only to be ultimately beaten on penalties.
Another League One underdog, Burton Albion, had Premier League opposition at 1-1, until two late goals nicked it for Aston Villa, 1-3.
Championship side Bournemouth knocked out top-flight Crystal Palace on penalties.
The game I targeted was West Ham v Charlton, making the case for the League One outsiders at 9/1. The Premier League team won, 3-0. The odds said that what’s they were supposed to do. But as those other Carabao Cup results indicate, looking for upsets is by no means crazy talk.
There are more cup ties taking place tonight…
West Brom v Harrogate and Everton v Salford City are the two televised games, both featuring League Two sides. In both cases, the Premier League home team is a huge favourite in the betting. The Baggies are 1/3 (1.33) to win, at best. The Toffees are even shorter, at 2/11 (1.18).
Leeds v Hull features another Premier League team playing at home. Hull are in League One. Last season though, these two clubs were both in the Championship. Leeds won home & away in their league meetings, 2-0 and 0-4. Leeds are 1/3 to beat them again.
No underdog picks for me tonight. But I won’t be backing any of the favourites, either…
The Paris slump…
Last week, I put the boot in with a ‘tip’ that I’d seen for PSG to beat Lens. You can read my damning indictment of that ‘advice’ here.
In short, it was PSG’s first league game of the season, and half the team were out with coronavirus. The champions were duly beaten, 1-0.
The Paris giants followed that up with another shocker at the weekend, going down 1-0 again, this time at home to Marseille (a game that also saw three PSG players shown red cards, including Neymar).
PSG play again tonight, at home v Metz. They’re 2/7 (1.29) to win. As you might have deduced, I won’t be taking that price.
That doesn’t mean we should all back Metz at 10/1, though. The visitors have also lost their opening two games of the season in French Ligue 1 (also both by the 1-0 score).
If PSG do slump to another defeat tonight, then that will chalk up a 400/1 combination of results that would’ve looked most unlikely just a couple of weeks ago…
After ending the elongated 2019/20 season with a 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final (no shame in that), PSG have been shown up at domestic level by two big underdogs in the betting:
Lens 1 PSG 0
Lens were 15/4 (4.75) to win
The 1-0 upset was 10/1
PSG 0 Marseille 1
Marseille were 15/2 (8.5)
The 1-0 shock was 20/1
Metz are 10/1 to win tonight, and the 1-0 score-line is 20/1.
If the PSG collapse continues – and Neymar is suspended for this one – then that would roll up a remarkable 400/1 three-timer in the Match Result odds. And if it ends in a 1-0 upset again, then that triple Correct Score combo would be approaching 5,000/1.
I’m not backing Metz tonight. But I’m not backing PSG, either. If you held a gun to my head, I’d saying someone like Angel Di Maria would be the man to drag his side back into some kind of decent performance. Di Maria is 15/8 (2.88) to score. Form is temporary, class is permanent, as they say…
It's still extremely early days in the new season. You and I will be making measured moves in the match-day markets. We’re in no rush.
We’ll also be adhering to disciplined No Bet decision making if the bookmakers don’t play ball with their markets…
The German Bundesliga kicks off this weekend. Last season, Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst was my 50/1 outside pick in the Top Goalscorer betting. He finished one goal off a share of the Each Way spoils. This time, Weghorst is priced at 28/1 at best.
The real issue in Germany for the 2020/21 prices, though, is the lack of any Each Way options…
The bookies are clearly fearing another Robert Lewandowski cakewalk. The Bayern Munich striker has been top scorer in the Bundesliga three seasons running, and in four of the last five, breaking all kinds of records in the process. He’s odds-on to do it again, at just 8/13 (1.62).
While a name like Weghorst at 28/1, or Andre Silva at 40/1 (12 goals on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt last season, now signed on a permanent deal), might appeal if we had three or four Each Way places to aim at, at a quarter of the odds…
It’s much more ambitious to go after those outsiders at Win Only prices. Which is all we have to work with. That’s a poor show from the likes of Bet365, Skybet, William Hill, and Paddy Power. I’d even be tempted to call them chicken.
No matter. We work with what we have. You and I will be looking to swoop on some match-day value on the likes of Weghorst and Silva, throughout the season, in the First & Anytime Scorer markets.
That’s all from me for today. Coming up tomorrow and Friday – we’ll be talking Italy, Austria, and beyond…
Enjoy the football…