Tuesday 26th January 2021
In Across the Leagues today:
Yesterday we talked about ‘backing the best.’ The cream-rises-to-the-top theory can be put to the test again this evening, with a big game in Italy…
Inter Milan face AC Milan in the Coppa Italia quarter finals (7.45pm, BT Sport). These two Milan rivals are also involved in a tight title race in Serie A this season.
When it comes to Scorer betting, there aren’t many players that get to go in the genuine world-class, super-reliable category.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two obvious examples. Over the years, how many times have you checked the Champions League scores and seen Ronaldo and Messi popping up? It probably feels like they score every time they take to the field…
That’s not the case though, of course. But scoring streaks and big-match opportunities should be taken note of. Especially when there’s a decent case to be made at the odds available…
Earlier this month, after he scored on his return to the starting line-up after an injury layoff, we stepped back and admired Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s scoring record for AC Milan:
Those are magnificent strike-rates. But they don’t mean too much to you & I if the bookies don’t play ball, and at least offer us a half-competitive opportunity to back him every now and then…
A big game like tonight gives us just that chance. Last week, at Cagliari in the league, Zlatan was 4/5 (1.8) to score Anytime. Tonight, you can get 8/5 (2.6) and 7/5 (2.4).
In the First Goalscorer betting, Ibrahimovic was 13/5 (3.6) against Cagliari. The Swedish star is 4/1+ (5.0+) to score First this evening, with top prices of 11/2 (6.5) at Betway and 5/1 (6.0) with Betfred.
Zlatan has scored in the last two Milan derbies. Including the first goal in a 2-1 Serie A win over Inter in October.
Inter’s top scorer, Romelu Lukaku, has found the net in each of his last three encounters with AC Milan.
On the latest form, Lukaku has scored in just 2 of his last 7 appearances for Inter Milan. He’s the bookies’ favourite tonight, though. Odds-on in places to score Anytime, at 10/11 (1.91), with just over Evens (2.0) elsewhere. The Belgian is the 7/2 (4.5) and 3/1 (4.0) favourite to score First.
Back to the Zlatan odds. If you’d taken him to level stakes at tonight’s top prices in every game this season, his Anytime Scorer figure would be running at 49% ROI. His First Goalscorer return would be sitting at a 200% ROI.
I wouldn’t put you off the Anytime market tonight, or for that matter, backing Lukaku as well as Zlatan. But Ibrahimovic at 11/2 to score First is the price pick for me.
Tonight’s referee is Paolo Valeri. The Serie A stats on our website show that Valeri has dished out Over 3.5 Cards in 6 out of 7 league games this season:
For Inter Milan v AC Milan in the Coppa Italia tonight, Bet365 have set their Total Cards line at 5.5 Cards, with the ‘Over 5.5 Cards’ option a 4/6 (1.67) favourite.
It’s not surprising that the bookies are going high. This is a derby match, and a one-off cup tie.
In the last round of the cup, Valeri sent off a Milan player in extra time, and handed out a total of 9 other yellow cards, too.
Four of the last 5 meetings between these clubs have gone Over 5.5 Cards, and 6 of the last 10. There were no red cards in those 10 games, though.
Back to England now, and there’s a full midweek programme in the Premier League. Starting with four games this evening. All 10 matches in this round are being shown live on BT Sport.
Head-2-Head home v away comparisons for those games are available on our site now. The same goes for the fixtures taking place in the EFL, with the Championship, League One & League Two in action:
If you’re looking for more on the Premier League, I should also point you to today’s ATL Extra email. In which my colleague Shaun & I offer up our predictions for the Premier League games, including a couple of Correct Score pointers.
In my analysis this season, I’ve been keeping track of the Half Time/ Full Time strike-rates in the Premier League. Namely, the big-odds turnarounds where a team comes back to win, having been behind at half time.
So far in 2020/21, there have been just three such occurrences, from 185 top-flight matches played. That 1.62% rate falls well below the 10-year Premier League average we identified, which stands at 4.16% of games seeing a HT/ FT comeback.
The three flip-flops we’ve seen so far were:
29th Nov: Southampton 2 Man Utd 3 (HT: 2-0)
5th Dec: West Ham 1 Man Utd 3 (HT: 1-0)
And most recently, West Brom pulling off a 50/1 comeback in the HT/ FT market…
16th Jan: Wolves 2 West Brom 3 (HT: 2-1)
Across the Leagues member Eric shares his thoughts on why this season’s figure might be down:
“Re. The HT/FT reversal stats. As you noted, this season has been very quiet so far. One of the reasons may be the absence of supporters. In the scenario where the home side concedes in the first half, the crowd does sometimes help to get them over the line in the second half. Contrarily, when the home side goes in at half time 1-0 and subsequently an equaliser goes in, the crowd get edgy, affecting the home performance, resulting in them conceding again. Obviously, this impetus is lost in an empty stadium”
There are full schedules in Leagues One & Two this evening, and I’ve got two more well-starred contenders in the ongoing quest for a juicy Win & Both Teams to Score (Win & BTTS) combo:
Rochdale v Oxford Utd (League One, 7pm)
Cheltenham v Oldham (League Two, 7pm)
If you’re following me in with today’s 26/1 double, remember – we don’t need many of these to come in over the course of the season to make it all worthwhile. And we’re having plenty of fun along the way…
From the analysis above, here are my picks for today…
Inter Milan v AC Milan
English Football League (EFL)
I’ll be back tomorrow with more analysis, stats & advice for you.
Enjoy the football…