Tuesday 19th January 2021
In Across the Leagues today:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to the starting line-up for AC Milan last night. And he didn’t waste any time in getting straight back to business…
Returning from an injury layoff and making his first Serie A start since scoring twice in a 3-1 win at Napoli on 22nd November. Zlatan bagged a brace for the Italian league leaders on Monday evening.
The 39-year-old self-styled footballing legend scored both goals in a 2-0 win at Cagliari. Including winning & converting a penalty after just 7 minutes.
Ibrahimovic is now joint-2nd in the Serie A scorer charts this season. Level with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile and Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku on 12 goals. With Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way on 15.
The bookies are now going Win Only in the Serie A 2020/21 Top Goalscorer market, no longer taking Each Way bets for this season’s top scorer race. William Hill’s latest prices have those four men priced up as follows:
Ronaldo 4/6 (1.67)
Lukuku 11/2 (6.5)
Immobile 13/2 (7.5)
Ibrahimovic 10/1 (11.0)
Ibrahimovic has now scored 13 goals in 13 appearances in all competitions for AC Milan this season…
But the question is, does backing the big man in every game actually make money?
Let’s use last night’s match-day prices as an example. For the league game at Cagliari, Zlatan was 4/5 (1.8) at best to score Anytime. And the 13/5 (3.6) favourite to be First Goalscorer:
Those figures tell us that backing Zlatan to score First is proving the best way to profit from him.
And considering Ibrahimovic is almost guaranteed to be the favourite in the First Goalscorer market every time he’s named on the team-sheet, that a remarkable feat.
AC Milan’s next game is at home v Atalanta on Saturday.
Talking of Win Only prices in the European leagues. Here’s what we noted back in September, before a ball was kicked in this campaign in the German Bundesliga:
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.
With 16 rounds played, and the Bundesliga about to hit the halfway point with midweek fixtures across tonight & tomorrow evening, here’s how the top of the scorer chart is looking:
Robert Lewandowski 21 goals
Erling Braut Haaland 12
Andre Silva 12
Wout Weghorst 11
Now, I don’t expect to receive a round of applause for mentioning Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich man is completely franking his short odds-on price, a whopping 9 goals clear in the Top Goalscorer race already.
And with such a big lead for Lewandowski, and no Each Way places to shoot at all season in the German top-flight, it would be a massive ask for any of the chasing pack to catch him at the Win Only odds currently available. Here’s the market at William Hill:
Lewandowski 1/50 (1.02)
Haaland 12/1 (13.0)
Weghorst 33/1 (34.0)
Silva 66/1 (67.0)
At this stage, a £100 stake on Lewandowski would give a profit of just £2. And that’s assuming he finished top of the pile come the end of the season, of course. No, thank you.
The other guys in the chasing pack can do well for us in the match-day markets, though...
Erling Braut Haaland is recently back from injury. The 20-year-old star has scored 2 goals in 3 games since his return to the Borussia Dortmund team this month.
Dortmund are 2nd in the Bundesliga and have a big game tonight, away at 5th place Bayer Leverkusen (7.30pm, BT Sport).
Skybet, BetVictor, Ladbrokes & Coral go 21/20 (2.05) for Haaland to score Anytime. Everyone else has the Norwegian odds-on.
Wout Weghorst is having another good season for Wolfsburg. His team are away at Mainz this evening (7.30pm, BT Sport/ ESPN)…
Wolfsburg’s away form is not actually much to write home about, despite their high league position. They sit 6th in the table, but have only registered one win from 8 attempts on the road.
The away win tonight is odds-on at 5/6 (1.83). The Weghorst Anytime price beats that, with odds of 23/20 (2.15) a shade into odds-against territory.
For their part, Mainz are second-bottom of the Bundesliga, and have no Clean Sheets at home all season (from 9 games), and just one in 18 matches in all comps overall.
Onto the midweek EFL action now, and two teams get the nod from me today on the Win & Both Teams to Score stats…
Across the Leagues regular Chris B is getting plenty of enjoyment from following the ‘Win & BTTS’ bets this season:
“I am so pleased you got me into BTTS. Every time I place a bet, (the Italian league is certainly fruitful), I really enjoy the buzz”
Yesterday we flagged up Morecambe as a team to follow at attractive odds in the League Two Outright markets. The Shrimps are also a well-rated contender when it comes to Win & Both Teams to Score…
Morecambe v Walsall (League Two, 7pm)
Doncaster Rovers v Rochdale (League One, 7pm)
Take your pick…
As ever, there are various ways that you could play these Win/ BTTS contenders…
As singles, Morecambe to Win and Both Teams to Score is 15/4 (4.75) and 7/2 (4.5). Doncaster to Win and Both Teams to Score is 21/10 (3.1).
The straight-up Match Win double pays around 14/5 (3.8).
A double on Both Teams to Score comes out at a top-price 2/1 (3.0) with William Hill.
For the biggest potential returns, the Win & Both Teams to Score combo pays a standout 14/1, and that’s my aggressive stats-based selection for this evening.
From the analysis above, here are my picks for today…
Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund
Mainz v Wolfsburg
English Football League
I’ll be back tomorrow, including a look at the chances of an upset in the Copa del Rey in Spain.
Enjoy the football…