What Were The Odds Of That?
Writer. 23. Mainly DailyMirror & Mirror Football but also Guardian Sport, ESPNFC and Betfair Sports. Surname rhymes with Galleon.
Upsets in the Scottish Premier League. Real Madrid return to the top 2 of La Liga. Schalke defeat rivals Dortmund....again. Today on the blog Ed Malyon delivers his wrap up of all the weekend's football betting.
The Premier League action this week threw up some interesting games, but for our purposes there was very little of note, so we head north of the border to Scotland where both of the Old Firm managed to lose.
Top of the table Celtic led 2-0 at newly-promoted Ross County – the club whose stadium holds more people than the population of the town it’s situated in, Dingwall – but the highlanders turned it round in phenomenal style to win 3-2 in a memorable victory.
2-0 down, the hosts brought things back to 2-1 but could not find a face-saving equaliser as their southern visitors – who were only accepted into the SFL in 2008 – prevailed.
Ross County were on good form at least, and their win was a best price of just over 6/1 pre-game – although touching triple figures when 2-0 down – but lowly Annan were second-bottom and hadn’t won in 7. Their price? An average of 17.44 but a best price of a shade outside 33/1 with Leon Bets!
Had you backed both of these sides in a double with that same bookie, then your odds would have been a tasty 224/1.
Not bad, eh?
The Odds: Ross County are currently best priced at odds of 6.00 with Stan James to finish second to Celtic in the SPL this season.
The big bad Wolf
Hovering just above the dropzone, things were getting pretty uncomfortable for 2009 Bundesliga champions Wolfsburg and the very real possibility of slipping into the second tier was not lost on the club’s management.
Today though, they are twelfth after their surprise win at fourth-placed Freiburg. A 4/1 away win doesn’t come round very often and it was fairly convincing, even though the hosts went ahead after just two minutes.
Schalke were another big price win this weekend as they turned over Dortmund in the Ruhr derby.
Historically the Königsblauen have the upper hand when these two sides from Germany’s industrial west come face-to-face, but Borussia Dortmund’s improvement under Jurgen Klopp had seen them win back-to-back titles and last year they did the double over Schalke on their way to glory.
Yet this year that has been flipped on his head, and Schalke’s win at the Veltins Arena secured their second league win of the season over BVB, a result that Stan James had a 3.75 pre-game.
The Odds: Schalke are currently best priced at odds of 2.30 with Bet365 to complete a top 4 Bundesliga finish this season.
Fuori di casa
Our biggest two winners in Italy were both away wins, but came at different ends of the table.
Bologna’s late winner at Inter really damaged the Nerazzuri’s hopes of Champions League football, and also cast further doubt over the future of young manager Andrea Stramaccioni.
5.1 with Interwetten at kick off, Bologna notched their third win in a row against this faltering Internazionale side that have managed just three victories in their last twelve games.
Having started their good run with a win against Fiorentina – another Champions League chaser – Bologna have proven that they can beat the better teams in this division, and that is just as well because next week they play Juventus.
The other big winner was at the bottom, where Siena played Palermo in Sicily.
The bottom three, comprising Pescara and the two aforementioned sides, were level on points at the start of play but Siena turned around a half-time deficit to win 2-1 and send Palermo bottom.
Maurizio Zamparini may now sack manager Gian Piero Gasperini, resulting in his 180th managerial change of the season and most likely head coach number 2815 of his reign as club president.
The Odds: Juventus remain short priced favourites to finish top this season, currently best priced at odds of 1.10 at Bet365, with second placed Napoli best priced at odds of 13.00 with Stan James to overtake them.
All good things (non-duopolies) must come to an end
Real Madrid finally overtook city rivals Atletico this weekend to restore the classic Spanish football hegemony that we had kind of got used to living without – and even enjoyed.
Atleti’s brilliant home record, and clean sheet record, both disappeared in a Basque haze as Donostian visitors Real Sociedad snatched three points from the Vicente Calderón and provided the shock of the weekend.
Worth remembering amid Atleti’s drop is that La Real with this result overtook Malaga into the fourth Champions League spot, and provided they can hold them to a draw or better when they meet in the first week of April, Philippe Montanier’s side will have the advantage in the chase for a place at European football’s top table.
Top-priced at 7.25, Real Sociedad frustrated a talented Atletico Madrid side and a second-half goal from old campaigner Xabi Prieto was enough to continue the San Sebastián side’s phenomenal run of form that has seen just one defeat in eighteen – and even that was a 4-3 loss at the Bernabeu.
They have qualified for the Champions League just once before, even progressing to the last sixteen, but doing so this season would have far greater long-term benefits for the club that was looking a relegation candidate in October and November.
The Odds: Real Madrid are currently best priced at odds of 1.07 with Ladbrokes to finish second behind Barcelona in La Liga this season, while at odds of 34.00 also with Ladbrokes to overtake their rivals.
Follow Ed on Twitter : @eaamalyon
You can read more of Ed's thoughts at The Mirror
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