Number Game

Numbers Game: Cats to have a ball

Friday 14th September 2012 14:56

Liverpool: Up against it at Sunderland

Liverpool: Up against it at Sunderland

Liverpool fans look away now because Matt Briggs thinks Sunderland, with or without a beach ball, are the Value Bet of the Numbers Game so far.

After a week off to watch paint dry during the international week, @MattPBriggs' football betting blog is back with a smashing 12/5 Value Bet - the best of the season so far.

Having backed Liverpool at 7/1 for a bottom-half finish in the Premier League last week, I've simply got to oppose them in the Numbers Game away at Sunderland on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers' men travel north and the 12/5 about Martin O'Neill's men is a must.

The Sunderland selection is the headline tip, but I also fancy Chelsea as the Banker and some juicy prices about wins for Norwich, Ipswich, Chesterfield, Burton and Carlisle.

I've also got all the opinions from the men in the know - the bookies - with the thoughts from Sky Bet, Bodog and Paddy Power.

Let me know your tips for the weekend in the box below and good luck!


    Sunderland to beat Liverpool at 12/5 (Sat, 5.30pm).

    The Black Cats needed the aid of a beach ball to defeat Liverpool 1-0 in 2009 and they look primed for more joy - without any extra help - on Saturday against Brendan Rodgers' strugglers. Sunderland chalked up another 1-0 victory against the Reds last season and they are a stand-out 12/5 to beat Liverpool once more. In new boys Adam Johnson, who is an injury worry, and Steven Fletcher they have a real potency in attack, while Liverpool have struggled to score goals. The Reds have yet to score in open play and look like a side in transition. The 5/2 on Martin O'Neill's men is simply too good to turn down.


    Sky Bet say Everton have been hugely popular to win the Monday night encounter against Newcastle. The Toffeemen opened up at evens but are now a skinny 4/5 to register another victory at Goodison Park.In League Two Bradford are again well supported at home. They face strugglers Barnet and are now 1/2 from 8/13, as punters obviously fancy the Bantams in front of their home crowd.
    Bodog say interestingly there has been money for 11/4 West Brom to keep the momentum going by winning at Fulham. Martin Jol's side were very poor at West Ham and the Baggies look full of confidence.
    Paddy Power have seen a small rush of money on QPR whom we began laying at 5/1 but have since been cut to 15/4. We have layed Man Utd heavier than usual this week, also some support for Everton at home to Newcastle.
  • WHO'S HOT -

    Chelsea (7/8) won all three Prem games and travel to QPR (4/1).
    Exeter (23/20) won their last four in League Two and host York (11/4).
    Fleetwood (5/6) won their last three in League Two and host Northampton (15/4).

  • WHO'S NOT -

    Southampton (9/1) lost all three Prem games and travel to Arsenal (2/5).
    Peterborough (19/5) lost last four in Champ and travel to Burnley (5/6).
    Burnley (5/6) lost last three in Champ and host Peterborough (17/4).
    Barnet (6/1) lost last three in League Two and travel to Bradford (4/7).

    Sky Bet: Manchester United look a good lay at 1/4 as they face Wigan at Old Trafford. United could be without Robin van Persie and Patrice Evra following injuries picked up on international duty and Wigan always seem to impress against the top sides.
    Another side we are looking to take on are Chelsea as they face the tricky trip to Loftus Road. You would have to be brave to back the Blues at 5/6 to win this against a fired up Queens Park Rangers.

    Bodog: The weekend's banker double looks to be Arsenal to beat Southampton and Man Utd to beat Wigan. The double pays a shade under 8/11 with us and frankly we'll be very surprised if that one doesn't come off.
    In terms of lays we feel Stoke City could well do us another favour as they welcome another top side to the Britannia. Arsenal's guns were spiked and we can see 8/11 Man City, who have not beaten the Potters in four Premier attempts at the Britannia, enduring another tough 90 minutes there. Former United man Michael Owen looks set to make his debut and there's been money for him at 3/1 to score any time, a feat that would no doubt sicken the blue half of Manchester if it denies them any points.
    On Sunday AVB's woes may be set to continue if bets placed are a barometer of fate. 11/4 Reading are being backed to beat visitors Spurs who are a shade of odds-against. The North Londoners look a very good lay for us given their poor start to the season.

    Paddy Power: We wouldn't put anyone off backing Southampton to get a draw or a win away to Arsenal, the Gunners look good enough on the road but seemed to have picked up where they left off at the Emirates last season - lacklustre and inadequate. The under 2.5 goals in this game looks a great bet at 6/4.
    Gillingham who have started the season well are a good bet at 8/11 against a Bristol Rovers team who have been consistently underperforming for quite some time now.

    West Ham (11/5) won none of their last 14 league trips to Norwich (6/4).
    Manchester United (3/10) won 14 of last 15 meetings in all comps with Wigan (12/1).
    Everton (17/20) lost just one of last nine Prem home games v Newcastle (17/4) (Mon).
    Bristol City (7/4) unbeaten in 15 home games v Blackburn (17/10).
    Cardiff (11/10) seven unbeaten at home to Leeds (11/4).
    Birmingham (13/5) five games unbeaten away at Nottingham Forest (6/5).
    Colchester (6/4) won four of last five at home v Doncaster (19/10).
    Sheff Utd (8/15) won six of last seven at home to Bury (6/1).
    Tranmere (11/10) won four of last five at home v Coventry (11/4).
    Gillingham (4/5) won last four at home v Bristol R (4/1).
  • BANKER -

    Chelsea to win at QPR at 7/8.

    I'm not a huge fan of backing teams away from home at odds-on, but I reckon Chelsea are a good thing. QPR have brought in bucket loads of new players and they are nowhere near close to gelling yet and Chelsea have already adopted a winning habit this season.


    Accrington's Padraig Amond has three in four and is 15/8 to score at Dagenham.
    Northampton's Alex Nicholls has four in four and is 13/5 to score at Fleetwood.
    Southend's Britt Assombalonga has four in four and is 11/5 to score at Cheltenham.
    Chesterfield's Craig Westcarr has two in two and is 7/4 to score v Wycombe.

    Ipswich to win at Middlesbrough at 5/2.

    Midfielder Josh McEachran (thigh) and striker Ismael Miller (ankle) are doubtful at The Riverside. Nicky Bailey and Rhys Williams are on the long-term injury list and Kevin Thomson (calf) and Mustapha Carayol (hamstring) are also causing concern.

    Chesterfield to beat Wycombe at evens.

    Wycombe boss Gary Waddock is likely to be without striker Dennis Oli (ankle) and key midfielder Matthew Spring is also a doubt. Defensive duo Anthony Stewart and Marvin McCoy are doubtful.

    Norwich to beat West Ham at 6/4 (Sat, 12.45pm).

    After 1-1 draw v Spurs, Chris Hughton said: "Arguably we deserved to win. This is a tough place to come but we created a lot of chances. The thing I was most pleased with was the response. We are playing quite well at the moment, but to go one behind here, not let our heads drop, force the equaliser and then have a chance to win at the end, speaks volumes for the team."

    Burton to beat Oxford at 19/10.

    Burton assistant boss Kevin Summerfield, speaking after the 1-0 win at Rochdale, said: "It could be argued that we have too many options to choose from up front, but nobody has really made the position their own as yet. The one thing we have got out of this game is the fact we have a very competitive squad."
    While Rochdale boss John Coleman paid tribute to the Brewers: "The best team won, it was a fair result, they know how we play and Burton have done a job on us and fair play to them."

    Carlisle to beat Swindon at 9/5.

    After Swindon's 1-0 home defeat to Leyton Orient, Paolo Di Canio said: "After two or three games I have discovered that my players do not have the quality to improve. I did not mind losing the record, it was bound to happen one day, but it was the way we lost I did not enjoy. There was not the desire or the 100% commitment. After this week's results I think I have over-estimated my players. It was an empty performance in terms of heart but I could not imagine we would lose in this way."

    You can follow me on Twitter at @MattPBriggs



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