The international break can be something of a nightmare for punters, with terrible odds offered by the bookmakers matched by some rather inept displays by the minnows of the continent.
Happily, our latest attempt at the challenge was not derailed by such shenanigans, and we move on to Week 2 and a rather fuller fixture list than the one we had to decode last week.
Here’s how things have progressed thus far:
- Bet 1: Belgium vs Gibraltar: Belgium to Win & Both Teams to Score (No) – The Belgians recorded a 9-0 (NINE) goal win against the hapless Gibraltar.
- Bet 2: Malta vs England: England to Win to Nil – The biggest danger to punters here was being bored into a coma as the Three Lions slogged their way to a 4-0 verdict.
- Bet 3: Latvia vs Switzerland: Switzerland/Draw Double Chance – why can’t all editions of the challenge be this easy? Switzerland romped to a 3-0 win in Latvia to complete Week 1 in style.
So here we are with a whopping £14.77 burning a hole in our pocket and a full fixture list to choose from. What could possibly go wrong?
Bet 4: Augsburg vs Koln: Augsburg +1.25 Asian Handicap – £14.77 at 1/8
Saturday September 9, 14:30
Our first stop of the week is in Germany, where we will be backing an Augsburg with a healthy one-goal headstart against a below-par Koln.
The hosts were outstanding in the 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach last time out, and they will be disappointed not to have claimed all three points given how they dominated the shot data and any other metric you could care to mention.
Koln are pointless after their opening pair of Bundesliga matches, and they have been thoroughly outplayed in both into the bargain.
Bet 5: Inter Milan vs SPAL: Inter +0.25 Asian Handicap – £16.62 at 1/10
Sunday September 10, 11:30
Inter Milan have started the Serie A campaign in exhilarating fashion, beating Fiorentina 3-0 and Roma 3-1. They have completely dominated the shot count in both outings, and so the only thing that could stop them against promoted SPAL is complacency.
The visitors are currently W1 D1 L0 in the Italian top flight, but be under no illusions: they were battered in their opening game away from home at Lazio, and it’s a miracle they did not concede at least once.
Bet 6: Groningen vs VVV Venlo: Venlo +2.25 Asian Handicap – £18.28 at 1/9
Sunday September 10, 15:45
For this selection to fail Groningen would need to score three times and keep a clean sheet, and judging by their results so far this season that is quite a stretch.
The beauty of keeping your own data model is that you can see the story within the story, and perhaps identify future trends early. To cut a long story short, our chance creation model suggests Groningen should have lost all three of their Eredivisie outings so far, rather than the W1 D1 L1 they have collected. The key point is that they are yielding chances, and so far that has led to seven goals being shipped.
There is nothing for Venlo to fear then. Yes, they were outplayed by Ajax last time out but there’s no shame in that, and in their prior two matches they were deserved winners over Sparta and Twente respectively.
Bet 7: Estoril vs Moreirense: Estoril +1.00 Asian Handicap – £20.31 at 1/9
Sunday September 10, 20:15
The bookmakers are undervaluing Estoril here, who have been unlucky to play Porto and Sporting in their opening four games. Those both ended in defeat, but victories over Guimares (3-0) and Tondela (3-2) should be enough to keep punters sweet.
Their only home outing was that romp over Guimares, where they restricted their opponents to one shot on target which came outside of the 18-yard-box. They’ve scored seven in their last three games and everything is hunky dory right now in the camp.
Moreirense, meanwhile, failed to record a single shot on target in their 0-0 with Feirense, and they have still only scored once in 360 minutes of Primeira Liga this term. They’ve lost their last two games 0-3, and in truth those scorelines are fully backed up by the shot data.