Nov 13, 2010

Inti Gas - Jose Galvez

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla A

This should be the bet of the day, and I'm giving it huge confidence. Inti Gas, as we all know, is one of the best home teams. They have a pretty good squad, but the altitude of Ayacucho also helps them a lot. They have indeed lost a total of 5 matches at home, but most of them were against the better teams of the league (San Martin, Cesar Vallejo, Leon Huanuco). They are still having mathematical chances to catch a place for Copa Sudamericana, but seriously, they have as much chances as Huancayo, and that's practically nil. But I expect them to fight for a win here, as they should look for redemption, after the flop from last match, when they lost at home against Sporting Cristal. But the good stuff from this match comes from Jose Galvez. They are in some serious trouble with relegation, and they are saving almost all of their regulars for their next home game, against Universitario. They have never won when playing at Inti Gas, and keeping a realistic view on the situation, they know a full strength team will most probably lose again, and will also suffer a lot physically from the altitude. So, a number of 9 players have been given some days off following their last match, and will only report to training on Sunday. That leaves a few reserves for today's game, while the rest of the squad will be filled with youngsters. Doubt they will handle the pressure and the thick air, so I'm expecting the hosts to win quite comfortably. GL!

Inti Gas (-1 AH) @ 1.68, 6/10
Result: 6-0, WON

Nov 11, 2010

LDU Quito - Newell's Old Boys

Copa Sudamericana

I've waited for the -1 lines for these two matches, as I strongly believe both Sudamericana matches from Wednesday will be clear and easy home wins. Let's take a look at the match-up from Ecuador first. LDU has an awesome record when playing at home in continental competitions, and haven't lost a game played in Casablanca in ages. The high altitude provides them with a huge advantage, but they are also a great team, and it's purely their merit for making legendary results in Quito (just a reminder that in the last 3-4 years they have won Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana and 2 consecutive Recopas). And the team news are also going well. Following their game against Deportivo Cuenca from Saturday, where they used all their regulars as it was a crucial match for the title, there were 5 doubtful players for this match. But their recovery is going well, and it looks like the only that is likely to miss the game will be midfielder Patricio Urrutia, while top scorer Barcos is 90% certain of starting against the Argentinians. Otherwise, no other absences, and they will once again use their best team. Newell's isn't a bad team at all. Actually they are one of the best organized Argentinian teams, and I feel they would have deserved more from that first leg, instead of the 0-0. Their players should be fit for this game, as against Godoy Cruz in the league they fielded a second team, but altitude should be their biggest opponent today. Argentinian and Brazilian teams suffer the most when playing at altitude, as they never do it in their leagues (unlike Peruvians, Colombians, etc), and if we look at Newell's record at high altitude in the last 5 years, they are 0-0-3 (0-2 against San Jose this year - although they played with reserves, 1-2 at Emelec this year in Libertadores, and 2-3 at The Strongest in the 2006 Libertadores). Don't know how easy will the match be for LDU, but Newell's should rely only on defense, as they need an away goal, and LDU love the teams that attack them in Quito. GL!

LDU (-1 AH) @ 2.03, 4/10
Result: 1-0, VOID

Palmeiras - Atletico Mineiro

Copa Sudamericana

Odds have gone down on this one, so there isn't probably any value left, but this bet still looks good and very likely to happen. Palmeiras wants this Cup, as it could be their easiest way to next year's Copa Libertadores, since in the league they are 5 points behind the last place that qualifies them, and they appear to sacrifice that, since they used a reserves team last weekend, and have still managed to win the game. So, all the regulars should be fit tonight, a thing that can't be said about Atletico Mineiro. They have much bigger problems, as the fight to avoid relegation will go all the way to the wire. And their priority is of course the league, where they are playing full strength, unlike in the Copa Sudamericana, where for this match they will rest all of their regulars, and play with a fully B squad. That surely gives Palmeiras a huge advantage, but there is also another interesting theory here. Next week, this match will see a repeat, but this time in the league, and since Mineiro is practically gifting the win in Sudamericana, Palmeiras could have the chance to return the favor, and gift them some vital points in the relegation battle. In the last 3 meetings that were played in Sao Paulo, Palmeiras won 2 with the same score of 3-1, and even if Mineiro field reserves tonight, I doubt we'll see a trashing. 2-0 score looks the most probable, so I'm expecting an easy cover of the handicap. GL!

Palmeiras (-1 AH) @ 1.80, 4/10
Result: 2-0, WON

Nov 10, 2010

Sport Boys - Alianza Atletico

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla B

Just 5 more rounds before this league reaches it's final, and usually, this is the time when surprises start appearing. So let's try to take advantage by some of the odds the bookies wrongly set (at least in my opinion). Sport Boys are heavy favorites, and in some bookies there has been a massive odds fall on them (1.78 to 1.62). But the interesting fact here is that in the last 3 years, they have never won against Alianza Atletico, from 11 matches, and they have been set as huge favorites just once (first match in 2008)... otherwise, odds were usually around 2, so this give us an automatic value on Alianza. Especially since the visitors are the team in need. They are just 1 point ahead of the relegation area, and are in desperate need of points. Meanwhile, Sport Boys aren't assured of avoiding relegation, but they have a much easier task, as they are 7 points ahead of Cienciano, who play at Leon de Huanuco, so it's not likely they will cut the lead. And Boys, in case of things heating up, can easily solve their last 2 home matches, against an unmotivated Sport Huancayo, and in the last round, against a Leon side that should be qualified to the final and should also rest their regulars. Both teams are in good form (15 points in the last 10 matches for each of them), and with no important absences, so I'm going with the team that has the head-to-head advantage, and also has more need for points. GL!

Alianza Atletico (+0.5 AH) @ 2.12, 3/10
Result: 2-2, WON

FBC Melgar - Sport Huancayo

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla B

I'm surprised to see such high odds on this match, especially with Huancayo's famous poor results out of their home stadium. Indeed, Melgar won't find an ally in the high altitude, as both these teams are playing 'high', but home advantage should still be present. Huancayo won a single match on the road, and even when playing against other teams at altitdude, they still had problems (won 3-0 at Cienciano - but when they were in the deepest point of their crisis... otherwise, they lost early in the championship at the same Cienciano, drew at Melgar, lost at Inti Gas, and lost twice with Leon). I rate these teams as quite on the same level, and as a proof we can see that in their 7 games played since last year, neither team has won as a visitor, just the 1-1 draw at Melgar earlier this season. Besides that, Melgar should also be the more motivated side, as they are still threatened a bit by the relegation, and a win today will 99% save them, while Huancayo is already clear of any worries. The -0.25 handicap is a must try in my opinion, as the odds don't really reflect Huancayo's abilities when it comes to away games. GL!

FBC Melgar (-0.25 AH) @ 1.80, 3/10
Result: 2-0, WON

Nov 7, 2010

All Boys - River Plate

Argentina Primera Division, Apertura

I just couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the odds, and I just can't understand why River is a favorite here (probably because people are betting, and odds are set in favor of the big name). Even saw, I waited until the last minute to take the bet, as I was waiting for some last minute news on All Boys's line-up, as they had 5 regulars doubtful. And the news are pretty good, as 3 of those 5 have been recovered and should start, leaving only midfielder Perea and striker Ereros out of the game. The absence of Ereros could be the tricky part here, as in his place, Fabbiani will play, and he's pretty much awful. But I have faith in his team-mates, and if they play like they usually do on home ground, I don't give River much chances. All Boys are really playing well at home, defeating some huge names from Argentina, like Boca, Estudiantes or Independiente, and besides the wins, what really surprised me was the way they are playing, always looking for the goal, and avoiding the 'defend at all costs' strategy, that the small teams usually employ. River, on the other hand, are still in the relegation play-off area, and look totally out of form. Despite their big names (Pavone, Buonanotte, Funes Mori, etc), they just can't seem to get it right, and are on a streak of 6 games without a win. They have a lot of troubles in scoring, despite being able to create a lot of chances, and if they let their opponents to put pressure on them, it usually turns into a conceded goal. The DNB looks great, same as the over 2 line, as I expect an open game, with All Boys as the most probable winner. GL!

All Boys DNB @ 2, 3/10
Result: 1-0, WON

Sport Huancayo - Universidad Cesar Vallejo

Peru Primera Division, Liguilla B

Again, crazy odds here. Cesar Vallejo might be in bad form lately, but to give them odds of 6-7 for a win against a mediocre team is just crazy. First plus that should be for UCV in relation to their previous games, is the fact that they now have a new coach, so I think we can count on a 'new coach' effect. After that, we can see that they still have something to play for. Even though the final is far away, despite Leon losing yesterday, UCV are in the best position to catch Alianza Lima for the last spot for Libertadores, as they could close the gap to just 3 points if they win and Alianza loses. Huancayo has nothing to play for, as they have no relegation issues, and no hopes for a continental competition, so they'll just play the remaining matches for fun. Of course, that could be an advantage for them, as they'll be playing without pressure. So, for sure, their only big advantage will be the altitude, but Cesar Vallejo is a team that doesn't usually suffer when playing at heights, and can perform there better than other teams. Both teams should have pretty much their strongest team available (new UCV coach doesn't seem to want to rotate or replace some players), so it should be an equal match. In this case, the odds on Huancayo are a big joke, and I'll gladly take the generous handicap on Cesar Vallejo. GL!

UCV (+1 AH) @ 1.92, 4/10
Result: 1-0, VOID

San Lorenzo - Independiente

Argentina Primera Division, Apertura

Independiente is the other Argentinian team that performs in the Copa Sudamericana, and we can see the consequence in the league. They have been awful so far in the league, finding themselves 3rd from bottom, but ever since coach Mohamed came to the club, there have been some visible improvements. However, away from home they have only managed to snatch one draw in 6 games, the other 5 matches ending in defeats. The big news is that after some thinking, the team will go with the B squad against San Lorenzo. Mohamed was determined to rest a few regulars, but also to field a decent team against El Ciclon, but it looks like he changed his mind overnight, and he will rest most of his regulars for the second leg against Deportes Tolima (who will also rest their regulars tonight). Sudamericana is a must for Independiente this season, as it is their only hope for playing in Libertadores next season. With this information, the odds on San Lorenzo become value, despite falling a bit in the last 2 days. El Ciclon isn't in the best form, and this should be a great opportunity for them to get back to winning ways. They will also change their defensive line from 3 defenders to 4, due to a couple of injuries, and that should give them more stability. A few changes are also expected in offense, as lately the strikers are seeming incapable of scoring, despite creating a lot of chances, but I have faith in the ability of those who will start tomorrow (most probably Menseguez and Rovira). GL!

San Lorenzo (-0.5 AH) @ 1.77, 5/10
Result: 1-1, LOST

Racing Club - Arsenal Sarandi

Argentina Primera Division, Apertura

Pretty high odds for the over in my opinion, in a match between 2 teams that are not goal-shy. Especially when playing at home, Racing does it very well, and scores quite a lot for this league, and has already scored 12 goals in 6 games, most of them thanks to offensive midfielder Moreno, who is in exceptional form. And in front of him will play today Hauche and Bieler, players that are always capable of scoring, and especially Hauche seems also in quite a nice form. Racing is gunning for a Libertadores ticket, and they need to gun it hard, so anything else than a victory is not an option here. Meanwhile, Arsenal are the surprise package of this Apertura, and are looking to remain at the leaders' back, as with 3 points today they will move back to 4 points behind Estudiantes, and if things go ideal for them, we could see a showdown for the title in the last round, when they play in La Plata. But I seriously doubt they'll be able to keep it up until then. Striker Leguizamon is also in good form, and if there are some opportunities for him, I'm sure they'll make them count. The 2 goals line for this match seems like an underestimation of the game, and I'll gladly take it, as I don't expect anything below a minimum of 2 goals. GL!

over 2 goals @ 1.79, 4/10
Result: 2-2, WON