Feb 4, 2012

Macara - Deportivo Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

We have some nice value now on Deportivo Quito, since the odds on them went to around 2.20, compared to the starting 1.80 offered by Sbo, so this is why this bet comes a bit late. Deportivo is the reigning champion of the Ecuadorian Serie A, and will have to start their title defense against the newly promoted Macara. Despite having to play next week a Libertadores match in Mexico, they won't be resting anyone today, and they'll go full strength to kick-off their campaign on a positive note. Not a lot of changes in their squad, compared to last season, as they kept the core of the team, and let's remember the great performance they did in the Segunda Etapa, managing to remain undefeated after the first 12 rounds, with only 4 goals conceded. Goalkeeper Elizaga and top scorer Bevacqua are doubtful for tonight's match, but latest news suggest that the Argentinian striker could play. Macara also managed to keep more or less the same players as last season, but it's a big difference between being competitive in the second division, and showing your skills in the top division. If Deportivo can build on last season's form, they shouldn't have too many worries here, and with the current odds it's worth to try an away win.

Deportivo Quito (-0.5 AH) @ 2.20, 3/10
Result: 1-0, LOST

Olimpia - Sportivo Carapegua

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Olimpia kicks-off their season with what is expected to be an easy match, against newly promoted Sportivo Carapegua. And there's really not much to say about them: they lack known players, don't have any stars, and will have to rely on team-work and team-strength in order to achieve the great performance of not relegating. Meanwhile, Olimpia are the reigning champions of the first league, and they will surely want to defend their trophy. They have kept more or less the same squad as last season, not selling any of their star players, while making a couple of good aquisitions, including defender Renzo Revoredo from Sporting Cristal. That means that they have kept both midfield engines Vladimir Marin and Sergio Orteman, as well as their main attacking force Pablo Zeballos and Luis Caballero. With this being said, I believe it will all be up to Olimpia, as Carapegua won't have much to say in this match, and if they remain focused for the entire game, they could put in quite a score. Would have played bigger stakes, but with the handicap being so big, small stakes will do. GL!

Olimpia (-1.5 AH) @ 2.01, 2/10
Result: 3-2, LOST

Guarani - Independiente

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

The Paraguay season starts today, and as an opening match we will have Guarani - Independiente, in what should be an entertaining game. Independiente were quite surpriseful in last season's Clausura, finishing on a decent 6th place, above teams like Rubio Nu and Guarani. This season's squad doesn't look bad either, so they can be hopefull of finishing again in the mid-high part of the table. Guarani made a complete disaster last year, ending the Clausura tournament on the 9th position, despite often playing some very entertaining matches (they had a solid attack, but one of the poorest defenses in the league). And that style should remain with them this season too, as for this opening match the coach has prepared an offensive 3-2-3-2, which is sure to put a lot of pressure on Independiente. The problem, however, is the 3-man defensive line, which even the coach rated as a big unknown. Independiente managed to pull off some surprises last season, and with Guarani's tactics they should find some spaces for counters, therefore I fancy a nice, high-scoring match. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 2.07, 3/10
Result: 3-1, WON

Feb 1, 2012

Libertad Asuncion - El Nacional

Copa Libertadores 2012

Libertad lost in the first leg, by a narrow 0-1, so I was expecting a -0.75 to bank on it, but unfortunately, the bookies only offer -1 at some pretty low odds. So this definitely isn't a value bet, but still, it's a bet that should be a winner (or at least not a loser). The first match was considered to be an equal affair, and indeed it was. El Nacional won, but it really could have gone either way, with Libertad creating several chances, but failing to score any of them. So, with the background set, we come to the second leg, which I expect to be a bit different. The Paraguayans will surely take on a more offensive approach, as they are trailing by one goal, while the Ecuador side already expressed their plans to use a more defensive minded strategy. What will be the deciding factor then? First of all, Libertad has an overall better team than the Ecuadorians, and it is a more solid team, with more international experience. Then, El Nacional won't have the altitude advantage as in the first leg, and that also drops their chances for this match. Finally, Libertad is a very tough team to beat when playing at home, and teams like LDU Quito, Sao Paulo and Fluminense stand proof for that. They should qualify, but even if they don't, a win shouldn't be under question. Small stakes only, because of the lack of value of this bet. GL!

Libertad (-1 AH) @ 1.70, 4/10
Result: 4-1, WON