May 11, 2012

Santos - Bolivar

Copa Libertadores 2012, Round of 16

Very early bet here, as despite the line being quite high (although fully expected), the odds should drop in the next couple of days. So, here we have first of all a high quality difference between the teams. Home side are the reigning champions of Copa Libertadores, and runner-ups in the Club World Cup of last year. On the other side, we have a Bolivian team whom we can't say is in a very good moment, and they are also a team that are traditionally poor travelers (home they have a huge altitude advantage, but when you take that away from them, they are below average). However, they still got 4 points of of 9 as visitors, in the group stages. But this time it should be different. Besides the above mentioned quality difference, Santos also have the motivation to take this game seriously. Losing 1-2 in the first leg, they have no other option than to win here, in order to avoid the shameful 'performance' of being eliminated by a Bolivian team. Even though a 1-0 win should be enough for them, I am very sure they won't approach the match with this in mind. Two goals are the minimum that I expect, but normally, this match should have plenty. Small stakes only, as the Brazilians to have a tendency to become lazy. GL!

Santos (-2 AH) @ 1.78, 4/10
Result: 8-0, WON

May 9, 2012

Velez - Atletico Nacional

Copa Libertadores 2012, Round of 16

Kind of unexpected result last week in Colombia, with Velez winning 1-0. I knew it wouldn't be so easy for the home side, but this result came as a real surprise... also, I was expecting a lot more goals, but hopefully, they will make up for that tonight. Having lost at home, Atletico have only on choice left today: to attack and to win. Very offensive formation is expected, and we have seen the damage that the Colombians can do, even away from home (scored 4 goals to both Penarol and Godoy Cruz). And with the attacking, Velez surely won't just sit and wait. They are really strong when playing at home, and they know that this 1-0 is a dangerous result, so they'll try to look for a goal as well, especially since the Colombian defense isn't looking very solid lately. And they should also find plenty of spaces if Atletico comes to attack. The previous match had a lot of goal scoring chances, including a missed penalty by Velez, so if today we'll have the same scenario, this bet is looking good (with a bit more luck than last week, of course). GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.82, 4/10
Result: 1-1, LOST

May 6, 2012

El Nacional - LDU Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

El Nacional is one strange team. They can suck throughout 90% of the season, but they can still pull off some great results against the league giants (2-1 at home with Emelec and Deportivo Quito, and a narrow 2-3 loss at LDU, after missing a penalty at 2-2 in the 75th minute). Of course, this all compensates with other matches, like the back to back losses with Cuenca, the 0-5 trashing at Emelec, etc, but the thing is that they are capable of giving everyone a scare. However, for tomorrow's match with LDU, they should suffer a lot, as they will be missing 4 key players: goalkeeper Garcia (12 matches), defenders Chila (10) and Lopez (11), plus midfielder Pita (10). So a pretty decimated team, without some of their most important players. Liga de Quito comes into this match with only one important absence, Ambrosi. Other than him, all the players are fit to play, and I'm sure they'll want to capitalize on their recent good run of form (undefeated in the last 6 matches). GL!

LDU (-0.25 AH) @ 1.83, 4/10
Result: 1-1, HALF-LOST

Olimpia - Rubio Nu

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

A lot of internal problems happened this week for Olimpia, and coming into this match, the mood should be far from great. Especially since three of their most important players have been excluded from the team: Adrian Romero, Vladimir Marin and Sergio Orteman (the last 2 are very important players, offensive midfielders, and I was always confident in Olimpia when they were playing). They still have great players, and a good enough team to suceed, but without these players it will obviously be much harder. Another absence will be of Meza, who is suspended. Also, their form hasn't been the best lately, making only 4 points in the last 3 matches: a hard fought victory at Carapegua, a 3-3 home draw with Cerro de Franco, and a 0-3 trashing by Independiente. So, not impressive results, against less than impressive teams. Rubio Nu are no scare-crows, as they haven't won a match since the beginning of April, but they can pull off some great results from time to time (their last win was against Nacional, as visitors). And while they are nowhere near Olimpia's quality, I think that now they stand a chance to at least lose by the minimum, as Olimpia has some serious issues of it's own. GL!

Rubio (+1.25 AH) @ 1.91, 3/10
Result: 1-0, HALF-WON