May 19, 2012

River Plate - El Tanque Sisley

Uruguay Primera Division, Clausura

Just one small bet for today, as I can't really find any other solid bets, nor any value. The Clausura tournament in Uruguay is coming to a close, with just 3 matches remaining, and even though Defensor look set to clinch the final spot, there are still plenty of objectives to play for. One of them is the qualification for Copa Sudamericana (as the Libertadores places have already been 'arrested' by the 3 big guns), and we have 4 teams fighting for 3 spots. And today, from those teams, River seems to have the easiest match, as they will take on a team that will just wait patiently for the holidays to come. With 72 points in the relegation table, El Tanque Sisley are safe, even mathematically, and without any other objectives in mind, I don't think they'll give too much in the remaining 3 rounds. Also their game is not impressive at all, so they shouldn't pose many problems to the other teams that are still fighting for something. About River, we can't say they are a really strong team, but they did make some recent improvements lately, winning 3 of their last 5 matches (the other 2 were a draw with Danubio, and a narrow loss to Penarol). A win today will put them back into contention for a Sudamericana place (they are currently 3 points behind the last qualification spot), so they definitely have something to play for. The odds went down a bit for them, but I still think the bet is worth playing, as El Tanque should pose little threat. GL!

River (-0.5 AH) @ 1.74, 4/10
Result: 4-0, WON

May 17, 2012

Universidad San Martin - Inti Gas

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

And here is another bet that should normally go smooth. Ever since they made their return to the championship, San Martin had some very nice performances, and it's worthwhile mentioning their wins against Cristal, Juan Aurich and Universitario. They also had a few slumps, like the home loss with Huancayo, but I think they improved a lot since then (despite their last 2 matches, both lost). Their home form looks solid enough (3-0-2, goal difference of 11-6), and without any important absences, they should have more than enough to beat a traditionally poor traveling team. Inti Gas did manage to take 4 points from 5 away matches this season, but all those points were taken at high altitude, where they feel much better playing. They don't really have what it takes to take on the big teams away from their home altitude, and today they should be an easy prey for San Martin. The handicap is ok, and should be easily covered. GL!

San Martin (-0.75 AH) @ 1.80, 3/10
Result: 2-0, WON

May 16, 2012

Rentistas - Defensor Sporting

Uruguay Primera Division, Clausura

Going on Defensor Sporting once again, because as I said, they have their fate in their own hands, and only if they would be top-class suckers they could miss the final. With a win today, they will be 4 points clear at the top of the table, with 3 games remaining, and they will also go 2 points behind Nacional in the anual table, ahead of the big derby between Nacional and Penarol. So they have a lot to fight for, and I'm sure their motivation will be 110%. On the other hand, Rentistas is playing just because they have to play. They are already relegated, so any points they might win would be only for pride, as otherwise it will do them no good. I really doubt their motivation (although they could be 'motivated' by Nacional, Penarol and Liverpool), and with Defensor having the quality advantage, which should be huge, they shouldn't fail to win this match. The handicap is -1 for the away team, and that may seem big, but it's just realistic, and normally Defensor should have no problem covering it. GL!

Defensor (-1 AH) @ 1.80, 3/10
Result: 0-2, WON

Deportivo Quito - El Nacional

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Deportivo Quito are in a troubled situation, so I'm counting on some extra-motivation today, to help them overcome their recent situation. They have more quality than El Nacional, that should be pretty clear, but they could also suffer psychically, as this will be their first match after the 0-6 trashing they suffered in Chile, which made them lose qualification despite holding a 4-1 advantage from the first leg. And even more, their coach Carlos Ischia was also sacked from the team yesterday. But, with a lot of unhappy and disgruntled people, I'm hoping for a solid performance from them, to get back some confidence and also to try and save their season (with 3 points today, they will be 4 points behind the last qualifying place for Sudamericana, with 7 games remaining). The coach for today will be Garay, who will be promoted temporarily from the reserve team, so he probably knows the players quite well. Meanwhile, El Nacional doesn't have a great season either, just above the relegation zone, and with quite a poor traveling record (1-2-4, with a 5-14 goal difference). They will be with some absences today, as defender Ricardo Lopez (11 appearances) and midfielder Dennis Quinonez (6/1) are out with injuries, forward Edison Preciado is in doubt as he's still not 100% fit, while defender Juan Trivino (5) is suspended. The odds look pretty good for the home win, and I'm counting on them to show some pride and determination, and end their suffering. GL!

Deportivo Quito @ 1.92, 3/10
Result: 3-0, WON

May 13, 2012

Nacional - Olimpia

Paraguay Primera Division, Apertura

Taking this early as well, as I'm quite surprised by these odds, and I don't really believe they will remain like this for two more days. I've written last week about Olimpia's situation, and not much has changed since. Marin, Oretman and Romero are still out of the squad due to disciplinary reasons, and this should keep Olimpia suffering when it comes to dangerous play. Last match, without the trio, they struggled with Rubio Nu. They have indeed dominated the match, so the win is deserved, but the goal only came in the 95th minute, as Olimpia was playing with an extra-man since the 60th minute. So a lot of struggle, against one of the poorest teams in the league. With Nacional we should see a different scenario. Despite their rather poor season, they are still class better than Rubio, and should be able to pose more of a threat to Olimpia. Matches between them are always tight affairs, but this time, I think Nacional should have the edge. I'm counting at least on a draw, but I also don't rule out a home win. There's value in this bet, as I don't see how Olimpia can be considered favorites, so I'll be taking it with full stake. GL!

Nacional (+0.25 AH) @ 1.86, 4/10
Result: 0-0, HALF-WON

Liverpool - Rentistas

Uruguay Primera Division, Clausura

Can't really understand the odds here. Liverpool is the favorite, and justified, but the odds for the handicap seem to be much too high. Title chasers Liverpool had a recent slump, losing at home to Wanderers and drawing at Danubio, but recovered in style, winning at Penarol 1-0. So morale should be high for them, especially now that Nacional failed last night, and with a win today Liverpool would jump to at least second place (even 1st place if Defensor don't win their morning match). Also, they would be a step closer to securing a Sudamericana spot. And their home form of 4-0-1 should also be confirmed. Meanwhile, Rentistas are dead-last in both Clausura and the Relegation table, with no chances to save themselves, so they are basically fighting for nothing. They are yet to win a single match in this tournament, and as visitors they have only snatched a single point, scoring 3 goals and conceding 12. Another incentive for Liverpool should be the revenge factor, as in the Apertura they lost 0-3 at Rentistas. Handicap is high, but the odds are very good, and with a clear difference in quality, and also a different motivation, Liverpool should cover it. GL!

Liverpool (-1.5 AH) @ 2.23, 3/10
Result: 2-1, LOST

Defensor Sporting - Cerro Largo

Uruguay Primera Division, Clausura

Early match in Uruguay, but one that promises to provide quality entertainment, and also some goals. Both teams like to play offensively, and both of them need a win today, so I doubt any of them would be happy to just sit back and wait for their opponent's mistake. After Nacional's draw from last night, Defensor basically has a clear way to the final. If they win today, and also win their postponed match, they will be 6 points clear from Nacional, at least 4 points clear of Liverpool, and at least 6 points clear from Penarol, with 3 games remaining. So everything is in their hands. For Cerro Largo this will also be a huge match: a win will confirm their great season, and will also put them in contention for a place in the final, as well as for a place in the 2013 Copa Libertadores. So a draw is not in anybody's favor. And since the teams have the capacity and ability to play offensive football, and can also transfer the ball very quickly from defense to offense, goals should come. Since 2008, Defensor and Cerro faced each other 5 times, and 4 of those matches had at least 3 goals. So let's hope they stick to this trend. GL!

over 2.75 goals @ 1.77, 3/10
Result: 2-1, HALF-WON

LDU Quito - LDU Loja

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Both teams with a solid season so far, although one of them are underachievers, while the others are overachievers. Liga de Quito are currently on second place, 2 points behind the leaders, so that may not sound so bad. But after the massive investments from pre-season, a lot more was expected from them, their recent run of 2 games without a win has put some doubts on their credentials. Last week they drew 1-1 at El Nacional, despite playing for almost an hour with an extra man. They had the possesion and tried to press, but with little success. So today they are pretty much forced to win, as the directors also gave the players an ultimatum. Their solid home form (4-2-1, 17 goals scored) should also give them an edge against a tricky Liga de Loja. The visitors have been performing well above expectations, sitting on 6th place, just 4 points behind the leader. They look like a solid team most of the times, but when visiting the more serious teams, they usually fail (lost 0-2 at Emelec and 1-4 at Deportivo Quito... still they were a tough nut to crack, as Emelec scored in the last 15 minutes, while against Deportivo they had 1-0 and lost only after they saw a red card). However, today Quito should be able to put a lot of pressure on them. They are simply better and have more quality, so I don't expect them to fail today. GL!

LDU (-1 AH) @ 1.85, 3/10
Result: 2-2, LOST

Sporting Cristal - Cienciano

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

A lot of disappointment in the Cristal camp. They have a great team, and were being dubbed one of the main contenders for the league title. And while the season is still long, and nothing is decided yet, their recent performances have been far from impressive. 4th place for them, 5 points behind leaders Cesar Vallejo, but what's really worrying is their form, having won a single match from the last 7 they played (it's true that they also had some tough matches, against Cesar Vallejo, Alianza Lima, San Martin, and two visits to high altitude teams... but that shouldn't be an excuse for them). So today they will try to bounce right back, otherwise all hell could break loose. And in front of them will be Cienciano, a traditionally poor traveling team, that has 'lived up' to that name this season as well (0-1-4 as visitors, with goal difference of 2-8). Even their general form is bad, as they only have 2 wins in the last 10 matches. So, with Cristal in pretty much a must win situation, and with a poor Cienciano in front of them, I can't see past a home win for this match. And it should be a big one. GL!

Cristal (-1.25 AH) @ 1.70, 4/10
Result: 4-0, WON