Jul 27, 2012

Aurora - Cerro Largo

Copa Sudamericana 2012

Odds dropped a lot for this bet, but it's still worth taking, as I can't see anything past a home win here. Cerro Largo had solid performances in the Uruguayan league, and that's why they surprisingly took a Sudamericana spot, but those performances should be long gone by now. They have lost a lot of important players, pretty much the core of the team, as 5 key players have left the team. Their replacements are still a big unknown, but I'm confident they won't live up to the expectations, and they still need a lot of time to blend in. Another huge factor here is the altitude, as Aurora plays at over 2700 meters above the sea level. None of the players from Cerro Largo's team has ever played at high altitude, so they don't have first hand experience of it's effects. And this could have a huge impact on the game, especially since Cerro Largo will only arrive at the stadium a few hours before kick-off. Aurora is usually strong at home even against teams that know how to handle the altitude, so I can't really see them not winning this game. GL!

Aurora (-0.75 AH) @ 1.92, 5/10
Result: 2-1, HALF-WON

Guarani - Oriente Petrolero

Copa Sudamericana 2012

Had a hard time choosing between the handicap or the over, but finally I decided on the first one, so let's hope it won't come back to haunt me. Guarani returns to the international stage, and have high hopes this year. And especially for this reason, they have tried to build a solid team, capable of playing on both fronts. And so far, I'd say they succeeded in that, as we can see some important names in their squad: goalkeeper Aurrecochea, midfielders Orteman (ex-Olimpia) and Blaz Cace 2.07res, plus the forwards Dante Lopez and Carlos Hidalgo. The stadium should also be packed, as this will be the first time Guarani will play an international match on their home stadium, so expect a great atmosphere that should push them from behind. Oriente Petrolero is not such a bad team, but they are having some internal problems, with the players demanding their wages, going on strike, boycotting training sessions, and also postponing an entire round. Add to this the fact that they are poor travelers, and we should be seeing a clear home win tonight. GL!

Guarani (-1 AH) @ 2.07, 4/10
Result: 0-1, LOST

Jul 26, 2012

Independiente - El Nacional

Ecuador Serie A, Segunda Etapa

Last time we went against Independiente, and we were right... now let's see if they can deliver another win, but this time with a bet on them. Nothing changes for them in regards to their last match, as they will still be without those 3 players (mentioned them last week: gk Azcona, df Ramirez and fw Solis). But even without them, they still played a pretty solid match against Cuenca. And I expect more from them today, as they are playing at home, against a weaker opponent. At home they are still a force to be reckoned with, and El Nacional must be at their best to take something out of this game. The visitors also have an important absence, as defender Ricardo Lopez (16/0) is suspended. They are a team can surprise, and as evidence we have their victory at Barcelona from last month, but Independiente should also have a moral advantage, as they've beaten El Nacional twice this year, so let's hope they add another win under their belt. GL!

Independiente (-0.5 AH) @ 1.99, 3/10
Result: 1-1, LOST

Liverpool - Universitario

Copa Sudamericana 2012

Normally, the quality gap should be quite high, as the Uruguayan football is at least a class better than the Bolivian one, and for this match we also have a few factors that might make things easier. Liverpool lost some very important players: goalkeeper Juan Castillo (15/0), Pablo Pereira (24/4), midfielder Hernan Figueredo (17/4) and striker Vera (15/13). They have signed some replacements for these players, but they will have a lot of work to do in order to blend into the team. Still, there are a lot of the older players still available, so the coach should have solid ground to start his work once again, especially since he stated that his objective is to build a new team. But even with all this problems, they should have enough quality to blast past a troubled Bolivian side. Compared to last year's team, Universitario is barely recognizable. Only two players from last season are still with the team, as the rest of the players will make their debut with the team tonight. They did have some matches to try and build a solid team, but the results weren't good at all: 1-1-1 in Copa Cine Center del Sur. They are a big unknown at the moment, and they have a lot of catching up to do if they want to get back to their previous performances, so Liverpool should have a big advantage here. GL!

Liverpool (-1.5 AH) @ 1.98, 4/10
Result: 3-0, WON

Jul 25, 2012

Inti Gas - Cienciano

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Exciting clash at high altitude today, as Inti Gas will face Cienciano. And usually, these high altitude clashes tend to have a lot of goals, and there were many opportunities when we banked on that trend. So let's try it again. Altitude should not play an important role here, as both teams are used to play under this conditions. Cienciano will definitely come to play football, not to defend, because they need the points to steer clear from the relegation area (currently just 7 points above the line), and even from their stats you can see that they like to take risks and win the game, rather than hoping for a draw. They have the best attack among the lower half clubs, with 31 goals scored, but they also have the second worst defense in the league, allowing 39 goals in their net. As a fun fact, all of their last 11 games had a minimum of 2 goals scored. Inti Gas have respect their traditional 'home team' status, winning 8 of their 12 matches, so for sure they won't be an easy prey. But if the game will be played as I expect it, we should see a lot of goal-scoring chances, and hopefully, also a lot of goals. The odds are very nice, so this bet is definitely worth it. GL!

over 2.25 goals @ 1.86, 3/10
Result: 1-0, LOST

Jul 22, 2012

Sporting Cristal - Sport Huancayo

Peru Primera Division, Descentralizado

Sporting Cristal, the best team in the league at the moment, returned to their awesome form after losing in Cusco against Real Garcilaso, and right now they are on 4 consecutive won games, and for sure they would like to add the 5th one. And they can do this quite easily, if they play to their full potential, as Huancayo is just not a team that can compete with the big guns, when playing as visitors. At home they have a big advantage in the form of altitude (that's why they have a 8-2-2 record as hosts), but if you take that away, you get a below-average team, that is usually struggling to get some points from other stadiums. Their away record of 1-3-8 is proof of that. They also have one of the poorest defense when it comes to playing away, with 21 goals conceded, and if we combine that with Cristal's awesome attack (which scored 30 goals in their 12 home matches - 49 in total), we have a match that should easily go the right way. Also, in their last mutual games played in Lima, Cristal won all of them, covering the handicap, and taking the goal difference to 10-2 in just 3 matches. GL!

Cristal (-1.5 AH) @ 2.08, 4/10
Result: 2-2, LOST