Apr 19, 2014

U Catolica - LDU Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

LDU Quito are still favorites, or at least on par, against pretty much everyone in the Ecuadorian league except the big guns. That's obviously a sign that the bookies are setting the odds based on the team's name, and they also expect them to get back into form sooner rather than later. But from what I've seen, that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. LDU are playing without too many ideas, and even the players and the coach agree that there isn't too much you can ask from the team currently. Their famous offensive game is no more, as they are constantly struggling to create danger for the opposition. That's why we have a very rare statistic, with them having the second worst offense in the league. Their main focus is to destroy the plays, instead of trying to build some fluid actions. Worth mentioning: they only scored 1 goal in 6 away games!!! Catolica is one of the better teams in the league, and are also pleasant to the eye, constantly trying to get forward as soon and as efficiently as possible. They won't have it easy, that's for sure, as it is very difficult to play against a team bent on destroying good football, but they do have what it takes to win against LDU. They won the last 3 games against LDU, who only got worse as time went by, so they have a good platform to build on. GL!

Catolica DNB @ 1.97, 4/10
Result: 3-1, WON

Apr 11, 2014

Penarol - Deportivo Anzoategui

Copa Libertadores 2014, Group Stage

Since both of these teams are out of the competition already, this game is pretty much just to complete the schedule. I doubt there is anything real at stake, despite the pre-match talk about leaving the competition with honor. And Penarol are certainly showing that they couldn't care less, as not a single regular player is expected to start tonight's game. Forward Mauro Fernandez can be considered the highest profile player to take on the Venezuelans, but the rest of the team gives me no hope of a positive result. Deportivo Anzoategui aren't much of a team either, and it is still uncertain if they will be using their best available squad or a mixed one.  However, in this match without anything to play for, and against a team playing with a complete squad of reserves/youngsters, it's a bit of a stretch to give out such a big handicap. The Venezuelan team has a bad record away from home, that's true, but Penarol haven't exactly been shining either, and I don't see them winning big (maybe not winning at all). GL!

Anzoategui (+1.5 AH) @ 1.77, 5/10
Result: 1-1, WON

Mar 26, 2014

Mar 24, 2014

Emelec - LDU Quito

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

Despite what the table is showing, with 7 places and 8 points separating them, this surely won’t be a walk in the park for Emelec. Their packed schedule is bound to catch up with them sooner rather than later, and there are already complaints about fatigue, after a tough match with Leon and a very long voyage to and from Mexico. So I’m quite sure that there will be some players who will be rested, because they won’t be able to give their 100% anyway. LDU Quito are still in reconstruction, so it was expected that they would struggle this season as well. However, they look quite solid defensive-wise, and they’ve only conceded 2 goals in 4 visits. And there will definitely be some extra-motivation for them in this derby, so I really don’t see the hosts going for an easy win. Emelec only won 3 of their last 8 games with LDU, and none of those victories was by more than a goal’s margin, and I don’t see that changing here. I’m eyeing a draw here, but it’s nice to have some insurance in case of a narrow Emelec win. GL!

LDU (+0.75 AH) @ 2.01, 3/10
Result: 3-0, LOST

Mar 19, 2014

Nacional - Atletico Nacional

Copa Libertadores 2014, Group Stage

As you are probably well aware, last week I’ve had a very solid bet, full of confidence, against Nacional Montevideo. And unfortunately, that bet went to the crapper, after Atletico Nacional received a red card in the first minute of the game. So it would be pointless talking about that game, even though it is worth mentioning that despite having a man-down from the start, the Colombians were still able to recover from a 0-2 deficit and tie the game. Tonight, Nacional will still rest most of their regulars, as they only have 1 point in the group, and are focusing on the local league. Furthermore, from last week’s team, they will add 3 more youngsters, as 3 players are forbidden by the law to play in Uruguay. And on top of all this, their form couldn’t get much worse than this, as they’ve lost 4 of their last 6 games.

Atletico will use a similar squad to last week’s one, and there should definitely be a revenge factor here, as the 2-2 in Colombia against a team of youngsters certainly doesn’t sit well with them. They also need to keep in touch with the leaders, Gremio, and their main rivals for qualification, Newell’s Old Boys. All in all, I have pretty much the same confidence as last week, and this time we also have a nice line. GL!

Atletico DNB @ 1.84, 5/10 
Result: 0-1, WON

Mar 12, 2014

Atletico Nacional - Nacional Montevideo

Copa Libertadores 2014, Group Stage

I have quite a lot of confidence in this bet, despite the rather big handicap line. Nacional has traveled to Colombia with a complete B-squad, as none of their regular players was included in the trip. They are fighting for the title of Clausura, and they are also in a neck-in-neck battle for the Aggregate table, so their focus is shifting towards the local league. Furthermore, they also had to go through a 13 hour-trip from Montevideo to Medellin, so a lot of fatigue is expected for them. Atletico Nacional is bound to treat this match seriously, as they still have enough changes to qualify to the next stage (3rd place with 3 points, but will play against Gremio at home). They are also in red hot form, being 8-0-2 in the league and 4-1 at home. Plus, they've also beaten Newell's Old Boys in Medellin, so they definitely mean business. The odds are bound to drop even further, but as I said, I have a lot of confidence here, and this bet is good to take up until 1.90. GL!

Atletico (-1.5 AH) @ 2.13, 5/10
Result: 2-2, LOST

Feb 26, 2014

Cruzeiro - U de Chile

Copa Libertadores 2014, Group Stage

Tried over-bets for a couple of times in this seasons’ Libertadores, but I failed every time. However, this time I’m even more confident than before. Apparently, U de Chile came to Brazil to attack. They can’t really rely on their defense anyway, since it’s been rather shaky and allowed a lot of spaces and goals recently, with 8 goals conceded in the last 5 matches. And that was against some rather average opponents… they could really be put under pressure by Cruzeiro’s top class forwards, as long as they don’t get lazy. U de Chile will be using Gutierrez, Rubio and Lorenzetti in attack, and they can really hurt any defense, provided they get enough balls. And with them in the first team, it’s a pretty clear sign that they came here to play, not to sit and wait in defense. Cruzeiro should get enough chances themselves, so normally we should have quite a show in this match. GL!

over 2.5 goals @ 1.90, 5/10
Result: 5-1, WON

Feb 6, 2014

Botafogo - Deportivo Quito

Copa Libertadores 2014, Play-off

Backed Botafogo in the first leg as well, and I'm definitely going to do it now too. As you probably know, Deportivo Quito was abandoned by many of their key players during the off season, due to their increasing financial problems, and the new players that joined the club are somewhat far from the previous standard, in my opinion. They did manage to win the first leg, it's true, but that was mainly due to their altitude advantage. I'm expecting a totally different game now, with Botafogo expected to take control early in the match. They have enough class within their ranks, with players like attacking midfielders Nicolas Lodeiro, Renato and Marcelo Mattos, defenders Bolivar and Andre Bahia, and forward Wallyson. Deportivo Quito also have a poor away record in continental competitions, practically only managing a win outside of Ecuador once every decade, and since the club's current state is rather low, I'm going for a solid Brazilian win here. GL!

Botafogo (-1.5 AH) @ 2.01, 5/10
Result: 4-0, WON

Feb 2, 2014

LDU Loja - Barcelona

Ecuador Serie A, Primera Etapa

I fancy Barcelona quite a lot this season, and even though the start has been rather difficult, I'm counting on a constant increase in form. They've made some good signings during the off-season, so I'm really expecting them to challenge Emelec for the title (they are pretty much the only ones that can do it), and we should only mention the signings of Laurito and Nieto (the top scorers of the 2013 season - they have more than 50 goals between themselves) to know that they mean business. And today will be the first match when they both start as regulars, so I'm obviously confident and excited that there will be some goals. However, the back looked shaky throughout their first two matches, and Loja is a team that can really hurt you if they find the spaces. Both their matches this season ended with several goals, and I'm counting on the talented Fabio Renato to pull something off here (Ivan Kaviedes can also play, after serving a suspension, but he isn't announced as a starter). Loja always played offensively, so I'm definitely expecting some goals here, especially since last year, these two teams had three over 2.5 games from four matches played. GL!

over 2.25 goals @ 1.96, 4/10
Result: 1-1, HALF-LOST

Jan 27, 2014

Jan 25, 2014