Fri, Oct 25, 12:41pm by Clarinda Campbell
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We’ve reached Week 9 of the competition and things are starting to heat up. Last week, there was a total of 34 goals scored, and out of the 10 games played, six featured at least four goals. We had some decent success in our predictions too – apart from our bold move to tip the Saints to topple United (which they weren’t far off doing, claiming a share of the points) and Liverpool to beat Newcastle, we got all the other matches right, including the Stoke-West Brom draw.
So after eight weeks, Sunderland remains the only team still without a ‘W’ to its name, and Manchester United continues to perform well under par. This week’s match of the round is the clash between Chelsea and Manchester City. The Tyne-Wear derby will also take place; the inter-city rivalry in North-East England between Newcastle United and Sunderland.
10:45pm (AEST), Saturday October 26, 2013 at Selhurst Park
Clearly, this match is not evenly weighted. The top team in the competition, Arsenal, tackles relegation favourites Crystal Palace. Palace has won just the one solitary game this season and was convincingly defeated 4-1 by Fulham on Tuesday. In the same week, Arsenal comfortably beat Norwich by the same scoreline. The $1.36 odds on offer for Arsenal in the head-to-head betting aren’t too shabby considering it would take something extraordinary for the Gunners to let this one slip. Arsenal to continue to mount a challenge for the title and win by two goals.
Arsenal sits two points clear of Chelsea at the top of the table while Crystal Palace is languishing in 19th spot. Despite looking pretty at the summit of the table, Arsenal is still third favourite to win the competition at $6.00. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Palace remains the shortest priced team to be relegated at $1.07.
1:00am (AEST), Sunday October 27, 2013 at Villa Park
Aston Villa’s inconsistent season continued last week as they fell at home 2-0 to Tottenham. Despite having beating Arsenal and Manchester City, Villa struggled to gain any real momentum against the Spurs. The Villains have now failed to score in their past two matches. Everton has still only lost the one match this season and last week defeated Hull City 2-1. The Toffees have scored 12 goals (equal fifth most in the comp) from an average of fourteen shots per. One issue for Everton is it has only won one of its last 12 away matches; that win came this season in Week 5 against West Ham. In light of all these intriguing stats, I’m tipping a draw.
Aston Villa has slumped to 13th on the ladder and Everton is one point out of the top-four, sitting in 7th. If you can see the Toffees grabbing a top-four spot by season’s end, they are paying $8.00 to do so, while Villa is paying $2.50 to place in the top-10.
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1:00am (AEST), Sunday October 27, 2013 at Old Trafford
Manchester United’s form continues to worry under the guidance of manager David Moyes. United could only manage a 1-1 draw against Southampton last week at Old Trafford, compounding its troubling start to the season. The Red Devils finds themselves at Old Trafford again, and the United faithful will be praying their team can claim all thee points against an under-performing Stoke City this week. Stoke currently sits in 16th and has not won a game since Week 3. The Potters have really struggled offensively, managing just four goals for the season (the lowest tally of all clubs). I’m tipping United to win narrowly.
United continues to slip in the outright winner betting market, now paying $10.00 to claim back-to-back titles. Realistically, the chances of the Red Devils doing so are dwindling with each sub-par game-week. Stoke is paying $5.00 to be relegated.
1:00am (AEST), Sunday October 27, 2013 at Carrow Road
It’s 17th v 18th in a match where the three points are crucial for both teams. If Norwich can win in front of its home fans, it will jump above Cardiff City and out of relegation for the time being. But if Cardiff win, it will consign the Canaries to their seventh defeat of the season and entrench them deeper in the relegation zone. Both sides are coming off heavy 4-1 losses (Norwich to Arsenal and Cardiff to Chelsea), although the Canaries’ performance was not all that bad, despite the score-line.
The draw will do neither team any favours, so I’m giving the edge to the home side… just. Both teams have conceded 13 goals for the year. IASbet is offering odds of $3.00 for Cardiff to be relegated and $3.50 for Norwich to go down. I’d hop on Cardiff to be demoted.
1:00am (AEST), Sunday October 27, 2013 at Anfield
Liverpool has opened as relatively short priced favourites in the H2H betting for this match. The Reds fought out a 2-2 draw with Newcastle last week while West Brom played battled to a 0-0 standstill with Stoke. West Brom may have got off to a slow start to the year, but has shown significant promise in recent times and is undefeated in its last five outings in the Premier League. Liverpool’s only loss this season came against Southampton. With Sturridge and Suarez firing up front, I’d expect them to take all three points against the Baggies this week.
Holding firm in the top-four, Liverpool still remains at solid odds in future betting markets to win the competition at $9.00. West Brom stands at $3.10 to claim a place in the top-10 by the end of the 2013/2014 season.
3:30am (AEST), Sunday October 27, 2013 at St Mary’s Stadium
Southampton continues to fly under the radar. While we took a dive into the deep end and boldly predicted the Saints to beat United, they did pretty damn well to fight out a 1-1 draw. We sensed they could produce something special. They are on equal points with Everton, having only lost one game (to Norwich) and are truly stamping their authority on the competition.
Up until last week, Fulham had only managed to score a maximum of one goal in each of its seven matches for two wins, a draw and four loses. Finally, the Cottagers found some rhythm in Gameweek 8 and smashed four goals past the struggling Crystal Palace, leaping from 17th to 14th on the table.
While Fulham at last showed it can produce quality football (albeit against a labouring club), I’m pretty confident in tipping Southampton to continue its impressive start to the season and come away with the win here.
12:30am (AEST), Monday October 28, 2013 at The Stadium Of Light
The Tyne-Wear derby: the fierce rivalry between two clubs based just 10 miles apart in North-East England. To date, Newcastle has won the fixture 53 times and Sunderland has claimed victory 45 times. The sides have also drawn 45 times. Over the last six meetings, Sunderland has only won one game, Newcastle has two and there have been three draws. However, the Black Cats did win the most recent clash back in April this year, 3-0.
But Sunderland’s season continues to go from bad to worse. Last week’s 4-0 capitulation to Swansea was brutal. After a couple of 3-2 loses, the Magpies have bounced back with a win and a brave 2-2 draw against Liverpool last week. Tip: Newcastle to continue Sunderland’s string of loses.
Surprisingly, we can still get odds of $1.57 with IASbet for Sunderland to be demoted, and without a win to its name, it would take a minor miracle for Sunderland to crawl out of the relegation zone. I’d be jumping on those odds.
3:00am (AEST), Monday October 28, 2013 at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea easily accounted for Cardiff last week while Manchester City beat West Ham 3-1. Chelsea sits in second, two points behind Arsenal and one point clear of Manchester City, who is currently in fourth position. If City can claim the win, it will leapfrog Chelsea and quite possible Liverpool too, based on goal difference. Manchester City remain favourites to win the competition at $2.88, while Chelsea is second favourite at $3.50.
Keep an eye out for our detailed preview of this mouth-watering match-of-the-round.
3:00am (AEST), Monday October 28, 2013 at White Hart Lane
After the shock loss to West Ham at home, Tottenham recovered well to beat Aston Villa 2-0 at Villa Park. The Spurs now have a record of five wins, one draw and two losses and are fifth on the ladder. Still, of the top eight teams, they have the equal lowest tally of goals scored for (eight). Having said that, Hull City, who currently sits in ninth, has the equal lowest tally of goals scored (seven) out of the top 15 squads. Still, the Tigers have managed three wins and two draws. Tottenham has been dominating possession in games recently and if Hull is to challenge, it would need to play very well defensively. With all that said, Tottenham look the goods in this one; a 1-0 result highly likely.
Hull put up a good fight last week, but ultimately went down to Everton 2-1. However, the Tigers are doing well to shake of any relegation tag they might still have, are at $1.33 to avoid the drop and $7.00 for a top-10 finish. The Spurs are $2.20 to place in the top-four.
3:00am (AEST), Monday October 28, 2013 at The Liberty Stadium
Swansea (11th) and West Ham (14th) are both suffering from inconsistent starts to the season with four losses apiece. Both sides, separated by two points, play different brands of football. West Ham, still without noted striker Andy Carroll, play with a deep midfield and are quite defensive, counter attacking when the opportunity arises. Swansea, on the other hand, like to maintain possession and build steadily to create a number of chances. Although the match is being played at the Liberty Stadium, I think West Ham is good enough to claim a share of the points.
Swansea bounced back from consecutive loses with a crushing 4-0 win over bottom-placed Sunderland, while West Ham is coming off a tough 3-1 loss to heavyweights Manchester City. Swansea is still being backed to finish in the top-10 at $1.83 odds, and the Hammers are at $4.00 in the same market.
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