Ante-post selections 2012/13By
How are we all? Apologies for not getting some thoughts up on the upcoming football season sooner, but here they are – with 36 hours to spare no less! Hopefully some of you managed to get on yesterday’s “Special Delivery” before the price dried up. It didn’t stick around for long sadly!
Before I move onto this season, let’s have a quick look at the chip wrap from May…
Last year’s ante post selections were, on the whole, profitable. However, they were very, very close to being glorious. Sadly a couple of great value positions either fell at the final fence or ran out of steam down the back straight.
The top goal scorer market was as close to a clean sweep as we could have wished for. It would have been marginally more profitable had Rooney landed the boot and RVP second spot, but hey let’s not complain at a 10/1 winner and a 9/1 e/w shout following it home. Both of these were at a canter too.
Although my cover bet on Didier Drogba (a minimal 0.5pts) was a loser, I think Didier did more than enough in the final third of the season to prove just how much of a handful he still is and how things could have been very, very different had the “AVB Experiment 1” been a roaring success.
The BOTY – Wayne Rooney to be the “BNP Top Scorer” at 3/1 – also landed with ease. This was a ridiculous price, inflated by the goal scoring potential of Darren Bent and Andy Carroll!
My other goal scorer related bet was the one that flagged down the home straight. After a really solid start, the goals dried up for Daniel Sturridge in the second half of the season, and he finished one goal shy of placing in the aforementioned England-Only top scorer league. Restored to the team and his favorite role by RDM, Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard really picked it up in the second half to take the final place. However, for a 20/1 e/w position that was headed up as “a cheeky punt”, I think we got pretty good value for money here.
Demba Boooo, Papa Hissss
Two of my other ant post positions were spoilt in one go by the fantastic revolution on Tyneside. One of there ever impressive performances was even the difference in the league title in the end.
I was forced to eat my unwise words of “I don’t rate Alan Pardew” on many, many occasions. Over numerous courses. And washed down with a pint of “f*ck you”.
This cost me my Sunderland group bet (I take some solace in highlighting Bolton as being way over rated, 12 months after going long on their point tally as one of the most under-rated and identifying that Stoke’s European exploits would likely suppress their league performance given the size of their squad) and my annual Everton “Best of the Rest” bet which I took out after the season began.
You can’t win them all. I have Newcastle down to finish about 15th! You deserve to take a kicking if you make misreads of that scale.
Birds of a flutter
Another close, but ultimately losing ante post position was a lovely little bet on Norwich, who I rated highly, to be the top promoted team. This was heavily based on my not rating the odds-on favourites QPR, despite them winning the Championship the year before at a canter.
Oh, how smart am I! I got those two spot on. And 2/1, what a lovely price!
And then bloody Swansea turned up.
The Canaries ran them close… very close. This was the second closest race of the campaign, with Swansea’s injury time equalizer against Liverpool on the final day ensuring that we managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Safe to say I didn’t notice at the time. I was a little distracted…
The bad stuff
I lumped on West Ham. They didn’t try. I swear.
I lumped on Huddersfield. I was wrong. I apologize.
I lumped on Wigan’s inevitable demise. I am still baffled. For the second season running, Martinez’s men pulled off an absolute miracle – 7/0/2/+9 finish, including wins against Man United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle. Wow.
Onwards & upwards
Ok, I am afraid this is going to have to be brief this year. It is gone 2:00am and I am sat in a Travelodge in Market Harborough. I have back to back weddings to attend the next two days. Oh, the joys.
I need to go forth and multiply, sharpish. Strap yourself in for a whistle stop tour.
Scottish = Value
It’s just a fact of life. Embrace it, and profit from it.
Well, unless you are talking about Alex McLeish, it turns out.
I am backing Aston Villa to bounce back under Paul Lambert. The fans will be re-engaged, the squad will be re-energized, key players are due to come back into the team and I fancy them for a top 10 finish. But taking that price of 2.5 would be madness is my eyes, given that there are 8 places almost set in stone and a number of wildcard teams this year.
Instead, lump on the Lambert’s men in the “Top Midlands” market – where they are only up against Stoke and West Brom this year.
I am low on West Brom this season without the guidance of Roy, I believe Stoke are liable to get caught trying to go to the same well one too many times,
In an attempt to try and extract even more value, I started studying Coral’s third quartile grouping. The blanket pricing of this market made me suspicious before I even began. In addition to the two teams already discussed, although I expect them to stay up I don’t expect West Ham to challenge here.
So for me this market is a straight shoot out between Villa and Fulham, and at 4.33, I’m game. In fact, let’s have a bit of both. Ooh err.
All change, all change
I am absolutely loving this market. I am too tired to discuss it, so will save it for my next post. But get a chunk on 0-3 managers, with a cover on 4 managers in this crazy, crazy market. The pricing here is just flat out wrong. Wrong I tell you. Like, your girlfriends mum style wrong.
They have priced this up based on the numbers here. But that doesn’t reflect the current state of play at all. And we are going to take them to the cleaners.
All aboard, all aboard
I am going to take a second position in Boyles’ entertaining, if somewhat haphazard, “Most Assists” market. I am loving this market. Loving it. So much “value” to be had in terms of tracking your bets here throughout the campaign.
It is such a refreshing change from the Top Goal Scorer market - which is as tight as a nun’s wotsit this year.
I am going to take a second Man United based exposure by backing The Ecuadorian Express e/w at 22/1 with Paddy Power. I accept competition for places in the United side is going to be tough this year. But Valencia is just coming into his prime, has a couple of years under his belt and should be back to a good level of fitness.
You can’t wear the United No. 7 shirt and not stand a good chance of chalking up 10 assists in a season. That’s just a fact of life.
Just for that tiny hope of being able to say “I told you so” have yourself a miniscule little tinkle on “No manager to leave” at 100/1 with Hills. It’s a silly bet. It’s a silly price.
And if, for once, it isn’t “the silly season” you’ll get one of the most rewarding winners ever…
BOTW: 4 pts on Aston Villa to place above West Brom and Stoke @ 2.5
2 pts on Aston Villa to place above Fulham, West Brom, Stoke and West Ham @ 4.33
2 pts on Fulham to place above Aston Villa, West Brom, Stoke and West Ham @ 4.33
6 pts on 0-3 EPL managers to leave their posts in 2012/13 @ 4.5
2 pts on Exactly 4 EPL managers to leave their posts in 2012/13@ 4.33
1 pt e/w on Antonio Valencia to be top assist-maker @ 22/1
0.25 pts on No manager to leave their post @ 100/1