This is what it all comes down. This is it. The final weekend. Our last chance to bet on a substantial amount of competitive football at once for… one whole month!
Then, come June 14th, we will inevitably splurge all our gains on Russia vs Saudi Arabia in a fit of gambling-withdrawal-induced excitement. Mohammad Al-Sahlawi to score with Saudi Arabia grabbing an opening day upset – we can see it now.
Let’s enjoy gambling on football we actually have some knowledge of while we still can.
First time reading this column? Firstly, even if you’re not a gambler, this still serves as something of a weekend preview. Secondly, if you are a gambler, here’s a quick “Previously, On Joe’s Football Betting Tips”.
We’ve been going for five weeks now. I got off to a blistering start, then fell off the pace in the next two weeks (my analysis was correct, I just kept coming up a goal/accumulator result short). In the last two weeks I’ve managed to steady the ship. I haven’t quite gotten back to my initial winning ways, but we’ve just about broke even (we’ve had inconsequential overall losses of under £1 both weeks). You can get a full recap of my most recent gambling week here.
Of course, being a Jose Mourinho-esque serial winner at heart, I want to finish out our shortened, six-week league season on a high. There’s a full slate of games… basically everywhere in Europe this weekend, which is wonderful as both a spectator and a dedicated gambler.
To give you more time to get your bets down, however, let’s focus almost entirely on Sunday’s games. It also allows us to have fun with the Premier League’s final weekend, and having fun is what gambling is all about… right?
All odds are correct at the time of writing, and are brought to us by the excellent William Hill. They’re Full 90 Football’s favourite betting site, thanks to a nice layout, solid odds, and special bets on all major matches which grant even better odds than usual. If you’d like to get in on the fun, please sign up here, stick a tenner in your account, and help to support Full 90 Football.
Finally, we’re just going through accumulators today. Individual bets will be posted up in the very near future, probably tomorrow morning. Keep your eyes peeled.
Anyway, on with the show.
I have to say that I like the approach we took last week, and it so nearly paid sizable dividends. You can check out said approach in detail here, but – in short – we put 25% of our capital towards accumulators, and the remaining 75% towards individual bets.
Of those two accumulators, one was more of a “sure thing” with slighter odds, and the other was a longer shot with big odds. We came within one result of winning each; close enough that we’re going to run it back this week.
Here are the two accumulators I like.
This is our “surer thing” acca. We’re taking four teams in total, all of whom are heavy favourites.
Half of this acca is made up of the two surest results in the Premier League.
The first is Manchester City to beat Southampton. I prefer not to put away games into accumulators, but Southampton are safe now and will surely have relaxed considerably. After a blip against Huddersfield last weekend, City got back to dominant winning ways with a 3-1 swatting aside of Brighton mid-week. I like City to continue their assault on the record books, and finish a wonderful season in style.
The second is Tottenham to beat Leicester. Spurs have won their past six league games at home against teams not named “Manchester City”, turning Wembley into an unlikely fortress considering their results there last year. Leicester have been in poor form for weeks now (I don’t count the home victory against Arsenal; everybody beats Arsenal at home), and the players can’t wait to finish the season and boot another coach out of the door. This bet is as safe as they come.
We’re turning to a couple of little-known Spanish teams to round out the second half of our acca.
First, we have Real Madrid at home to Celta Vigo. I know they lost to Sevilla on Wednesday, but A) They rotated heavily, and – with this being their last home game of the season – I expect the regulars to return; B) As mentioned, they’re back at home; and C) Sevilla are much better than Celta Vigo. Let’s not overthink this, and simply take Real to win.
If that game has already taken place when you read this (it’s starting at 7:45pm GMT, Saturday), swap Real Madrid out for Liverpool at home to Brighton. That result nearly made it into this accumulator anyway, but I’m not convinced – to put it mildly – by Liverpool’s recent form, and fancy them to rotate heavily in this game (as they should).
Finally, we’re taking Barcelona to beat Levante. Again, it’s an away game, which I don’t love. But it’s also Barcelona, which I do love! I was at the Nou Camp on Wednesday (full report here), and – even without ever hitting top gear – Barcelona demolished Villarreal 5-1. Levante are a far worse side than Villarreal, and with their unbeaten season on the line I expect Barca to run the A-team out there once again.
To recap, we’re taking: Manchester City, Tottenham, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Right, with the staid, professional accumulator that will probably actually win (snore) out of the way, let’s move on to the fun one that will make us all rich!
To celebrate the end of the top flight season in style, we’re taking Premier League teams only here. I’m resisting the urge to predict literally every result, instead limiting myself to six of the 10.
We’re taking Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool here, for the reasons I’ve already mentioned above (albeit with the Liverpool caveat that I’ve mentioned above, too).
As for the three others results, the dullest is probably Manchester United versus Watford. Here we have two teams entering in poor league form (United’s last five games: 2W, 1D, 2L; Watford: 1W, 1D, 3L); and two teams that simply don’t like to score goals! Manchester United – with their all-world attack, have managed four in their last five games; Watford, with their terrible attack, have grabbed just three. What a match this should be!
I’m backing Mou to get his players motivated again to see out the season at home in style, and dupe anyone crazy enough to watch this game into forgetting the turgid football his side have played for most of the year. Bet on this game, but don’t watch a moment of it.
Next, we have Crystal Palace to beat West Brom. West Brom have been in brilliant form, but their turnaround came far too late. With their relegation finally confirmed, I believe they’ll be vulnerable again (though I don’t believe they’ll simply lay down; Darren Moore has instilled too much pride in them for that).
Even since their own survival was ensured (which effectively happened weeks ago), Roy Hodgson has managed to keep his Palace side motivated. They’ve won three and drawn two in their last five games, and have scored 12 goals in that span. They should be considered a fairly safe bet for this game.
Honestly, I was a little torn for my final pick. Burnley/Bournemouth was a consideration, but both have been mediocre in recent weeks, and that one has “DRAW” written all over it (and I don’t like betting on draws). The same applies to West Ham/Everton (likely to be another snoozefest).
After some deliberation, we’re taking Huddersfield to beat Arsenal at home. I know, it’s Wenger’s final game; surely the team will get up for this one, won’t they?! Well, that hasn’t been the case since he announced his retirement, as their road woes have continued unabated (they still haven’t picked up an away point in 2018; had you heard?).
Huddersfield are coming off brilliant back-to-back draws against Manchester City and Chelsea, which sealed their Premier League survival, and will absolutely be up for this game. With that in mind, the odds for this individual result are simply incredible – 9/2 – which helps to bump our overall odds for the accumulator into the stratosphere.
I don’t feel great about it, as an Arsenal fan, but we’re taking Wagner to beat Wenger in Le Professeur’s final game (and, for the record, this is the game I will be watching).
To recap, accumulator number two is: Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Huddersfield.
Odds – 28.03/1 (!)
Bet – £1
Returns – £29.48
That’s all for now, but we’ve got plenty more final Premier League weekend goodness coming your way. James’s final Fantasy Premier League preview of the year will be going up soon, and I’ll be back with individual bets for Sunday in the very near future.