English Premier League
Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal (Saturday 12.30pm)
The biggest match of the weekend was also our biggest position, as we got behind Chelsea and goals at low odds, being rewarded handsomely. However, on a suggestion like this it’s always frustrating when the team you back beats the handicap quite so easily on the Actual Score, with the 3-1 win meaning that both the Asian Handicap and Total Goals lines were beaten by 1.75 in the end. This is where our Analyst Fair Score makes things interesting, though, as a more risk-averse approach saw us ending up with a +2, versus what should have been a +0.5 (and a flat 0 if we’d gone more aggressive on -0.5 and 2.5).
Although Arsenal created chances throughout the game and were probably worth their goal in the end, there is no denying that Chelsea were the deserved victors as they took another huge stride towards the title. The market always looked too cautious on them, especially when team news was taken into consideration, and we dare say that they made a lot of people a lot of money this weekend. This got us off to a great start on what would prove to be a great weekend for our suggestions…
Suggestion: Chelsea -0.25 @ 1.70 and Over 2.25 @ 1.71
Actual Outcome: 3-1 (+2)
Fair Outcome: 2-0 (+0.5)
German Bundesliga 1
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 RB Leipzig (Saturday 5.30pm)
Team news probably did for Leipzig here, with five absences come matchday as an illness took out Demme, Sabitzer and top scorer Werner in the end. On the other hand Dortmund were able to name a largely full-strength side and fully deserved to get the win, though their margin of victory probably deserved to be a little bit greater. Despite the news we were hovering around suggesting a +1 on the visitors, which would have been a fortunate push at best and so was probably well avoided.
Aubameyang did the business yet again in front of his own fans, while in the wider view this result will give Dortmund some momentum as they seek to overturn what is now an eight point gap to Leipzig, with 15 games remaining. It’s certainly doable for Tuchel’s team, provided they can find some consistency, with the market currently pricing them at 2.62 to Leipzig’s 1.50 for a top two finish. Draws need to be turned into wins more regularly and they need to hope that Leipzig’s confidence drops.
Actual Outcome: 1-0 (N/A)
Fair Outcome: 2-0 (N/A)
Italian Serie A
Juventus 1-0 Internazionale (Sunday 7.45pm)
It’s going to be rare that you see us passing up an opportunity to buy a Juventus win for around evens in Serie A, as they remain a class above every other team in the division. However, this was an in-form Internazionale visiting and they really did give the “Old Lady” a stern examination, matching them for chance creation and besting them for Key Entries, though this was driven by the fact they were trailing from half time onwards.
In addition to this the visitors were unlucky not to get a first half penalty, but they began to lose their heads late on with Perisic being deservedly sent off while Juventus held on relatively comfortably. After an early-season wobble they have become extremely adept and seeing games out, which makes them a difficult back on the Overs. We were tempted by Under 2.75, which would have given us a +1.5.
Suggestion: Juventus -0.75 @ 1.83
Actual Outcome: 1-0 (+0.5)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (-1)
French Ligue 1
Monaco 3-0 Nice (Saturday 4pm)
We fully realise that Monaco and Overs is becoming something of a mantra for us at Stratagem, but it is interesting how our Analyst Fair Scores constantly have them scoring less than they are. This is going to be a feature of a blog on Trading Expert soon, as we investigate what is driving their ultra-efficiency in front of goal. We didn’t really have any doubt in the hosts’ ability to beat this handicap against a relatively poor Nice team and they were extremely comfortable until near the end, with a 2-0 win being a better reflection of proceedings. This means we got a little fortunate to end up with a +1.5, but it’s better to be lucky than it is to be good, right?
Suggestion: Monaco -1 @ 1.98 and Over 2.75 @ 1.84
Actual Outcome: 3-0 (+1.5)
Fair Outcome: 2-0 (0)
Portuguese Primeira Liga
Porto 2-1 Sporting CP (Saturday 8.30pm)
The home side scored from their first two chances to take a 2-0 lead into half time, having extraordinary efficiency to thank for the victory in the end. Still, Sporting did not make it easy for them and really piled forward after reducing the deficit on the hour, dominating the momentum and creating enough chances to have deserved an equaliser. Ultimately we had steered clear of the -0.5 on Porto and 2.25 Total Goal lines here, with the 2-1 Actual Score and 1-1 Fair Score showing that to be a decent enough shout. Ultimately the visitors were hard done by.
Actual Outcome: 2-1 (N/A)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (N/A)
Ones to Watch
English Premier League
Leicester City 0-3 Manchester United (Sunday 4pm)
By the time this one got underway we were firmly behind Manchester United, although after the first 20 minutes it was looking shaky enough to have made us wish we had stuck with our suggestion “no preference”. Still, Mourinho’s men came good in the end and deserved a comfortable win.
Actual Outcome: 0-3 (N/A)
Fair Outcome: 0-3 (N/A)
Spanish Primera Division
Sevilla 0-0 Villarreal (Sunday 11am)
We thought the line of -0.75 on Sevilla here was fair and preferred instead to rely on Villarreal keeping it tight. In reality they got away with a 0-0, but Sevilla managed to create enough chances to have deserved a couple of goals and Villarreal should have had one themselves.
Suggestion: Under 2.75 @ 1.92
Actual Outcome: 0-0 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 2-1 (-0.5)
AZ 2-4 PSV (Saturday 6.45pm)
We singled this one out as being huge value due to AZ’s negative team news, and so it proved with PSV getting a fully deserved two-goal victory to beat the -0.5 handicap easily. The biggest surprise here was that PSV could still be backed at -0.5 by kick-off time.
Suggestion: PSV -0.5 @ 1.88
Actual Outcome: 2-4 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 1-3 (+1)
Newcastle United 1-0 Derby County (Saturday 3pm)
This was the only one that we got really “wrong” this weekend, with both the Actual Score and the Fair Score resulting in losses for our Over 2.25 suggestion. Newcastle dominated until late without ever creating enough chances, with their big wobble at the end meaning Derby deserved a draw.
Suggestion: Over 2.25 @ 1.89
Actual Outcome: 1-0 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (-0.5)
Huddersfield Town 2-1 Leeds United (Sunday 12pm)
That’s two huge games and two huge wins for Huddersfield now, who just refuse to drop away from playoff contention. We felt like it was an impossible call and it looked that way until the hosts won it late, though they should really have had it wrapped up by then.
Actual Outcome: 2-1 (N/A)
Fair Outcome: 3-1 (N/A)
Total Actual Outcome: +5
Total Fair Outcome: -0.5