Italian Serie A
Internazionale 7-1 Atalanta (Sunday 2pm)
Another week and another losing start for our suggestions, with Inter making a mockery of our unders pick with an enormous win over an Atalanta side who had been in great form before hitting the San Siro. Before the game we pointed to the superior firepower in the ranks in Pioli’s squad as the main reason we thought they could trouble the top three, but would never have pegged this contest as one they would run away with so readily. A nine-minute hat trick from the revitalised Icardi set the scene and it was 5-0 by the 34th minute, with Banega grabbing a double to leave the visitors totally shell-shocked.
This was one of those days where everything the hosts touched turned to goals, with a trio each of Great, Very Good, Good and Fairly Good Chances yielding a ridiculous return compared to the implied xG value. The only saving grace for Atalanta was that Inter eased off after the break, reserving some energy for another day, as they fired yet another warning to Napoli and Roma that neither can afford any slips in the final ten games. Pioli continues to work wonders after the disastrous reign of De Boer.
Suggestion: Under 2.75 @ 1.81
Actual Outcome: 7-1 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 5-1 (-1)
Italian Serie A
Juventus 2-1 Milan (Friday 7.45pm)
It took a dramatic 97th minute penalty for Juventus to earn us a push in our second game from Italy, although the hosts really should have been out of sight well before Dybala kept his cool to earn Allegri’s side yet another home victory. To put this one into some context, Juventus actually created almost twice the number of chances of Inter and scored less of a third of the goals, with our analyst believing that a final outcome of 3-1 was a much more realistic reflection of the play.
In the end the hosts won their 31st Serie A game in a row and were very grateful for that given what followed, with Roma and Napoli both winning to keep touch with the leaders at the top of the table. As for Milan, they almost escaped with an unjust point and really had Donnarumma to thank for keeping them in the contest for so long. We still remain unconvinced by Montella’s men, but they should end up with a top six finish come May.
Suggestion: Juventus -1 @ 1.75
Actual Outcome: 2-1 (0)
Fair Outcome: 3-1 (+1)
Italian Serie A
Lazio 3-1 Torino (Monday 7.45pm)
This one took a while to warm up, with Immobile’s opener not arriving until the 56th minute and the hosts scoring twice late to ensure they covered the Asian handicap and pushed the contest well over the goal handicap. The win keeps Inzaghi’s men well in touch with the leading pack and means that the entire top five won in Serie A this weekend.
Over the course of the match only the home side really deserved the win, with Torino displaying good resiliency (not a trait they have been known for this season) but wobbling from the time they equalised until the whistle blew. Keita made a big difference when coming from the bench and his reintroduction to the starting eleven is something to watch out for, as it will ensure Lazio retain a real goal threat in the weeks to come. Lulic has been preferred of late, quite surprisingly.
Suggestion: Over 2.75 @ 1.80
Actual Outcome: 3-1 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 2-1 (+0.5)
German Bundesliga 1
Hertha BSC 2-1 Borussia Dortmund (Saturday 2.30pm)
We felt like backing Hertha was a little bit of a risk given Dortmund’s recent scoring form, but in the end the home side comfortably covered the handicap on both the Actual Score and the Fair Score. A home win was stretching it a little bit in terms of chances created, but Tuchel probably rotated too much with the upcoming German Cup game in his thoughts and there is no argument for his side deserving anything more than a solitary point. The loss didn’t hurt Dortmund too badly with Leipzig suffering a shock defeat at home to Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim only drawing in Freiburg. Hertha and Bayern were the big winners of the weekend, with Dardai continuing to do an excellent job in the capital.
Suggestion: Hertha +1 @ 1.71
Actual Outcome: 2-1 (+1)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (+1)
Celtic 1-1 Rangers (Sunday 12pm)
Brendan Rodgers said he felt “robbed” by this result in the Old Firm derby, but our analyst believed that this was the fairest outcome after Rangers created the more dangerous chances in the game. Regardless of the opinion of the Celtic manager this was a painful double loss for our suggestions and never looked like a game capable of having more than three goals. Graeme Murty did a great job of motivating his men but still had a little bit of fortune to thank late on when Griffiths went down in the box and could well have had a penalty.
Suggestion: Celtic -1.25 @ 1.83 and Over 2.75 @ 1.84
Actual Outcome: 1-1 (-2)
Fair Outcome: 1-1 (-2)
Ones to Watch
Spanish Primera Division
Real Sociedad 0-2 Athletic Club (Sunday 11am)
In the Weekend Preview we were hovering between the choice of Over 2.25 and Athletic on the handicap, but unfortunately went for the wrong choice. Although the Fair Score was 1-2 after Sociedad had a goal very harshly ruled out, the visitors were far superior and completely deserved the win.
Suggestion: Over 2.25 @ 1.88
Actual Outcome: 0-2 (-0.5)
Fair Outcome: 1-2 (+1)
French Ligue 1
Monaco 2-1 Bordeaux (Saturday 3.45pm)
Monaco and Overs has been our mantra for a while and they just scraped us another positive return here, though there was so little in the game in terms of chances that our analyst actually believed 1-0 to be a fairer representation. Monaco demonstrated an excellent level of control here.
Suggestion: Monaco -1 @ 1.81 and Over 2.75 @ 1.81
Actual Outcome: 2-1 (+0.5)
Fair Outcome: 1-0 (-0.5)
Feyenoord 5-2 AZ (Sunday 1.30pm)
Backing against favourites in the Eredivisie has been a lot less risky than usual this season, but we got caught here as Feyenoord came out firing and were 3-0 up before the hour mark. AZ showed some spirit to hit back but a weakened home side deserved to win comfortably.
Suggestion: AZ +1.25 @ 1.95
Actual Outcome: 5-2 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 3-1 (-1)
Ajax 3-0 Twente (Sunday 3.45pm)
A double whammy caught us out on Sunday, as Ajax followed Feyenoord’s lead in making light work of a difficult looking home game. This was much more of a procession than the game at De Kuip and ensures that the two-horse race for the title goes on for another week.
Suggestion: Twente +1.75 @ 1.87
Actual Outcome: 3-0 (-1)
Fair Outcome: 3-0 (-1)
United States MLS
Montreal Impact 2-2 Seattle Sounders (Monday 12am)
Two late goals dug us out of a hole here and made us rue the decision to go without the Overs as a combination, but on the balance there was no way that Sounders deserved to leave empty handed. Impact showed a real lack of professionalism to throw this away.
Suggestion: Seattle Sounders +0.25 @ 1.83
Actual Outcome: 2-2 (+0.5)
Fair Outcome: 2-2 (+0.5)
Total Actual Outcome: -2.5
Total Fair Outcome: -1.5