Daily Archives: January 3, 2008

The Week in Wagers: 5th-11th January

Every week, we will try and (remember to) bring you a couple of possible earners that have caught our eye on Betfair. In case you’ve never used Betfair before or use other betting websites, it couldn’t be simpler. Simply register, and if you want to back for a win, you BACK, and put in your stake.

However, this is where Betfair is a little different, because YOU can also become a BOOKMAKER by backing for a negative result – by LAYING. However, you have to watch out here as if the result goes against you, you have to pay out the winnings. I haven’t ventured towards that end due to fear of being on the end of a shocker, but if you’re more steely than I am, maybe you’ll make yourself a bit of money.

Best of all, it offers the best odds around, meaning you’re daft to go anywhere else. I got 70/1 for Padraig Harrington to win the Open on the final day, while the others were offering just over half that. Anyway, do have a look – odds at time of posting will be in Betfair terms (which are slightly different) and in the normal 5/4 etc form. Of course, these can obviously change from the time of posting.

So, this week. Since we’re in FA Cup territory, we’ve had a look at potential shocks as well as the odds for the winner. There are definitely some enticing opportunities available.

Chasetown v Cardiff City is definitely the most romantic of the ties, with the British Gas League Midland Division Chasetown at 11.5 back (10-11/1) to knock out Cardiff, so it’s definitely for the ones whose heart rules over their head (me included…). However, if you’re of a more rational composition, you can 12.5 lay (11-12/1) – just watch out, mind. A replay is 5.2 back (4/1) which is also attractive, considering Chasetown are at home against an out-of-form Cardiff side.

Swansea City v Havant and Waterlooville is yet another potential shocker, and has fantastic odds, too, with Havant being at 17.5 back (16-17/1) to win and at 22 lay (21/1). I’d say this lay is a lot safer than the Chasetown opportunity, but it is the FA Cup…

Fulham v Bristol Rovers is also worth a look, with the Rovers at 9 back (8/1) to beat Hodgson’s new but struggling Fulham.

Meanwhile, Stoke City v Newcastle United, while not as attractive odds-wise as the above three, is perhaps your most likely source of a shock this weekend. Come to think of it, the odds are rather strange, with Stoke at 3.4 back (12/5) to Newcastle‘s 2.7 back (11/8) – very close indeed. Still worth a punt, mind you.

Finally, are the odds for the winner, which are currently ridiculously high for some sides who have a realistic chance of going all the way. Aston Villa, while facing Manchester United this weekend, are at 42 back (41/1), so maybe now is the time to put a couple of quid on just in case; while Manchester City are at 38 back (37/1).

If you have any more suggestions, feel free to comment.

David.

 

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Filed under Aston Villa, Betfair, Betting, Cardiff City, Chasetown, FA Cup, Football, Havant and Waterlooville, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Soccer, Sport, Stoke City, Swansea City

Science Report

This blog may be only a few days young, but passionate debate is already breaking out – which is very pleasing to see. Here, Harry wishes to further expand the readers’ horizons with a brief discussion of astrophysics informed by careful observation of the sporting scene.

Science Report

There is growing evidence for the theory of an ‘Oscillating Universe’ based on a recurring event in the North of England.

Every few years it seems that Football Club experiences a run of poor form and dire results. Initial Fan Disquiet is soothed by the reassurances of Loyal Chairman that Beleagured Manager’s job is safe.

However, results remain bad and Fan Disquiet is exacerbated by the news that Talented Youngster is making eyes at Big Club, who may be about to swoop. Furthermore, Wantaway Foreign Striker tells the press in his home country that Beleagured Manager is rubbish and he hates living in Large City, where it rains all the time. Wantaway Foreign Striker and Talented Youngster are joined by Crap Crocked Midfield Has-been, and the pressure on Beleagured Manager increases.

Grumpy Fan With Beard is interviewed on local radio and suggests that Football Club’s faith in Beleagured Manager may be misplaced. Loyal Chairman is forced to change his tune when he finally opens Football Club’s bank statements and notices the size of their debt.

Suddenly Beleagured Manager is dispensible, and even Loyal Chairman himself may be forced aside by the arrival of Rich Benevolent Foreigner With Questionable Past. Rich Benevolent Foreigner With Questionable Past duly takes over and installs Football Genius as manager. Football Genius goes on a spending spree and acquires Brazilian Dynamo, Wing Wizard and assorted others, although Proper Striker eludes him.

Football Club become a thousand times better than they have been for ages and ages, and Football Genius proves to be an excellent manager. Longsuffering Fans appear to have found the panacea for all their woes, but they have failed to consider Manifest Destiny A.K.A Certain Ultimate Misery And Dissappointment.

Just as the pigs in Animal Farm kick out the farmers only to become farmers themselves, surely Football Genius will slowly evolve into Beleagured Manager. There will be Initial Fan Disquiet. Grumpy Fan With Beard will receive a phone call from the BBC…

Harry.

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Filed under Barclays Premier League, BBC, Comment, English Premier League, Football, Opinion, Science, Soccer, Sport

Everyone loves sport; but only those with taste love Darts

After the first post about the whole “is darts a sport?” thing, we thought we’d carry it on a little further. Here, Jamie takes a passionate look at how the argument about whether darts is a sport is perhaps a lot deeper than first imagined – David.

The argument as to whether or not Darts is a sport is irrelevant.

I’ve never understood what point those who argue so passionately that it’s not a sport are trying to make. There are umpteen sports that don’t involve physical exertion; Snooker, Shooting, Angling, Curling, Archery; we could be here all day. You could say that Golf is no more than a long walk (what do you mean someone already did?). This is a futile discussion, either you believe or you don’t.

There are some who still regard Football as no more than twenty-two men kicking a bag of wind around, despite the somewhat overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And as for the question ‘What is Sport?’, well okay while we’re at at it, ‘What is Art?’, ‘What is Truth?’ ‘What is the Meaning of Life?’ ‘Why are we here?’ Leave your answers in the comments.

Are we to understand then that the naysayers theory is that Darts shouldn’t be on TV for this reason? Hmm, only sports are allowed on television…well that’s a view that would earn you a drink from me, but regardless of whether you would include Darts in your schedule, it’s not exactly realistic.

Or is it? It strikes me that sports-only television is already here (and I’m not simply referring to dedicated sports channels). It also strikes me that it’s not the fantasy I envisaged. Today’s TV schedules are crammed with shows that involve real-life activity being turned into a sporting contest. Nobody would sit around watching the raw materials of the most popular shows, be it crap singing (X-Factor), crap dancing (Strictly), or even just crap human existence (Big Brother, I’m a Celeb). The element they all have in common is competition. What is actually going on in all these productions is utterly mundain, but place it in a competitive environment with rules and judging and point scoring and, most importantly, a champion crowned at the end of it all, and suddenly you have crowd-pulling dynamite.

You also have sport, for it is surely in the contest that you find its definitive aspect. Golf fans (Yes, I am picking on Golf, you’ll get used to it) just ask yourself what your beloved game looks like seen outside the environment of the final round of a major, or the Ryder Cup.

That’s right, what the masses are obsessing over is sport. All you sat out there transfixed infront of the TV on a saturday night, you obviously love your sport. Glad to see it, but you could have been doing this all along. After all, the thrills and spills that make your favourite sports so compelling have been served up by Darts for years.

The problem these new sports have is that they are made specifically for television, not to be enjoyed by a live crowd. They will soon be replaced in the schedules (who knows, maybe by old-fashioned creativity; Drama, Comedy, anyone remember those?) and they will thankfully leave no legacy. They will not stand the test of time. The great sports all earned their followings without the power of the media to help them. It is television’s privilege to play host to the greatest reality TV of all – that’s why it costs them so much money to broadcast it, and why what cash is left after the real sport has been purchased goes into producing cheap sports alternatives.

Us genuine sports fans know where to go to get our fix of healthy competition. The sports that have been tried and tested and repeatedly enjoyed, by millions of fans who have spent a lifetime devoted. The sports that are best enjoyed live. If there’s a place in the public domain for competition dancing, competition singing, and competition idiocy, then there’s more than enough room for competition Darts.

Jamie.

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Filed under Darts, Opinion, Sid Waddell, Sport, Television