Liverpool fans look away now because Matt Briggs thinks Sunderland, with or without a beach ball, are the Value Bet of the Numbers Game so far
Last Updated: 14/09/12 5:02pm
After a week off to watch paint dry during the international week, @MattPBriggs' football betting blog is back with a smashing 23/10 Value Bet - the best of the season so far.
Having backed Liverpool at 7/1 for a bottom-half finish in the Premier League last week, I've simply got to oppose them in the Numbers Game away at Sunderland on Saturday.
Brendan Rodgers' men travel north and the 23/10 about Martin O'Neill's men is a must.
The Sunderland selection is the headline tip, but I also fancy Chelsea as the Banker and some juicy prices about wins for Norwich, Ipswich, Chesterfield, Burton and Carlisle.I've also got all the opinions from the men in the know - the bookies - with the thoughts from Sky Bet.
Sunderland to beat Liverpool at 23/10 (Sat, 5.30pm).
The Black Cats needed the aid of a beach ball to defeat Liverpool 1-0 in 2009 and they look primed for more joy - without any extra help - on Saturday against Brendan Rodgers' strugglers. Sunderland chalked up another 1-0 victory against the Reds last season and they are a stand-out 23/10 to beat Liverpool once more. In new boys Adam Johnson, who is an injury worry, and Steven Fletcher they have a real potency in attack, while Liverpool have struggled to score goals. The Reds have yet to score in open play and look like a side in transition. The 23/10 on Martin O'Neill's men is simply too good to turn down.
Sky Bet say Everton have been hugely popular to win the Monday night encounter against Newcastle. The Toffees opened up at 10/11 but are now a skinny 4/5 to register another victory at Goodison Park.
In League Two Bradford are again well supported at home. They face strugglers Barnet and are now 1/2 from 4/7, as punters obviously fancy the Bantams in front of their home crowd.
Chelsea (5/6) won all three Prem games and travel to QPR (100/30).
Exeter (21/20) won their last four in League Two and host York (12/5).
Fleetwood (4/5) won their last three in League Two and host Northampton (7/2).
Southampton (15/2) lost all three Prem games and travel to Arsenal (4/11).
Peterborough (7/2) lost last four in Champ and travel to Burnley (8/11).
Burnley (8/11) lost last three in Champ and host Peterborough (7/2).
Barnet (6/1) lost last three in League Two and travel to Bradford (1/2).
Sky Bet: Manchester United look a good lay at 1/4 as they face Wigan at Old Trafford. United could be without Robin van Persie and Patrice Evra following injuries picked up on international duty and Wigan always seem to impress against the top sides.
Another side we are looking to take on are Chelsea as they face the tricky trip to Loftus Road. You would have to be brave to back the Blues at 5/6 to win this against a fired up Queens Park Rangers.
West Ham (19/10) won none of their last 14 league trips to Norwich (11/8).
Manchester United (1/4) won 14 of last 15 meetings in all comps with Wigan (10/1).
Everton (4/5) lost just one of last nine Prem home games v Newcastle (100/30) (Mon).
Bristol City (13/8) unbeaten in 15 home games v Blackburn (8/5).
Cardiff (1/1) seven unbeaten at home to Leeds (13/5).
Birmingham (12/5) five games unbeaten away at Nottingham Forest (11/10).
Colchester (6/4) won four of last five at home v Doncaster (17/10).
Sheff Utd (1/2) won six of last seven at home to Bury (6/1).
Tranmere (21/20) won four of last five at home v Coventry (13/5).
Gillingham (8/11) won last four at home v Bristol R (7/2).
Chelsea to win at QPR at 5/6.
I'm not a huge fan of backing teams away from home at odds-on, but I reckon Chelsea are a good thing. QPR have brought in bucket loads of new players and they are nowhere near close to gelling yet and Chelsea have already adopted a winning habit this season.
Accrington's Padraig Amond has three in four and is 7/4 to score at Dagenham.
Northampton's Alex Nicholls has four in four and is 12/5 to score at Fleetwood.
Southend's Britt Assombalonga has four in four and is 6/4 to score at Cheltenham.
Chesterfield's Craig Westcarr has two in two and is 6/4 to score v Wycombe.
Ipswich to win at Middlesbrough at 12/5.
Midfielder Josh McEachran (thigh) and striker Ismael Miller (ankle) are doubtful at The Riverside. Nicky Bailey and Rhys Williams are on the long-term injury list and Kevin Thomson (calf) and Mustapha Carayol (hamstring) are also causing concern.
Chesterfield to beat Wycombe at 10/11.
Wycombe boss Gary Waddock is likely to be without striker Dennis Oli (ankle) and key midfielder Matthew Spring is also a doubt. Defensive duo Anthony Stewart and Marvin McCoy are doubtful.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
Norwich to beat West Ham at 11/8 (Sat, 12.45pm).
After the 1-1 draw v Spurs, Chris Hughton said: "Arguably we deserved to win. This is a tough place to come but we created a lot of chances. The thing I was most pleased with was the response. We are playing quite well at the moment, but to go one behind here, not let our heads drop, force the equaliser and then have a chance to win at the end, speaks volumes for the team."
Burton to beat Oxford at 9/5.
Burton assistant boss Kevin Summerfield, speaking after the 1-0 win at Rochdale, said: "It could be argued that we have too many options to choose from up front, but nobody has really made the position their own as yet. The one thing we have got out of this game is the fact we have a very competitive squad."
While Rochdale boss John Coleman paid tribute to the Brewers: "The best team won, it was a fair result, they know how we play and Burton have done a job on us and fair play to them."
Carlisle to beat Swindon at 13/8.
After Swindon's 1-0 home defeat by Leyton Orient, Paolo Di Canio said: "After two or three games I have discovered that my players do not have the quality to improve. I did not mind losing the record, it was bound to happen one day, but it was the way we lost I did not enjoy. There was not the desire or the 100% commitment. After this week's results I think I have over-estimated my players. It was an empty performance in terms of heart but I could not imagine we would lose in this way."
You can follow me on Twitter at @MattPBriggs