Numbers Game: Reap rewards with Rickie
The first Numbers Game of 2013 picks out Rickie Lambert as a value bet to score first
Last Updated: 11/01/13 4:14pm
Your favourite betting blog is back for the first edition of the New Year and it has plenty to follow after Watford (14/5) and Doncaster (13/5) came good in the final blog of 2012.
There are plenty of big-priced tips to add to you accumulators - including a 19/5 shot from the Championship and a 9/2 poke from League Two. While, I'm pinning my hopes on Lambert to do the business at Villa Park and think Manchester United are a huge price to sink Liverpool and they are my Banker of the weekend.
Let me know where your money is going this weekend in the box below or via @MattPBriggs on Twitter.
Rickie Lambert to score Southampton's first goal at Villa at 7/2.
Rickie Lambert has found his scoring boots for Southampton and has netted Saints' first goal in three of the club's last four Premier League away games. All eight of Lambert's goals this season have been the first goal for Saints too and with that in mind he looks decent value to be first to score for his club at struggling Aston Villa.
Sky Bet say Everton are into 8/15 from our early quote of 4/6 and are the shortest Premier League team on the coupon this weekend. Swansea's decision to play their first string in the Carling Cup on Tuesday prompted the move as well as Everton's excellent performances in recent weeks.
Notts County have been smashed in from 6/5 to even money after Portsmouth announced their intention to release senior players in order to trim their wage bill. Full-back Jon Harley will leave the club after Saturday's game and a number of youth players are set to deputise as a result.
Tottenham are also a big hit this weekend, with former manager Harry Redknapp waiting to test Spurs with his QPR side. The 10/11 this week has been snapped up but the 4/5 about Spurs to win at Loftus Road still look a good bet. QPR's shock victory at Chelsea (they were 12/1) has been the highlight of a dreadful season, Tottenham should be far too good and take three points.
Paddy Power say all eyes this weekend will be on Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, when age old enemies Man Utd and Liverpool take to the field to play out another episode of English football biggest rivalries. Despite the gap between the two teams in the league, punters this weekend feel that the early show of 4/1 about Liverpool taking three points was too big, since than we've cut them a few times into their current offering of 10/3.
Bet Victor have seen money for Liverpool 31/10 into 29/10 and with our red card money back offer on selected markets on both Sunday games we are expecting to see an increase in turnover given there have been 14 red cards between United and Liverpool in the history of the Premier League and four red cards between Arsenal and City in the last five matches.
The Merseyside Reds have been the best backed side so far this week with Aston Villa also popular at 8/5 as punters think there will be a positive backlash to their Valley Parade humiliation.
Wigan have been backed against Fulham and are 29/10 from 3/1 and punters obviously feel the West Brom bubble might burst in the second half of the season as Reading are into 19/10 from 2/1 against the Baggies.
Manchester United (19/20) won last three Premier League game and host Liverpool (7/2) (Sun, 1.30pm).
Tottenham (10/11) won last three Premier League games and travel to QPR (7/2) (12.45pm).
Cardiff (7/10) won last four Premier League games and host Ipswich (5/1).
Swindon (11/5) won last four League One games and travel to Bournemouth (6/4).
Oxford (3/1) won last three League Two games and travel to Bradford (evens).
Northampton (9/4) won last three League Two games and travel to Chesterfield (13/10).
Norwich (5/4) lost last four Premier League games and host Newcastle (5/2).
Newcastle (5/2) lost last three Premier League games and travel to Norwich (5/4).
Barnsley (11/5) lost last three Championship games and host Leeds (11/8).
Wolves (6/4) lost last three Championship games and host Blackburn (19/10) (Fri).
Colchester (7/5) lost last eight League One games and host Scunthorpe (11/5).
Portsmouth (14/5) lost last four League One games and host Notts C (11/10).
Plymouth (5/4) lost last three League Two games and host Morecambe (13/5).
Paddy Power: Tottenham are the form team of the league at the moment and they travel the short distance across town to face city rivals QPR. Then there is the Harry Redknapp factor, who is facing his old employers for the first time, I really think that Tottenham will have way too much for the bottom team in the league, despite the fact that they are a shade of odds on I think they will win and win well too, I'm taking the 5/6 about them to keep their fine run going.
Sky Bet: Chelsea are the same price to beat Stoke at the Britannia as Liverpool were a few weeks back, but they still look too short. Stoke are constantly underestimated at home and the 3/1 about the Potters is a gift. There are few more intimidating places to go in the Premier League and after Wednesday's dire defeat to Swansea this is a great time to oppose Chelsea.
Charlton are outsiders at home to Blackpool. After losing manager Michael Appleton to Blackburn this week the Tangerines will have a big adjustment to make before travelling to London. Charlton's recent form has been erratic to say the least but at the prices I feel the Addicks are a good bet.
Fulham (21/20) have lost none of their last 12 Premier League meetings with Wigan (3/1).
Chelsea (evens) have won seven and lost none of the nine Premier League meetings v Stoke (100/30).
Manchester United (19/20) have won eight of last nine at home v Liverpool (7/2) (Sun, 1.30pm).
Manchester United to beat Liverpool at 5/6 (Sun, 1.30pm).
United have been formidable at Old Trafford this season chalking up nine Premier League wins from 10 and with that in mind they look a huge price at 5/6. Liverpool have won just three of their 10 away games and have lost eight of their last nine trips to Old Trafford.
Southend's Barry Corr has four in two and is 15/8 to score at Exeter.
Rochdale's Ashley Grimes has six in six and is 11/4 to score at Dagenham.
Man Utd's Robin van Persie has nine in nine and is evens to score v Liverpool (Sun).
Burnley to beat Crystal Palace at 8/5.
Crystal Palace will check on Wilfried Zaha (ankle) and Glenn Murray (illness) ahead of the trip to Burnley. Danny Gabbidon is a doubt with a hamstring problem, fellow defender Paddy McCarthy remains sidelined by a long-term groin injury and midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi is on African Nations Cup duty in South Africa.
Crawley to beat Tranmere at 21/10.
Strikers Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Abdulai Bell-Baggie are both likely to miss out again against Crawley. Midfielder James Wallace is definitely ruled out with a knee injury and striker Jake Cassidy has returned to parent club Wolves.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
Rochdale to win at Dagenham at 21/10.
Rochdale boss John Coleman claimed Saturday's 1-0 home loss to AFC Wimbledon was one of the worst days of his life: "I said to the players after the game that I count Saturday as one of the five worst days of my life, and I include two of them as my mum and dad dying, so that is how much it means to me. Anyone who thinks it doesn't mean that much to me just doesn't know me. One thing I can assure people is I am not going to roll over and die. We will come out fighting again in the next game."
Peterborough to win at N Forest at 15/4.
Speaking after the FA Cup defeat to Norwich, Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson said: "We've got our largest crowd of the season and I have to apologise to my own supporters for that performance because we're at home in a cup game which my players, for whatever reason, turned into a pre-season game. They've definitely let the fans down but I think the players have let me down today and they're going to have to give me a response, simple as that."
Bristol Rovers to win at Fleetwood at 4/1.
Gillingham boss Martin Allen admitted his League Two leaders had been pushed all the way by Bristol Rovers in their 2-0 win last weekend: "I thought Bristol Rovers played really well. They were cheered off by their fans at half-time, despite being two goals down, and that says everything about their performance."
You can follow me on Twitter at @MattPBriggs