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It's A Mug's Game! #4
by Shane LeRoy (Other)
Posted on May 31, 2007, 12:48 PM

Fist up this week is the man who unselfishly paid for Stan Jamesí last mortgage payment ; Mr. Jamie Higgins.


Well 3 weeks in and I am still showing a profit from my tips after more successes last time out. For the second week in a row I was able to tip up the top England run-scorer in the cricket and this time it was never in doubt. Kevin Pieterson played some top-draw shots to make a double century and outscore all the others by over 100 runs. I had £20 on at 3/1 and that brought me in £80. Also for first time ever I successfully backed the winner of a Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso stole pole position and then led the Monaco GP from start to finish and brought home my bet of £20 at 9/4 and a return of £65. Overall that made me £145 from my £100 staked.

Onto this week and I had hoped to be fairly creative this week and set up some more varied bets at longer odds. Unfortunately time has gone against me and I am going to have to stick to some more mundane fare for the most part although there are some decent prices for some of my offerings.


Surprise, surprise I am going to start with football this week. However it will be of a little bit of a different nature as this week is an international weekend. There arenít too many glamour matches across the various continents but probably the stand out fixture is England vs. Brazil. This match is the first England international to be held at the new Wembley Stadium and I will be in attendance myself. I was so excited to be going to this historic game about a month ago but now my excitement is less to with the occasion and more to do with getting to watch Kaka, Ronaldinho and co.

Back on topic and I canít quite work out where to go from a betting point of view so I am going to take a bit of a flyer and have a punt on a full-back to score a goal. ďCrazy manĒ I hear you cry. Well actually no because the full-back in question is Daniel Alves the Sevilla right-back. This guy is superb, heís quick, skilful and possess great end product. He will be potentially up against an England left side of Joe Cole and debutant Nicky Shorey. At 6/1 I think he will roast them alive and I will have £10 on him scoring.

First Bet: £10 @ 6/1 on Daniel Alves to score vs. England.

Across the other matches there are a number of teams who are extremely short odds to beat very weak opponents and then some other matches where it just feels too tight to predict which way to stake my cash. I think my only real alternative is to come up with an all-conquering accumulator and make the odds into something approaching decent.

I am going to take Czech Republic to beat a shaky Wales defence in Cardiff at odds of 8/13, Added to that I am going to take both Russia and Germany to overcome a two goal handicap against the minnows of Andorra (1/3) and San Marino (1/9). I will also back Norway with a handicap, this time just one goal, against Malta (4/9) and Spain to travel to Latvia and win at odds of 1/3. When all added together this comes to just better than 7/2 so I will have £15 on it.

Second Bet: £15 on accumulator of Czech Republic @ 8/13, Russia -2 @ 1/3, Germany -2 @ 1/9, Norway -1 @ 4/9 and Spain @ 1/3.

My final football bet is one that will have to run for a short while as it is on a tournament that starts next Wednesday. The CONCACAF Gold Cup is tournament contested by the Caribbean, North American and Central American teams. It is being held in the USA and I fancy a team just south of their border to confirm that they are by some distance the best side in the part of the globe. Mexico are available at 13/8 and I am going to slap £25 on them to win it outright. I do quite fancy some of the outsiders as well to have a decent showing and I considered and each way bet on Canada at 16/1 but I have decided to just stick with the Mexicans.

Third Bet: £25 on Mexico to win CONCACAF Gold Cup @ 13/8.

Horse Racing

Racing is my first love in betting terms. It is the ultimate sport to bet on as there are endless opportunities every day and the thrill of watching your horse burst clear in the final yards is incomparable. It is also for similar reasons one of the most dangerous sports to gamble on because the chances to chase your losses are just too numerous. I now try and stick to the big occasions and in terms of UK racing this weekend is as big as they come with the Derby meeting at Epsom.

Before the big colts race on the Saturday the fillies get their chance on the Friday to strut their stuff in The Oaks. Although far less hyped this race often is more pleasing on the eye and produces very high quality winners. This year I fancy a horse called Light Shift trained by the old master Henry Cecil to bring some glory back to his stable. Her stable mate Passage of Time will start a worthy favourite but I think the 5/1 on offer for Light Shift is too much to turn down and I will stick a tenner on.

Fourth Bet: £10 on Light Shift to win the Epsom Oaks @ 5/1.

Also on the Friday is a top class race for the 4+ year olds. The Coronation Cup has a small but select field this year and I fancy Aidan OíBrienís Scorpion to recapture some of his best form from a couple of years ago to snatch it at 12/1. I will put £5 on this as it is a bit of a long shot.

Fifth Bet: £4 on Scorpion to win the Coronation Cup at Epsom @12/1.

Finally we come to The Derby. This is the most prestigious race a colt can win in England and the field is usually top notch. However this year nothing really stands out except for one horse, Authorized. A top class 2 year old last season and he won the major trial for this race in emphatic style at York recently. Very unusually for this race he will likely start as on odds on shot and that is as much to do with the ever popular Frankie Dettori doing the steering as it does with his ability. Thereís not a lot of value to be had but sometimes value has to be put to one side to back a winner. I am going to stake all my remaining cash (£36) on Authorized at 5/6.

Sixth Bet: £36 on Authorized to win the Epsom Derby @ 5/6.

So thatís it for this week and as usual I have tried to set my bets up in such a way that if as long as I get two to come in for me then I will at least break even. Can I keep my decent run going? I hope so. Until next time, happy punting........


Next up this week is a man who didn't back his hometown team of Toulouse to make the Champions League this year. The idiot. Mr Shane Leroy is on deck.

Shane:Going to have to keep in short and slightly sweet this week as I am really pushed for time today. Last week was a really frustrating one for me with another 6th place finish in a Golf event only paying out on the top 5 (Brad Bryant in the Senior PGA). David Toms and Paul Casey looked primed for a top 5 finish about half way through their final rounds (Toms was actually in the top 4 at one point) but both fell away to leave me with only one win from last week - £32.50 back from my £100 from Fernando Alonsoís Grand Prix win.

These are my tips for this week:


The home nations are touring in the Southern Hemisphere at the moment and I am focusing on Englandís trip to South Africa and Walesí trip to Australia. The Sprinkboks gave the English an almighty hiding last week, and the English squad decimated with sickness and injury can expect a similar beating this weekend in Pretoria. The Springboks have names a virtually first choice team, while England may yet have to pull people out of the crowd to play for them such are their problems. The handicap is a massive Ė29, but going on the 58-10 win last week, that isnít high enough.

Wales very nearly beat the Wallabyís last weekend, losing out to an injury time try, and despite the re-introduction of George Smith and Stephen Larkham to the Aussie team, Wales can threaten again. I see the Aussies winning, but 17 points is too big of a handicap.

Bet 1 £20 on Springboks (-29) and Wales (+17) Double


Itís International time again in the world of Football and there is value to be had all over the world this weekend. Firstly, I like defending champions Greece to take Hungary at home in the Euro 2008 qualifier. Odds of 1 / 2 are good value against a Hungary team who have not been good since at least the mid 1980ís. Secondly, I like Mexico at 1 / 2 to beat Iran. Normally, betting on friendly matches is a bit hairy, but the Mexican fans wonít allow their players to get away with dogging it here. Finally, for a bit of value Iím throwing in Portugal to win at 5/6 in Brussels against the Belgians. Portugalís attack should be a bit too much for a dogged but lacking in skill Belgium side.

Bet 2 £20 on Greece & Mexico & Portugal to win.


Moving to my favourite sport to bet on I will bet on three different events this week. First up, I got Richard Sterne to win the Welsh Open at Celtic Mannor. The South African youngster has been churning out the performances including 4 top 5 places in his last 5 starts. He is surely going to win soon ,and this might be his week while most of the worldís best are Stateside playing in the Memorial.
Bet 3 £10 EW on Richard Sterne at 22/1 with Boyles giving 6 places.

My second Golf bet this week is on the Memorial Tournament. Zach Johnson won me a lot of dough two weeks ago, and can do the same for me again here. A runner up at the event before and bang in form, Johnsonís Odds of 31/1 with pinnacle belie the mans talent at this stage. I think he has a great shot to at least place and those odds are great EW value.

Bet 4 £10 EW on Zach Johnson at 31/1 with Pinacle.

Finally this week, I turn to the LPGA tour. Annika Sorenstam is ĎHostingí this weeks event and she is the joint favourite to win. With Michelle Wie also there some of the attention will be taken away from the woman who really has been the dominant force in Womenís Golf for the last 18 months and thatís Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, the World number 1. Odds of 5/1 to win are good value given the dozens of 1st and 2nd places she has racked up over the last two seasons.

Bet 5 £20 on Lorena Ochoa to win the Ginn Tribute at 5/1.

Thatís it for me this week, over and out.

Now the man who will get no introduction because he doesn't deserve one, Mr. Paul Stone.


SO SO SO close to the perfect game last week. Alonso won the Monaco grand prix in a McClaren dominated weekend, Kevin Pietersen showed heís the man and perhaps the best batter in the world right now with an impressive double century at Headingley, and the Bradford Bulls tore Harlequins apart even with the handicap to leave me happier than a pig in you know what.

The playoffs were also fantastically eventful. Bristol Rovers came from a goal down to decimate Shrewsbury, Blackpool outclassed a Yeovil side that looked out of their depth on the big occasion, and it looked like West Brom were going to seal promotion to the Premiership as they took the game by the scruff of the neck against Derby. However betting, and football in particular can be a cruel game, and as Pearson knocked in the Derby winner there were groans in the Stoney household.

Onwards and upwards however, with a fine figure of 385.18 assembled so far, its safe to say one Mr Stone is still very much on the up and with a nice little buffer as well, so onto this weeks predictions.

Association football

Back to the sport of kings, and Englandís imminent friendly with the Brazilians on Friday night. Expect a good show with a free flowing high scoring game. The Brazilians will look to showboat as usual, and expect there to be huge gaps left as both teams play in a very casual atmosphere. Brazil should win here, and the tempting bet from my pals Ladbrokes offer very generous odds of Brazil winning and 3 or more goals to be scored at 3/1.

1st bet: Brazil to beat England and 3 goals or more to be scored
Stake: 30 pounds at 3/1

Sticking with football and itís time to be a bit more spicey and go for a whopping 7 team accumulator on some of the only competitive games left to offer for the time being. Expect the Czechís to be far too good for the Welsh, even with Ryan Giggs international swansong, and at 8/11 they canít be ignored.

Add in Germany to beat the mighty San Marino, Italy to win in the Faroes, Russia to beat Andorra, Poland to beat Azerbaijan and you have 4 dead certs there at ridiculously short odds, all used just to bump up the accumulator by a few pounds. Betting on any of these teams means youíre pretty much buying money!

With the Estonian manager under immense pressure, the Croats look very nice at 2/5 to turn them over on their home patch, Iíd expect the Croats to win this one even if they bought Davor Suker out of retirement and put him up front. Rounding off, Portugal at 5/6 to beat the Belgianís, something that should really be snapped up as Portugal have some fantastic players right now, while Belgium pretty much donít! Fine analysis there methinks!

2nd bet: Czech Rep, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Croatia, Poland and Russia all to win.
Stake: 40 pounds at 4.62/1.

Rugby League

After last weeks good showing Iím back on the super league trail, backing Leeds and St Helenís to do the business against Warrington and Salford respectively. Of course the odds of both teams winning are very short indeed, but not if you give Warrington a 18 point headstart, and Salford a mighty TWENTY FOUR point headstart. Put that little accumulator together and you get 2.64/1 on those odds.

2nd bet: Leeds to beat Warrington by at least 18 points, St Helens to beat Salford by at least 24 points.
Stake: 30 pounds at 2.64/1

I promise next week to try harder and make sure to get my bit in on time, honestly!

Standings after Week 3
Paul: £385.18
Shane: £426.31
Jamie: £376.00

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