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All in or Ailing: playing it (mostly) safe with the bets this week

Pick up some betting tips, or at least a few useful bits of football trivia from Europe, as the writers at 7500 to Holte continue to waste their (imaginary) cash.

Alan Crowhurst

Last week, not a single one of the 7500 to Holte writers made any money. That means Gareth is out -- although being Canadian, he's eligible for a buyback. Others are steadily slipping away, and if some money isn't made soon, this betting pool could be over before Christmas.

Not that that will stop us from starting a new one, mind.


Is being a wimp

Available: 21.77

3-fold acca: €2, return €8.12

Manchester United away win at Fulham (4/7)
Chelsea away win at Newcastle (4/7)
Hull City to beat Sunderland (21/20)

I figure United and Chelsea are as good as a lock and Hull kind of ups the juice but they should beat Sunderland because Sunderland.

Bore bet: €5, return €9

West Ham vs. Villa: under 2.5 goals scored
I will be watching this game so the rule is it will be horrible. West Ham also makes everything horrible.

Available: €28.76

Saturday Super Coupon: 53.69/1 , €1 stake

Fulham vs. Man United: Away win (4/7)
Fulham really haven't got going so far this season, and it looks like United really are starting to step up their game under Moyes.

Rayo Vallecano vs. Real Madrid: Away win (1/4)
Real scored SEVEN last time out against Sevilla, led by a Ronaldo hat trick and braces from Benzema and Bale.

Eintracht Braunschweig vs. Bayer Leverkusen: Away win (9/20)
Leverkusen probably won't need any phantom goals to win here against bottom feeders Braunschweig.

TSG Hoffenheim vs. Bayern München: Away win (1/4)
If you bet every week on Bayern, you will probably make a lot of money.

Sochaux vs. St. Etienne: Away win (10/11)
Sochaux are second bottom with only six points from 11 matches. St. Etienne are seventh but got a good confidence boost last week in their draw with PSG.

Belenenses vs. FC Porto: Away win (1/3)
Note: he also said this about the Go-Ahead Eagles. That didn't go so well.

Volga Novgorod vs. CSKA Moskova: Away win (8/15)
CSKA haven't won on the road since August so naturally bet on them.

Buraspor vs. Fenerbahce: (Away win 13/10)
First place Fener have three road wins already, and Buraspor have only won once at home (D2L1)

Parma vs. Juventus: Away win (8/11)
Usually I stay away from Italy, but Juve have only lost one and drawn one, winning eight so far.

You may have noticed I chose all away winners. This is usually a stupid choice as one of them will end up losing or drawing, but choosing favorites on the road is a good way to get higher odds on big teams. If Bayern were at home, the odds would be worse than 1/10, which they were against 4th placed Hertha Berlin last week.

Friday Night Fourfold: 1/1 €5 stake
These are all massive favorites, so I probably should have staked more, but I don't really trust the Friday night games.

Borussia Dortmund vs. VFB Stuttgart: Home win (1/4)
Dortmund have won five out of five at home so far. Stuttgart don't really have awful away form, winning two drawing one and losing two.

PSG vs. Lorient: Home win (1/6)
The home form of PSG is a bit suspect, with only three wins and two draws. However, Lorient haven't even taken a point from six road matches.

Barcelona vs. Espanyol: Home win (1/10)
Every little bit helps on the multiplier.

Galatasaray vs. Konyaspor: Home win (1/4)
Mancini's men have won twice and drawn twice at home. Konyaspor haven't won yet on the road (D1L3).

Draw Special: 10.55/1, €1 stake
Two games between teams that are pretty evenly matched makes for good odds on a draw in both. However I really doubt this will happen.

Arsenal vs. Liverpool: Draw (12/5)
Arsenal have been playing really good football as of late, and a lot of this comes down to Özil. The SAS (Suárez and Sturridge) combo has been deadly for the Reds. I feel that both managers will be careful here and would be content with a share of the spoils.

Hertha Berlin vs. Schalke 04: Draw (12/5)
Hertha are off to a dream start back in the Bundesliga sitting in fifth through ten matches. They played really well last time out against Bayern. Schalke are starting to get it together after a shaky start and sit in seventh. However Hertha haven't drawn at home yet and Schalke have only drawn once on the road in five matches.

Available: €20.46

Coverage Coupon: €1, return €7.58

Chelsea to win at Newcastle
Manchester United to win at Fulham
West Ham United vs. Aston Villa
, under 2.5 goals
Hull City vs. Sunderland, under 2.5 goals

This is possibly the most boring bet ever, but I have to cover these matches and I need a reason to survive. God, most of these teams are not exactly a thrill a minute, are they?

Saturday Super 8-fold: €1, return €15.03

Dortmund to beat Stuttgart (1/4)
Bayer Leverkusen to win at Braunschweig (4/9)
Bayern Munich to win at Hoffenheim (1/4)
Juventus to win at Parma (8/11)
Sevilla to beat Celta Vigo (5/1)
Rayo Vallecano vs. Real Madrid, over 2.5 goals scored (4/11)
Manchester City to beat Norwich (1/5)
West Bromwich Albion to beat Crystal Palace (4/7)

Ok, so one of these is a Friday bet, but I tend to stick to four leagues and I was running out of comfortable options.

Sunday Silly: €1, return €13.88

Arsenal vs. Liverpool, over 2.5 goals scored (13/20)
Hellas Verona to beat Cagliari (23/20)
AS Roma to win at Torino (10/11)
Malaga to beat Real Betis (21/20)

I don't know why the odds on Roma are the way they are -- maybe bookies banking they'll finally take a dive? Verona are still perfect at home and Cagliari are dire, so watch me get left with egg on my face for that one. And my little Anchovies will probably lose once again, but I couldn't help favoring them.

Amount available: €15.32

4-fold Acca: €2, to return €17

Manchester City to BEAT Norwich (1/6)
City aren't amazing on the road, but this is in Manchester and it's against a woeful Norwich. I'm okay with this.

Hull to BEAT Sunderland (11/10)
This makes me nervous. Very nervous. I wish I knew where to get odds on "Hull getting at least a point." I'd be confident in that.

note for future: you can bet on Hull to win or draw. If that happened, your return would be €10.16

Both teams to NOT score, West Brom v. Crystal Palace (5/6)
I'm banking on Crystal Palace's offensive ineptitude here, since their defense certainly isn't keeping West Brom off the board.

Both teams to NOT score, Stoke v. Southampton (8/11)
Stoke are pretty bad at scoring, and Southampton are incredible at not allowing people to score. Sure, this seems wise.

Not a goalless draw, but rather taking the odds that one or both sides won't score.

Insanity: €1 bet, €6 return: Fulham to BEAT Manchester United (5/1)

Do I think it's going to happen? Probably not. But I like the odds, and Manchester United are pretty terrible.