Every week I will be reviewing the weekend Pick 15.
The associated syndicate “Jim’s Pick 15 Banker” will always be going for the Jackpot of £800K with a maximum of 64 lines (£128.00 stake).
We will not cashout – we will not fold to pressure – we will win this thing!
Last week was brilliant. Everyone involved got a massive payout of only a 27% loss. So we’re practically freerolling for this week, getting a 73% discount on this week’s ticket using the money from last week.
It was tantalisingly close. We covered home and away with Chelsea Liverpool and of course a last minute goal meant it was a draw. Middlesbrough were 1-0 up only to be pegged back by a penalty and a last minute header by Howson was of course saved brilliantly by David Marshall. Stoke again only started to play in the last third of the game – perhaps someone needs to let them know that there is an entire 60 minutes at the start of a football match in which it’s entirely reasonable to try and score goals in.
The only utter failure was backing Atalanta to get the draw against Fiorentina – but that having said, Atalanta had 66% possession, with 17 shots and 83% pass accuracy so were much better than the bare result, so it’s not quite time to give up my love affair with them yet.
Each week I will be highlighting some fixtures as bankers – games that I would bet my house on and will be tallying up my success rate on these games.
Last week there weren’t any bankers because I was in a hump; this week I’m going big again: Inter Milan, Burnley, Derby and Arsenal. BOOM!
Bankers so far: 5 out of 12 (humiliating)
Anyway, onto this week…
Wolves are on a bit of a run that can’t be ignored. They drew with some mediocre midtable team by the name of Manchester something or other, but also they’ve beaten Burnley and Southampton recently which is far more impressive. Crystal Palace are finding that it takes more than one player to make a team and that perhaps Zaha (I wonder who he’ll be playing for next year?) alone won’t be enough to ensure their safety. A draw is obviously not out of the question, but on form Wolves have a notable edge.
Selection: Draw / Away
Since the defeat to Bournemouth (in which I obviously backed Leicester) Leicester have shown why I should still retain a bit of a faith in them. They effortlessly dispatched with a crumbling Newcastle team and easily pushed aside Huddersfield. The odds on Benitez being the next Premier League manager to lose their job by the way is still a decent 10/1. Only so high because we all know whose head is already in the chopping block… don’t we Mourinho? However, Leicester don’t fair brilliantly against Everton, having lost 2 out of the last 3 matches head to head, although in the last home game Leicester did win 2-0 (albeit with Mahrez). Tough call. I’m doing it – I’m going home and away. Get all your pennies out and whack it on a draw – I have a special knack for this.
Selection: Home / Away
Hudders who now? It’s difficult to know how many teams will tread on Huddersfield this season on their way down to the Championship, but I suspect a Burnley team with a confidence boosting 4-0 victory against Bournemouth and a 2-1 away win at Cardiff will be one of them. Dare I say it’s a home banker? I dare, I dare.
Who the hell do Watford think they are? Leicester? That position just underneath all the teams that are actually good is reserved especially for Leicester (my team in case you hadn’t guessed). Burnley stole it last season and it looks Watford plan to take it this season. Bournemouth’s aforementioned last away game in which they were trounced 4-0 by Burnley is setting off alarm bells in my mind. Watford are going to do it. I feel it.
Preston were alright last season if my memory serves me correctly but I’ve seen absolutely nothing of that form this season. Wigan are holding themselves nicely in this higher tier and although they’re away I think they can take this, but because Preston are scoring goals and plenty of them (they just have severe problems in defence at the moment) I’m covering a home win too just in case that form from last season reappears.
Selection: Home / Away
I think given that Stoke won’t start playing until 60 minutes into the game and Norwich are showing themselves as potential title contenders then this fixture should be all but done and dusted by 59 minutes. Maybe Stoke can claw their way back to a draw, but I’m betting against it.
Yes QPR managed to scrape past Reading earlier this week, but it’s hardly time to start swinging from the chandelier and Lampard is 100% focussed at Derby and producing some decent results, notably the 3-1 victory over Brentford. I’m backing Derby all the way.
Millwall and Villa are bogey teams for me. Whenever I back them to lose they never do. Leeds should have easily beaten Millwall and it’s still a fresh bleeding wound in my side that they didn’t. Villa are just annoying all round as they really should be pushing for promotion but they seem to think the key to promotion is to draw every game. An idea has just come to me – it’s going to be a draw. But Villa should be better, so I’m siding with an away win too.
Selection: Draw / Away
I am confused by this game. The bookies are strongly against Bolton winning this game and I’m failing to see why. Blackburn are new to the league and hardly setting it alight with 1 win in the last five games. They are playing away and last time Bolton played at home they beat the mighty Derby County (albeit by a narrow margin). Yes they were beaten at home by QPR before that, which is embarrassing for anyone, but it’s just not a walkover for Blackburn is it? I’m backing the draw because that’s what my heart says.
Two dire teams play each other. Bookies reckon Leganes are massive favourites – who am I to argue? I am James Davis – that’s who! Alright, I guess they did miraculously beat Barcelona in their last and only win this season. Let’s go for it.
This is a London derby of sorts, so although on paper it looks like an Arsenal victory, if you look closer it’s still an Arsenal victory. In fact, it’s an Arsenal banker. It’s Arsenal all day.
Fiorentina beat my pet Serie A team Atalanta 2-0, but as mentioned it was really a bit against the run of play to be honest and Lazio do not muck around! Alright they mucked around a bit against Roma and got their butts well and truly kicked, but it’s bounce back time. A home win. For almost sure.
Nantes are struggling to keep themselves off the bottom of the table with only a single victory to their name so far this season and Bordeaux playing some decent football, having not lost in the last 4 league games. Not a walkover, but a 1-0 win for Bordeaux fairly likely.
Dammitforcryingoutloud! If we make it this far, this game will be a true nail biter. No one knows which way this will go. Chelsea seemed to have found a little chink in the Liverpool armour and maybe the team everyone expected to walk away with the trophy without breaking a sweat (Man City of course) will dent that armour a bit more. Man City have not been messing around with the smaller teams, batting them aside like a cat toying with a mouse, but better opposition like Lyon showed that they are beatable. As a gambler (and I’m most definitely a gambler) I would be taking the draw at greater odds and for a score I’d be saying 1-1 all day, so for that reason I’m backing the draw. And I’m backing the win for (tosses coin)… Liverpool.
Selection: Home / Draw
SPAL could win this if you don’t think about it. But if you do think about it, they won’t. Inter Milan will, easily. Away banker.