The last week has featured nothing from me except carefully observing the exploits of Newcastle, whilst regularly checking the Paddy Power Twitter page for more enhanced bets. We shall start with the former. This weekend was a dream in terms of results for my top 4 Newcastle bet, and I am starting to think that they may actually finish in the top 4 (kind of, anyway). They have hard fixtures to come however, starting with an away match against a rejuvenated Wigan side, before a HUGE match away to Chelsea followed by the simple matter of Man City at the 'Sports Direct Arena'. With teams like this (others include Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool) it has always been my greatest concern when they travel away from home to the 'smaller' sides, as they often tend to take their foot off the gas, or even not have the ability to grind out an ugly 1-0. Newcastle's recent very impressive victory over Swansea eliminated this concern for me temporarily, but with no prior results to compare against (for their form this season has been a shock for us all), it is difficult to gauge at what point Newcastle will stop 'doing it'. In spite of this however, I have chosen merely to claim my stake back and leave a £200 green on Newcastle to finish in the top 4, and will sit it out for a bit longer. I have a couple of reasons for doing this; one of them is Tottenham and the other is Chelsea. What I mean by this is that neither of these teams particularly inspire me at the moment and Newcastle look like the only team who really want that top four spot. Chelsea are obviously extremely busy right now with the second leg coming up against Barca, and the F.A. Cup final against Liverpool and, despite what Di Matteo says, they are obviously more focused on silverware this season than reaching the Champions League again. The big game vs Newcastle takes place the Wednesday before their cup final against Liverpool, and I see no reason why Newcastle cannot get something from it. On the other side we have Spurs who have suffered an awful run of form recently. They have a straightforward home game before two away games to relegation-threatened opposition and, having not won away since 27th December, I don't really fancy them to take six points from those. Up the Geordies.
This week has also seen the birth of Paddy Power's ludicrous enhanced odds offer on selected outcomes. If you haven't seen this already, they basically massively enhance some odds (i.e. United to beat Everton to evens) to their Twitter and Facebook followers for a limited time only, normally it lasts about 10-15 minutes. Maximum stake is unfortunately £20 but it is still better than nothing. But laying each outcome on Betfair I have been able to take a guaranteed £8-£13 profit each time and this has amounted to over £60 throughout this week, so a tidy little sum and definitely something to look out for. The annoying thing is though that you don't know when they are going to enhance the odds, meaning you have to be lucky and catch them, but regularly checking Twitter (which I do anyway) solves this problem. Had I left each enhanced bet as a bet I would be down £60 for the week, so it is a no-brainer to lay it! I'm not quite sure how long they will be doing this for, but so far they must have made a packet, so they may continue it for some time!
Lastly, it is that time of year again which I look forward to: The Snooker World Championship. I'm not really sure who is going to take it this time, Judd Trump is the favourite by some distance but, although I do hope he does really well because I like him a lot, the price on him (5.5) is unjustified really. World number 1 Mark Selby is at odds of 11, mainly because of an injury before the start of the competition but it cannot be bothering him too much as he hasn't pulled out, and I have backed him at 11 for £25 in the hope he will cruise through round one and allow me to just take a free bet on him. Ronnie played today having opened at around 11 and is now down to 7s after comfortably taking the lead against Peter Ebdon, so hopefully Selby will follow suit. Mainly though I am just looking forward to watching the spectacle, there are many talented players this year all in with a shout.
Good luck everyone.