Monday, December 6, 2010

Premier League Pick: Aston Villa v Liverpool

Aston Villa v Liverpool
The final game of matchday sixteen in the Premier League sees twelfth placed Liverpool take on sixteenth placed Aston Villa in what promises to be an intriguing match. Who do the bookies will walk away with the spoils? Bet365 make Liverpool the 1.57 favourites to collect all three points, with an Aston Villa win available at 6.50 and the draw can be backed at odds of 3.80. 

This season has not been a good season for Liverpool and with manager changes and the club being taken over, they have won just four of their opening fifteen games. However, they have collected a total of nineteen points in the league and thanks to the closeness of the league this season, a win in this match will send them rocketing up the table to seventh place. Their home form has been good recently and they have won all of their last three home games against Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea and West Ham. For this game they are missing both Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher through injury and Fernando Torres is still not hitting the heights that he can do when in form, so will they continue in their winning form? 

Aston Villa are very much out of form at the moment and they are without a win in four matches after drawing 2-2 with Manchester United and losing 2-0 to Blackburn and 4-2 to Arsenal in the league as well as being eliminated by their biggest rivals Birmingham City in the Carling Cup. They are showing some good possession football, keeping the ball well and making chances, but they are failing to convert those chances into enough goals to win matches. Their away league form has seen them lose five of seven games on the road, beating just Wolves and also collecting a point against Fulham. That draw with Fulham came three games ago and that is their only point in four away league matches since beating Wolves at the end of September. Can they take advantage of Liverpool’s injury worries to secure just second away win of the season? 

Head-to-head things do not look good for Villa as they have won just two of the twenty matches that these sides have played since 2000. Of the other eighteen games played in that time, Liverpool have won twelve and six have ended level. However, the last Villa win against Liverpool came at Anfield last season as the Midland side triumphed 3-1 and they will be looking for a repeat performance as their former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier looks to make a triumphant return to Anfield. How will the game go though? 

With Liverpool missing Carragher in defence, we feel that they will be vulnerable to the speed of Aston Villa’s attacking players and with Paul Konchesky, especially, having a shocking season we can easily see Villa getting on the scoresheet. Liverpool also have to be backed to find the net at home with the trickery and skill of Torres, as well as the hard working Kuyt pushing forwards. We also feel that neither of these two sides has much, if any, advantage over each other and that they are likely to cancel each other out and we see a draw here, so these two bets are where we are putting our money this Monday night.

Check out the Picks Forum at Betrepublic.com for more Premier League and Champions League picks  
 
We Recommend:
·         Back Liverpool v Aston Villa to end as a draw @ 3.80.
     Back both sides to score in the match @ 1.91

NFL Pick: Monday Night Football – New York Jets at New England Patriots

Monday Night Football betting action for tonight’s contest have favored the Patriots by more than 60-percent throughout the week, but online sportsbook haven’t moved the line off 3.5. New England is 11-3 ATS in its past 14 games as a home favorite by 3.5-to-10 points but in the most recent; an ATS loss Week 11 vs. Indianapolis, the Patriots needed a Red Zone takeaway in the final minute just to avoid the straight-up loss. 

New York doubled up the Patriots 28-14 in Week 2, but it’s worth noting that in the past seven seasons, Bill Belichick’s squad holds a 12-4 advantage in 16 meetings, playoffs included. The Jets’ Mark Sanchez tossed three TD passes in the first meeting and for a while, it seemed the sophomore QB had curbed an interception tendency that tied him for second-most (20) in the league last season. 

Bad decisions in his past six games have added up to eight picks, however, and the improvements we’ve seen from this young New England secondary since Week 2 could pose a serious threat to the Jets passing game.

UNIVERSITY OF BELICHICK.
 
The Patriots are plus-11 in turnovers this season while the Jets have a rating of plus-7. New England has won the turnover battle in seven of its past nine games and the defensive minded head coach/D-Co Belichick has done an amazing job teaching his guys how to play at an elite level. 

The average age of New England’s defensive starters this season is 25.5 years – the youngest in Belichick’s 16 seasons of coaching. 

SPREAD THE WEALTH

With Tom Brady as a leader, the defense will seldom be the big story in Foxboro. The Pats offense is one of only two teams (Chiefs) with fewer than 10 giveaways and rank at the top of the league for best turnover ratio.
This group has used original formations along with innovative playcalling to create chances for huge YAC-yardage. It’s going to be a much tougher challenge for a Jets defense that in Round 1, kept Brady to one of his least productive games all season. 

NFL PICKS

Both teams have had extra time to prep since their Thanksgiving Day wins and it should be a slugfest down in the pit between the Patriots O-line and Jets defensive front seven. A lot will come down to whether or not Sanchez can keep his mistakes to a minimum and given the way New England’s defense has progressed, we expect the home side to have the upper hand. You can get the current NFL odds for the Monday nighter and Week 14 games at Sportsbetting.com. 

We suggest you spend the extra money to buy this line down to three points and back the Patriots. 

Pick: Take the Patriots

NFL Betting: Cowboys at Colts Pick

The words “Indianapolis Colts” and “losing streak” go together like Irish Cream and lime juice, also known as a Cement Mixer. It’s the kind of prank you play on your best enemy and this week the Dallas Cowboys (3-8) are the intended target.

Indianapolis (6-5) has lost three in a row and Peyton Manning has thrown seven picks the past two weeks after throwing just two the first seven games this season. It’s given sportsbook little choice but to post a modest betting line for the perennial favourite and the Colts look like a strong play for anyone making NFL picks this weekend.

DALLAS AT INDIANAPOLIS
Line: Colts -5.5
Over/Under: 47.5
Dallas is 3-0 ATS since making the change from Wade Phillips to Jason Garrett and they could very well be 3-0 straight-up had Roy Williams been more aware of the situation vs. New Orleans. That turnover was a key to the game and Indy’s -8 turnover ratio in the past two weeks is a key to why the Colts are on the outside of the playoff bubble looking in.

Indy is having huge problems running the ball but gets RB Hart back this week and the tandem of Hart and Brown should be more effective. The Colts are 10-1 SU at home the past five seasons off a home game (6-5 ATS), and 3-0 SU (2-1 ATS) when it was against a non-Conference foe. Their three opponents (and records that year) were the Redskins (5-11, 2006), Bucs (9-7, 2007) and Lions (0-16, 2008); quite a mix.

Indy won all three of those games by double-digits, covering the spread by an average 7.5 points per game. We look for Indianapolis to regroup and send a reminder to the rest of the league that they are not done yet.
Pick: Take the Colts

DENVER AT KANSAS CITY
Line: Chiefs -9.5
Over/Under: 48.5
Kansas City has an important two-game road trip starting in San Diego up next. If this contest wasn’t divisional we would be hesitant laying this many points but HC Todd Haley has a personal interest vested after the way Broncos HC Josh McDaniels ran up the score in Week 10.

Denver is 2-11 SU at Arrowhead in December since 1980, covering the spread just three times (1994-95, 2009), and though they dismantled the Chiefs here last season, Kansas City was playing without WR Bowe (suspension) at the time. Look for the Chiefs offense to cause matchup issues and for Kansas City to win this one by double-digits.
Pick: Take the Chiefs

Check all the updated NFL odds