The Wolf’s Sporting Guide – December 15
December is all about the round ball with a packed EPL schedule. It also means one last push to make the playoffs in the NFL while on the local front the 3rd Ashes test takes place at the WACA.
A-League: Newcastle WIN @ $1.95 (v Adelaide) – Sat 5:35pm
The Jets ability to find the back of the net consistently earned them yet another win, this time in Perth. Two goals in the final two minutes gave them an unlikely 3 points but it evidence that Eddie Merrick’s side is for real. The formula is simple for the Jets and they continue to rely on their speed out wide. They are relentless in attack and are the only team in the A-League to have found the back of the net in every game! The betting trends are also there to be seen. Over 2.5 goals is 9-1 on the season as is both teams to score. O’Donovan is set to return to the starting lineup after having come off the bench in Perth which will allow Petratos and Nabbout to return to their roles as wingers where they have been most dangerous. Adelaide are coming off a win over the Victory but it came at a price with Garuccio and Adlung both being sent from the field in the closing stages. It leaves the Reds left hand side of defence exposed and that is bad news with Petratos having several man of the match performances playing on the right win this season. The Jets to maintain second spot on the ladder.
EPL: Team Total – Arsenal Over 2.5 goals @ $2.10 (v Newcastle) – Sun 2:00am
The Gunners struggles away from home continued midweek as they failed to score against the Hammers. If we take away the 5 they put past at Everton at Goodison Park, Arsenal have scored only 4 goals in their other 8 away games! They will be glad to be back at the Emirates and The Wolf says they are a different side at home. They have won 12 of their last 13 EPL home games and have scored multiple goals in 13 of their last 15 league games on home turf. They could not ask for a better opponent with Newcastle in all sorts. The Magpies have lost 7 of their last 8 and have conceded at least 3 goals in 4 of their last 6. They also lose hard man Jonjo Shelvey for this one after he was suspended in the loss to Everton. Arsenal have won the last 9 clashes between the two sides and will be making it 10. Lacazette, Kolasinac and Ramsey will return to the starting lineup and give Wenger’s side the spark needed to grab all 3 points.
NFL: Jacksonville -10.5 @ $1.91 (v Houston)
This Jacksonville defence is the real deal! They lead the league in total defence, sack percentage and takeaways. They have grabbed 19 picks this season to go with 10 fumble recoveries and 6 defensive touchdowns. Blake Bortles has tidied his game up and has failed to throw an intercept in 4 of his last 6. The combination has consequently seen the Jags win 6 of their last 7 (5-2 ATS) and they are a force to be reckoned with. Things have gone from bad to worse for the Texans. If losing Deshaun Watson and JJ Watt wasn’t enough, backup QG Tom Savage is in concussion protocol and expected to miss the game. In comes TJ Yates who threw two picks at home to the 49ers last week. The Jags defence will have their way with him and The Wolf will be shocked if the Texans manage anywhere near 14 points. It makes Jacksonville -10.5 the best of the week!
EPL: Leicester WIN @ $1.95 (v Crystal Palace) – Sat 11:30pm
The Wolf has tipped us into Leicester for the last 4 weeks and they have delivered in spades. They have returned to their free scoring best and a 4 game win streak has seen them climb to 8th on the ladder. This is the final match before things get tricky as they face Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea over the next month. Palace will be no pushover – they are undefeated in their last 6 and have become very tough to break down under Roy Hogdson. They have conceded just 7 goals in their last 7 Premier League fixtures and that comes after allowing 21 goals through their opening 10 games. That being said The Wolf cannot ignore what he has seen from Mahrez and the Foxes. They are back to their counter attacking best and have been ultra efficient from set pieces. Palace will look to keep things tight early but the relentless pressure will take it’s toll. The trio of Mahrez, Vardy and Okazaki will have a little to much class. Palace have been held goal-less in their last 10 away league games!
A-League: To Score – Central Coast Only @ $5.00 (v Western Sydney) – Sat 7:50pm
It’s been a rough start to say the least for Josep Gombau’s tenure at the Wanderers. It is one thing to lose 3 games in a row, failing to score in any of them, and it is another all together to be on the receiving end of a 5-0 thumping in the Sydney Derby. Gombau took responsibility for the defeat and is adamant that it is all a process. He is clearly unhappy with the roster that he has inherited and reports surfaced that the club intend to make offers to the Sydney FC trio of Bujis, Wilkinson and Zullo. It is hardly something you want to be doing leading into a Derby and they paid the ultimate price. The Mariners went down to a solitary City goal last week but The Wolf says the outlook ahead is very bright for Paul Okon’s men. They have conceded just 4 goals in their last 6 A-League matches and have a settled squad thanks to a lack of injuries. There is a real sense of belief in the Mariners camp and it will translate to yet another fast start at home. The Mariners have been the first team to score in each of their 5 games at Central Coast Stadium this season and if they can get their noses in front at any point The Wolf has them winning.
Ashes 3rd Test – (Thur 1:30pm)
The Wolf tipped England in the 2nd Test and all hope was extinguished once Joe Root elected to bowl first. It’s been the tour from hell for England and it would take a brave man to back them at a venue where they have a terrible record, and is their focus solely on cricket? The toss will be crucial here as the side who elects to bat first can take full advantage of road-like conditions. David Warner holds the record for the most Test centuries (3) at the WACA and has the third highest Test Score at the venue – 253 against New Zealand in 2015. David Warner averages an impressive 89.22 in Perth and has 803 runs (5th Highest in Tests at the WACA) from his nine innings at the venue. Look for him to dominate from the first ball.
Best: Australia WIN ($1.53)
Value: Aus Top Bat 1st Innings – David Warner ($4.00)
Man City v Tottenham – (Sun 4:30am)
City set a new record for consecutive Premier League wins (15) with a 4-0 win over Swansea. There is no doubt that Pep wanted to break the record and it was evident in his team selections. De Bruyne, David Silva and Aguero all started despite the short turnaround and a date with Spurs to follow. Fernandinho and De Bruyne were given early marks in preparation for the big clash but The Wolf says they have little to worry about with Tottenham. Pochettino’s side have just a single point to show from their last 4 away games in the EPL. Their record away to the top teams is far from flash and they have lost in 5 of their last 7 trips to Etihad. This is a real test for Tottenham but their fans should not be concerned with the easiest schedule of any team to follow in the 6 games that follow. There have been 4 or more goals in 6 of the 9 meetings between them and with unlimited firepower on the field The Wolf says this could be one of the games of the season. City to flex their muscles and show why they are 11 points clear at the top of the ladder.
Best: Over 3.5 goals ($2.20)
Value: Over 4.5 goals ($3.75)
Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle – (Mon 8:05am)
Huge playoff implications as the top two in the NFC West lock horns. The Seahawks can take top spot in the division with a win while the Rams can clinch the division and a playoff spot with a win. It’s youth versus experience and The Wolf will be sticking with the latter. Russell Wilson has been phenomenal this season with 29 touchdowns including multiple TD performances in each of his last 8 games. He will need a similar performance against a very balanced Rams offence. Goff has thrown for 300+ yards in 3 of his last 6 with just two picks in that stretch while Gurley has 100+ scrimmage yards in 10 of 13 games this season. Seattle have the 8th best run defence sow e should see them contain him and lets not forget that the Seattle defence averages 1.5 takeaways per game. The Seahawks in a nail-biter.
Best: Seattle -2 ($1.91)