The Wolf’s Sporting Guide – November 3
It’s a football feast this weekend – league, union, NFL, A-League and EPL.
EPL: Under 2.5 goals @ $1.60 (Chelsea v Man Utd) – Mon 3:30am
They are the two most successful clubs in the Premier League era having claimed 18 of the 25 titles and there will be no love lost when they take the pitch at Stamford Bridge. It is some story line… Mourinho now leads the arch enemy after being the man at the helm for Chelsea first ever Premier League title along with two others and a host of other trophies. He is not the only one in red with Matic also facing off against former team-mates. One thing we know about Mourinho is that he sets up very defensively when on the road and against a top side. The Under is 5-1 in United’s last 6 matches and they have maintained 8 clean sheets in their 10 EPL fixtures this season – a league best. Chelsea are coming off a disappointing 3-0 loss to Roma but The Wolf is almost certain that Kante was not rushed back and has been saved to make his return in one of the biggest matches of the season. Not that the Red Devils will be flooding forward in numbers anyway but he is a significant addition. The Under is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings with both teams finding the back of the net in just 3 of those encounters. It won’t live up to the hype but you can be sure that there will be drama.
Rugby League: England -30.5 @ $1.90 (v Lebanon) – Sat 8:00pm
England showed enough in their 18-4 loss to Australia to suggest they can be a real force in this World Cup. Unfortunately the loss of Sam Burgess to injury is a major blow, but the likes of James Graham and Sean O’Loughlin will carry this side a long way. The Wolf was also impressed with the performance of James Roby off the bench. One target for Lebanon should be England’s halfback, Luke Gale, who was a liability in defence against Australia, missing five tackles. Gale won the Man of Steel in the English Super League and will be determined for a better performance in both attack and defence here. Mitchell Moses was the hero for Lebanon as he guided them to a 29-18 win over France in Week 1. He had a hand in two of Lebanon’s tries and kicked the all-important field goal. Tim Mannah and Alex Twal led the Lebanese forward pack in the 11-point victory and will relish the stiffer challenge this week. The win over France was Lebanon’s grand final, while England will look to make a statement here despite the absence of Sam Burgess. England to cover.
A-League: Newcastle WIN @ $2.00 (v Wellington) – Sat 7:30pm
The Jets are proving to be a real surprise packet and there are several reasons why they remain undefeated. To begin with they lead the league in goals scored (10), have scored in all 4 matches this season and have claimed points on 3 occasions after conceding first. There is a reason why The Wolf continues to make references to their font three. O’Donovan leads the A-League in goals scored (5), Nabbout is equal first in assists (3) and Petratos has earned his side 4 points in their last two matches with crucial goals. The alarm bells are ringing for the Phoenix who have conceded 7 goals in their last 3 matches and blew a 3 goal lead at home to Brisbane last week. The Jets have scored multiple goals in each of their last 3 at home to the Phoenix and that was with a lackluster attack. As the new entertainers of the A-League The Wolf is expecting a real show.
NFL: Philadelphia – 8 @ $1.91 (v Denver) – Mon 5:00am
The big news leading into this clash was the acquisition of running back Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins by the Eagles for a fourth-round pick. It was a big win for the 7-1 as they go all out in their bid to win a Super Bowl. Second year QB Carson Wentz continues to press his claims for MVP honours and would love nothing more than a strong performance against the Broncos secondary. The Broncos have decided to bench QB Trevor Siemian after his shocker against the Chiefs last week, where he threw three interceptions and only completed 19 of his 36 pass attempts. Brock Osweiler will step into the hot seat and it’s a stretch to call him much of an upgrade on Siemian. It’s a tough ask for the Broncos travelling to Philly on a short week and against one of the best sides in the NFL. The Eagles are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games, while the Broncos are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games. Eagles to cover.
EPL: West Ham Over 1.5 goals @ $3.25 (v Liverpool) – Sun 4:30am
The Hammers are yet another team that Liveprool have had troubles with in recent seasons. A 4-0 win when they last met was Liverpool’s first win over West Ham in 6 meetings and they have in fact failed to find the back of the net in 3 of the last 6 meetings. To add to the historical struggles they also have to deal with the fact that West Ham are making some sort of a revival. They have lost just 2 of their last 9 across all competitions and were denied all 3 points last week by a injury time equaliser. The Wolf has ZERO trust when it comes to Liverpool entering a road fixture as a odds on favourite. The Reds have won just 1 of 5 away league games this season and have conceded an alarming amount of goals in that stretch – 15 to be exact! Take the Hammers in the double chance, to win and to score multiple goals.
UFC 217: Georges St-Pierre vs Michael Bisping – Sun 2:00pm
The main event of the evening showcases the return of one of MMAs biggest ever stars, Georges ‘Rush’ St-Pierre comes out of a near 4 year hiatus, to take on current middleweight champion ‘The Count’ Michael Bisping. GSP at one stage was the biggest star in MMA. An incredible athlete with one of the most complete skillsets ever, GSP is comfortable where ever fight takes place and is a real threat to anyone he competes against. The big ‘IF’ in this one, is what GSP returns. Do we see the world beater that cleared a division out multiple times dominating all comers, or has the game passed him by. 4 years inactive in today’s climate is light years compared to most other sports. The positive for GSP fans is his fighting an older man, if the old GSP or something close to it returns; he could pitch a shutout (50-45) against Bisping.
Best: Over 4.5 Rounds ($1.62)
Value: GSP by Split Decision ($2.80)
Man City v Arsenal – Mon 1:15am
The first leg of the biggest double header of the season takes us to Etihad Stadium where City look to continue their remarkable start to the season. Their latest headline moment was a come from behind win in Italy against Napoli. They continue to score at will and there can be no denying that the Guardiola system is finally coming into its own. They are almost impossible to stop right now and the biggest difference has been the wing play of both Sane and Strerling. Their positioning off the ball has improved ten fold. It has allowed the passing talents of Silva and De Bruyne into full effect. The Gunners have their own generals in the form of Ozil and Sanchez and it makes for a mouth watering encounter. This matchup has been all about goals. The Over is 5-0 in the last 5 across all competitions, not to mention 7-1 in City’s last 8 league games. If there is one thing you do this weekend it should be to stay up and watch this match!
Best: Over 3.5 goals ($1.90)
Value: Second Half Over 3.5 goals ($5.50)