The Wolf’s Sporting Guide – January 12
It’s a new year and the sporting calendar is starting to heat up, with the start of the Australian Open and Divisional Round in the NFL. The Wolf has you covered with all of his previews and recommended bets.
A-League: Sydney FC WIN @ $1.75 (v Adelaide) – Sun 7pm
It’s not as if Sydney FC need any favours but the draw has been kind to them over the last fortnight. They had additional days rest to Brisbane in their last game and will have 2 more days than Adelaide for this one. As we have seen already this season, Sydney will run right over teams in the closing stages and The Wolf can see exactly that taking place in the City of Churches. The Sky Blues have won 4 straight on the road including three clean sheets. They have also maintained 4 consecutive clean sheets in the last 4 A-League meetings between the sides, with the Reds unable to solve the puzzle that is the Sydney defence. The Wolf is almost shocked at the price on offer for Sydney FC and says they should be much shorter than $1.75. They have shown their superiority against Adelaide and there is a widening gap between the league leaders and the rest of the competition – both in terms of points on the ladder and quality. Sydney are firing on all cylinders with 23 goals in a 6 game span. The show that is Sydney FC will continue.
EPL: Over 2.5 goals (Chelsea v Leicester) – Sun 2:00am
This shapes as a very tough encounter for Chelsea according to The Wolf. They have drawn in their last three across all competitions including back to back scoreless draws in FA Cup and League Cup fixtures against Norwich and Arsenal respectively. It hasn’t been rosy for Leicester either. They have won just 1 of their last 7 and it has come on the back of defensive problems. They have conceded multiple goals in 4 of their last 5 EPL fixtures with Over 2.5 goals saluting in 7 straight league games. That is the bet that The Wolf likes! Vardy and Mahrez were rested against Fleetwood, and Conte will be pushing for all 3 points at home. He also says to back the Foxes to score multiple goals – something they have done in 4 of their last 7 away outings in the Premier League.
NFL: Jacksonville +7.5 @ $1.91 (v Pittsburgh) – Mon 5:05am
The Jaguars won a very ugly Wild Card game over the Bills by 10-3 and will have to play much better on offence if they are to challenge the Steelers on their home turf. Meanwhile, the Steelers will be keen to make amends after they were embarrassed 30-9 at Heinz Field by the Jaguars back in Week 5. It was an afternoon to forget for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who threw five interceptions in one of the worst performances of his career. It’s been well-documented about the success that the Jags have on defensive side of the ball, but they need more from their QB Blake Bortles if they are to beat the Steelers for a second time in Pittsburgh this season. Bortles was terrible in the Wild Card win when he had to throw the ball, but remarkably he led the team in rushing, with 88 yards from 10 carries. One advantage for Bortles is that he won’t have to contend with linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is the heart and soul of the Steelers defence. The Jags aren’t getting enough respect here and should have plenty of success running the ball. Rookie running back Leonard Fournette gashed the Steelers for 181 rushing yards and 2 TDs in the 21-point win in Week 5. The Jaguars are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Pittsburgh, while the Steelers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games. Take the Jaguars with generous start here.
A-League: Melbourne Victory Over 2.5 goals @ $2.45 (v Perth) – Sat 7:50pm
Wolfy says to sweep the Victory’s midweek loss under the carpet. They took the lead despite being down to 10 men and the two goals they conceded came from a keeper error and an own goal. They will be without Rhys Williams for a fortnight but that is nowhere near as bad a what the Glory face. They have now lost 3 in a row and done so by a combined scoreline of 11-0! They offered very little against City and have been unable to take control of the centre of the park. Their inability to keep possession has prevented them from using Keogh and Taggart which has The Wolf concerned. Milligan and Troisi will dominate which will allow them to use the pace of their dynamic wingers – Barbarouses and George. From there they will look to none other than Besart Berisha – the man that has scored at least once in each of the last 6 meetings! There can only be one result.
1st ODI – Australia v England (Sun 2:20pm)
Australia won the most recent ODI series (excluding the ICC Champions Trophy) against England 3-2 when they clashed in England back in 2015. A few of the star performers for the series were Eoin Morgan for England and Pat Cummins for Australia. Morgan was the top runscorer for the series with 288 runs at an average of 69.50, while Cummins led the bowlers with 12 wickets at an average of 19.66 and an impressive strike-rate of 22. England has won three of the last four ODIs between the countries, while Australia has won eight of the past 11, going back further. England won the most recent ODI over Australia at last year’s ICC Champions Trophy in England, courtesy of D/L method by 40 runs. Mark Wood and Adil Rashid both picked up four wickets, while Ben Stokes (102*) and Eoin Morgan (87) guided England to victory with the bat. Australia has won three of their last four ODIs at the MCG, losing to Pakistan by 6 wickets last year. The Wolf likes the make-up of this English squad, with the likes of Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and David Willey all having recent experience in Australian conditions through their involvement in BBL 07. The recent record over Australia stacks up nicely and The Wolf is keen to take England as outsiders in what shapes up as a very even contest.
Best: England WIN ($2.35)
Value: Top England Batsman – Eoin Morgan ($5.50)
Tennessee @ New England – (Sun 12:15pm)
It’s not a matter of IF the Patriots will win, but more of a case of how many points the Patriots will win by. New England is currently 13 point favourites (at the time of the preview) over the Titans, who caused a 22-21 boilover over the Chiefs at Arrowhead last week. They overcame a 21-3 deficit to set up a date with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Chiefs could only manage 69 rushing yards against the Titans, but were able to manage 256 yards through the air. This will be music to Tom Brady’s ears as he looks to exploit the burnable Titans’ secondary through his weapons on offence, with tight end Rob Gronkowski set for a massive game. The only thing that can slow down the Patriots is the off-field drama surrounding the team and the alleged rift surrounding Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft. The Wolf can’t see it happening as the Pats are one of the most professional teams in the league and won’t want to taint their legacy with another Super Bowl on offer. The Chiefs threw the game away against the Titans rather than the Titans winning it, and The Wolf has major concerns about Tennessee having enough points in them to go toe-to-toe with Tom Brady. The Titans have scored 24 points or fewer in their last 10 games and will need to score more than 24 points if they are to beat the Pats. The Patriots have won six-straight against the Titans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 playoff home games. The Pats will want to make a statement!
Best: New England -13 ($1.91)
Value: 1st Touchdown Scorer – Rob Gronkowski ($6)