A-League Round 21


Was a weird round with the underdogs getting it done in 3 out of the 5 games, and those 3 games were where we had all of our plays last weekend. Thankfully was keen on Melbourne Heart at $3.40 against the league leaders in Brisbane and they got the job done to make the round not so bad as it could have been after both Central Coast and Newcastle both lost at home.

Central Coast were very average, allowing Wellington to score 4 goals against them when at home is unacceptable from the side that had the best home record in the league last year. But you can’t take much away from Wellington either, the usual suspects were slotting goals again (Huysegems and Hernandez) and they looked as impressive as they have at any point this season.

Newcastle wasn’t as bad, but still lost 2-0 to Sydney at home, granted 1 of those goals was from the penalty spot. They were also not quite as short as Central Coast were, so their performance is a little more forgivable.

Western Sydney got the job down over in Perth easily enough, most expected as much.

The other highlight of the round was tipping up the overs in the Melbourne Victory/Adelaide game. That just scraped in with Melbourne Victory winning 4-3. They were also anticipated to win that match so that was an added bonus after the overs landed just before half time.

Round 21 has been dubbed the Erase Racism round which I think is a great thing that the A-League has instigated. Soccer is the world game and I’m sure everyone else loves international players playing in Australia as much as I do and everybody knows there’s no place for racism anywhere, let alone in soccer. Here’s a link to a brilliant little ad the A-League has come with for the round http://tinyurl.com/lup74un

It is a tough little round coming up, first couple of games I think I’ll let go through to the keeper, other than maybe unders in Brisbane/Perth, but the last 3 games of the round intrigue me, including suggesting a certain team is value at the massive price of $7.50!

Hope you all have a profitable weekend, best of luck.



Best Value: Central Coast at $2.30 with Sportingbet or Sportsbet.

Second Best Value: Melbourne Victory at $2.85 with Sportingbet.

Adelaide v Wellington

Thursday 27 February 7:00pm (local) – Coopers Stadium

We have an early start to Round 21 with Adelaide hosting Wellington on Thursday. This should be a good game, Wellington are coming off a huge win beating up Central Coast 4-1 when on the road. Adelaide on the other hand lost 4-3 in a shoot out with Melbourne Victory after leading at halftime. In Adelaide’s favour is that they do tend to be a different team when they are back at Coopers Stadium, they’ve won 50% of their games there this season, and they’ve only lost 2 at home. As this game is back in SA I do have the home team as a $2.09 favour, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Wellington put in another strong performance. While I have Adelaide at $2.09, the market has them at $2.10, and Wellington, I’ve got them at $3.75, and you guessed it, the best price around (TAB) is exactly $3.75. As you can probably guess this is going to be a skip game, just means we don’t have to start the round early after all, although it might be an interesting game to watch.

Last 5 games:
Adelaide               2
Draw                      1
Wellington            2

Rated Prices:
Adelaide               $2.09
Draw                      $3.93
Wellington            $3.75

Adelaide                $2.10 Sportingbet, Sportsbet, Betstar
Draw                       $3.50 Sportingbet, Sportsbet, Betstar, TAB
Wellington             $3.75 TAB

Best Value: Nothing.

Brisbane v Perth

Friday 28 February 7:00pm (local) – Suncorp Stadium

On Friday we see Brisbane playing another bottom dwelling team, although this time they get to play host and they’ll be hoping for a much improved performance than their 1-0 loss last week to Melbourne Heart. Thankfully for them they are up against Perth who has been winless for the last 6 rounds and they haven’t been doing much lately to say that they we can expect a different result this week. Brisbane has the best home record in the league, so heading back to Suncorp Stadium after a loss in Victoria last week is a big plus for them. And on the contrary side of things, Perth has the worst away record in the league, only winning a solitary game when traveling this year. Obviously this all points to a win for the league leaders, which they need if they want to make sure they lock down that premiership, the only problem is when we check out the markets and see that the bookmakers see the match the same as I do. The best available for Brisbane is $1.45 and that just isn’t good enough. Interestingly I have Perth as the tiniest bit of overs, but I also have the draw as a small amount of overs. I can’t recall any other game this season having the draw as the best value in a game, and while it isn’t enough to suggest it as a play, it might be worth some interest. Also of note, of the last 5 games between these teams there hasn’t been a game with more than 1 goal scored, so I’m thinking a 1-0 Bris or a 0-0 draw could be on the cards. The safe way would be to take the under 2.5 goals, but if you want something a bit more exotic maybe either of those other 2 options in an exact score market.

Last 5 games:
Brisbane               2
Draw                     1
Perth                     2

Rated Prices:
Brisbane              $1.51
Draw                     $4.77
Perth                     $7.91

Brisbane              $1.45 TAB
Draw                     $5.00 Sportsbet
Perth                     $8.00 Tatts, Sportsbet

Best Value: Nothing.

Central Coast v Sydney

Saturday 1 March 5:30pm (local) – Bluetongue Stadium

Finally we get to the weekend and some games that we can get our teeth stuck into. Central Coast, coming off a rubbish performance last week to Wellington host Sydney who were at the other end of the spectrum coming off a nice 2-0 win when they travelled to Newcastle. Central Coast are in desperate need of a win as the continue to slide down the ladder, now only 1 point away from dropping out of a finals spot. I really didn’t want to be on Central Coast with their current form slump, but even with their ratings adjusted they still should have enough to take care of this Sydney side. Central Coast have the slight head to head advantage, winning 3 out of their last 5 encounters, but Sydney took out the other 2 so it’s not that big of a deal. I thought the home team would come up a touch of odds on and I’d still have them as a little bit of value, but the fact that $2.30 is available seems a massive price to me, because I couldn’t go near Sydney at only $3.20, and they are a even shorter elsewhere, somehow. I have Central Coast as the best value of the weekend and I am keen on them, but they have burnt me multiple times before, I hope they pay me back for trusting them. Also 6 out of the last 7 times these teams have played the game has gone under 2.5 goals, so if you want to deviate away from Central Coast but still want an interest in the match, that could be an option for you.

Last 5 games:
Central Coast          3
Draw                         0
Sydney                     2

Rated Prices:
Central Coast         $1.72
Draw                        $4.27
Sydney                    $5.46

Central Coast         $2.30 Sportingbet, Sportsbet
Draw                        $3.50 Sportsbet
Sydney                    $3.20 Betstar

Best Value: Central Coast at $2.30 with Sportingbet or Sportsbet.

Melbourne Heart v Melbourne Victory

Saturday 1 March 7:45pm (local) – AAMI Park

The highlight of the round (at least in my eyes), the Melbourne Derby, it grows each and every time these teams line up against each other. AAMI Park will be jam packed on Saturday night and it will be very close to a sell out (I’ve already got my tickets). Melbourne Heart have been in hot form, and managed to take down Brisbane 1-0 last week when a $3.40 underdog (thankfully, and I still don’t know how they were that price). Melbourne Victory on the other hand, while they were looking shaky a few weeks back, they’ve won their last 2 games and look like they are going to fight to the last game of the season to hold onto that home final position.  While Melbourne Heart is still on the bottom of the ladder, they are only 2 games away from sneaking into the finals, a feat that they would have been 200-1 to do at New Years, but the way they are playing, it could very well happen. This is always an emotionally charged match up and for about the last 18 months Melbourne has been “Blue”, with Melbourne Heart’s last Derby win coming in October 2012. As far as the betting is concerned, across the board the bookmakers all have Melbourne Heart as favourites, except for TAB, they actually have the game priced at $2.55 for both teams, a price I think is much closer to the mark. I actually have Melbourne Victory as the slight favourite at $2.51 and I think the $2.85 that Sportingbet have on offer is pretty generous and I can’t imagine that hanging around for long.

Last 5 games:
Melbourne Heart             1
Draw                                  1
Melbourne Victory          3

Rated Prices:
Melbourne Heart            $2.96
Draw                                 $3.80
Melbourne Victory          $2.51

Melbourne Heart            $2.55 TAB
Draw                                 $3.40 Most Bookmakers
Melbourne Victory         $2.85 Sportingbet

Best Value: Melbourne Victory at $2.85 with Sportingbet. 

Western Sydney v Newcastle

Sunday 2 March 5:00pm (local) – Pirtek Stadium

The weekend finishes up at Pirtek stadium where Western Sydney play host to Newcastle. Western Sydney have been a lot more consistent lately with only small hiccups here and there, which makes their games good to have a bet in. Newcastle on the other hand, you don’t know which team is going to turn up, and it usually depends how their young star Taggart plays. As the season draws towards a close, Western Sydney have looked like they have most likely tied down their home final position and now it’s a matter of if they can obtain back to back premierships. They’re now only 4 points behind Brisbane, but they are a long way behind on goal difference, so if they want that top position they’re going to have to make up 5 points on the table leaders. Newcastle have now slipped out of a finals place after a promising start to the year, they still have the skill to, on occasions, take it right to the best teams, but we just don’t see it every time they hit the pitch. As you can expect I have Brisbane right down at $1.53, but what do you know, the best price around for them is also $1.53, so I can’t be taking that. On the other hand, I rate Newcastle $6.80 and Sportingbet have put up $7.50 about the away side. I’m not sure why they have gone up so much, no other bookmakers are that long, but surely that price won’t last and I actually think that is decent enough value. By no means does this mean that I think Newcastle are a lock to win, I actually think they have a less than a 15% chance of winning this match, but at $7.50, they are value. Also for over/under players, 4 out of the last 5 matches between these 2 have gone overs.

Last 5 games:
Western Sydney          3
Draw                              1
Newcastle                     1

Rated Prices:
Western Sydney          $1.53
Draw                              $5.00
Newcastle                    $6.80

Western Sydney        $1.53 Most Bookmakers
Draw                            $4.00 Sportsbet, Sportingbet, Betstar
Newcastle                   $7.50 Sportingbet

Best Value: Newcastle at $7.50 with Sportingbet.

Please Note:
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
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I’ve always been a massive soccer fan, starting with Manchester United in my early days (still love the Red Devils). While I followed the old NSL a little, I really got into Australian soccer once the A-League had been up and going for a couple of years. I’m amazed how it gets bigger and better every year and I’m excited to see where it will go in the future. I also have a keen interest in gambling and trying to use statistics to find an edge that others can’t. As soon as TheProfits asked if I would be interested in writing A-League for them I jumped at the opportunity. I hope that I can pass on some of my knowledge on both soccer and gambling to others, and I always appreciate any feedback or advice, I know that I’ve always got plenty to learn too. And most importantly, I hope I can help others win some cash and send those bookies broke.

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