A-League Round 24


Unfortunately our winning run came to a end last week with only 1 of the selections getting the chocolates over the weekend. There were 3 draws during the round, which definitely has something to do with it.

The Sydney/Brisbane ended up a 1-1 draw, which wasn’t too surprising, bookies had the game more one-sided in Brisbane’s favour but I thought Sydney were right in the match, and it proved that way.

Western Sydney was disappointing as they only managed 1 point when they hosted Adelaide. Their season has started to take a slight decline and Melbourne Victory have now leap frogged them for the second position.

Central Coast easily got the job done against Newcastle, thankfully as it was our only collect for the round, limiting the amount damage over the weekend.

I was rather surprised that Melbourne Victory got the better of Perth over in WA, they are starting to come together well at the right time of the season and could be strong in the finals.

The last game for the week was when Melbourne Heart and Wellington. In a high scoring affair the game ended 2-2, which would have been very disappointing for the Melbourne Heart after their form of late, now they can now safely say good-bye to any pipe dream they had of playing finals.

We are starting to get very close to finals time as we head into round 25. There’s a few good matches to watch this weekend, but unfortunately there looks to be only a couple of games that are worthwhile having a bet on. Either way, we’ll assess each game and see if and where the value is in the fixture.

Good luck this weekend and hopefully we all get back onto the winning side of the ledger this week.


Best Value: Central Coast at $4.33 with Betstar/Ladbrokes.

Second Best Value: Brisbane at $1.70 with Sportingbet.

Adelaide United v Sydney FC

Friday 21 March 7:00pm (local) – Coopers Stadium

Sydney head to Cooper Stadium on Friday to face Adelaide in what is an important game for both teams. Adelaide and Sydney are currently sitting in the last 2 finals spots, and are there by less than a game, so every point over these last 4 rounds is vital for these clubs. Both these teams have struggled on the road this season and save their best for at home, so this pushes a game that is between 2 pretty well matched sides, heavily into Adelaide’s favour. Del Peiro is expected to return for Sydney which could be their only hope, if he isn’t playing, I think they’ll struggle to even come away with a point from this match. Recent history points in Adelaide’s favour too with them winning 3 out of the last 5 games these teams have matched up in. I have Adelaide pretty short at $1.88 but unfortunately the best price around is $1.91, which just isn’t enough value for me, I’d need $2.05 to be interested. The only option for this match looks the over/under with the matches between these clubs always being high scoring affairs. Each of the last 8 matches has had 3+ goals scored, and 10 out of the last 11, so overs looks a pretty solid play.

Last 5 games:
Adelaide                        3
Draw                               1
Sydney                           1

Rated Prices:
Adelaide                         $1.88
Draw                                $4.14
Sydney                            $4.43

Adelaide                          $1.91 Sportingbet, Ladbrokes
Draw                                $3.55 Sportingbet
Sydney                            $4.20 Sportsbet

Best Value: Nothing. 

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix

Saturday 22 March 5:30pm (local) – Hunter Stadium

We have the next two teams on the ladder facing off here with Newcastle hosting Wellington, both teams within a game of a finals spot, both desperate for all 3 points. I think it’s pretty safe to say if 1 of these teams leave this game without getting at least 1 point, their campaign is over. Newcastle have been in ok form of late, despite their loss last week, that was pretty much expected when they headed to Central Coast, they still look to have some advantage of Wellington when playing in Australia. Wellington haven’t won a game for a few rounds now and that finals birth that they looked to be all over earlier in the season has just about slipped away, they need something this week to stay in the hunt. Once again this is a little bit of a boring game from a punting point of view, I think Newcastle are about an even money chance to take all 3 points but the best you can get is $2.10, I couldn’t back them unless they drifted to $2.20, and I really can’t see that happening. This looks like a sit back and watch game to see if the make up of the finals is any clearly afterwards.

Last 5 games:
Newcastle                        1
Draw                                 2
Wellington                       2

Rated Prices:
Newcastle                       $2.01
Draw                                $3.83
Wellington                      $4.13

Newcastle                        $2.10 Tatts, Betstar
Draw                                 $3.50 Most Bookmakers
Wellington                        $4.00 TAB

Best Value: Nothing.

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory

Saturday 22 March 6:45pm (local) – Suncorp Stadium

Finally Saturday night comes around and not only do we have a cracking match, we also have the first match of the round that I want to be financially invested in. It’s a battle between the top 2 teams on the ladder. League leaders for basically the whole season Brisbane host the hot and cold Melbourne Victory. A combination of Melbourne Victory’s pretty good form and Western Sydney’s average form has elevated them into second on the ladder. They can’t get too confident though as they are only 1 game away from losing that home final, which they desperately need. Brisbane have the premiership wrapped up now and may be taking it a little easier over the coming weeks, but even at 80% they are still a force. Melbourne Victory was impressive when they headed to Perth last week and Thompson managed to sneak them an injury time winner, it was just what they needed to perk them up for the remaining weeks of the season. Brisbane is coming off a draw with Sydney last week, but I thought they might find it tough at Allianz Stadium where Sydney has been so good all season. Brisbane’s home record this season is astonishing, they’re winning over 70% of their games at Suncorp, in my opinion they should be very short for this match. I think Brisbane are very good value at the $1.70 that Sportingbet is offering, I would be very surprised if they didn’t start closer to my rated price of $1.57. While not the best value of the round, this still looks like a good play.

Last 5 games:
Brisbane                               2
Draw                                      2
Melbourne Victory               1

Rated Prices:
Brisbane                               $1.57
Draw                                      $4.76
Melbourne Victory               $6.48

Brisbane $1.70 Sportingbet
Draw $3.80 Betstar, Sportsbet
Melbourne Victory $5.00 Most Bookmakers

Best Value: Brisbane at $1.70 with Sportingbet.

Melbourne Heart v Central Coast Mariners

Sunday 23 March 3:00pm (local) – AAMI Park

Sunday arvo soccer kicks off at AAMI Park with Central Coast heading down south to face Melbourne Heart. Melbourne Heart is a deserved favourite in this match, but after their last 2 games (both average), I think they are well unders. Central Coast isn’t in the best form either losing last week to Melbourne Victory but with more finals ambition than Melbourne Heart I think they might show a lot more. Mathematically Melbourne Heart can make the finals, but it won’t happen, their season is over and I can’t imagine their having a whole lot of enthusiasm out on the pitch this week. Melbourne Heart has also not managed to win a game against Central Coast in their last 5 meetings, I’m sure something that sits in the back of their mind. I have Melbourne Heart at $2.34 while all the bookmakers have them odds-on, I definitely don’t think they deserve to be that short. So, on the flip side, Central Coast at $4.33 looks to be very good value in what should be a pretty close match. This looks like the value of the round to me, so after I couldn’t get any underdog home last week, I hope the tides have changed back in our favour and Central Coast can get all 3 points on the road this week.

Last 5 games:
Melbourne Heart                   0
Draw                                        2
Central Coast                         3

Rated Prices:
Melbourne Heart $2.34
Draw $3.80
Central Coast $3.23

Melbourne Heart                    $1.90 TAB
Draw                                         $3.65 Sportingbet
Central Coast                          $4.33 Betstar, Ladbrokes

Best Value: Central Coast at $4.33 with Betstar/Ladbrokes. 

Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory

Sunday 23 March 5:00pm (local) – Pirtek Stadium

Round 24 finishes up with the most one-sided match of the round with Western Sydney hosting Perth. Perth have been very average lately, they couldn’t even manage a point last week when they hosted the notoriously bad travellers Melbourne Victory. They’re now in the wooden spoon position on the ladder, have zero chance of playing finals, so their season is basically dead. Western Sydney on the other hand has plenty to play for. They’d be very disappointed that they have only managed 1 point out of their last 3 games and now allowed Melbourne Victory to overtake them as second on the ladder. That also means they are only a game away from losing their home final which everyone thought was locked away earlier in the year. Over the next month they won’t be leaving anything on the table and will be playing with all they got. I think the home side will easily win this one, a 2+ goal difference looks likely to me. Unfortunately the problem is when you go to have a bet and realise that the market has the pricing basically exactly the same as you. I have Western Sydney the shortest priced favourite of the round at $1.54, but $1.50 is the best available, so I’ll have to let this game go through to the keeper unless they happen to drift out to $1.70, which is highly doubtful. Hopefully you’ve already got your money for the weekend by this stage so you can just sit back and watch a one-sided affair.

Last 5 games:
Western Sydney                      4
Draw                                          1
Perth                                          0

Rated Prices:
Western Sydney                       $1.54
Draw                                           $4.81
Perth                                           $6.97

Western Sydney                       $1.50 Tatts, Sportsbet
Draw                                           $4.35 Sportingbet
Perth                                           $7.50 Betstar

Best Value: Nothing. 

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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