A-League Round 20

A-League - Football - Australia

Good day at the office last weekend, 1 selection, 1 winner. Sydney managed to make it a nervous end to the game after they went 2-0 up, they then conceded a goal, and then went down to 10 men late. Luckily they held on for the remainder of game and we filled our pockets in the process.

Adelaide beating Central Coast 2-0 was pretty much anticipated, but that’s as far as the expected results go from last week.

In the other two games, Melbourne Heart absolutely toweled up a dismal Wellington, and in New Zealand, I don’t know where that performance came from from either side. Also, Newcastle upsetting league leader Brisbane on their home turf, was a good performance, although the only goal of the match did come in the form of a penalty, but 3 points is 3 points.

We head into Round 20 with a bit more action this week. There appears to be 3 games that look to have some decent value in them, hopefully we can exploit it.

Best of luck with where ever you lay your cash over the weekend.


Best Value: Central Coast at $2.10 with Betstar.
Second Best Value: Melbourne Heart at $3.40 with Tatts/Betstar.

Central Coast v Wellington

Friday 21 February 7:30pm (local) – Bluetongue Stadium

Friday night we head to Gosford to see Central Coast hosting Wellington. Both teams are coming off loses last week, but where Central Coast’s was, to an extent, expected, Wellington getting smashed 5-0 by Melbourne Heart definitely wasn’t expected. Wellington was horrible last week, and it’s very hard to see them turning it around from last week. Central Coast have had a great record at Bluetongue Stadium over the past 2 seasons, winning a crazy 71% of all their matches there, I’d be shocked if they didn’t bump that percentage up further after this match. Also against Wellington is their head to head record against Central Coast, they haven’t won a single game in the last 10 meetings these clubs have had. The $2.10 that Betstar have on offer looks madness, I have them rated right down at $1.64. All the other bookies have them shorter than the $2.10, most of them odds-on, and TAB have them a lot closer to my mark at $1.80. I know it’s early in the round but I think this looks like the best value that we will get all weekend long. I’m very keen on the home team getting back into winning form this week.

Last 5 games:
Central Coast            3
Draw                           2
Wellington                  0

Rated Prices:
Central Coast            $1.64
Draw                           $4.47
Wellington                 $6.00

Central Coast            $2.10 Betstar
Draw                           $3.50 Most Bookmakers
Wellington                 $4.10 TAB

Best Value: Central Coast at $2.10 with Betstar.

Newcastle v Sydney

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

Saturday afternoon sees Sydney and Newcastle clashing for what might be a possible finals position. Whichever team wins this match will find them above the other on the ladder after the weekend. Both teams are coming into this in good form, both coming off 1 goal victories last week. While Sydney was expected to win, Newcastle upset the league leaders Brisbane when on the road, a massive result for them, even if they did score their goal from the penalty spot. There is only 4 points between 6 of the teams in the mid-table ranks and with the season drawing to an end it is vital for these kinds of teams to not drop points that they shouldn’t be. I think that’s where it is at for Newcastle this week. They need to start making the most of their home games, they have been great on the road, but surprisingly not as good when in front of their home crowd. If they can get a win here it will most likely bump them into a much desired finals spot. Taggart getting to slot the penalty last week should hopefully continue to improve on his confidence, Newcastle need him at his best for the remainder of the season if they are going to get into, or go far, in the post season. Sydney have won both of the encounters these 2 teams have had so far this season, so you’d think they’d match up well against Newcastle again which is a slight negative for the home team. It will be a big task for Sydney to come out of this game with anything more than 1 point, they will probably even find that hard I’d suggest. I have Newcastle rated at $1.88 and there is as much as $2.17 about (Sportingbet). While it’s not in my top couple of value plays of the round, they still look to be a pretty good price.

Last 5 games:
Newcastle                  2
Draw                           1
Sydney                       2

Rated Prices:
Newcastle                   $1.88
Draw                            $3.97
Sydney                        $4.62

Newcastle                 $2.17 Sportingbet
Draw                           $3.40 Most Bookmakers
Sydney                       $3.50 Betstar

Best Value: Newcastle at $2.17 with Sportingbet.

Melbourne Victory v Adelaide

Saturday 22 February 7:45pm (local) – AAMI Park

One of the big A League rivalries comes up on Saturday night as Melbourne Victory host Adelaide in the battle for the last home final position. Both teams are coming off good wins last week, Adelaide taking care of Central Coast at home and Melbourne Victory winning in their Asian Champions League game to secure themselves a place in the group stages. Melbourne Victory have been good over the last 2 seasons at home, winning just over 50% of all their games, as opposed to Adelaide only winning 2 road games this year. After dropping Finkler for the ACL game, it looks likely that Muscut will reinstate him into the team, which will be a much needed addition to their midfield, alongside Rogic, for the home side. Both teams are currently sitting on 27 points (along with Central Coast) with only goal difference separating them, so as we get to the tight end of the season, these matches are super important, and Melbourne Victory will know that. A draw is the worst possible result they’ll accept, but they’ll be pushing their absolute hardest to make sure they take all 3 points out of the game. Unfortunately there is very little value in this match at the current prices. Melbourne Victory is slight overs at $2.15 but I’d need them to drift to $2.25 to have an interest. The overs market does interest me though, 4 out of the last 5 times these teams have played 3+ goals have been scored, and the way these teams play, it’s likely to happen again.

Last 5 games:
Melbourne Victory     2
Draw                            1
Adelaide                      2

Rated Prices:
Melbourne Victory     $2.02
Draw                            $3.98
Adelaide                      $3.96

Melbourne Victory     $2.15 Sportingbet
Draw                            $3.50 TAB, Betstar
Adelaide                      $3.50 Sportsbet, Betstar

Best Value: Nothing.

Perth v Western Sydney

Saturday 22 February 6:45pm (local) – NIB Stadium

We’re over in Perth for a late game on Saturday, starting at 9:45pm EST. The home side is hosting Western Sydney who is coming off a week break after they completed their Round 19 fixture earlier in the season. Perth lost when travelling to Sydney last week, but that was always to be expected, and they were fighting hard for a late equaliser when they had a one-man advantage late in the game. Perth have a decent home record, as you’d expect being on the other side of the country, but surprisingly Western Sydney’s away record is even better than Perth’s home. This match looks like it could be a pretty close one, Western Sydney look to have a slight advantage but I can’t see Perth lying down easily in WA. Perth’s winless run is starting to get a little worrying though, every week that they fail to get a win they slip further from a finals position. Perth also has the voodoo of never winning a game against Western Sydney, although only from a small sample of 4 games. This look likes a very tough game to have a wager on in my opinion. Perth look to be a tiny bit of overs at Betstar, but it’s no where near what they need to be to tempt me in. Suggest this is probably the leave match of the round.

Last 4 games:
Perth                              0
Draw                              1
Western Sydney          3

Rated Prices:
Perth                              $3.18
Draw                              $3.73
Western Sydney          $2.39

Perth                              $3.40 Betstar
Draw                              $3.40 Betstar, Sportingbet
Western Sydney          $2.20 Tatts, Sportingbet, Ladbrokes

Best Value: Nothing.

Melbourne Heart v Brisbane

Sunday 23 February 5:00pm (local) – AAMI Park

We finish the round out on Sunday with the, dare I say it, “hot” Melbourne Heart playing host to the league leaders Brisbane. Melbourne Heart have amazingly managed to get 11 points out of their last 5 games, including lasts weeks 5-0 demolition of Wellington when over in New Zealand, a performance most (including me) didn’t think they had in them. They are coming good at the right time of the season, while they may have left their run a little late, a finals position is now only 7 points away, and that should give them the glimmer of hope they need to continue the form they’re in. While Brisbane did lose to Newcastle 1-0 last week (somehow) when at home, it was only a 1-0 loss, and that goal came in the form of a penalty so it wasn’t that terrible. They are still the league leaders and definitely the team that everyone needs to try and beat when the finals roll up. I have this game as being extremely tight, under $0.30 between the two of them, but the market sees it a bit different. As much as $3.40 is on offer for the home team and I think that is great value, I have them down at $2.87. I’d be shocked if they start at $3.40, their form of late is just too good to ignore.

Last 5 games:
Melbourne Heart         2
Draw                              1
Brisbane                       2

Rated Prices:
Melbourne Heart        $2.87
Draw                             $3.78
Brisbane                      $2.58

Melbourne Heart        $3.40 Tatts, Betstar
Draw                             $3.50 Betstar
Brisbane                      $2.15 Sportingbet

Best Value: Melbourne Heart at $3.40 with Tatts/Betstar.

 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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