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  1. 2016 – 2017 was a very entertaining season, with Nice imposing the rhythm in the first part, and Monaco and PSG stepping on the gas after the winter break. We all hope the new season will be even more disputed, but most probably it will be dominated by Monaco and PSG. At first let’s say a few words about the other teams that will compete for a place in Europe: Lyon: If you follow Ligue 1, you surely know the defensive phase is by far Lyon’s major weakness. Last season fullbacks concentrated exclusively on the attacking phase, and it wasn’t very difficult for opponents to take Lyon by surprise. Only experienced defensive midfielder Gonalons provided assistance once in a while. That is why in-spite finishing 4th, Lyon were 10th when it came to goals conceded. Gonalons transferred at Roma now, and it will be interesting to see how Lyon will cope with his absence. Besides Gonalons, Lyon also lost midfielders Tolisso, Valbuena, and top scorer Lacazette. Lyon transferred-in a few high profile attacking minded players: Marcal, Traore and Mariano Diaz. Fullback Marcal came from Guingamp, where he was a constant presence in the attacking phase. In-fact Marcal was Guingamp’s best passer with 7 assists. Striker Traore arrived from Chelsea, while Dominican forward Mariano came from Real Madrid. Lyon also transferred a central defender, who is not afraid to advance, and usually scores a few goals each season. Marcelo arrived from Besiktas where he found the net 3 times last season. He scored 7 goals at most in a single season, while playing for Wisla Krakow in 2009. Even if Lacazette and Valbuena are gone, you should still expect to see goals when Lyon play (even their central defenders will score goals). Marseille: Marseille was one of the most inconsistent sides last season. They easily went from one extreme to the other, from creating 20 opportunities in a single game, to barely having a decent attempt on target. One possible explanation is that they relied on some of the most “difficult” players in France. Thauvin, Payet and Gomis were by far Marseille’s most important players last season. All of them are very individualistic, difficult to motivate and usually have a superstar attitude (this is why all of them failed in Premier League). On home ground they were more determined, more combative, but in away games they always gave up after losing the ball. Maybe this is why Marseille won only 4 away games last season. Now they will once again rely primarily on wingers Thauvin and Payet… Striker Gomis is at Galatasaray now, while experienced forward Germain arrived from Monaco. Germain seems like the best option for playing between wingers Thauvin and Payet. He is always at the right place, has great ball control and was respected by teammates everywhere he went. Marseille transferred-in another two important players: defender Adil Rami from Sevilla and defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo from Wolfsburg. Both of them are reputed players with proved skills, and most probably will have a guaranteed place in the lineup. Keep an eye on midfielders Lopez and Sanson. They try to take charge when Payet and Thauvin refuse to participate. Sanson was Ligue 1’s best passer last season with 12 assist, while Lopez delivered 6 assists. You should expect Marseille to crush many opponents on home ground (cover the handicap), but once again to have major difficulties in away games. Nice: Nice was a pleasant surprise last season, especially before the winter break. They were very courageous and inventive, but unfortunately the squad was thin and some reserves were at Ligue 2 level. There wasn’t anybody to replace striker Balotelli when he was injured or suspended, nobody to replace midfielders Belhanda and Seri, or fullbacks Dalbert and Pereira. Nice were also very unfortunate, as many players suffered frequent injuries. Talented striker Plea for example was injured for most of the season, same as midfielder Le Bihan. Nice have an exuberant playing style, a few highly skilled players (Balotelli, Seri, Plea), but no depth. This summer they lost fullback Pereira and midfielder Belhanda, both of them important players. Most probably they will also lose winger Eysseric, as many European sides are after him. Without a few important transfers, Nice won’t be able to repeat last season’s performance. So far only experienced fullback Jallet arrived from Lyon. As the season progresses, Nice will lose energy and will have difficulties coping with determined opponents, especially since they will also be involved in European competitions. Bordeaux: Overall Bordeaux had a decent season, even if they increased rhythm only after the winter break. Defenders are very agile and it is extremely difficult for opponents to take them by surprise. This summer Bordeaux lost important keeper Carrasso, but immediately replaced him with Costil from Rennes, who was considered one of the best keepers in Ligue 1 a few seasons ago. Skilled fullback Mendy also arrived from Guingamp. Mendy is a versatile and solid player, with great vision and ball control. He even managed to score 3 goals for Guingamp last season. Fullbacks Sabaly, Mendy and Contento are very powerful players, and they can easily give Bordeaux an edge over many opponents. Bordeaux’s midfield also looks very good, with experienced Toulalan in the center providing constant assistance for defenders, and skilled Sankhare initiating attacking actions. The only problem seems to be in the attacking phase, as although there are plenty of options, they don’t have a striker with killer instincts. Last season they used a 4-3-3 system, but all forwards felt better in the winger position. In comparison to last season, Bordeaux lost forward Ounas who went to Napoli. Bordeaux made a great deal, since Ounas wasn’t an important player, and hopefully the transfer fee will be put to good use (1o million euro). The only attacking player who arrived so far is versatile winger Wellington from Fluminense. He’s got European experience (England Championship and La Liga), but unfortunately so far he never delivered according to expectations. Bordeaux can easily end up fighting for the 3rd place, especially if they will eventually find a solid striker. Expect Bordeaux to be able to put together impressive series of positive results. St Etienne: Statistics perfectly illustrate St Etienne’s season: 12 wins – 14 draws – 12 defeats. There is nothing special about St Etienne. Although they usually keep possession, they always struggle to create chances and find the net, even on home ground. They have a new coach now, Spaniard Oscar Garcia from Salzburg. He is very experienced and should add value at St Etienne. But first things first, they need new and talented players in all departments. Until now there is only one notable transfer, striker Diony from Dijon, but the fee paid is simply huge (around 10 million euro). Without reinforcements St Etienne won’t be able to compete for European positions, and will once again be just a mediocre Ligue 1 side. Lille: Lille were a major disappointment last season. Only late in the season they managed to escape the relegation zone, after making a few impressive transfers in January. So far they lost two important players, fullback Corchia and forward Lopes, and it will be really difficult for Lille to find replacements, especially since they are wasting money on mediocre players. They bought forward Pepe from Angers with 10 million euro (mostly on the bench last season). He is a decent player, but certainly not worth that much, regardless his age (only 21). Fullback Malcuit arrived from St Etienne for a huge fee (around 9 million euro). He was a major vulnerability for St Etienne last season, and it’s no coincidence that most of the goals conceded by St Etienne originated from the flanks. It seems that Lille is Ligue 1’s new cash cow. Another disappointing season shouldn’t be excluded, and Lille may once again finish in the lower half of the table. Taking all the above in consideration, this is how the table may look (only the first 5 places, without PSG and Monaco): 1. … 2. … 3. Bordeaux 4. Marseille 5. Lyon From all contenders for European positions, Bordeaux seem to be the most consistent. Bordeaux to finish top 3 at around 13.00. You can also find Bordeaux to finish top 4 at around 5.50, if you want extra safety. Please note the transfer window will close at the end of August, so there is still time for all sides to strengthen. Now let’s focus on the title winner, the goalscorer and the best passer… The rest of the preview is available only to our subscribers. If you sign-up for the full season you can Save 20% (or 60 euro). You can see some of our Ligue 1 previews from last season on our site http://lg1.fr , and you can join our LGF newsletter here: http://www.clubgowi.com/subscribe-to-clubgowi
  2. Ligue1: Angers - Nantes ANGERS Angers put up a really poor performance last week away at Nancy. Only Nancy managed to create decent scoring opportunities, and in the end the 2-0 victory was well deserved. Away from home they are too submissive, and accept opponents’ dominance without any fight. On home ground they are more combative, more aggressive, especially after poor results started piling up (only 2 points in the last 5 rounds). They are conceding 2 goals per game lately, and if defenders won't get their act together, there's no way but down for Angers. At the moment they are very slow, and can't anticipate opponents' next move. At least they are able to score, thanks to fast forwards Diedhiou and Toko Ekambi. Bad news for Angers as first keeper Michel and important central midfielder Mangani will sit out (mostly the defensive phase will be affected). At least they welcome back fullback Manceau from suspension. NANTES Nantes' game against Caen last week got postponed because of heavy fog. Maybe it is better this way, since Nantes were in terrible form and low on confidence. A couple of days off never hurt anybody, and it gave new coach Conceicao enough time to know the players. They haven't scored in 4 rounds, and even if there are plenty of attacking options available, something was just not clicking. Nantes have decent players available, and some of them even have impressive potential. Unfortunately they never learned to play together, to be a team, and ex coach Girard is the one responsible for that. But there are signs of improvement after the arrival of coach Sergio Conceicao. Except the forced changes (because of injuries and suspensions), coach Conceicao used the usual lineup in the midweek Cup game against Montpellier. Although players were the same, their attitude was different, the combativeness was at maximum levels, and Nantes looked like they could score every time going forward (won 3-1). This is exactly what they needed, a change in attitude, and the future looks bright with this kind of approach. Guests will miss midfielders Thomasson, Kacaniklic and Toure, but welcome back defender Vizzcarondo, midfielder Rongier and forward Bammou. BETTING At a first sight this looks like a tricky encounter, but with Nantes’ change of attitude and Angers’ need of points (and leaky defense), this can easily turn into a goal fest. Neither side has been very productive lately, that’s why we get huge value on goals. OVER 2 GOALS at 2.06 from Clubgowi LGF newsletter
  3. Premier League: Manchester City - Watford Not much we have actually seen recently suggests that City should be 1.25 to win this. They were a defensive shambles against Leicester City on Saturday evening and sorely missed the protection of Fernandinho (last five PL games he has missed have produced 21 goals), who is once again suspended, along with Aguero (last five he has sat out have produced 24 ). Watford are coming off a nice 3-2 win over Everton where they could have scored a couple more, but are equally as unreliable at the back and have shipped nine, in their last two road starts, also allowing a whopping 20 attempts on target. Guardiola will be demanding a reaction from his men and it could all click and they will run in hatful, but hard to see that coming along with a clean sheet at present. The hosts have to find a way to win, or they could be nine points plus adrift of Chelsea and under huge pressure for the visit from a wounded Arsenal at the weekend, think the best way to approach this is....... Manchester City to win and both teams to score 2.50-2.70 general quote ...............best alternative, over 3.5 goals from Clubgowi newsletter
  4. NFL: Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets Jets are out of the post season reckoning and rebuilding for next season will soon be under way, they will doubtless be up for this, with the spotlight on them and the nation watching, but it is very difficult to see how they can match the motivation of the visiting team for four quarters. The Jets are 1-4 at home and whilst three of those came against two good and one decent team, the loss to the offensively shy Rams, where LA had the most passing yards in the game with just 165, was dismal. I spoke about the Rams woes yesterday. The Colts would have been delighted to have sat and watched their divisional rivals the Texans lose last night and they can move into a three way tie for the lead in the AFC South with the win, Colts, Houston and Titans would all then be on 6-6 and from that position, Indianapolis, who have been here before, would fancy their chances, infact, they do and have spoken about that this week. However, they probably need to win 4 from 5 and two have to be today and at home to the Texans (as they already lost in Houston) this coming weekend, they have difficult road trips to Minnesota and Oakland and have to allow themselves some leeway. 9-7 could be enough and that took this division last season, but it would not suffice without going 2/2 this week. So this is it, season defining 7 days for Indy who get quarterback Andrew Luck back from a concussion absence, he has practiced fully the last three days and is raring to go and he will lead (IMO) the pass heavy visitors to a 5-7 point win. The Colts are 2-3 on the road, losing at the Broncos, Texans and Jags who are ranked #1, #5 and #2 respectively against the pass and beating the #17 Packers and #26 Titans and the Jets ? They fit nicely in at number 22 and look ripe for the picking ! The Colts have a young receiving group, but are improving and will get better, senior amongst them is T.Y Hilton, who held a meeting with his fellow receivers this week to discuss what they needed to do to beat the man on man coverage of the almost certain to be blitzing Jets. Hilton's corps dropped three big passers last week , which probably cost 14 points, but they have worked hard to correct those errors this last week + and should be more in sync with the returning Luck and have had 11 days to prepare for this. Indianapolis Colts -2 points 1.95 Pinnacle /Vegas Line/Sportmarket Pro from Clubgowi newsletter
  5. Premier League: Bournemouth - Liverpool We spoke so much last season about the open nature of Bournemouth home games, we have not seen that to quite the same level this season. but that has more to do with how teams have set up when arriving at Dean Court, Manchester United came here and played their part in a four goal thriller and we know 100% that Liverpool will not be coming to sit back, it is simply not in their DNA under Jurgen Klopp. The Cherries went toe to toe with Arsenal at the Emirates last weekend and were in things and gave as good as they got for 90 + minutes and will need no second invitation to get forward this afternoon. No Coutinho for the visitors, but Lallana and Firminho should be fit to play. Andrew Surman remains out for Bournemouth and whilst we have not seen it yet, the defensive midfielder (ever present for over 25 months since joining until October) is very important to them and his absence will be felt today with Liverpool so good at pressing and moving the ball quickly. BTS , Liverpool to win. over 3 goals 2.13 asian line/Sportmarket Both teams to score and Liverpool to win 3.10-3.25 general quote from Clubgowi newsletter
  6. Championship: Nottingham Forest - Newcastle United Incredibly, given they lead the Championship, United lost at home for the third time this season last weekend, they also lost at Hull City on penalties in midweek in the League Cup with a much changed team, but it is only about getting back to the Premier League for the Magpies. On the road they are 7-1-1 and have been scoring at the rate of two per game, they seem happier away, where they get a little more freedom and teams are not raising their game playing in famous old St James' Park, the biggest stadium and crowd many Championship players will have faced. Forest can only really play one way, their games have produced an average of 3.56 goals (1.05 above the divisional mean) and they are urged forward by the crowd here and are too gung ho at times. Both teams have scored in the last 11 Championship games at the City Ground and, in all competitions, they have not kept a clean sheet in 14 , conceding 2.0 per game and allowing 3+ on five occasions ( 35.7%). Given that percentage and that United are top scorers in the Championship and will probably need 2+ goals to win, the visitors look good value at 3.50-3.60 (circa 28%) to score three or more. The hosts do not have many "going" days, but are coming off two , back to back road wins scoring seven goals, when they do, they can be unstoppable, but usually for 30-45 minutes, not 90 ! This should be entertaining. Newcastle United to score three of more 3.50-3.60 general quote...........there is 3.70 in places. "over" 3 goals 2.40 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  7. NBA: Charlotte Hornets - Detroit Pistons I’m a bit surprised that Pistons receive such a high regard here, being given only +3 points on the spread. The reason probably is that they have had a day more rest than Hornets, who are back-to-back. The b2b factor is weighing less and less in present day NBA though, with all the medical attention players receive, plus the general schedule this season is way lighter than in the last years. The rest can’t really compensate for Pistons terrible road form. They have only 1 win in 9 road games so far and are just not the same team, at home and on the road. Charlotte boosted their win column with 2 nice wins over Memphis in a home-and-home series and will be eager to build on that. Only Marvin Williams stays inactive for them with injury, the other players with minor knocks played normally against Grizzlies. Charlotte won 3 of 4 against Detroit in last season series, including both games here. Anything else bar another home win would be a surprising result here. Hornets average around 2 rbs. per game more than Detroit (rebounding is presumably one of Motor City boys strongest sides behind Andre Drummond) and around 10 (!) pts. more on the offensive end. Recommendation: Hornets -3 Odds: 2.02 from Clubgowi basketball newsletter
  8. NFL: Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys I favour the Redskins and am very tempted by odds of 3.50 to win this, but will probably end up going with them getting a few points start. I opposed Dallas at the weekend writing............. "The Ravens will want to keep their lead over the Steelers until they meet again on Christmas Day ( what a treat !) and I have to say I like them getting a touchdown start against the Cowboys, who Pittsburgh kept to within five last week and this is my idea of the "upset" of the day. Dallas are 8-1, but five games were decided by a touchdown or less and two of the other four were against teams with a combined record of 2-17. Key for me will be the run, Dallas have been able to move the ball on the ground freely, but Baltimore are very difficult to run against (ranked #1), that might force the Cowboys into a more one dimensional offense and Baltimore have had an extra three days to recover and prepare." That should have been the "upset", Baltimore led by 7 and looked in control until the game turned on one play and some terrible, shoot yourself in the foot, penalties from the Ravens. Cowboys played well enough offensively in the second half to win , Dez Bryant stepping up with some very important receptions and lots of people will have been impressed with how they played, but I have some real doubts about them defensively and they do not look like a 9-1 team to me. Dallas can afford to lose and still stay in control of the division, for the Redskins, they really need to keep winning. Washington have a very balanced offense with two runners "sharing" circa 900 yards and Kirk Cousins having a career defining season.They have put up 95 points against "winning" teams in the last three weeks. The Skins lost the reverse meeting 27-23, but Prescott, Bryant and Elliott all had big games for Dallas and still Washington came so close and should have won, wasting a series of good field positions in the second half , everything went wrong for them, right for Dallas and still they kept to within 4 points and Washington look much improved since. So too are Dallas of course, but that defeat and maybe more than one, is coming and I fancy the first could be today, points and the "away" win ! Washington Redskins + 5.5 points 2.03 Pinnacle/Vegas Line/ Sportmarket Pro. "over" 52 points 2.05 Pinnacle/Vegas Line/ Sportmarket Pro. from Clubgowi newsletter
  9. NBA: Sacramento Kings - Oklahoma City Thunder The line is set about right, maybe only a point or two bigger than it should be. Yet I see decent chances this game develops into a shootout, something like 120-115 for one of them. Both team’s strength is not the defensive part of the game. Kings usually make entertaining home games as their fans (and even their owner) very much prefer to see wins like that 120-115, instead of 100-95. Demarcus is hungry for points to his statistics as always, no need to mention that, but even Rudy Gay remembered his old days like one of the leagues’ elite one-on-one scorers lately. Thunder lost disappointingly at LA against Lakers. Their defense wasn’t on the required level and it will be tested tonight again. At the same time, Westbrook is relentless, he attacks the rim again and again, almost single-handedly made a near come-back in LA. 3 of the 4 meetings in this series last season finished well over this total. Recommend: OVER 213 Odds: 2.00 from Clubgowi Basketball newsletter
  10. NBA: Sacramento Kings - Los Angeles Clippers I wondered back and forth in circles as to which is the higher percentage play here, Clipps to cover 8 points spread or OVER. LA are expected to bounce back after the surprising home loss from Memphis. At the other hand, I wouldn’t say Clipps are as strong mentally team as Spurs, Cavs or Warriors, for example. Sacramento win here will be a surprise, yes, but not a total shock. And I doubt eventual Clippers win will come as easy as odds suggest, unless Cousins starts arguing with the refs and gets thrown out or make another stupid thing. He played well in last season series with Clipps by the way, recording something like 22+ pts. and 12+ rbs. on average. This very much suits his psychological profile, he is eager to compete and measure his skills with the best big men in the league, just like DeAndre Jordan. So I expect a committed performance by DeMarcus. Actually, these teams surpassed this total line in all 4 meetings last season. There is a perfect explanation for the lower line here though. Clippers play one of the best (if not the best) defense in the league so far. They have the biggest points differential in the league with almost 15 pts. Margin between points scored and allowed on average. This is of course unsustainable for a whole season, albeit Doc Rivers and his boys deserve full credit for the job on the defensive end in the off season. Yet Kings lost quite narrowly, 105-110, to San Antonio in their last game here in Sacramento. I see pretty good chances they surpass the hundred mark once again, which would mean a winning play most probably. Recommend.: OVER 205 Odds: 2.01 from Clubgowi Basketball newsletter
  11. World Cup Qualifiers: Northern Ireland - Azerbaijan Azerbaijan are unbeaten through three group games and have yet to concede, keeping clean sheets against both Norway and the Czech Republic and holding a surprise second place in Group C behind big favourites Germany. It is only the second playoff spot that is realistically up for grabs and the visitors would take a very firm grip on it, were they to win in Belfast. Northern Ireland are not exactly full of goals and the absences of Stuart Dallas and Jamie Ward lessen their offensive threat and without Ward, the Irish are an incredibly bad 1-9-16 in the last six years, the win coming over the Faroe Islands and that sequence included a 1-1 home draw with Azerbaijan. They have been starting with Josh Magennis up front, with Ward in the secondary role in recent games, Magennis had just 28 goals in the SPL in five seasons and is hardly banging them in regularly for Charlton Athletic this season in the third tier of English football (a goal every 400 minutes) and it is easy to make a case for Azerbaijan keeping the Irish fairly quiet. A goal for the visitors should be enough for a point (aside from against San Marino the Irish have only scored more than one in 2 of 12 starts) and they might not even need that and this game feels like it has been priced wrongly and based on what was perceived as a strong Euro showing for Northerm Ireland, where they actually lost 3/4 and they have failed to score in six of their last eight starts. Azerbaijan have two teams in the group stages of the Europa League, with domestic champions Qarabag, who supply eight of this squad, in good position to qualify and this is clearly a footballing nation on the rise. Azerbaijan +0.5 ball 2.21 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  12. NBA: Milwaukee Bucks – New Orleans Pelicans Recommendation: Bucks - 5 Odds: 1.87 I think I’ve made myself clear enough, Pelicans will be one of the weakest teams this season. Actually, they are front-runners to be the worst team in the league and to guarantee themselves the best chance to win the lottery. It’s still very early for intentional tanking, they are still very bad and don’t possess deep enough NBA-ready roster besides Davis. The bench situation is even more dramatic, pretty naturally. Bucks already took the first win in this season’s series, a week ago in New Orleans, and will actually clean sweep Pelicans with a win tonight. Milwaukee come off a 3 days rest tonight, fresh and motivated to continue they good home form with a 4th consecutive victory here. They play way more freely at home. The last 2 wins here were quite good and comfortable ones, over Sacramento and Indiana. Milwaukee have more than enough big bodies to throw at Davis on the defensive end. It will be a total surprise if they don’t have the rebounding edge too. All in all, I can’t see New Orleans stopping Bucks from scoring buckets tonight, so hopefully the mid spread won’t prove to be a problem from Clubgowi Basketball Newsletter
  13. Checkatrade Trophy: Sunderland U23 - Notts County Hosts are in with a point, County need to win. The visitors will surely be up for a visit to the Stadium of Light, even in front of one man and his dog, five of their six league wins this season have come on the road . Head coach John Sheridan said:"I don't expect the crowd to be big, but it's a beautiful stadium and it's a lovely pitch to go and play football on."It's a game we want to win, and hopefully the players will go and do that. "We know if we win we go through. "The players know that."Not many people will know much about their players, but I went to watch them against Rochdale and they've got some good, bright, young players."Technically they are very good and it will be a good test for us. "But we will have more experience and hopefully we can affect the game the way we want to."At Premier League academies they get all these luxuries – it's a different world."But I think they will respect coming up against the teams from League One and League Two, they will realise it's a tough old game."It is totally different to academy football and I think it's good for the younger players from Premier League clubs to see what it takes to earn a living at that level. It says a lot about Sheridan that he personally travelled five hours on a midweek night to watch future opposition in this competition and he is not going to put in that kind of effort and not demand at least the same from his players and they should make their experience tell. Notts County +0.25 ball 2.01 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  14. Golf PGA: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Wide open leaderboard with 20 players within four stroke of the lead. I only want to discuss one of those, Geoff Ogilvy, he was a seven time winner on Tour between 2005-2010 when he simply oozed class , winning the US Open and finishing top six in all four majors. He has won just once since then , in 2014, but before you feel too sorry for him, he has banked $40m+ in prize money alone. Still only 39, he should have double that number of wins. However, class is permanent and you might get out of the habit, yet rarely totally forget how to win. When he won in 2014, he nearly followed up a couple of weeks later at a big playoff event and whilst we have seen little of him at the top of the leaderboard since, he finished 2016 with a couple of eyecatching finishes (this is technically a 2017 tournament........... don't ask !). He shot a Sunday 63 at the Canadian Open in July and in August was 67-68 over the weekend at the John Deere and 68-66 at the Wyndham. He has played the back nine in -11 this week, which is as good/better than almost everyone and if he can reach the turn within a shot or two of the lead, he could turn back the clock today. 39 is that funny age, golfers should not really be having a stellar or comeback year at 29 or 39, it ought really to come at 30 or 40, once you have got the "trauma" of that milestone birthday out of the way. But when chances for Ogilvy come along rarely nowadays, I think we have to forget that, anyway, his wife just turned 40 and maybe that will provide the inspiration and knowledge that life just keeps rolling on ! He likes the hot dry weather and lives in the desert, so should be happy here in Nevada and his last win, came at the Barracuda Championship in this state, so omens are good. We can "waste" a little at big odds............ Geoff Ogilvy to win outright 17.0 general quote...........there is a little at 17.5/18.0 on Betfair from Clubgowi newsletter
  15. NBA: Washington Wizards – Toronto Raptors Recommendation: Raptors -1 Odds: 1.952 Odds seem almost like a trap here, with Toronto being the far classier side. Wizards have a negative expectation for this season, compared with the last one, but they still have to win some games, linger around the 9-10th place in the East and wait for next summer free agents market. This is their home opener actually and John Wall and Co will find some motivation to perform well in front of their fans. It’s one thing to plan and desire something and another thing to make it happen though. Toronto swept the season series 4-0 last season. They might not repeat this feat, it’s hard to do it twice in a row with a semi-competitive team, but 3-1 seems like a legit result for the season. Washington experience much difficulties when playing against opponents with strong backcourt (like Raptors, quite obviously). I am not a fan of Wizards’ perimeter defense too and hope Lowry will finally catch some fire and knock down some 3’s, while slowing down Wall on the defensive end. All in all, I see this game as Toronto’s win to lose, let’s see from Clubgowi Basketball Service
  16. Champions League: Borussia M. - Celtic Celtic were run ragged in the first leg and lost 2-0, the magin of defeat should have been greater and aside from their performance at home to Manchester City and England-Scotland match ups do have a different dynamic, they look some way short of the quality required to compete at this level currently . Kolo Toure made two horrendous mistakes, he will miss today's game, which might well be a bonus for the visitors, but the loss of left back Kieran Tierney most definitely will not be. The youngster is ever present this season and described by most watchers as their best defender . With BMG surely looking again to press and harry Celtic into mistakes and the Scottish champions with no option but to attack and that is the only way they can play, when you win 77% (last four seasons) of all league games, you have little experience of setting up defensively. They need to win this to get back into (at least) Europa League contention and BMG will be similarly minded as three points is going to guarantee EL football and would actually take them above Manchester City and up into second, unless the Premier League leaders also beat Barcelona ( see below). BMG will be stronger tonight than for the first leg, Celtic will not sit back too long and should be even more vulnerable defensively and one goal, should see this get very stretched. "over" 3 goals 2.04 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  17. NFL: San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos Chargers are improving and will be confident no doubt after a 21-13 win over the Broncos just 17 days ago, but at home, on a quick turnaround against a team coming off their first loss of the season, is not the same as playing in Mile High with the Broncos back on track after a 27-9 win over the Texans. Chargers did follow up at at the Falcons last week, which looks good on paper, but they were 17 points down at one stage and needed 450 + yards of offense to win a game in overtime and this Denver defense will not allow that many in their own stadium, or blow a double digit lead. Also, they do not lose twice to a divisional opponent, especially one who is not going to win the section and there is the small matter of revenge and that San Diego are not very good on the road, where they have lost 11/13. Broncos have won the last three h2h meetings in Colorado, all by 7 + points and with Denver suddenly a big running team with full back Andy Janovich opening huge holes for the running backs who appear to have realised later than most what an asset the 23yo is, punching massive openings for them to run through. I see this as a great match up for Denver despite the recent loss and 7 points as the minimum margin again. Denver Broncos - 4 points 2.05 Pinnacle/Vegas Line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  18. Brazil Serie A: Sport Recife - Ponte Preta Huge game for Sport, they have three of their next four on the road, including trips to two teams battling for Copa spots and sit just two points above the drop zone, with the teams immediately above them in the table having started to pick up their game(s) and points. I have spoken many times about how difficult a venue this is, Recife is a very long trip for almost every team in Brazil ( 5,400 km round trip for PP) and once here, conditions are often stifling and you are asked very different questions by both mind and body. I have no evidence, but I bet there have been a few yellow cards collected on purpose over the years, so that players miss this trip to play Sport. By the way, PP top scorer Roger sits this one out after picking up a yellow in the last game !! The hosts have a 60.27% home win record over the last four seasons, which even in a country where homes "always" run north of 50% is very impressive and to give it some context, is identical to that of Cruzeiro, who are two time champions over the same period. Ponte Preta still have a small chance of top 6, but 11 of their 13 wins have come at home and they will have to gamble a little more than usual on the road today and that should play into the hands of Sport. The visitors have not won here in recent times and have conceded seven without scoring on their last three away days and anything other than three points for Recife would both surprise and leave them in trouble. Sport Recife -0.75 ball 2.21 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  19. Scottish Premier League: Hamilton - Aberdeen Aberdeen have won six in a row in all competitions, a run which has taken them up to second in the SPL, they will be looking to stay there tonight, ahead of a home game with leaders Celtic at the weekend. Hamilton are in 10th place, which is where they finished last season and you suspect that if you offered that to them again, they would snatch your hand off for it and another year of survival. Teams have got used to the Tigerturf surface here now and Hamilton have won just 7 of 33 home SPL starts since January 1st 2015, they have been helped in that regard this season by an "easy" schedule so far and have yet to face one of the "big 4" at home. They have also lost their last four home midweek games, they entertain basement club Dundee on Saturday, that is the far more win-able fixture and in terms of staying in the SPL, the more important of this week's two games. This is a great opportunity for the Dons to put some real pressure on Celtic , who played the Old Firm game on Sunday and a Champions League tie last midweek, they do not play until tomorrow and meet Aberdeen at lunchtime on Saturday, with the return game in Germany with BMG next Tuesday ! But all that will mean far less, if the visitors do not claim all three points this evening. Aberdeen -1 ball 2.07 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  20. J League: Omiya Ardija - Shonan Bellmare Shonan are eight points from safety , with nine to play for, but a point for Nagoya would make three wins meaningless and even six results going their way (ain't gonna happen!) would probably still leave them short on goal difference. In other words, preparations for JL2 will have already started, the evil deed can be officially done and dusted today and surely it is better to get that out of the way on the road and make next week's final home start, less painful. Shonan are 1-2-11 in Stage 2 and have not scored in four starts, only 9 times in 16 home games over the full season. Omiya came up as champions last season and have had a terrific 2016, they are 6th in the overall table and whilst they have little to play for, 4th would be a fantastic achievement (they are only a point shy of Gamba) and has to be, you feel, a target. They spent ten straight seasons in the top flight until relegation in 2014, before dropping out, they (incredibly) finished between 12th and 15th for each of those previous nine campaigns and 4th would be amazing. So, still some motivation IMO and they could hardly be in better shape, bring unbeaten in six (all comps) with five wins and 12 goals in their last four and they can record a sixth straight home win over Shonan. The visitors are better on the road, where they have collected 14 of 21 points, but most of those came early in the campaign and they have only won once away from home since May 4th, this should not be a draw, we get few at this time of year and there is no good reason for one today and Omiya look the far more likely of the two to claim the win. Omiya Ardija -0.75 ball 2.31 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  21. Europa League: Viktoria Plzen - Astra Giurgiu Plzen are another team who have collected a lot of European experience in double quick time. They have made the group stage of the Champions League twice and the Europa League three times in the last six seasons and made the round of 16 twice in this competition. Astra have only played five seasons total in Europe, they have some big name scalps in qualifying, including beating West Ham twice, but to be fair, they were early season ties against distracted teams , not fully committed to the competition. They did make the group stage in 2014-15 when they conceded 15 goals and they have given up 24 in their last 11 away days in Europe. Domestically they have half the points they had at the same stage last season, have won just 3/12 and are conceding at the rate of 1.5 goals per game. They are bottom of the group without a point and have alreday shipped seven goals, including a 4-0 loss away to Roma. That was "only" four as the hosts switched off at the hour mark, decided enough was enough and substituted three key players. Plzen are third and have two points, the top two have four points and are playing out a double header, so a fantastic chance for the home side to move into one of the top two spots and they will surely look for goals tonight, they already have draws with the top two and goal difference could easily come into play. Viktoria are looking for a third straight domestic title and currently trail the leader by two points. so every league game is important, but they need to build momentum and a convincing win here will help not hinder IMO. Viktoria Plzen -1.5 goals 2.17 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  22. Brazil Serie A: Atletico Mineiro - America Mineiro I previewed Atletico's last start, a visit to Corinthians ......... "Corinthians form has nosedived, they looked firm title contenders through the first 14 games, had 28 points in the bag and were in second place, they have taken just 13 points from the last 14 and are down in 7th, seven points off Copa Libertadores pace and with six teams above them. They might soon be in a position where it will all be about the Copa do Brasil for them and it is possible they will play and might already be doing so, with less caution than we usually expect. AMG are third, four points clear of Santos in 4th and can afford to gamble at present and look to push on for the title. They are currently five adrift of leaders Palmeiras, but have still to host them and a late challenge is far from off the table . They collected 20 points from their first 14 starts, a whopping 32 from the second, which is a 27 point swing with Corinthians and if they had played at this level from the get-go, they would hold a seven point lead at the top of the table, which illustrates how well they have played since, well, mid June, since when they have collected more points than anyone. They are fast starters on the road and have a +6 first half goal difference. AMG are without defensive midfielder Rafael Carioca tonight, he is away with the national team, but the visitors are 6-1-0 in Serie A starts without him. His absence is offset , IMO, by Corinthians losing right back Fagner , they lost 2-0 at home to Palmeiras in the last game he missed with replacement Leo Principe being run ragged and eventually getting sent off after two yellow cards." They drew that 0-0, a result which leaves them in third, 4 and 7 points respectively behind Flamengo and Palmeiras with nine rounds left to play. Third carries with it a place in the Copa Libertadores group stage, but 4th-6th will now get you in to the first stage and that does ease the pressure. Also, the top two both have difficult games today and Atletico have still to host both, so it would be very early to give up on title ambitions. America are booked for a quick return to the second tier after promotion last season and are 13 points from safety and propping up the rest of Serie A. However, we can surely expect them to be up for this, in their last derby game of the season and if they can end Atletico's title ambitions, that would be a bonus. However, 32 points separate these two, which is more than 1.1 per game and is a true reflection of the difference in quality and Atletico are taking this incredibly seriously and given the home side full respect. There was talk of their four international players being eased back, but Lucas Pratto, Rafael Carioca, Cazares and Erazo have all been rushed back from CONMEBOL World Cup action and go straight into the squad. America have conceded two or more goals in 6 of their last 7 starts without keeper Fernado Leal who is suspended and come into this game additionally weakened defensively. They will have to open up at some stage and Atletico can make it 3/3 at home to bottom four teams by a 3-0 scoreline. Atletico MG -1.25 goals 2.0 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  23. NBA: Golden State Warriors We can’t start with anyone else except the Warriors, the past and, most probably, the future champion. Stating the obvious, it will be a case of history repeating itself. Warriors should be perfectly able to repeat Spurs’ achievement to recover nicely in psychological aspect and dethrone LBJ and Miami in 2014 after Ray Allen single-handedly took the title away from SAS in 2013. GSW only got better and even more fearsome in the off-season, bringing Kevin Durant on board, one of the world’s Top 5 players. I can’t really understand all the tremor and negative feelings caused by this signing through the basketball world. Well, OKC fans are in their right to feel bad about KD leaving Oklahoma, but they are the only ones. Why should anybody else be unhappy and why should GSW managers feel awkward? Just because they have done really great job in keeping their salary cap in reasonable limits so be able to build a superior roster? No, it’s perfectly fine, that’s the game. Sporting-wise, Durant is a great match for GSW (for any team actually  ). He has proved he is unselfish enough, playing so many seasons shoulder to shoulder with shot-first PG like Westbrook. The perspective of 4 GSW All-Star players in Curry, Klay, Draymond and KD is very real indeed. Something has to be given away in the process of course, last season’s starting center Bogut and SF Harrison Barnes are no more Warriors. It’s obvious who will replace Barnes and Zaza Pachulia was brought along to fill the gap in the center. Zaza is not quite Bogut’s class but he’s very reliable and consistent, plus Draymond will help and control the paints too, as usual. Veteran forward David West is just the icing on the cake, he also joined the team in his last attempt to win a ring. David is not likely to see many minutes on the rotation but his experience and leadership will be useful for the team. To cut the long story short, GSW won’t have any real competition this season, aside of Spurs and Cavs, and even these two will enter a possible play-off series with GSW as underdogs. Speaking bettingwise, there’s no value to be taken re GSW currently, with them being so obviously superior team. I played with the idea to take some of Euro soft books / exchanges early offerings (around 1.80 odds for GSW champions) and trade it back for a few percentage sure profit if they start the season strong, something like 12-2 or better. This is highly realistic scenario btw, but the markets liquidity is weak, at least for now, and not really worth it at this stage. Projected record: 68-14 (just because I think Steve Kerr will take a note and preserve his starters in the last 10+ games of the regular season) from Clubgowi Basketball newsletter
  24. England League 2: Hartlepool United - Crawley Town Crawley Town also made the short list and are such a big price, I also have to take a little something on them. They are up to fifth and just two points off second place and confidence at the club is sky high right now . Much of this is down to new head coach Dermot Drummy who has transformed the mindset at Crawley in just four months, well know in the game, he spent many years working with the Arsenal and Chelsea Academy and U21 teams and was in charge of the Blues teams who won the FA Youth Cup and U21 Premier League and this was an eyecatching appointment for Crawley. He is said to have had a massive influence and he has brought with him six current (loan) and former Chelsea players, who were all desperate to work with him again. Lots of small things have been changed , for example, they set off early yesterday for Hartlepool and stopped and trained en route at the very impressive Leeds United Academy facilities and they just do everything the right way now. Town are unbeaten in five , with four wins, including the last two away starts, where they scored five goals. They were bought by Turkish steel magnate Ziya Eren in March, he owns a club in his homeland and looks to be in this for the long term (with a ten year plan to reach the Championship) and Crawley to be heading in the right direction Pool are 0-4-3 in their last seven league at home, also lost 1-0 here to the Sunderland Academy on Tuesday and boss Craig Hignett was awarded a three match touchline ban yesterday and now for the bad news ! The hosts are without eight players today and are hard hit defensively and in central midfield, key absences are goalkeeper Trevor Carson who is on international duty, back up Adam Bartlett has conceded 15 goals in his last four starts, including six this year at 20th placed Stevenage and central midfielder Nicky Featherstone (lost 4 of last 5 he has sat out), his absence is compounded with Michael Woods also missing in the middle of the park. Crawley with the handicap start ! Crawley Town +0.25 ball 2.06 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
  25. Irish Premier League: Finn Harps - Bray Wanderers I want to take on goal shy Finn Harps again today, ahead of Tuesday's trip to Sligo Rovers I wrote .......... "Finn Harps arrive without suspended left back Ciaran Coll and striker Dave Scully who are both suspended , also have Josh Mailey unavailable and several other knocks, which will require late tests. They have scored just twice since July 8th, only 19 times all season and have now lost nine in a row and confidence is shot and runs like these are very hard to address. The visitors currently sit four clear of the relegation playoff places and still have to travel to play the team directly below them, they could do with a point or two, but they are more likely to come at home, and they entertain Bray on Friday night and there is a good chance that if they fall behind this evening, that attention will quickly switch to that, a fixture which is more win-able and for which they will have increased options. They have no real replacement for Coll at LB, the unavailable Mailey stepped in the last time he was missing, so that is not an option, it is likely to be a midfielder stepping back and they are already short of left flank options." Harps came away with a valuable point in a 0-0 draw, but were a little fortunate, with the hosts missing a late, late penalty. They have now played Saturday/Tuesday/Friday with a beat up squad and face a Bray side who have not played for eight days and who are on absolute fire, posting five wins in a row, with a 13-3 goal difference, including three on the road. They have their eyes on 5th place , which would be their second highest finish ever and they would move into that position with all three points this evening. Wanderers appointed Harry Kenny head coach in mid June, when they had just 8 points on board from 15 starts, he seriously upgraded the squad in the summer and they have collected 30 points from 14 starts since, an increase of 1.61 points per game, if Bray had performed at this level all season, they would be top of the IPL. If current leaders Dundalk were coming here tonight, they would be quoted as big odds on chances and the visitors look a very attractive price. Striker Ger Pender has scored in the last five league starts and will be keen to extend that club record this evening and Wanderers their 13 match unbeaten run. Home boss Ollie Horgan would love to have an option like that, striker Ruairi Keating is definitely out after sustaining ankle ligament damage on Tuesday, fellow forward Dave Scully remains suspended ,veteran attacker Kevin McHugh will also be absent after sustaining a serious hand injury on Wednesday in a coaching session ,Adam Hanlon is a serious doubt. On the plus side they do get Ciaran Coll ( see above) back, but it is goals which are the big issue, that situation is compounded by players missing today and it is hard to see where the next one is coming from, whilst Bray cannot stop scoring ! Bray Wanderers -0.5 ball 2.08 asian line/Sportmarket from Clubgowi newsletter
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