Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

The Road to Riches Weekend of 9th-10th March

Posted on 7 Mar 2024 14:05 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, Over the jumps at Ayr, Hereford and Sandown and on the all-weather at Chelmsford City and Wolverhampton.
  • Football, Premier League fixtures include Liverpool v Manchester City
  • Rugby Union.Six Nations Matches include England v Ireland.
  • Formula One, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
  • Cricket, England’s test series in India concludes, the fifth test match in Dharamsala continues this weekend.
  • Golf, the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass on the USPGA.
  • Tennis, ATP BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells concludes.

Cheltenham Festival Package Tuesday 12th-Friday 15th March

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival Package for next week is live on the site. The cost is £199 for all of Neil’s bets over the festival, and the package sign-up can be found here.

Neil has written “What you will get for your money” for potential subscribers that you can find here.


Free Tip

Six Nations England v Ireland 4.45pm Saturday

England are in the unusual position of being 12-point home underdogs and 4/1 outright for this match, understandable enough though against opponents looking for a second successive Grand Slam and given their own mediocre form.

Ireland have won four matches in a row against England by 14,17,13 and 19 points and there is certainly an opportunity for this to be a one-sided match. 12 of the 13 matches between the two teams in the last ten years have been decided by 8 or more points.

Following their loss in Edinburgh in the last round England face the distinct possibility of finishing the Six Nations with two wins and three defeats for the fourth year in a row with Ireland at home then France in Paris to end the tournament.

For all their playing resources England are still amongst the Six Nations also-rans at this stage and there is an impatience for this to improve. Since taking charge in December 2022 England have played Scotland twice and lost both, played Ireland twice and lost both, played France once and lost by a record margin at Twickenham, and lost at home to Fiji.

Their only Six Nations victories have come vs Wales twice and Italy twice, fifth and bottom-placed sides last year, while the other competitive wins have come against the likes Japan, Chile, Samoa and Fiji, with two higher-profile successes against Argentina at the World Cup. Borthwick’s record as coach sees eight defeats from 19 games with only one win over higher-ranked opposition (Argentina) at the time.

A kind Rugby World Cup draw took them to the semi-finals where a well-honed but extremely limited game plan ran South Africa close. At the start of a new World Cup Cycle since the aim has been to bed in a new defensive system and develop a wider attacking game at the same time but in terms of really embracing a new generation of players team selections have been rather half-hearted with veterans like Care, Cole, Marler, Slade, Ford and Daly playing in this Six Nations as part of a team with nine players 29 or older. Probably in the short term the best players at the position, but none likely to be playing in the 2027 World Cup.

There have also been concerning noises coming out of training, indicative of a camp not entirely on the same wavelength with the apparent emphasis on honing the blitz defence rather than focusing on offensive skills. For example one leak has it that an England back touched the ball once in a particular training session.

That England’s attacking approach is extremely callow was seen in the 25 handling errors and 22 turnovers conceded against Scotland which derailed their game plan. With basic skill levels lacking it looked at times that the back line had never played together before.

To be fair to Steve Borthwick, his selections can be criticised but the current crop of players particularly in midfield and in the finishers out wide lacks the talent to play an expansive game. England have not scored more than two tries in a game since beating Chile last September.

England have scored at under two points per 22-entry against top ten ranked sides over the last two years with a win rate of 44%. Ireland at nearly 3 points per 22 entry with a win rate of 87% are unsurprisingly far superior.

As big underdogs here against a top two world side he has once again resisted the temptation to accelerate a complete rebuild. When is that rebuild going to come though? After this match England have fixtures against France, New Zealand x 3, South Africa and Australia for the remainder of the year.

At least 21 year old Manny Feyi-Waboso has been picked here, to give England at least one finisher in the team if they can get him the ball whilst to counter the huge Irish physicality George Martin in the second row will help.

Ireland are in the midst of their golden generation of players based on a mighty Leinster team and a four region domestic structure that works to develop players for the national team. They are aiming for a record-equalling 11th successive Six Nations Test win (level with England 2015-2017) and have won 84% of their matches under Andy Farrell including18 in a row at home and 20 of their last 21 games.

In a very settled side, they can introduce Jack Crowley for the retired Johnny sexton and not miss a beat whilst the Leinster machine has turned out the superb young second row Joe McCarthy into an already formidable front five. Their defence is exceptional.

On their way to an unprecedented back-to-back grand slam in the Six Nations era their last game of this tournament is at home to Scotland whose attack could worry them but it is difficult to see England doing the same.

I think it’s far more likely that Ireland wins this match by 20+ points, scoring 40+ points themselves than England keep this close.

22 points Ireland -12 points at 10/11 generally.


Nothing Ventured, Nothing gained.

English cricket via the ECB is currently attempting to sell equity in the Hundred franchises to overseas investors including IPL owners to maximise a one-off financial opportunity.

The ECB is in the final stage of consultation with the 18 first-class counties and MCC  as it prepares to open up the eight Hundred teams for private investment later in the year. The target is to have the Hundred up and running with private investment for the 2025 edition of the men’s and women’s tournaments.

There is a list of interested investors from all over the world, including IPL owners and businesses from Pakistan, the United States and beyond, as well as sovereign wealth funds.

The ECB, under the leadership of chief executive Richard Gould and chairman Richard Thompson, long-time critics of the Hundred while in the same posts at Surrey, has established a “broad direction of travel” for the tournament that counties are currently providing final feedback on and is subject to change.

The ECB’s plan comes in two parts. The first would see new joint-ventures (being called New Co’s) set up between the ECB and each of the 18 first-class and MCC for teams at their venue. Half of the team would be owned by the ECB and the other by the host county. The two parties would agree on a percentage of the team that would be taken to market (there would be a minimum sale in place of, for instance, 25%).

Under this model, it could be that some teams are selling a 75% share, and others are selling just a quarter share. Either way, the proceeds of the investment would be split between the host county and the ECB, with the latter share being distributed through the game.

The second part would see the eight current Hundred teams play in a top tier until 2028 with “other options available for all other New Co’s”. What those options would be is as yet unclear. From 2029 teams from other venues could join the top tier, but any expansion would be down to criteria agreed this year.

The New Cos, including their investors, would run their Hundred team’s ticketing, marketing and branding, with the ECB running the competition itself.

These terms are said to be putting off top investors because they want a majority stake and control of the franchise, not a minority part or to be sharing with a county. They also fear that future expansion of the competition and possible promotion and relegation, which they are not interested in is not yet totally off the table.

The ECB meanwhile is keen to keep the counties involved and in control, in part to help the financial situation at non-Hundred owning counties.

Investors want, in a perfect world, majority equity ownerships of franchises, be they Hundred franchises, other franchises or first-class counties, and are said to be uninterested in minority positions without a route to control. They believe that more franchises in the Hundred does not necessarily lead to an increase in broadcasting or sponsorship value at the league level.

An alternative option, rather than joint ventures with counties, would be for the ECB to sell an agreed stake in each team, with the proceeds spread equally across the game. The eight Hundred venues could then receive substantial hosting fees, while the teams run ticketing and marketing themselves. The ECB hopes the model it has drawn up connects the counties and the Hundred and keeps purpose among counties that do not currently host a team to strive to have one in future.

How the ECB resolves the differing aims of the domestic game and potential overseas investors will determine the future path of the competition in terms of structure and ownership.


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Betting Emporium results

The detailed results page has been updated on 1st January 2024. They can be found by clicking RESULTS

If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £71,656 All bets have an ROI +2.97%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £71,656 a 1691% increase 

 

The Road to Riches Weekend of 2nd-3rd March

Posted on 29 Feb 2024 12:51 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, Over the jumps at Doncaster, Kelso and Newbury and on the all-weather at Kempton and Wolverhampton.
  • Football, Premier League fixtures include Manchester City v Manchester United.
  • Cricket, England’s test series in India concludes, the fifth test match in Dharamsala starts on Thursday.
  • Golf, the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the USPGA and the Jonsson Workwear Open on the DP World Tour.
  • Tennis, ATP BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Cheltenham Festival Package Tuesday 12th-Friday 15th March

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival Package is now live on the site. The cost is £199 for all of Neil’s bets over the festival, and the package sign-up can be found here


Free Tip

Super Rugby: Hurricanes v Reds 5.30am Sunday

This is the final match of the six match second round, dubbed the “Super Round”, of the 2024 Super rugby Pacific, all six games held in Melbourne.

This iteration of Super Rugby, its third season as a Pacific Nations competition, sees 12 teams, five from New Zealand, five from Australia and the new teams Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika playing. 84 matches are played in a round-robin, followed by finals in a knockout format. The season culminates in a final to be played on Saturday 24 June, before the start of the 2024 mid-year international window.

Last year’s Super Rugby was won by the Crusaders from Canterbury, their 11th win in 28 competitions and 7th in a row in Super Rugby’s of various formats including until recently the South African teams.

The build up to this tournament has been marred by the Melbourne Rebels' woes and concerns about the competition's longer-term future. The Rebels fell into voluntary administration last month and are looking for a white knight to bail them out of a $22m deficit after being given a 60-day reprieve by the Federal Court. Rugby Australia has guaranteed the Rebels will complete the season despite being in administration and will make a decision on the future of professional rugby in the state of Victoria before the end of the Super Rugby season.

The Drua have been the biggest success of Super Rugby's expansion into the Pacific, reaching the playoffs at the second attempt last year and proving all but unbeatable playing at home in Fiji. Pasifika playing some games in Samoa won just one match last year.

The Rebels are symptomatic of a domestic rugby landscape already made miserable by Australia's calamitous World Cup campaign and struggling to attract young talent into the game against the competing attractions of a vibrant rugby league game.

Last year the Brumbies, Waratahs, Reds, Rebels and Force the five Australian regional sides managed just six wins from a combined 30 matches against New Zealand sides in Super Rugby. Even that 20% winning strike rate was an improvement on two decades of heavy losses to New Zealand teams that included a humiliating combined low of none-from-31 return against the Crusaders, Chiefs, Blues, Hurricanes and Highlanders in 2017.

New Zealand rugby has issues too, notably the drain of talent to lucrative deals in Japan and France, primarily by experienced internationals towards the end of their careers, and accentuated this year at the end of a world cup cycle.

Last season the Queensland Reds crept into the top 8 and the knockout stages last season winning 5 of their 14 games and have a new coaching team this year led by Les Kiss.

With the addition of former All Blacks props Alex Hodgman and Jeffery Toomaga-Allen to their pack the Reds will be aiming to challenge for Australian supremacy at least. Early indications are that the Reds will look to move the ball and unleash a backline that hasn't been as dangerous as it should be. In the first round they beat the Waratahs 40-22 headlined by Australian national team full-back Jordan Peteia. An encouraging start.

The Wellington Hurricanes lost to the Brumbies 37-33 in last year’s Quarter-Finals having won 9 of their 14 regular season games.

Number 8 Ardie Savea is absent on sabbatical in Japan and All Black hooker Dane Coles has retired and new coach Laidlaw has turned to the returning England loose forward Brad Shields to lead the team. TJ Perenara is fit again to tag-team with Cam Roigard, who plays this weekend, at scrum-half and Jordie Barrett remains a world class operator in the backline.

They began this season with a comfortable 44-14 win against the Western Force in Perth scoring six tries in tricky conditions.

This should be a high-scoring game, for which outright prices have the Hurricanes 2/7 and the Reds 11/4. The Reds are nine-point handicap underdogs. I do expect the Hurricanes to win and a quote of less than two scores seems to understate the potential they have compared to the Reds.

11 points Hurricanes -9 at 10/11 generally


Foothold

Hampshire County Cricket Club’s majority shareholder is in advanced talks to sell his stake to the part-owners of Indian Premier League team Delhi Capitals, GMR. The deal would be a landmark moment and make Hampshire the first county to be owned by an overseas franchise.

The benefits of buying a county for GMR include a foothold in the English game, an opportunity to develop its own players, and “first-mover advantage” when Hundred franchises are put out for investment.

Among the options being explored by the ECB is handing over a 50% share in the  Hundred teams to the host county, to sell to investors if they wish.

According to a book about Hampshire published last year the business which includes the Test match hosting Ageas Bowl, a hotel, golf course and the club was valued at around £100m, with £60m of debt.

Hampshire are one of three counties, along with Northamptonshire and Durham, who are not member-owned. It is expected that more counties could move away from the member-owned model in the coming months at a time of rapid change in the game.

GMR have a portfolio of cricket teams around the world. They have a 50% share of Delhi Capitals and also own the Dubai Capitals in the UAE’s ILT20 and a share of Seattle Orcas in the USA’s Major League Cricket.

It is now almost certain that the Hundred, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s controversial short-form tournament will be opened up to private investment later this year

2024 is likely to be a year of significant change for English domestic cricket and by extension the Hundred as the global ownership landscape changes in an era of burgeoning T20 franchise competitions and investment from both within and outside the sport.


StattoBets Dave Monthly Subscription - Soccer - Tennis - Darts

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Monthly subs are £50 a month and can be cancelled at any time. You can sign up here


Betting Emporium results

The detailed results page has been updated on 1st January 2024. They can be found by clicking RESULTS

If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £71,656 All bets have an ROI +2.97%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £71,656 a 1691% increase 

 

The Road to Riches Weekend of 24-25th February

Posted on 22 Feb 2024 09:07 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, Over the jumps at Chepstow, Kempton and Newcastle and on the all-weather at Chelmsford City and Southwell.
  • Football, The Carabao Cup Final between Chelsea and Liverpool. Premier League fixtures include Arsenal v Newcastle United.
  • Rugby Union, the third round of the Six Nations including Scotland v England.
  • Cricket, England’s test series in India continues, the fourth test match in Ranchi.
  • Golf, the Classic in the Palm Beaches on the USPGA and the SDC Championship on the DP World Tour.
  • Tennis, ATP Opens in Dubai, Chile and Mexico.

Cheltenham Festival Package Tuesday 12th-Friday 15th March

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival Package is now live on the site. The cost is £199 for all of Neil’s bets over the festival, and the package sign-up can be found here  

We also have two pairs of Club tickets for the Cheltenham Festival to give away, for Day 1 (Tuesday 12th March, two tickets)  and Day 2 (Wednesday 13th March, two tickets). To go into a free draw for a pair just sign up to our Cheltenham Package on the link above by this Sunday, 25th February. Good Luck!


Free Tip

Six Nations Round 3 Scotland v England 4.45pm Saturday

England have not beaten Scotland since 2020, losing the past three meetings with their oldest rivals.

Scotland have one of their two games so far in the Six Nations, very unlucky not to beat France at the death a fortnight ago with a very marginal TMO decision going against them. That said they also missed a number of scoring opportunities and indulged in an aimless kicking strategy in the second half to really lose the initiative in the game having been 13-3 up. With hindsight Scotland needed to continue attacking when they had the opposition on the ropes, rather than merely park the bus and attempt to protect what they had during the second half.

The essential case for Scotland is as it has been for several years, with a very talented set of backs headlined by Finn Russell and winger Duhan Van Der Merwe and a competitive group of forwards. This talented group of players though hasn’t produced the results overall that their talent deserves.

Part of this has been questionable coaching, part of it unimpressive on-field leadership. Russell and Rory Darge, a young flanker, are currently co-captains. In both games this year including when facing the massive Wales fightback in Cardiff in round one, the side has lacked ruthlessness and probably some confidence borne of a generation of not winning much.

England have won both of their games in this Championship so far, albeit against the two weakest sides in 2024’s Six Nations Italy (winning by three points) and Wales (winning by two points), coming from behind in both games and especially against Wales finding a way to win amidst adversity.

England post World Cup at the start of a new cycle are obviously in a transitional phase, supplementing the remainder of an experienced core by introducing younger players having lost Farrell and Lawes most notably and currently dealing with major injuries to the likes of Tom Curry. The absence of a Test quality number 8 means currently playing one of the more effective forwards Ben Earl out of position and the side has missed a midfield “banger” whilst Tuilagi and Lawrence have been injured.

Coach Borthwick has unearthed a couple of talents in Ethan Roots and Chandler Cunningham-South and encouragingly George Martin (lock) and Lawrence (centre) are fit to face Scotland. What you get from Martin and Lawrence is punch and “go forward” and that could make a difference in these tight games in the remainder of the Championship.

What England do not have yet is an exciting style of play and you can't get the ball wide unless you have the punch in the middle, so let’s see if the return of these players counts. Even so, the England back three lacks pace and finishing in its current configuration though the selection of Furbank at full back ahead of Steward (brilliant under the high ball, but one paced in attack) is a nod towards a more expansive style.

In defense the former South Africa coach Felix White’s new blitz scheme is being introduced, a work in progress but showing signs of being very effective. A key to the game will be whether they get to Finn Russell consistently, or whether Russell breaches the speed in narrow areas and frees the outside backs.

This should be a very close game, and with home advantage outright prices have Scotland favourites, Scotland 4/6 England 13/8. England are +4 on the handicap having been +2 at the beginning of the week

At these prices, getting more than a penalty goal in handicap points in what is likely to be a one score game either way deep in the match, England +4 appeals.

10 points England +4 at 11/10 Bet365, Evens BetVictor, 10/11 generally available


The Greatest?

In the recent Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs became the first back-to-back NFL champions in 20 years and Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has joined Tom Brady and Joe Montana as the only players to win 3 Super Bowls and 3 NFL MVPs. Mahomes reached the mark the fastest of the three players.

Since Mahomes was drafted six years ago, in addition to 3 Super Bowls and 3 Super Bowl MVPs he has twice been the NFL MVP, a three-time all-pro, 6 Pro Bowls, twice the NFL’s leader in passing yards and thrown for an NFL-record 5,614 total yards in a season.

His play-off record is an unparalleled 15-2 and he has currently won 7 straight playoff games.

His status as the NFL’s best current player is unarguable and that has brought huge opportunities off the field too with a $500m contract. He also has ownership stakes in the Kansas City Royals (MLB), Sporting Kansas City (MLS), Kansas City Current (NWSL), the Alpine Formula 1 Team and businesses Whataburger, Whoop, and Hyperice.

This year Mahomes became the 1st Quarterback in NFL History to win a Super Bowl while carrying the largest cap hit at the position. He has trailed by double digit points in all three Super Bowls he has won. At the age of 28 he has to be seen to be on his way to challenging Brady as the best ever Quarterback

The fact that this non-smooth-sailing, problem-solving on the fly, defense-heavy version of the Chiefs (20 games allowing less than 25 points this season, an NFL season record) cemented the back to back Super Bowl win during their dynasty makes it all the more impressive. It was a team in which Mahomes had to dial in his flair and talent  because it’s what the defense and the limits of the 2024 offense demanded, with lots of check-downs and scrambling.

This was very different from the big plays of the 2018-2021 teams, especially before Tyreek Hill left the team. Mahomes can obviously still do that. If the Chiefs get their hands at another elite deep threat at wide receiver in the April draft, then the team is likely to be the Super Bowl favourite next year.

The 2022 and 2023 Chiefs were by common consent the two "worst" teams of the Patrick Mahomes era and both won Super Bowls. This team went on the road in the playoffs and took down both Number one 1 seeds. The Chiefs faced Numbers. 2, 3, 4 and 6 ranked offenses in the playoffs, which combined to average 28.3 points per game this season and beat them all. These offenses averaged 15.8 points in the play-offs against the Chiefs. It was an all-time great playoff run defensively.

The Chiefs winning with their current roster is a reminder that you don't need to fix Every apparent weakness to have success. Do you have the Quarterback and Coaching Staff? Do you have a few difference makers around the Quarterback? Then you have a chance. Mahomes and Kelce can carry the team through despite the offense being not as good as previous teams.

The last time the 49ers lost to the Chiefs, the team made a massive trade up to select a quarterback with high end dual threat potential, Trey Lance. The move ultimately didn’t pan out, but teams know that to beat Mahomes you need either:

1. A fellow superstar at Quarterback

2. His Offensive line severely affected by injury If you don’t have a special talent at Quarterback.

I think we will see more teams continue to go all-in to land those high end potential players

This is why I believe Chicago will and should draft Caleb Williams the presumptive top Quarterback in this year’s draft. It’s why teams such as Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Minnesota should be all over the other first round Quarterbacks in this draft, and there are as many of five of them this year in what looks to be an excellent draft for offensive talent.

A “good” Quarterback might get you to the playoffs. To beat Mahomes you need a great Quarterback, and some luck too.


StattoBets Dave Monthly Subscription - Soccer - Tennis - Darts

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Monthly subs are £50 a month and can be cancelled at any time. You can sign up here


Betting Emporium results

The detailed results page has been updated on 1st January 2024. They can be found by clicking RESULTS

If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £71,656 All bets have an ROI +2.97%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £71,656 a 1691% increase 

 

The Road to Riches Weekend of 17-18th February

Posted on 15 Feb 2024 09:54 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, Over the jumps at Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton and on the all-weather at Newcastle and Wolverhampton.
  • Football, Premier League fixtures include Manchester City v Chelsea.
  • Cricket, England’s test series in India continues, the fourth test match in Ranchi next Friday.
  • Golf, the Mexico Open on the USPGA and the Kenya Open on the DP World Tour.
  • Tennis, ATP Opens in Qatar, Los Cabos and Rio.

Cheltenham Festival Package Tuesday 12th-Friday 15th March

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival Package is now live on the site. The cost is £199 for all of Neil’s bets over the festival, and the package sign-up can be found here


Free Tip

European Champions Cup Rugby

The tournament has reached the Knockout stages, with the last 16 taking place after the Six Nations in April.

I’ve already recommended Racing92 pre-tournament at 16-1 each-way. Frustratingly, along with La Rochelle, performed disappointingly in their Pool with one only win and merely crept into the last 16. They therefore have a tough draw away at tournament favourites Toulouse, a match between two top-four teams in the French Top 14 league.

The last 16 draw is as follows:

Toulouse v Racing92, winners at home to Exeter v Bath

Harlequins v Glasgow winners at home to Bordeaux v Saracens

---

Leinster v Leicester winners at home to Stormers v La Rochelle

Northampton v Munster winners at home to Bulls v Lyon.

Given the draw at Toulouse, I therefore began searching for an alternative bet for the knock-out stages in the other side of the draw, specifically in the Quarter away from Leinster who qualified alongside Toulouse as the top seeds after the Pool stages. Leinster and Toulouse, if they win out, have home draws all the way through to the final at Tottenham Hotspur.

Current outright odds are as follows:

Leinster 2/1

Toulouse 5/2

Bordeaux 6/1

La Rochelle 7/1

Bulls 7/1

Northampton 20/1

Each way odds are 1/3 two places.

Looking at the bottom Quarter of the draw the two home teams are Northampton and the Bulls from Pretoria. Northampton currently sit top of the Gallagher Premiership with nine wins from 12 matches and won four out of four Pool games in Europe to get a home tie at this stage of the tournament. In that Pool they went to Limerick and beat Munster 26-23 and now have home advantage against the same opponent.

If they win and face the Bulls at home in the Quarter-Finals, they have the advantage that the South African teams don’t tend to travel well in this competition, the demands of travelling distance often lead to squad rotation with sides having to juggle domestic and European commitments.

Northampton are a very attacking style full of young players now breaking through into the England six nations side such as Tommy Freeman, Fraser Dingwall, Finn Smith, Alex Coles and Tom Pearson alongside the more established Alex Mitchell, Courtney Lawes and Lewis Ludlam.

I think they should be the side that plays Leinster in semi-finals at the end of a gruelling Six Nations campaign and after a possible Ireland Grand Slam. They will 100% be underdogs to win in Dublin but might have a sporting chance of knocking off the favourites with their playing style, at which point the each-way component of the bet below would kick-in.

8 points each-way (1/3 1,2) Northampton to win the European Champions Cup at 20/1 Coral/Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, 18/1 Bet365 and BetVictor


Hamilton

Just before the launches of the 2024 F1 cars, the back end of the off-season came news that Lewis Hamilton will join Ferrari for the 2025 season, exercising his release option from the Mercedes contract that was extended late last season. At that time Hamilton had wanted a new three-year deal whilst Mercedes had offered him a one year deal, the two sides eventually compromising on a one year deal with a further one year option to extend it through to the end of 2025. That compromise sowed the seeds of an opportunity for Ferrari, who first contacted Hamilton last May, at which time he had said no, but his answer had changed in the New Year without a multi-year contract secured at Mercedes.

Even by F1’s lofty standards this is major news for the sport. Hamilton was a celebrity long before Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” made household names out of the majority of the F1 grid, and is a driver who wields his influence to address causes that have nothing to do with sport and therefore became a name that transcended his sport.

2025 is the last season before major regulation changes for 2026 which will see sweeping new aerodynamic and power unit regulations introduced and a clean slate for everyone after the Red Bull domination of the current era of regulations. It is typical for F1 pecking orders to change at such times, it being very difficult for them to do so in a period of static regulation.

While Ferrari have been up and down with their aerodynamic packages over the last couple of decades, their power unit has either been the class-leader or very close to it in recent years. With the power unit set to be a key factor in 2026 and with rivals Red Bull set to debut their first in-house designed engine in partnership with Ford that same year Hamilton will fancy his chances of taking the fight from a power unit perspective.

It is possible that Ferrari's development direction could be ahead of Mercedes which made Hamilton make an unexpected move. Ferrari was the faster car than Mercedes last season and have consistently made big improvements to their car. It is possible that Hamilton saw better promise in Ferrari's 2025 car than he did in Mercedes.

Hamilton will have looked at Mercedes’ development path over the last couple of years, how they struggled to add performance and he would have compared that to what he saw from the outside at Ferrari and what they told him they had achieved and what they could achieve.

Ferrari remain without a World Championship title of any kind since 2008 and have won just four races in the last four seasons all of them coming in the first half of last year following the last major rules reset.

Hamilton has a long-stated wish to drive for Ferrari. Ferrari's new team principal Fred Vasseur was Hamilton’s team boss in his junior days. The two have remained close ever since.

Obviously this is a major game-changer for the F1 driver market. Hamilton will drive alongside LeClerc, Carlos Sainz is left to find a new team and Mercedes is searching for a partner for George Russell. At the end of this season too Red Bull are likely to be replacing Serio Perez as Verstappen’s partner. Talented young drivers such as Lando Norris and Alex Albon can suddenly see career opportunities opening before them.

Hamilton won six World Championships at Mercedes and was worth billions to the brand. The valuation of the Mercedes F1 Team rose from $389 million in 2013 to $3.8 billion now and he will have give Ferrari the opportunity to leverage the company's unique limited supply business model and brand to drive sales. Whatever success Hamilton achieves on the track at Ferrari commercial success is more or less guaranteed given the mutual profiles of both driver and team.


StattoBets Dave Monthly Subscription - Soccer - Tennis - Darts

Stattobets write ups, analysis and bets are available to monthly subscribers.

Results as at 1st January 2024 = points bet 39142 profit +2170 ROI +5.45% Full details here

Monthly subs are £50 a month and can be cancelled at any time. You can sign up here


Betting Emporium results

The detailed results page has been updated on 1st January 2024. They can be found by clicking RESULTS

If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £71,656 All bets have an ROI +2.97%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £71,656 a 1691% increase 

 

The Road to Riches Weekend of 10th-11th February

Posted on 8 Feb 2024 08:34 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, Over the jumps at Newbury, Uttoxeter and Warwick and on the all-weather at Newcastle and Wolverhampton.
  • Football, Premier League fixtures include Aston Villa v Manchester United.
  • Rugby Union, the second round of Six Nations matches.
  • Cricket, England’s test series in India continues, the third test match in Rajkot next week.
  • Golf, the Genesis Invitational on the USPGA
  • Tennis, ATP Opens in Buenos Aires, Delray Beach and Rotterdam.

Cheltenham Festival Package Tuesday 12th-Friday 15th March

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival Package is now live on the site. The cost is £199 for all of Neil’s bets over the festival, and the package sign-up can be found here


The Super Bowl

Super Bowl LVIII takes place in Las Vegas this Sunday 11th February between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. After a profitable season so far our write up (including Neil’s prop bets) is available today (Thursday) for only £25 here 


Free Tip

The Six Nations

Wales went into their opening game of the 2024 Six Nations at home against Scotland with two full teams worth of players missing through injuries, retirements and ineligibity (players abroad must have 25 caps or more to be available for selection) and were forced to select a highly inexperienced team.

Coach Warren Gatland went into the game saying that he didn’t know what his best 23 was. During the first half of a game that was Wales’ first at the start of a new four year World Cup cycle the omens were poor. By half time the side was 20-0 behind and soon 27-0 behind playing a limited kicking-based game with a bad set-piece, aimless kicking, and limited carry forward in attack. Afterwards Gatland described it as “the worst forty-minute performance in my whole rugby career as a coach”.

Then they abandoned structure, changed players, tempo and pace and scored 26 points in a 23-minute period with Scotland down to 14 men and seemingly lacking stamina and fitness.

Next in the Championship they go to Twickenham this weekend as 12-point underdogs before playing Ireland away and France at home.

In terms of this weekend Wales are boosted by the availability of North and Rowlands and their ball-carrying and the team selection with seven changes starting players who finished against Scotland suggests that Wales will attempt to play their expansive style from that Scotland comeback, even if that wasn’t Gatland’s original plan for the tournament. This makes sense, as they don’t have the forward heft to go toe-to-toe with the English let alone Ireland or France later in the tournament.

The danger is that we take the second half for Wales last weekend and assume that will be their performance level for the rest of the tournament. Wales were so bad in the first half and the second half they basically ran everything but that shouldn’t work long term.

The likelihood must be that Wales will be going into their final game in March, at home to Italy, winless in the tournament.

Italy meanwhile lost their first match 27-24 to England in Rome but in Gonzalo Quesada’s first match in charge looked promising in attack, leading 17-8 and scoring three tries, finishing with a losing bonus point.

Italy were particularly impressive in the first and last Quarters of the game but lacked skill in the territorial game. With England superior at the line-out and displaying very quick rush defense after some early teething problems Italy spent too much time handling in their own half and putting themselves under pressure. There is still a lot of room for improvement through the tournament.

Italy go to Ireland and France this tournament and have Scotland at home. They too are likely to be going into their last match winless.

Firms offer a “To finish bottom” Six Nations market, ahead of this weekend priced as follows:

Italy 1/3

Wales 4/1

Assuming both teams are winless ahead of the final round, taking Italy at 1/3 in this market is the equivalent of Wales being -12 or os on the handicap in that game. It seems a stretch to expect them to win by two scores against any Six Nations team, even Italy and Wales at 4/1 to finish bottom is a value play in this market.

10 points Wales to finish bottom of the Six Nations at 9/2 SkyBet, 4/1 with William Hill, BetVictor, Coral/Ladbrokes.


Go fourth and…

Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell has become known for being very aggressive on fourth downs throughout his head coaching career and continued this in the most important game in Lions’ history: A road affair in the NFC Championship Game against the 49ers.

Campbell had outpaced all coaches in fourth down aggressiveness during the regular season, going for it on 34% of Detroit’s fourth down conversion opportunities rather than punting or kicking a field goal depending on the field position for the decision. That 34% meant the Lions were the most aggressive fourth down team of the 21st Century, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research.

Campbell went for it on two second-half fourth downs in Detroit’s title game loss to San Francisco. The Lions failed on both conversion attempts, one of them a fourth and two from the Niners’ 28-yard line early in the third quarter, the other a fourth and three from the 49ers’ 30-yard line with roughly 10 minutes to go in the game.

Analytics experts regarded both decisions as sound with both marginally increasing Detroit’s win odds. These fourth down attempts did not work out the way Campbell had hoped. Detroit’s defense couldn’t fend off the 49ers and the Lions blew a 24-7 halftime advantage to lose, 34-31.

This NFC title game was a watershed moment in football analytics. A head coach doing anything and everything to maximise his team’s win probability is a win for the so-called analytics movement, even if it’s widely interpreted as an utter failure because the Lions did not win.

Through three seasons at the helm of the Lions, Campbell has refused to lose in a traditional way despite constant calls from the media and NFL fans for him to tone down his fourth down aggresion. Lions players have fully backed Campbell’s push-back against NFL fourth down group-think. That includes Jared Goff, who, like his coach, had no regrets about trying to convert second-half fourth downs as underdogs facing a high-powered offense that showed no signs of stopping in the final two quarters, bucking the fourth down wisdom passed down through generations of coaches who did not want to fail untraditionally and lose their jobs.

It can be argued that the Lions were not aggressive enough in the game. The field goal team came out with 10 seconds remaining in the second quarter with a chance to go up 28-7 an outcome that would have increased Detroit’s win probability by nearly 5% at the time.

Campbell wants to win. For that he was besieged with criticism from results-based analysts and talking heads citing the successes of conservative coaches from bygone eras, analysts who care not for win probability or expected points or anything that might be found on a spreadsheet, but only for what happened, for the final outcome..

During the second half the Lions saw a Jahmyr Gibbs fumble in his own half, a long Brandon Aiyuk reception off the defender’s helmet on one of Brock Purdy’s many would-be postseason interceptions and a critical fourth down dropJosh Reynolds drop: These things happen and were even more influential on the final result than the fourth down decisions on their own.


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If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £71,656 All bets have an ROI +2.97%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £71,656 a 1691% increase 

 

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