Month: October 2012

College Football Week 9

Kenjon Barner


I am making a foray into College Football.  I tested this last weekend with some pretty strong success.  Oregon looks like the biggest winner this week.  Perhaps you can find some value with my projections versus actual lines.  Feel free to ask about a specific game you want to know more about.



World Cup Qualifiers Results


Overall not a bad day. Of my top plays, went 11-6. Sweden and France had dramatic goals to tie it in the last minute. While this made for exciting games to watch, the result was not what I was hoping for. A 13-4 day would have been far more respectable.

Germany blew a 4 goal lead at home!!!! This is absolutely unheard of, and I am sure they are still in shock. Also, Portugal did not have enough to defeat Northern Ireland at home. Absolutely embarrassing in Christiano Ronaldo’s 100th cap.

The 2 results which were great plays were Jamaica and Costa Rica. Any time a team has an incentive to score as many goals as possible, they’re a virtual lock to win. In hindsight, I should have recommended taking over 3.5 goals in each game.

Unfortunately, the international scene quiets down a lot until next year. In the meantime, I will post a couple plays here and there. Most of my focus will shift to college basketball. Hope you enjoyed following.

World Cup Qualifiers October 2012 – Part 2

Tuesday’s qualifiers will be a huge step forward for many teams and will be the end of the road for a few more.  There are a couple games that you should keep an eye on, despite being heavy favorites.

Jamaica and Costa Rica – Each of these teams will be fighting for their World Cup lives.  Each of these teams plays a team at home that has already been eliminated from contention.  Each team has a very strong incentive to score as many goals as possible due to potential tiebreakers.  These two teams will win tomorrow, and you should add them to a parlay.

Russia and Portugal – Two top 10 teams at home going against vastly inferior opponents.  Similar to the two teams above, the odds are heavy, but throw them into a parlay for some extra easy play.

Now we get down to a couple teams who should be very solid plays:

Bosnia-Herzegovina – Bosnia earned a tough point on the road at Greece last Friday, and I was actually a little bit surprised at how well they played.  They are rewarded with a home bout against a Lithuania squad that has really struggled in 2012.  If Dzeko and Bosnia are serious about potentially reaching the finals in Brazil, this is a game you must win.  This squad has already beaten the two lowest teams in their group by a combined 12-1 score.  I think Bosnia-Herzegovina comes out with a strong win at home.

Croatia – Croatia moved up to #13 in my rankings after a solid road win at Macedonia.  Although they now face a Wales team who just defeated Scotland, Wales won the game with 2 very late goals.  Prior to the final 10 minutes of that game, Wales had not even earned a point in an international match since last November.  Croatia has dominated weaker teams over the past 18 months, and I expect that trend to continue.  Look for a big win here.

Austria – Going up against a Kazakhstan team they just tied 4 days ago, the Austrians know that this is virtually a do or die game for their World Cup hopes.  While there is still a year of qualifying left, Germany looks to have the top spot in the group almost locked up already.  That means that Austria will have to pass Sweden and Ireland to even get into the 2nd place playoff.  This is a must win game.  Austria has proven that at home they can beat up on lesser competition, and they should defeat Kazakhstan here.

Here are my top plays for Tuesday with odds of win:

Friday Results – World Cup Qualifiers

I know that this is a little late, but here are Friday’s results from my top plays.  The tough part here is identifying who to bet where as many of these teams do have some pretty high odds to begin with.  The Tunisia and Switzerland defeats hurt a couple parlays, but overall had a pretty solid day.

African Cup of Nations Qualifying

Nigeria should qualify

By the end of the weekend, the field for the 2013 African Cup of Nations will be set.  15 teams are currently playing a home-and-away series head to head to produce 15 qualifiers in addition to host nation South Africa.  Over time, I have felt that home field advantage seems to be the strongest in Africa.  Home teams always perform far better than their road counterparts.  There are 3 teams Saturday which I feel provide strong value.  Thought their odds are a little on the high side, I will be parlaying all 3 together to produce a better than even return.

Nigeria – The Super Eagles of Nigeria went on the road in Liberia and emerged with a 2-2 draw.  While they did surrender a late goal, earning a draw on the road is something to be proud of.  The last time Nigeria lost a home game to an African nation was 1981!!  There is no worry of a loss here, only a draw.  While FIFA ranking has Nigeria 35 spots ahead of Liberia, I have them 68 spots apart.  Nigeria should win this game and qualify for African Cup of Nations 2013.

Tunisia – Like Nigeria, Tunisia was able to escape Sierra Leone with a draw.  A win will put them through to the finals.  Tunisia is another team that absolutely thrives on home advantage.  For the past year, Tunisia has been beating African opponents by an average of 3 goals per game at home.  While Sierra Leone has looked better recently, they really haven’t been challenged away from home.  A loss at Sao Tome earlier this year is pretty bad.  While FIFA believes these teams are only 22 spots apart in the rankings, I have them almost 65 spots apart.  Tunisia should win this one as well.

Morocco – The one advantage Morocco will have Saturday is their result from the first leg.  They lost by 2 goals on the road, which means they need to win by 2 goals to force extra time, or win by 3 to qualify directly.  This fact makes it far more likely that they will win the game outright.  Mozambique was able to score in the 93rd minute to give them a 2 goal lead, so Morocco knows it needs goals, and needs a lot of them.  Mozambique knows that even if they lose 3-1, they will still qualify.  Regardless of who qualifies, Morocco is a very strong bet to finish ahead Saturday in the final score.

Parlaying these 3 teams together will return you better than even money.  I give each of these teams around an 85%+ chance for victory, which creates good value parlaying them together.  This one has a very good chance of success.

World Cup Qualifiers October – Part 1

Slovenia should return to prominence

One of the surprise teams from South Africa 2010 was Slovenia.  They played USA to a draw and certainly held their own.  Thus far, they have yet to register a point in qualifying for Brazil.  Losing at home to #9 Switzerland is certainly nothing to be embarrassed about, and a 95th minute goal from Norway sunk them a month ago.  Despite this, I think a home match with Cyrpus is the right way to get on track.

Pairing Slovenia with a couple heavy favorites can get you a solid return.  Canada, Spain and Sweden should all perform without a hitch.  Spain will be looking to rebound after an embarrassing 1-0 victory over Georgia.  Sweden should have no trouble with the Faroe Islands.  Canada should dominate a must win game at home against Cuba.  This brings us back to our initial pick of Slovenia.  Although you are laying heavy odds on the other 3, the risk is too small to pass up.  I’m selecting Slovenia to pair with the other 3.  A bet on these 4 teams will return you even money.  You are basically buying the Slovenia game down.  On the road against quality opponents, Cyprus does not do well.

Other strong plays

Switzerland – The Swiss have been mentioned a lot here recently.  They’ve taken care of business recently as they should, and I expect the strong play to continue.  I don’t think Norway has the talent to match the Swiss.  At almost even money, this is a great play.

– Colombia – Crotistics #10 team had an impressive September with a 4-0 win over Uruguay and a 3-1 win at Chile.  Paraguay meanwhile is 1-5 in their past 6 games against CONMEBOL opponents.  I think Colombia dominates again.  I may even look to pair Colombia with Switzerland as this is a very strong 2 teamer.

Additional Plays (best to worst)

I will also be on the following teams next Friday.  Team ranks are in parentheses

Slovakia (36) v. Latvia (104)

Hungary (14) @ Estonia (109)

Mexico (17) @ Guyana (111)

Panama (37) v. Honduras (78)

El Salvador (53) v. Costa Rica (91)

Greece (15) v. Bosnia-Herzegovina (27)

Ecuador (18) v. Chile (29)

Finland (44) v. Georgia (69)