ON Monday morning, I felt awful. Just awful. My vocabulary isn’t the strongest at the best of times, but “awful” is the only word that can describe just how bad I felt.
I write this from a position of near traction as a result of an injury sustained using “kettlebells”. I crawled into my office to write a handful of words about the weekend’s betting which will hopefully make everyone feel that little bit better.
On Saturday, I intended to travel to Stirling to watch the Albion take on Queen’s Park. The price had been staring at me since the odds were released early last week – Queen’s Park at 8/5. After a little research into the sides, I was content to make a bet at those odds, then take a bigger gamble on the draw no bet market with my other main bets of the day. I was all set to make the trip to Frothbank but… I couldn’t be arsed. No great reason, I was just fed up of driving up and down that same stretch of motorway. Instead, I went to Firhill for Partick Thistle’s match against Hamilton Academical. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise – due to a serious incident around Cumbernauld, the road was closed for most of the afternoon.
Back at Firhill, I was interested to see how Thistle would react after their midweek defeat to the Accies. I felt that Hamilton were the better side for the first 30 minutes, despite eventually capitulating 4-0. From a betting perspective, I would urge you not to dismiss them as cannon fodder – they’re certainly not a bad side and with the unpredictable Stevie May in attack, they will score goals, especially against the more pedestrian sides. Do not let their current form put you off.
Although I spent the afternoon watching Thistle, I didn’t gamble on them. Instead, I mostly bet on the underdogs:
- Dumbarton +1
- Raith Rovers +1
- Alloa Athletic +.25
- Stranraer +.25
- Queen’s Park DNB
People are often quick to dismiss the underdog’s chancing of getting a result. Although they may not win the league or challenge for a playoff position, they can still take points from the supposedly better sides, and with value prices, they can make the difference between a profitable and unsuccessful season.
Looking at the weekend’s games, Dumbarton and Raith were the big underdogs against Morton and Dunfermline respectively. Both sides passed up decent chances when the scores were tied at 0-0 (Raith even missed a penalty). Were they really as unfancied as the bookmakers first thought? Although they both lost, I’ll still be happy to take my chances with these sort of ties – over the season, I think the money will be coming my direction.
Alloa are a team I like. Although they can be beaten, I’d happily bet on them, assuming their key players stay fit, with a + handicap against anyone in the league (with the exception of Queen of the South).
Regular readers might notice a pattern – I bet against Ayr United and took Stranraer at +.25 and at a bigger 12/5 on the fixed odds. Ayr are vastly overrated by bookmakers – they’re slow at the back, have little fighting qualities in the middle of the park and have an over-reliance on Michael Moffat. Stranraer won’t be easily beaten at home and have a handful of solid, dependable professionals in their ranks.
Queen’s Park showed that, on a good pitch and against moderate opposition, they will win more games than they’ll lose. Stirling Albion, meanwhile, seem overrated by some bookies. They’re another example of a team priced purely on reputation and given short odds as they may see money for them, regardless of their price.
On Sunday afternoon, I had a rare opportunity to take in my second game of the weekend and watch two of the contenders for the First Division championship as Falkirk hosted Livingston in Grangemouth. I was impressed by the Bairns’ stadium – it definitely has the feeling of a ground which belongs in the top flight.
I’m almost embarrassed to say I thought the 11/10 Falkirk -.25 I took on was a good price. They took the lead through a penalty, but Livingston levelled from a corner before scoring a well-deserved last minute winner. The home side were nothing short of dismal. They have nothing in midfield and although Lyle Taylor looks a strong forward, he had virtually no support. Sean Higgins recently joined the club from St Johnstone and looks every inch the player who hasn’t played a lot recently. He’s not quite the size of Bobby Mann yet, but he’s only a Nando’s or two away.
This weekend will see the Ramsdens Cup quarter-finals and to be honest, I can’t see any great early value. Raith are missing their best player (goalkeeper David “The Witch” McGurn) as well as defender Laurie Ellis and although they have been a bogey side for the Jags in recent matches, the early 17/20 at Bet365 should be taken on Thistle – if anyone still has an account with them, that is!
Good luck and may this weekend be better than the last!
If you have any particular questions or topics you would like David to cover, contact him via Twitter at @sflpunter.
(Because of the international break, Son of Gamblor will be on holiday next week.)