After a hugely successful week for our four tipsters where all 4 made a profit, we're focusing on last week's challenge winner. Me!
With a whopping 41.85pts, it wasn't particularly likely that any of the other tipsters would beat me to the pot and yet all four were still in contention for the win on Sunday. But once Napoli held on for the 3 points against a spirited Brescia side, it confirmed my first win of the season. It's only the second time this season that I've scored over 30 points but won't be the last. I still trail my Dad, Steve Court, by over 20 points so I'm looking to put a few more on the board this week to keep the pressure on.
Looking at my selections, I think the most obvious place to pick up points this week will be my banker. I'm looking for Liverpool and Real Madrid to avoid defeat whilst hoping for another good performance from an Arsenal side to go with their demolition of Standard Liege on Thursday night. Obviously, the game at the Emirates will probably decide this bet but I don't fear Eddie Howe's side at the moment. They've beaten a few poor sides or team's playing badly but on both occasions that they've come up against a team playing well, they've lost. If Arsenal perform, which they usually do at home, they'll take the three points.
My double requires two League One sides to avoid defeat away from home. Sunderland and Peterborough are both flying high and playing very well so I think just over evens on both of these represents fantastic value. I considered taking the double chance odds on Ipswich but opted to include the Tractor Boys as my single instead. They travel to the North West to take on Fleetwood at Highbury and are actually quite big under dogs. Probably the best value of the weekend in any division. Fleetwood are playing well under Joey Barton but their squad isn't big or strong enough to keep this form going. I believe their excellent start to the season ends on Saturday.
My final bet is the Euro Elite 5 fold. The rules for this bet are quite simple. 5 selections from any of the 5 major European leagues with accumulated odds of 2/1 or above. This week I've chosen 4 teams to win and 1 not to lose. The wins I require are Real Madrid, Valencia, Bayern Munich & PSG whilst I need Dortmund to avoid defeat away to Freiburg. Odds of 2.18/1 was pretty good I thought.
Good luck as always, no matter what you choose to bet on. Let us know if you like any of our choices. Alternatively, tell us what you would have picked.
Check out the team's selections here: Challenge Tips
As our tipsters roll on to another week of the Betting Men Challenge, we take a closer look at this week's predictions from our current leader, Steve Court.
The 'Banker' is the bet we put our most points on. Out of an initial starting black of 20 points, 10 go straight away on this bet, so to win the predictions league, you need to get most of these points bagged. Just to make it tougher for the others to keep pace. Steve leads the way quite comfortably at the moment and if his Banker lands again this weekend, it'll put him into profit on it's own. Home wins for Ipswich, Celtic and Wolfsburger are all he needs and all side are flying, full of confidence and coming off the back of impressive wins. On paper it's very possible so if they all perform well it'll be tough to see anyone challenging the league leader this week.
In his other bets, his double requires home wins for Peterborough and Famalicao of Portugal, whilst his single is hoping Feyenoord have another off day and lose at home to Twente. Neither bet are beyond the realms of posibility but both quite hopeful. Steve's Elite 5 bet includes Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Juventus. All five to win returns an impressive 4/1 on William Hill but if you shop around I'm sure you could get a little bit more. Whether you can or you can't, this is a very winnable bet.
Looking around the leagues this weekend, there's plenty of good value around. Focussing on the UK leagues, West Ham at 2/1 and Exeter at just under evens represent the best bits of business in the eyes of the Betting Men. The Hammers lost in the week away to Oxford but won't be disappointed about that one bit. More time to focus on pushing for a top half finish. Exeter have started the season superbly and at home to a Grimsby side that got thumped 7-1 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, we expect them to add another W to the league table.
Good luck as always, no matter what you choose to bet on.
One of our tipsters, Steve, collated 54 points last weekend and with it picked up the winners pot & cemented top spot in the tipsters challenge bet table.
A tough week for punters saw Tottenham lose at home to Newcastle, Real Madrid only draw 1-1 at home to Valladolid & Manchester United lose 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace. And these were by no means the only shocks.
Looking at the weekend ahead, there are a number of ‘big club v small club’ matches and the hope would be that upsets are kept to a minimum. Bayern, Man City, Porto & even Chelsea all have home matches they should be winning comfortably. If you’re looking for some longer odds, the Betting Men have picked out a few teams to keep in mind. Newcastle (6/4), Derby (3/1), Portsmouth (11/8), Lincoln (6/5), Bradford (2/1) & Woking (11/8) are all odds against and all represent excellent value for money. It’ll be interesting to see how many of our tipsters include any of these in their bets.
Steve Court still leads the way in the table and now enjoys a 24 point lead over Stuart. Luke was one Chelsea goal away from hitting a monstrous 80 point haul last weekend having predicted a 4-2 win for his longshot and included Chelsea to win by 2 or more in his double. It goes to show how quickly it can all change. If they had scored that 4th goal, Luke would now be over 40 points ahead of his nearest competitor. Worth remembering.
Good luck as always to everyone no matter what you choose to bet on.
After a disasterous 1st week with none of the Betting Men picking up any points, the past two outings have been a bit more like it. Three of the four of us scored decent points in Week 2 whilst all 4 scored points on Saturday and Sunday.
Looking at the weekend just gone, there were very few major upsets which obviously helped. Arsenal, Everton, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid, Ajax, Leverkusen, Dortmund & Porto all won and as a result lots of 'sure thing' accumulators came in.
The weekend ahead poses a tougher prospect however. It's one of those where, lots of games just look too tough to call and no one likes betting on a draw. Liverpool v Arsenal is arguably the game of the week and the home side are relatively short favourites despite both sides having a 100% record from the first two game weeks. Our tipsters couldn't agree on a winner but all believe there will be a few goals. Over 3.5 goals is 11/10 and the Betting Men Tip.
Early stages in the Challenge Bets League, but at this early stage, Steve Court has a narrow advantage over Stuart Court. Fine lines between all 4 though. One good week could see it all turn round.
Keep an eye out for this week's tips. Bets will be published on Friday.
Ok, hands up everyone who said Cardiff, Fulham, Bayern Munich, Brentford & Stoke would all lose.................... No one? ... Didn’t think so...
It was a tough first outing of the season all round, but despite some crazy score lines, one of our tipsters was one win away from a 40/1 acca. It would have been a nice start to the campaign if that had rolled in, because over the course of the next 9 months, a fair few of them will.
Something you may not be aware of is that we run a weekly team bet alongside our challenge predictions. Each tipster chooses one selection with odds of approximately 1/3 and we put £15 on the 4 fold. If it wins, we bank the winnings and place a new £15 bet the following week. Last season we accumulated £676, which works out to £169 each. A nice return which a few of us put towards club memberships and tickets, whilst the other used it to keep him & his family occupied during a 24 hour delay at Gatwick Airport.
Looking ahead to next week there’s a fair bit of potential value. West Brom, Cardiff & Fulham are all just under evens, but all at home against relatively weak sides. It’s hard to look past Portsmouth & Rotherham in League One, whilst Salford & Mansfield are potentially the bets of the day in League Two.
We’ll have to wait and see what our tipsters will select, but most of these teams are likely to feature one way or another.
It's finally here. The summer's over. It's time to get down the bookies, pick a coupon, choose your selections carefully and then sit back and cheer it in.
One of our tipsters, Luke, gives us his thoughts on the selections he's chosen for the challenge bets.
Now, get this one wrong and you can look pretty silly, pretty quickly. You'll notice quickly this season, I prefer bargains and you'll rarely find my bankers at evens like the other tipsters. My thoughts behind this weeks bet, all teams are playing at home, against opponents they know and outperformed last season. I checked my decisions against the leagues outright winner odds to confirm these teams, Brentford, Stoke and Swansea should be winning these games. I'm very happy with the odds at 4.5/1, which will return a tidy profit and this alone should put me in 1st place after week one with a little bit of luck.
There's something very interesting about Barnsley playing Fulham. Outright winner odds of the championship suggest Fulham should win easily. But odds on the day suggest Fulham at 11/10 won't have it all their own way. Barnsley are definitely underdogs at 12/5 but aiming for a good solid start. The key to survival is not to lose your home games and I think they'll have ideas of plenty, other than losing. Barnsley bashed in 80 goals last season, albeit league one, whilst Fulham conceded 81, albeit in the Prem. This one has draw written all over it, doesn't it?
Reading vs Sheffield Wednesday is my other selection in the bet. This a gut feeling. I look at it and see draw, possibly 2-2.
I think Man City go on to win after 90 minutes so I was playing the odds here. Bayern and Celtic should be winning there matches both by a few goals I would expect. West Brom and Leeds are dodgy predictions, again I've looked at last season and these are games they should be winning if they want to repeat or even better their respective last campaigns. There is absolutely no reason why this shouldn't come in if everyone does what they're capable of doing.
Bolton performed terribly last season, I know, but Wycombe didn't exactly have a great season did they?.. 20/1 to snatch a win with both teams on target seems too good to pass up. Anyone can beat anyone. What if?
One of the most exciting Premier League season's in history finished just a few weeks ago and yet we're already looking at the prospects for the 19/20 campaign. And right now, it's tough to believe much is going to change next time out. New additions Norwich City, Sheffield United & Aston Villa replace Huddersfield, Fulham & Cardiff and will brighten up the lower echelons, but with the potential exception of Villa, the likelihood of any of the three being more than also rans seems far fetched.
I’m struggling to make a case for Arsenal breaking in to the top 4. Uninspiring noises coming from the boardroom suggest the money or desire required to make this team a force is simply not there. Holding on to Aubamayang after some worrying reports that he might be on his way, will prove to be very important however. Maybe just the difference between top 6 and struggling for top half.
Koscielny needs to be replaced after he refused to go on the clubs pre season tour and I thought the purchase of William Saliba from St Etienne was the club doing exactly that. Only to see them immediately loan him back for the 19/20 season. Defensively, the Gunners have serious issues. Replacing Aaron Ramsey was a key bit of business that needed tending to as well, and as yet, Dani Ceballos is the only arrival that could try to fill his very big shoes.
Prediction - 6th
I think Villa will have a very solid season. The bookies don’t agree with me here & I expect most people will side with them. But let’s look at the signings. I’m hearing a lot of negativity surrounding the amount of players that have come through the door at Villa Park but if we analyse them, 3 were on loan at the club throughout last season which makes them very safe signings because there’ll be no surprises. 2 of the new recruits have previously played at Brentford, the club Dean Smith left to take over at Villa. So he knows everything he needs to know about them. That leaves Wesley, a young Brazilian striker from Club Brugge, bought for £22m and as such, some high hopes will be placed on this lad doing the business. Matt Targett, Douglas Luiz, Trezeguet & Bjorn Engels complete the incomings and they’re all young talents but arrive knowing they have a big job to do. Dean Smith will get this team playing and with Jack Grealish pulling the strings I can easily see them finishing in a comfortable mid table position.
Prediction - 11th
There’s a good group of youngsters at the Vitality. Ryan Fraser, Nathan Ake, Lewis Cook, David Brooks & Jordan Ibe amongst others. Josh King & Callum Wilson are only 27 and both internationally capped strikers to boot.
They’ve now added to their ranks with 2 young full backs during the summer. Lloyd Kelly arrived from Bristol City for just over £13m and at just 20 years of age looks to be a real prospect for the future. Jack Stacey is 24 and signed for £4m from Luton Town. I saw this lad play a couple of times last season and was surprised at how cheap the Hatters had allowed him to leave Kenilworth Road for. He’s a real talent. All in all, Eddie Howe is building a great young side and I don’t expect them to have any relegation worries.
Prediction - 14th
Brighton & Hove Albion
There's still a bad taste in my mouth following the sacking of Chris Hughton during the summer. Brioghton struggled last season but he kept them in the top flight and given the lack of talent at his disposal, I think he did a fantastic job doing so. To remove him and replace him with an inexperienced Championship manager in Graham Potter just sets them up for a very difficult campaign.
The signing of young centre back Matt Clarke from Portsmouth is a good one but not where I would have said they needed to focus their attention. Dunk and Duffy are quite a pairing and unless Dunk does end up leaving as is rumoured, I don't see Clarke breaking into the side. Leandro Trossard however, is an exciting prospect and with an £18m price tag hanging around his neck, he'll be expected to provide a lot of assists for the likes of Murray and Locadia.
Unless there's a few more late arrivals at the Amex, I think Brighton could well fill one of the 3 relegation places come May.
Prediction - 18th
Another team that may struggle this season. Jay Rodriguez has returned to Turf Moor and unless he fires in his fair share of goals it's tough to see where they're going to get the points required to stay up. It may come down to other teams simply being even worse.
With Sean Dyche at the helm though, they have a very talented and organised manager. Dyche is a strict disciplinarian and as such rarely fails to get a tune out of the squad he has. This could be the toughest season he's endured since their last relegation however and if the worst was to happen, it's tough to see him remaining at the club. He's done his time and earnt his stripes. Bigger clubs have been linked with a move for him before and it only surprises me that he hasn't already been poached.
Ashley Barnes was on target in a few key games last season and will have to perform at the same level this time out. The team may just be looking to him to help get the extra few points required in order to finish the right side of the dotted line.
Prediction - 17th
“It’s too soon...” ... “He needed another year..” .. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard those arguments about the appointment of Frank Lampard. The truth is, nobody knows how it’s going to go. In my opinion, no manager will try harder to make this a success. No manager could feel more passionately about the club. No assistant manager could’ve come in with more knowledge of the Chelsea youth set up. As a pairing, Lampard & Jody Morris will give everything they have to make Chelsea succeed throughout the transfer ban they are enduring.
No doubt the ban couldn’t have come at a worse time. Eden Hazard leaves a world class sized gap in the starting eleven and without the ability to sign players, Lamps will be looking to his youth team for people to step up. Mason Mount is likely to feature quite a lot having been at Derby County with the gaffer last season. He’s a bright young talent but there’s a world of difference between the Championship and attempting to compete with the best in the division on a weekly basis.
Prediction - 5th
Aaron Wan Bissaka joined Manchester United for £50m early in the transfer window and with no rumoured replacements, you’d be excused for accusing Palace of a lack of ambition. The same can be said about the impending departure of Wilfred Zaha. I’m not even seeing them linked with anyone. It feels a lot like a conpany trying to get as much blood as they can out of it before shutting it down, or in footballing terms, selling it on. The squad they have should still be enough to escape relegation but if they start poorly the board might be in for some serious abuse. I feel for Roy Hodgson. He’s doing a wonderful job at Selhurst Park on a shoestring budget and seemingly not even being backed when they do have a fair chunk of money in the bank.
Prediction - 16th
Good business being done at Goodison Park. Andre Gomes perfomed well on loan from Barcelona last season and at £22.5m looks like an excellent piece of work from Marco Silva. It’s tough to argue with the acquisition of Fabian Delph either. £8m seems like a steal for an experienced international that’s one of the most versatile in the league. Add to those deals with the rumoured arrivals of Wilfred Zaha from Palace and Moise Kean from Juventus and that would be an exciting summer of transfers complete at Everton. I don’t think it’s enough to help them crack the top 6 but i’ve no doubt they’ll be pushing Wolves and Leicester for a potential Europa League spot. And who knows, if Arsenal do struggle or Chelsea miss Eden Hazard more than they already expect to, maybe they could surprise a few.
Prediction - 7th
I can't be the only one that was surprised to see Youri Tielemans join the Foxes on a permanent basis. Arsenal & United were (and still are) in need of a good creative midfielder and i’m sure if they’d shown some interest they’d have got their man. But they didn’t. And he’s a wonderful signing. Ayoze Perez joined from Newcastle for £30m in another surprising move. The Toon need goals but their loss is definitely Leicester’s gain. Also through the entry gates is James Justin, an exciting young right back from Luton. This lad has a lot of talent and Brendan Rodgers has picked up a real bargain here.
The only issue Rodgers faces heading in to the new season, is whether or not Harry Maguire stays or goes. If he stays, there’s a real case to be made for a potential run at the top 6. If he goes, they’ll need to fill the void quickly. Lewis Dunk of Brighton is a potential target but it probably all hinges on whether or not Man United meet The club’s valuation of Maguire.
Prediction - 10th
Possibly the most unfortunate team in Premier League history. The 2018/19 Liverpool side won the Champions League and collated the largest number of points any runner up has ever managed. They just ran in to an unstoppable juggernaut in the shape of Manchester City. This season is potentially going to be much tougher for them too, with the Super Cup game v Chelsea taking place in Istanbul just after the season begins. Add to that the Club World Cup from 11th-22nd December. If you also cast your mind back to the last campaign and remember that they had the least amount of injuries of any of the top 6, it does make you wonder whether they will run quite as hot in the Prem this campaign.
Sepp Van Den Berg & Harvey Elliott have arrived at Anfield this summer but both are very young prospects for the future and unlikely to feature in the first team. Harry Wilson has returned from an impressive loan spell at Derby, but again, it’s tough to see him getting much game time.
They’re easily the second best team in the country but probably further away from challenging City.
Prediction - 2nd
I’m surprised that there’s not been a big name centre back signing at the Etihad. Vincent Kompany may not have played a huge amount of games last term but when they really needed a leader to push them on towards the end, he was there. They were briefly in the running for Harry Maguire but that seemed to peter out when the proposed fee past £60m. Rodri has arrived from Atletico Madrid for a club record £63m and is seen as the successor to Fernandinho in the holding role. A smart signing no doubt.
If City can rotate their squad as well as they did last season then it’s tough to see anyone preventing them defending their title. Whether or not they can put up a credible challenge for the Champions League as well remains to be seen.
Prediction - 1st
There’s been very few rays of optimism since Fergie left. I honestly believed that Mourinho would get things going and when they won the League Cup & Europa League in the same season I thought they would kick on. The rest is history.
The arrival of Aaron Wan Bissaka will go a long way to replacing outgoing Antonio Valencia and Daniel James will add some serious pace on the wing. I’m waiting for the signing of Harry Maguire to be made permanent though, because until then they’re no further along from last season.. Toby Alderweireld was nailed on to join when i heard he was available at just £25m. There must be a reason why that deal hasn’t happened but it’s not a reason we’re privy to.
Lots of transfer business is still be done at Old Trafford. Lukaku & Pogba potentially leaving with Dybala, Maguire & Fernandes potentially joining. Making an informed decision on how they’ll fare this season isn’t easy.
Prediction - 4th
The summer started with serious optimism after rumours spread about a potential take over from the Bin Zayed Group. Unfortunately, that seemed to quieten rather quickly and since the departure of Rafa Benitez, Ayoze Perez has left, Solomon Rondon returned to his parent club and has since joined Rafa in China. So where are the goals coming from? That’s the million dollar question. Well, Joelinton has arrived for almost £40m from TSG Hoffenheim and at just 22 years of age he potentially has years of goalscoring ahead of himself. But can he step his game up to the level required to compete in the Premier League? Time will tell.
I don’t expect Steve Bruce’s men to struggle overly, but it’s hard to overlook the ongoing takeover situation. The fans are desperate to see the back of Mike Ashley and when you think of the size of the club, the stadium and the loyal fan base, it baffles me as to why someone hasn’t already taken over.
Prediction - 12th
After a fantastic run towards the back end of last season, Norwich ended up pipping Sheffield United to the Championship title, but it’s tough to fight their corner when deciding whether or not they have what it takes to stay up. No notable signings and distinct lack of experience at this level throughout the squad lead you to believe the board have decided to give the title winning side a stab at staying up whilst accepting they probably won’t. It’s a shame when clubs do that, but if you look at Fulham for example, they got promoted and spent over £100m trying to stay up. They still got relegated. It doesn’t guarantee safety, but it gives you half a chance. Signings are definitely required at Carrow Road.
Prediction - 20th
Some interesting and potentially shrewd arrivals at Bramall Lane give the Blades an outside chance of survival. Ravel Morrison, once dubbed the best youth talent Fergie had ever seen, has signed on for what is surely his last chance to prove what a player he is. Joining him through the entrance doors are Phil Jagielka, Lys Mousset, Callum Robinson & Luke Freeman. Jagielka was a clever signing by Chris Wilder. He knows the club, knows the division and knows how to handle relegation battles. Mousset joined for £10m from Bournemouth and if he gets a goal early on in his Sheffield United career, who knows how many he could score. Especially when he’ll be supported by Freeman & Robinson. Both of whom are extremely talented Championship players. Can they make the step up? Wilder will certainly be hoping so.
Prediction - 19th
Che Adams was the first man through the door at St Mary’s in this transfer window, and what a signing this could be. Plenty of goals in the Championship at Birmingham and has all the attributes to be a success in the Prem. £15m paid and I have no doubt that when the time comes, they’ll make a pretty tidy profit on the 22 year old.
The Saints have struggled for the last couple of campaigns but I foresee a relatively comfortable lower end, mid table finish this time out. One or 2 more signings would be good though just to sure things up at the back. Danny Ings returning will please a lot of people but the signing of Moussa Djenepo from Standard Liege for £14m is potentially the most exciting arrival. Very talented and young left winger that scores goals. One to watch.
Prediction - 13th
After the Champions League final loss to Liverpool, Spurs could be forgiven for suffering from a small hangover, but the pre season results don’t suggest there’ll be any such issue. Harry Kane scored a wonder goal against Juventus and new signing Tanguy Ndombele has looked sharp as a tack. The rumoured approach for Paulo Dybala really would be on a different level from any other deal the North London outfit have pulled off in recent times. Spurs fans are still desperate for Christian Erikson to stay and the future of Toby Alderweireld needs sorting out soon. All in all, it’s shaping up to be a good season in the new stadium.
Whether or not they have the strength in depth to challenge City or Liverpool remains to be seen but i have my doubts. I expect to see them comfortably top 4 come May.
Prediction - 3rd
The last competitive match for the Hornets was the Fa Cup Final. A demoralising 6-0 destruction by Manchester City at Wembley Stadium is bound to have left a mark on a few of the players. As a result I expected to see a few new faces brought in to raise the hopes and expectations for the new season, but for the most part that’s not been the case. A few youngsters have arrived, most notably Joao Pedro, an 18 year old striker from Fluminense in Brazil. I don’t expect him to jump straight into the first team but he’ll certainly get some game time. Craig Dawson has also signed on at Vicarage Road for £5m from West Brom. The 29 year old centre back will help organise the defence but I expect 1 or 2 other signings before the window shuts. Otherwise this could be one long season.
Prediction - 15th
West Ham United
The Hammers claimed 10th position on the final day of last season and looking at this summer’s transfers, it’s easy to see why their fans are relatively optimistic. The 2 main arrivals are Sebastien Haller, a £36m striker brought in from Eintracht Frankfurt and Pablo Fornals, £26m from Villarreal. Both players have huge potential and will no doubt help Pellegrini’s men to push on up in order to challenge the likes of Everton, Wolves & Leicester in the pursuit of a top 6 spot.
I was however disappointed to see Pedro Obiang and Marko Arnautovic leaving the club. Arnie could influence a game in ways very few players in the Premier League have the ability to. Providing he’s interested. Granted, that wasn’t very often.
All in all, i think there’s some exciting times ahead at the London Stadium.
Prediction - 9th
What a season the guys from Molineux had last season. 7th place for a newly promoted team is a huge feat and something I don’t feel they gained enough credit for. Nuno Espírito Santo has used the Summer transfer window well by making loan signings Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendonker permanent. Jesus Vallejo has joined on loan from Real Madrid and is a classy young centre back. However, the most exciting signing is rumoured to be getting finalised in the next day or so. Patrick Cutrone is expected to join from AC Milan for a reasonably small sum of £16m. The club are likely to be breaking open their wage budget coffers with reports of 150k a week being offered to the Italy International.
Certainly proves that Wolves don’t intend to rest on the last campaigns laurels. They’re determined to push on and the clubs that finished above them should take note.
Prediction - 8th
As a team, we run a season long challenge against eachother. Each week we all pick 4 bets of a pre-determined nature and there's a weekly updated league table showing which tipster is leading the way.
Check out the challenge tips here!
Last Year's Table
Each week we'll be reviewing results and previewing our predictions. Feel free to follow our bets, or if you think you can beat us, send us your bets before the games get underway and we'll give you a shout out on the site.
- Banker Treble: Minimum Odds @ 1/2 - 10pts
- Double Up Double: Minimum Odds @ Evens - 6pts
- Elite Leagues 5 Fold: Minimum Odds @ 2/1 - 3pts
- Longshot Single: Minimum Odds @ 4/1 - 1pt
As you can see, we each have 20 points allocated between the bet types. As a general rule, you'll need to win 2 bets to make a small profit, 3 bets to make a reasonable profit and all 4 bets will more than double your money. It's not about making fortunes however, it's a slow burner that keeps everyone involved but can also help create a nice profit by the end of the season.