Friday, March 28, 2014

March 29th Betting

Are you ready for another Saturday long list? Of course you are! A good weekend last time out, but let's try and beat it tomorrow. Here goes, the teams that will hopefully win for us tomorrow are....

Austria: RB Salzburg
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Zeljeznicar Sarajevo(a)
Croatia: Locomotiva Zagreb
England Prem: Chelsea(a), Everton(a)
England Champ: QPR, Derby County
England Lg1: Preston North End, Leyton Orient, Brentford(a), Rotherham United
England Lg2: Southend, Scunthorpe
England Conference: Aldershot
France: AS Monaco(a)
Germany: Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen
Italy Serie B: Empoli
Portugal: Sporting CP
Scotland Prem: Celtic, Inverness CT, Motherwell
Scotland Champ: Queen of the South
Scotland Lg1: Rangers(a), Dunfermline
Scotland Lg2: Peterhead(a)
Serbia: Crvena Zvezda
Slovenia: NK Maribor
Spain: Barcelona(a), Real Madrid

30 games there should give a decent return. Now to turn our attention to a Sneaky Fiver Bet. It hasn't yielded us much luck so far this season. But this Saturday we'll be going with 5 teams in form, and will surely improve on the 5 team accums that have come before. The teams are...
Man City(a), Sevilla(a), Ipswich, PSV, Notts County

Good Luck Everybody

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fantasy Golf: Valero Texas Open

Not a great week for my Fantasy picks last time out in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Best of a bad bunch was Graeme McDowell who dragged himself up to finish 10th. We should have known the writing was on the wall when Bubba Watson had to withdraw after a disastrous first day. Hopefully we can get back on track as the tour moves from Florida to Texas with the Valero Texas Open this weekend.
Not many to pick from in Group A of the Yahoo groupings, but we'll do our best with what's there. Again, in Yahoo you pick 4 scorers and 4 reserves across three groups, in the Official PGA Fantasy you can pick any 4 golfers for the weekend.

Group A
Brian Gay
Josh Teater
Matt Kuchar
Phil Mickelson

Group B
Billy Horschel
Jason Kokrak
Mark Wilson
Fredrik Jacobson
Jordan Spieth

Group C
Kevin Chappell
Richard H. Lee
J.B. Holmes
Brendan Steele
Billy Hurley
Kevin Na
Cameron Tringale
Seung-Yul Noh
Ryan Palmer
Jimmy Walker
Aaron Baddeley
Jhonattan Vegas
Danny Lee

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 23rd Betting

22 from 28 yesterday, so not too bad. The home and away five team accums didn't really give us a sweat this week, as we came away with only 4 results right from 10 games. Anyways, we continue on with a list of teams (that should win!) for today.

Austria: RB Salzburg
Croatia: HNK Rijeka(a)
France: AS Saint-Etienne
Greece: PAOK Saloniki, Atromitos, Olympiakos(a)
Italy: Juventus(a)
Portugal: Benfica, Porto
Scotland Lg1: Rangers(a)
Spain: Athletico Madrid(a)

Good Luck Everybody

Saturday, March 22, 2014

ICC World T20 Fantasy Cricket

The ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh kicks off proper this weekend. I say properly, as we have already had a number of early matches to determine which two teams will join the big 8 teams that make up both groups in the Super 10. The two teams that qualified, in what was a truly exciting knockout round of group games, was Bangladesh and the Netherlands. In fact this would have been posted yesterday, but seeing as I had 3 Irish players in my team, only to see them hand the Dutch 6 after 6 and let them go top of the group and qualify for Group 1 of the Super 10, I had to go back and rejig my whole team.
I'll be honest, I do not have too much experience when it comes to Fantasy Cricket games, but I'm hoping that the Official ICC game will give me a flavour for it in the future.
You can join it here
It is laid out similar to many (of the poorer) Rugby Fantasy games. But the look can be forgiven if it plays a good game right?
Your team can be made up of three formations:
Five batsmen, two all-rounders, one wicket-keeper and three bowlers, (I'm going with this one) or
Four batsmen, three all-rounders, one wicket-keeper and three bowlers, or
Four batsmen, two all-rounders, one wicket-keeper and four bowlers.
Some rules you need to adhere to at the start: Only 3 players from any one team (going up to 6 from the semi-finals on). Only 3 players who are designated Star players.
My three Star players are Kohli, Gayle and McCullum, and I am making Sri Lanka's Sangakkara my captain. I'm hoping that on top of his wicket keeping duties he can throw in some big batting numbers. I have 3 Sri Lankans in my team, as I feel they can go far in this tournament.
I realise starting at the Super 10 phase puts me at a disadvantage, as I've missed all the points from the Knockout group phase, but take it easy on me, I'm still coming to terms with Ireland being knockout out! Plus, even after missing the first Phase, I've still moved up to 100th place in the Ireland league. As with all Fantasy games I join, my aim is to finish top half, any thing further up is a bonus.
If you know of any other Cricket Fantasy games that are worth playing, then please add a comment below.

March 22nd Betting

Okay, the time is ripe for a big bounce back in the predictions. So this Saturday, we're going to go with the longest list yet! If all these come in it pays close to 44400/1, so again don't put them all in one long list, unless you're a bit mad.
So here goes....

Czech Rep: Sparta Praha(a)
England Prem: Liverpool(a), Everton, Man City
England Champ: Burnley(a), Leicester City(a)
England Lg1: Brentford
England Conference: Luton
Germany: Bayern Munich(a), Schalke 04
Greece: Panathinaikos
Italy Serie A: Roma(a)
Italy Serie B: Empoli, AC Cesena
Netherlands: PSV Eindhoven
Russia: Lokomotiv Moskva
Scotland Prem: Aberdeen, Celtic, Motherwell
Scotland Champ: Hamilton(a)
Scotland Lg1: Dunfermline
Scotland Lg2: East Sterling
Slovakia: Slovan Bratislava
Slovenia: NK Maribor
Spain: Athletic Bilbao
Turkey: Galatasaray
Ukraine: Dinamo Kiev, Chernomorets Odessa

Lets have two stabs at a 5 team accumulator (and hope they improve on the last couple of weeks attempts!). So here goes some Sneaky Fiver bets.... All games are in England or Scotland....

5 Aways: Sunderland, West Brom, Reading, Partick, Stenhousemuir, 340/1
5 Homes: Newcastle, Sheffield Utd, Torquay, Ayr, Queen of the South, 35/1

Good Luck Everybody

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fantasy Golf: Arnold Palmer Invitational

It's the last stop on the Florida swing of the tour this week and the big news is Tiger Woods' withdrawal because of his back problems. He probably will be saving himself for the Masters from here on in. Tigers record in this tournament is great, and without him we will have to find some other big names in the field to get us those crucial fantasy points.
Bubba Watson, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose lead the betting and should be in most Fantasy teams this weekend. Here we have a look at how I rank my picks. Remember, In Yahoo Fantasy Golf, your 8 picks are split into three groups. In PGA Fantasy you can pick any 4 golfers you fancy.

Group A
Bubba Watson
Ryan Moore
Gary Woodland
Charles Howell III
Adam Scott

Group B
Brian Harman
Justin Rose
Chris Kirk
Billy Horschel
Matt Every
Fredrick Jacobson
Hunter Mahan
Jason Kokrak

Group C
Graeme McDowell
Chris Stroud
Pat Perez
Ryo Ishikawa
Nicolas Colsaerts
Seung-yul Noh

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fantasy Formula 1 2014

The Formula 1 season starts this weekend with a Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia. It promises to be an exciting year of racing, although they say that every year and the last few seasons have been mind-numbingly boring (sorry Vettel!). For 2014 we are going to play 4 different Fantasy F1 games, and they really are all different in their implementation.
First up is...
Castrol EDGE Grand Prix Predictor
Here you don't mess around with a budget or pick one or two drivers for each race; you pick who will finish each race in the top ten places. You earn points on how close your predictions are. You also get to pick; who gains pole position in qualifying, who will set the fastest lap in the race, and which driver will gain the most positions during the race.
It is well laid out and because it's run by AutoSport Magazine, you can compare your predictions with those of their experts each week. If I don't outscore Timo Glock this week I won't be happy!

Next up is... Fantasy
Here is interesting because you are given two choices when you initially start the game. You can either have a budget of 45m to pick your team, but you can't make changes during the year. Or you can start with a budget of 40m and make as many driver changes as you want during the year. I'm going with the smaller budget and will be hoping the 5 racers I have (you can pick up to 6) can get me off to a good start.
To gain bonus points each race you can try and guess the results of a number of scenarios. Which team will complete the fastest pit-stop? Which driver will be the first to retire? How many seconds the winner of the race will have over second place? And how many cars will finish after the first lap? I think I might need any bonus points I can get!

I'll also be playing... F1 Manager
In this game you are given a budget of 100m, which you think is a lot, until you have to pick 2 drivers, a chassis and an engine, then you realise it isn't really that much! I will probably have to revisit my strategy later, as I was just happy to be able to fill each position. But seeing as the Marussia team didn't managed to pass Q1 and Bianchi & Kobayashi aren't exactly looking like bothering the podium this race, my team could be in for an overhaul before we get to Malaysia.
You can gain extra money for your meagre starting budget by correctly predicting the time of pole position, right down to the millisecond. How many milliseconds was I out this week? Only 17400! it could very well be a long season!

And finally.... Racing Leagues
Another free to play league. And another league that takes a different approach to scoring. In this game you get to pick 3 drivers, who are ranked 1st to 3rd. The driver you have in 1st gets the most points from his finishing position, e.g. if your Driver 1 wins a race you get 50pts, if Driver 2 wins you get 37pts, and if Driver 3 wins you get 25pts. You also have to pick a Constructor and an Engine type. Plus did I mention you have to do all this within budget? Well now I did.
You get bonus points if all your picks finish the race. One Grand Prix a season can be designated a Home Grand Prix and all your points are doubled. On top of all this you are only allowed to make 7 changes/transfers during the year. Hamilton is my Driver 1, so I'm hopefully off to a good start!

These four Fantasy Formula 1 Leagues should be enough to keep you busy for 2014. If anyone has another league which you think is worth checking out, then please leave a comment below. It is rare to see such variety in Fantasy Sports leagues, and before we get to the final race in Abu Dhabi we should knew which one comes out on top.

Fantasy Rugby: Last Rd of 6 Nations

It is the last round of games for the 6 Nations this weekend. So its the last chance for those of us with Fantasy teams to make changes and improve our final position. I'm not too badly placed in three of the four fantasy games this year ( really never did it for me). In an effort to gain as many places in this last three games, I'm going to take a gamble!
Wales are heavy favourites, and righty so, at home to Scotland. They should end the campaign with a win, so get Welsh players in your side this week. Keep in mind though, coach Warren Gatland has made 6 changes from the side which lost at Twickenham. So make sure you get in players who are starting.
England are big favourites away to Italy. An English win and an Irish loss should see England take the title. Also, England are the only team to have never lost to the Italians since they joined the 6 Nations. So history is also against Italy today. But with all that in mind, I'm going to stick my neck out and go for an Italian upset here. A win should lift them out of the wooden spoon placing, they basically threw the game away to Ireland last week with this game in mind, and they must be determined to finally achieve a victory over the English. All this being said, they have only made 3 changes from the side that was so abysmal at the Aviva Stadium just a week ago. Nevertheless, I'm going with at least three Italians in my side.
The last game of the day is in France. Where if Ireland can win they will likely take the championship (their aggregate score difference is 60pts better than the nearest team, it would take a huge swing for them to lose it if they somehow ended up tied with England). A lot is being made of this being Brian O'Driscoll's last international before retirement. But apart from flashes against a , mostly, disinterested Italian side, he hasn't done much in this championship. I hope I'm wrong, but Ireland can be notorious choke artists when it comes to big games (look at New Zealand game last autumn, or every world cup!), plus the last time they won in France was 2000, before that it was 1972! France might not be playing well, but they are winning games and that's all that matters. It would be typical France if while playing as badly as they have been, they somehow still win the Championship. France would need to better England's result earlier in the day to do this, but at least they will be going into the game knowing what they have to do. With all this in mind, I'm stuffing my fantasy team with plenty of French players, and hardly any Irish. I genuinely hope I'm wrong, but I can't see France losing at home.
So this Saturday, I'm going with the longshot of Italy, Wales, France all to win. This would mean France taking home the title. I felt I needed to take a chance in an effort move up the fantasy tables. Either way, I'll be glued to my television for the day!

March 15th Betting

Another weekend of sport is upon us. So let's look around Europe and see who is going to pick up victories on Saturday. Here is the long list of probable winners. Remember: don't put them all in on accumulator, although it would pay out a tasty 5000+/1!

Austria: SV Grodig
Cyprus: AEK Larnaca, APOEL Nikosia
Czech Rep: Sparta Praha(a)
England Prem: Everton, Chelsea(a)
England Champ: Burnley, Notts. Forrest, Leicester City, QPR
England Lg1: Wolverhampton
England Conference: Cambridge Utd, Hereford
France: Lille
Germany: Bayern Munich
Greece: Atromitos(a), Olympiakos
Israel: Hapoel Be'er Sheva
Romania: Steaua Bucaresti
Scotland Lg1: Rangers
Scotland Lg2: Peterhead
Slovakia: FK Senica
Spain: Real Madrid(a), Atletico Madrid
Switzerland: FC Thun

The Sneaky Fiver Bet has been a bit of a disaster the last couple of weeks. But these selections are all in form and hopefully can continue that for us this weekend. So let's go with....

Germany: Werder Bremen
England Lg1: Rotherham
England Lg2: Bury(a)
Holland: ADO Den Haag
Denmark: Nordsjaelland

Bury is the biggest gamble here, but if they all come in, it returns a hefty 45/1. Good Luck!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fantasy Golf: Valspar Championship

The USPGA Tour stays in Florida for the Valspar Championship this week, and unlike the Cadillac Championship in Miami last week, this one has a big field. So it goes without saying that it's going to be tougher to single out one or two golfers for the win. (But I'm going to try!)
This is the tenth week of Yahoo Fantasy, so what better time to give a quick recap of how my picks have done thus far. In nine tournaments , there's been 2 winners, 5 second places, 2 third place, 4 other top-fives, and 6 other top-tens. Hopefully this can continue for the weekend ahead.
So let's divide up the picks by the Yahoo groupings (Remember, PGA Fantasy let's you pick any 4 golfers) Underlined golfers are in my team.

Group A
Luke Donald
Gary Woodland
Brandt Snedeker

Group B
Stewart Cink
Brian Harman
Graham DeLaet
Jason Dufner
Jordan Speith
Webb Simpson

Group C
Russell Knox
Justin Leonard
Harris English
K.J. Choi
Sang-moon Bae
Will Mackenzie
John Peterson
John Senden
Charlie Beljan

Saturday, March 8, 2014

March 9th Betting

Hmmmm not a great day on Saturday, The Sneaky Fiver bet only threw up one winner again. While the long list only went 9 of 14, Barcelona losing was surely the highlight, and ended many an accumulator I'd say.
For Sunday lets go with these teams all to win!

Cyprus: APOEL Nikosia(a), Omonia Nikosia, AEL Limassol(a)
Greece: Atromitos
Israel: Maccabi Haifa
Italy: Juventus
Holland: Ajaz
Portugal: Porto
Russia: Zenit St. Petersburg
Spain: Real Madrid

These ten matches only pay back 12/1, so surely, surely a better chance for a clean sweep today! Good luck with it!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fantasy 6 Nations: Rd 4

Second last round of games for the Fantasy 6 Nations and there is really only one team to get your players from, Ireland. The boys in green want to put as many scores on the board so as to keep the teams around them a safe points difference away going into the last round of games. Couple this with Italy making a number of changes, resting key players with an eye to picking up a win at home to England next time out, you simply have to go with Irish players this week. Joe Schmidt is largely going with the team that he's used throughout the tournament, plus expect Brian O'Driscoll to do his utmost over 80 minutes to give the home fans a try in his last international match at the Aviva Stadium.
As usual with Scotland you never know what you are going to get, but they would hope to put it up to a much changed French side who got spanked by Wales last time out. Wales themselves will be hoping to prevent England from gaining the Triple Crown (while keeping their own 6 Nations hopes alive), but I think England will just have too much at home for the Welsh.
I'm going with, Ireland, France, England for the wins.

Fantasy games playing this season?

The Irish Times Fantasy Rugby
ESPN Scrum Fantasy Rugby
Telegraph Fantasy Rugby 2014 Fantasy Rugby

The best by far is the Telegraph. ESPN and Irish Times are pretty much the same. While the TestRugby/PlanetRugby game only permits you to pick 12 players???

March 8th Betting

Hopefully this weekend will bring more joy than last weekend. So here is the long list of who I think will pick up wins on Saturday. These 14 teams go off at 260/1.

Belgium: Standard Liege, KRC Genk, Anderlecht(a)
Croatia: Dinamo Zagreb(a)
England League1: Leyton Orient(a), Brentford
England League2: Scunthorpe
England Conference: Halifax (a)
France: Monaco
Greece: Panathinaikos
Scotland League1: Dunfermline
Spain: Barcelona(a), Athletico Madrid(a)
Switzerland: Grasshoppers Zurich

Our Sneaky Fiver Bet will go on: Norwich, Derby, PSV Eindhoven, Upjest FC, Wolfsberger AC @13/1

Good Luck Everyone

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fantasy Golf: WGC Cadillac Championship

After Justin Rose pulled out of the Honda Classic, my fantasy team was always playing catch up. But thankfully Russell Henley came good in a 4-way playoff and took home the tournament winnings. Not much to write about this week for the Cadillac Championship, it’s a relatively small field, a few big names have won here before, so here is a look at the ones I’m keeping an eye on (underlined players are those in my squad). Also for those keeping score, I have 1323 points, sitting in the 89th percentile.
Group A:
Bubba Watson
Matt Kuchar
Tiger Woods
Phil Mickelson
Lee Westwood

Group B:
Dustin Johnson

Keegan Bradley

Steve Stricker
Jim Furyk

Hunter Mahan
Webb Simpson
Chris Kirk
Gonzalo Fernandez-Casta

Group C:
Harris English

Sergio Garcia
Francesco Molinari
George Coetzee
Jamie Donaldson
Victor Dubuisson

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 2nd Betting

Not a great day yesterday. My Sneaky Fiver bet only got one result right! While the long list went 19/23 (no games in Cyprus)

Looking at today, why not go with....
Austria: RB Salzburg
Croatia: Hajduk Split
England: Tottenham
France: Lille(a), PSG
Portugal: Benfica(a)
Romania: Petrolul Ploiesti
Spain: Villarreal, Barcelona

Good Luck

Also, all the stats point to Villa and Norwich ending in a 1-1 draw, but as you know, anything can happen in football.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fantasy Golf: Honda Classic

The third day of this event has just got underway and this preview was supposed to go up on Wednesday, but Blogger was being a bit difficult! So I thought I would still update on how my Yahoo Fantasy Golf squad is getting on. Yet still cover some of the golfers that would have been looked at in the preview.
As you should be aware, your golf picks are split into  three groups of players. You pick 2 from Group A (1 player scores at a time), 4 from Group B (2 players score), and 2 from Group C (1 player scores).
Rather than giving reasons for picking a certain golfer over another for a tournament two days old, for now I'll just list the ones I had my eye on in each group. Those underlined are the golfers I went with for the tournament.

Group A:
Phil Mickelson
Russell Henley
Rickie Fowler
Henrik Stenson
Luke Donald

Group B:
Justin Rose
Ben Crane
Geoff Ogilvy
Fredrik Jacobson
Hideki Matsuyama
Matthew Every
Rory McIlroy

Group C:
Will Mackenzie
Brooks Koepka
Peter Hanson
Graeme McDowell
Sergio Garcia
Charl Schwartzel
Boo Weekley
Paul Casey
Seung-Yul Noh
Louis Oosthuizen
David Lynn
Camillo Villegas

As of Saturday morning Mickelson and Ogilvy have missed the cut, while Justin Rose had to pull out at the start of the tournament with tendinitis. Henley sits in 3rd and MacKenzie is currently 9th. Hopefully things will improve as the weekend progresses, as my team only has a lowly 76pts coming up to this mornings tee times.

March 1st Betting

March 1 Betting
After having a good look around the leagues, it's time to nail down who I think will win this Saturday. This is by no means an advised bet on a massive accumulator (It would be near 5500/1!), just a list of teams I believe will carry the day. Odds range from 1/18 to 5/6, so I will be throwing a few combinations together and hopefully one or two come good.
Austria: Austria Wein, Grodig
Cyprus: AEL Limassol (a)
Czech Rep: Sparta Praha (a)
England Champ: Reading, Leicester
England Lge1: Leyton Orient, Wolves, Rotherham
England Conference Prem: Braintree
Germany: Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund
Italy Serie B: Palermo, Virtus Lanciano
Holland: Vitesse
Portugal: Estoril
Portugal Liga Orangina: Benfica B
Scotland Prem: Celtic, Motherwell
Scotland Champ: Dundee
Scotland Lge1:Rangers(a)
Scotland Lge2: Sterling Albion
Turkey: Fenerbache
The Sneaky Fiver Bet for today is on the Accum: Roma, Augsburg, Rennes, Watford, Karabukspor @17-1
Good Luck Everybody