Monthly Archives: August 2014

Bet Butler Ceases Trading

Bet Butler Ceases Trading

It seems the problematic betting brokerage service Bet Butler has finally called time on the business. Bet Butler has ceased trading and visitors to the site today are presented with a ‘Bet Butler is currently unavailable’ message.

Bet Butler have provided further information detailing that they have been ‘approached by a third party regulated gaming business to acquire the customer database, including all balances and pending withdrawal requests, of the business.’

What seemed like a neat idea initially looks to have been an unsustainable business model. Bet Butler had been experiencing problems for a long time. Here at we’ve had lots of punters expressing their anger and frustration about delays in payments from them in response to our Bet Butler review post that we did a while back.

The message from Bet Butler suggests all those still yet to receive money will be paid but whether this will be the case or not remains to be seen.

Hammers to build on win at Palace?

Hammers to build on win at Palace?

Premier Leage Value Bets - 28 Aug - 01 Sep

As requested by a number of readers I’ve decided to bring the premier league value bets back. I had been continuing to price the prem games up but didn’t think there was enough interest to post them on the blog. They have been very profitable for the 2 full seasons that I’ve done them in 2010/11 and 2013/14.

I say full seasons but I previously didn’t start until a few weeks into the season to give myself a feel for the teams. There are always a lot of changes in pre-season and it’s difficult to make any early assumptions. This season however, I decided to start from the first week after seeing a fair few shock results early on in previous seasons. Based on my pricing methods and its usual favour for outsiders I feel that this could work to my advantage.

Two weeks in the sheet is showing a small loss but I’ve been very close to some big winners. I was on the draw in both the Liverpool v Southampton and V Arsenal matches which both saw very late winners for the favourites. If either of these had landed I’d be showing a profit. If David Nugent could score one on ones I also may have been looking at a significant profit. Goals change games and who knows what might have happened with my bet on Leicester who were the better side in the first half against Chelsea.

I’ve been asked how I decide on the percentages and I simply and ask myself how many times out of 100 each of the three outcomes would occur based on my knowledge. I watch match of the day (loved last week’s retro look and legendary Barry Davies commentary for the Crystal Place/West Ham match by the way), the occasional live game on the weekend or Monday and I look at the stats provided by websites like football data. I try and make my estimations as unbiased as possible and try not to look at the odds beforehand.

The season has started off pretty decently in terms of entertainment. With players like Suarez gone it was feared by many that there weren’t enough exciting players to watch this season but I’ve enjoyed the opening couple of weeks. We’ll soon have the likes of Balotelli and Di Maria to enjoy too who will both provide entertainment though probably for different reasons.

So far there doesn’t seem to be too much change in the strength of the top teams. City already look like they’re going to continue their dominance, while Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea again look strong and everyone is still laughing at United! I thought sure that I wouldn’t recognise any of their team sheet when I heard about their 4-0 cup defeat top MK Dons but there were in fact a number of familiar and supposedly international standard names. Chelsea are the team who look most improved out of the big boys and if anyone can pip City to the title this season it’s Mourinho’s men.

The promoted teams, Burnley, Leicester and QPR don’t appear to be any worse than any of the other lower ranked teams. Out of the three though I’d be more concerned if I were a QPR fan as they still seem to think that overpaid hasbeens are their ticket to safety.

Generally, I’m happy (I’m not always) with the best my percentage predictions have come out with this week. I honestly can’t see any win for Stoke at the Etihad but 21-1 is a ridiculous price for almost any premier league match and has to be taken.

According to the sheet West Ham are the bet of the weekend and I think 2.9 is definitely a very generous price for the home side. The hammers played excellently away at Palace last week and Argentinian Mauro Zarate looks a great signing. They are still without Kevin nolan but the team is playing with a lot more confident than it did for most of last season.

Southampton played well against Liverpool in week 1 but went home pointless and were involved in a lacklustre performance at home to West Brom and I think the Hammers can get a narrow victory in this one.

Best Value Bet
West Ham to beat Southampton at 2.9 (William Hill)

Schalke v Bayern Munich | Betting Preview

Schalke v Bayern Munich | Betting Preview

Date: August 30, 2014
Venue: Veltins Arena, Schalke, Germany
Kick off time: 19:30 BST

Schalke will welcome the most decorated team in Germany when Bayern Munich visit the Veltins Arena on Saturday in the second round of the Bundesliga. The game will be a derby of sorts as there is quite a bit of animosity towards Bayern as far as the home fans are concerned.

The fact that Bayern have from time to time snared their best players to Munich, latest of which is Mauel Neuer, has not gone down too well with the home supporters. One could expect a feisty encounter when the two sides meet on the weekend for what will hopefully be an entertaining 90 minutes.

Schalke’s form


Schalke have not been in the best of form this season. Quite a few of their players were on international duty with their respective nations at the World Cup in Germany and extended breaks for the internationals meant that pre-season was a rocky affair.

Besides a draw in the first preseason match against West Ham United, Schalke have lost to Newcastle, Spurs, Dynamo Dresden, and last week at Hannover. The team have managed to keep hold of their best players so far and will hope to retain them post September 1. The club have also bought well with Sidney Sam a great addition going forward.

Bayern Munich’s form


Besides a preseason loss against an MLS All Stars side in America on August 7, and a 2-0 loss at the Westfalenstadion in the German Super Cup at the hands of Dortmund, Bayern have had a good pre-season. The Bundesliga champions also had a good start to the league campaign with a win against Wolfsburg on opening day.

Bayern have also added Mehdi Benatia from AS Roma and remain hopeful of securing the services of Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid before they face Schalke at the weekend.

Key Players

Schalke: Julian Draxler

The attacking midfielder, who featured high on the wanted list at Bayern and Arsenal at the beginning of last season let himself down with his showing last season. Draxler will be keen to make up for lost time and has the ability to turn a match on its head singlehandedly.

Bayern Munich: Robert Lewandowski

Lewandowski is clearly the best out and out striker in Europe currently and he took his game to another level last season with Dortmund. The Polish striker will now be supported by what looks like one of the best midfields ever assembled in German footballing history and that should help him score tons of goals.

Betting Advice

Even if Schalke turn up and play out of their skins, Bayern just have far too much power, collective skill and technique to take them apart at the Veltins Arena on Saturday. Bayern are a short price but 1.53 is worth taking given their far superior quality.

I do think we will see a low-scoring game here though and anything above odds of 2.4 on the under 2.5 goals is worth snapping up.

Best Bets:
Bayern to win at 1.53 (BetVictor)
Under 2.5 goals at 2.55 (BetVictor)

Marseille v Nice | Betting Preview

Marseille v Nice | Betting Preview

Date: August 29, 2014
Venue: Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Kick-off time: 7.30 pm BST

Marseille will look to build on the first victory of their Ligue Un campaign when they entertain Nice on Friday night.

Marseille’s form: W-L-D

The nine time French champions had a slow start to the season, with a 3-3 draw at Bastia followed by a 2-0 home defeat against Montpellier. However, the enigmatic Marcelo Bielsa finally enjoyed a competitive win as Marseille boss when his side won 1-0 at Guingamp last weekend.

It will take time for Bielsa’s ideas to bear fruit, but the former Argentina and Chile manager is noted as one of the game’s great managers and Marseille fans will be hoping that he can help them improve on last season’s sixth place finish.

Nice’s form: L-D-W

Nice finished one place and two points above the relegation zone last term, which was a major fall from their fourth place finish the previous season. Manager Claude Puel has vast experience in the French league, however, and will be reasonably encouraged by his side’s start to the season.

A 3-1 defeat against Bordeaux was their latest outing, but given that Willy Sagnol’s men are sweeping all ahead of them at the moment, Puel will be keener to point to a good 3-2 win against Toulouse in their opener which was followed by a creditable goalless draw at Lorient.

Key Players/Team News


André-Pierre Gignac was their top scorer last season, and has already registered three times this campaign – two in the draw at Bastia and the winner against Guingamp. He will once again be expected to be lead the line for Marseille.

Marseille have lost French international Mathieu Valbuena to Dynamo Moscow but still have goals from midfield with Dimitri Payet and Andre Ayew.


Nice have lost arguably their best player, keeper David Ospina, to Arsenal and it is expected that they will struggle further without him. However, they will be hoping that French striker Alexy Bosetti and Argentine marksman Darío Cvitanich continue their current goal-scoring form, with two each already this season.

Betting advice

It is hard to see Nice getting anything against what could well be a resurgent Marseille. Back the former European champions to win at 1.53 with Ladbrokes. Gignac is at evens to continue his goal-scoring form and given his recent record and those odds, he’s worth putting your money on.

Hull City vs Lokeren | Betting Preview

Hull City vs Lokeren | Betting Preview

Date: August 28, 2014
Venue: KC Stadium, Hull
Kick-off time: 7.45 pm BST

Hull City will look to overturn a 1-0 deficit when they welcome Lokeren in the Europa League play-off round on Thursday. Goalkeeper Allan McGregor’s mistake gifted the Belgians the only goal of the first game, and allows them to take a slender advantage to the KC Stadium.

Hull City’s form: D-L-W-W-D

Hull have made a good start to their Premier League campaign, with a 1-0 win at Queens Park Rangers followed with a battling 1-1 draw against Stoke, despite playing a large part of the latter game with ten men.

Their FA Cup final spot last season won them a place in the third qualifying round of the Europa League – their first ever European campaign – and they negotiated that with a nervy 2-1 aggregate win over Slovakian side AS Trencin.

Lokeren’s form: L-W-W-D-W

Lokeren finished fifth in the Belgian league last season to qualify for the Europa League play-off round and have made a mixed start this time round. They have had two good wins over Zulte Waregem and Lierse and a creditable draw away at Genk, but have suffered defeats against Cercle Brugge and newly promoted Westerlo.

The win over Hull City has been a high point in the season so far, but they are yet to win away from home (those two defeats and a draw in the league have all come on their travels).

Key Players/Team News

Hull City:

Hull have been busy in the close season, signing the likes of Jake Livermore (who spent last season on loan with the Tigers), Robert Snodgrass, Tom Ince and Michael Dawson. Snodgrass, however, was injured against QPR and is expected to be out for a few months.

They lacked a prolific goal scorer last season, with Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long (who has since gone to Southampton) their main goal getters in the league with a paltry four goals each. Steve Bruce will be looking for a stronger contribution from Jelavic and the likes of Sone Aluko and Ahmed Elmohamady this season.

Goal scoring does seem to be a problem once again, however, with only four goals in their five competitive games so far this season. With goals a must if they are to get past Lokeren, Bruce will be hoping that his strikers find their goal scoring boots soon.


They lost last season’s Belgian league top scorer, the Tunisian Hamdi Harbaoui, to Qatar Sports Club, but still retain the services of Nill De Pauw and Hans Vanaken, their other prolific players in the league last season – with the latter scoring the winning goal against Hull a week ago.

Their top scorer in the league this season is Brazilian midfielder Junior Dutra with two in five.

Betting advice

Hull have been grinding out results this season and one can expect them to continue to do so here. It should be a tight affair, but with Hull’s recent record helping them to sneak through. They are on offer at 2.1 with Paddy Power to qualify. Leading 1-0, expect Lokeren to park the bus here and that could imply a low-scoring game – BetVictor are offering 1.85 for less than 2.5 goals in the match.

Athletic Bilbao v Napoli | Betting Preview

Athletic Bilbao v Napoli | Betting Preview

Date: August 27, 2014
Venue: San Mames Stadium, Bilbao, Biscay, Spain
Kick-off time: 19:45 BST

Napoli will travel to Spain on Wednesday to take on Athletic Bilbao as both teams look to seal a coveted spot in the group stages of the Champions League this season.

The contest is tied at 1-1 after the first leg with Athletic Club getting a crucial own goal at Italy last week. The match is expected to be an extremely hard-fought game as both teams will be looking forward to feature in Europe’s premier club competition.

Athletic Bilbao’s form


Athletic club’s form coming into the new season does not inspire much confidence. They had drawn 2-2 at Werder Bremen in Germany before getting the draw against Napoli in the first leg. The opening weekend of the La Liga saw Bilbao lose to Malaga on the road.

However, Athletic did not play their best team at the weekend with one eye on the upcoming fixture against Napoli. If they do manage to go through, it will be an immense achievement for a side who only play with Basque players.

Napoli’s form


Napoli’s preparations to the season have been rather nice. They beat PAOK in their first friendly and followed it up with a win over Barcelona, who were playing a rather weakened team.

Rafael Benitez’s side lost 2-1 to Paris Saint Germain in their last pre-season friendly before they managed a draw in the first leg of their champions league qualifier against Athletic club.

Key Players

Athletic Bilbao: Iker Muniain

Muniain has been on the radar of some of the biggest clubs in the game for the past few years. Initially, he had made his name as a teenage winger who specialized in dribbling in from the left at pace. Over the last couple of years though, Muniain has added more goals to his game which makes him a menace for all defences.

Napoli: Gonzalo Higuain

Higuain was the first choice for Argentina at the world cup ahead of Sergio Aguero. Although his glaring miss in the final match against Germany cost his team, Higuain is a class act and has been one of the better players in the champions league in the past few seasons. The former Real Madrid striker will pose a lot of problems to the opposition defenders and is likely to score.

Betting Advice

This is going to be an extremely close match-up given what happened in the first leg. Athletic will have home support, but in these crunch games, it counts for lesser than normal.

Napoli, meanwhile, have a coach who did great things in the past and is a master tactician. The Italian side also have a better quality of players who should help them through to the group stages if they perform to their potential.

This one looks set to be another low scoring encounter and I recommend backing both Napoli to win 1-0 (11.0 with BetVictor) and Bilbao to win 1-0 (7.5 with bet365) in this one.

Zenit St Petersburg v Standard Liege | Betting Preview

Zenit St Petersburg v Standard Liege | Betting Preview

Date: August 26, 2014
Venue: Petrovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia
Time: 17:00 hours BST

Zenit St Petersburg face Standard Liege in a crucial match in Russia tomorrow. The winner goes into the Champions League, the loser goes into the Europa League.

Zenit St Petersburg will have the advantage going into the 2nd leg, as they triumphed 1-0 over Standard in Belgium.


Zenit St. Petersburg: W-W-W-W-W

Zenit have had their best start ever in the Russian League and have won seven games in a row in all competitions. Although, in the Russian League they have yet to meet any top quality opposition, and Standard Liege is a step up over the teams they’ve faced so far.

Standard Liege: W-W-L-L-D

Standard Liege’s recent form is completely the opposite to Zenit’s. They sit 8th in the league, six points off of first place after five games in.

Their most recent win was against Panathinaikos t and they held on for most of the game, and judging by their loss to Zenit Standard will really have to turn around their play if they hope to qualify for the Champions League.

Key Players

Zenit St Petersburg: Oleg Shatov

Zenit’s goalscorer in the first leg against Standard, the 24 year old forward is tipped for great things with Russia’s national team in the future. He is able to link up well with Zenit’s forwards; he can both a playmaker and a goalscoreer.

Standard Liege: Eiji Kawashima

The Japanese goalkeeper, who a couple of sources have linked with Juventus will have to be performing at the highest level if he’s too stop the likes of the aforementioned Shatov, as well as Hulk, Rondon, Danny, and Arshavin. He had an average World Cup, and a few goals Japanese let in he could’ve saved.

He’ll have to improve on his form if his club team are to have any chance of progressing, because a goal for Zenit will mean Standard will have to score at least 2.

Betting Advice

Standard will challenge Zenit more than one would assume if just going by the form book, but Zenit will still have too much. Given the quality that Zenit possess and their recent record, they should win but narrowly. The odds of 5.5 with bet365 for the 1-0 home win are decent. If however you want to play it safe, Zenit start at 1.3 to win this game.

Women’s US Open Tennis | Best Bets

Women’s US Open Tennis | Best Bets

Women's US Open Tennis
Serena to meet Stosur in last 16? – Image by Boss Tweed

Watch the US Open live at Bet365 with a choice from 8 different courts

A good way to try and spot value in any tournament is to work your way through the draw, assessing the likely winners of each tie and calculating the possible permutations. It’s obviously more lucrative to try and find value on some of the bigger prices and it’s more exciting too.

As always if Serena turns up it’s her tournament for the taking but her form has not been great so there’s certainly no value backing herat odds of 2.5. She’ll probably have to player Stosur in the last 16 too who has beaten her before here in 2011.

The key is to look for easy routes, good match ups, players who have shown signs of improvement and obviously who are a bigger price than perhaps they should be. We can then look to trade out a little and lock in some profit around the quarters/semis.

I try and do this for all the tennis slams and it’s rewarded me pretty well this year after picking 3 out of the 4 semi-finalists in Australia and 2 of the semi-finalists in the French Open from just 4 bets. I backed finalist Cibulkova at over 400-1 in the Aussie Open and traded out for a huge profit.

I missed Wimbledon but I’ve now just done my US open draw predictions and I’ve decided my 4 bets this time around will be:

Wozniacki – Best Odds 32.0
Kerber – Best Odds 44.0
Ivanovic – Best Odds 42.0
Stephens – Best Odds 85.0

Kerber and Wozniacki are similar players who have both proved themselves to be very difficult to beat on hard courts. They both make a lot of balls and that puts you ahead of most in WTA. Wozniacki is in better shape than ever, serving well and on these fast courts she doesn’t need to generate much of her own power. Kerber is similar but has a better attacking range and both of these stand a good chance of making the semi’s in my opinion.

Wozniacki will likely face Sharapova in the last 16 and I think she can win that one. In the quarters she would then face Simona Halep in what would be a very close match.

Kerber and Sloane Stephens will probably meet in the last 16 so one of my picks won’t prevail but I’m choosing both of these because I think they both would stand a good chance of beating Safarova or Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarters.

Ivanovic and Stephens are the more attacking choices but when playing their best are very tough to beat. Ivanovic is a former French Open winner but she’s put in some extremely good hard court performances this year, taking a set off Serena and she does seem tougher mentally.

Ivanovic’s biggest test prior to the quarters will be Pavlyuchenkova whom she has a winning 6-0 head to head record with. She should therefore win this and get a shot against Serena or Stosur in the Quarters.

Stephens has reached the semi’s in Aus, beating Serena to get there and although she’s a bit more of a gamble she’s worth taking at a big price of 85.0. She’s always much more motivated for the Slams.

Remember to place your bets with Betfair’s Exchange because their prices are so much bigger on the outsiders in any tournament than what the bookies will give you. E.g. The best odds on Sloanne Stephens with the bookies are 67.0 with most offering in th 40.0 – 5.0 range. This compared with the 84.0 available on Betfair.

Real Madrid v Cordoba | Betting Preview

Real Madrid v Cordoba | Betting Preview

Date: August 25, 2014
Venue: Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain
Kick-off time: 19:00 BST

Real Madrid start their La Liga campaign against the newboys, Cordoba at their home ground looking to put away the Super Cup loss to Atletico Madrid last Friday.

Real Madrid’s form


Real Madrid’s friendlies were not exactly great as they lost and drew a lot of them. Hindered by World Cup, many returning stars were unavailable to be picked up as they lacked match practice. There’s still a need for fine tuning and a few tactical changes to accommodate new signings.

Against Cordoba, there’s a chance to try something new and if it doesn’t work out the individual brilliance of star players will surely get Real out of the trouble.

Cordoba’s form


Cordoba won promotion to the La Liga after 1971-72 season, a long time to be out in the lower football wilderness. Los Califas have been active in the transfer market having picked up lot of players on a loan deal.

Cordoba managed to hold on to just one of their three star performers for them last season. Pedro Sanchez and Uli Davila left for greener pastures, only Xisco Jiminez stayed back. With so many additions to the squad there was lot of work needed and it showed in the inconsistency of Cordoba’s preseason form.

Key Players

Real Madrid: Gareth Bale

With doubts over the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo and the other new signings (Rodriguez and Kroos) still needing time to bed in the starting XI, Bale can work his magic against the lowly Cordoba. Against Sevilla he showed what his magic left foot can do.

The Cordoba wingbacks will have a hard time catching him! Ask Inter Milan’s Maicon.

Cordoba: Inigo Lopez

Central defender from POAK who played in a Celta Vigo shirt last season (on loan) is no stranger to the La Liga. He can provide the required experience to the Cordoba backline and against Real there’s more need for it.


Real Madrid are going to be playing against a team which have been promoted to the top-level football after more than seven decades and can be expected to beat them comprehensively.

KEY STAT: Real Madrid’s 19 home La Liga matches produced 80 goals last season and average of over 4 per match.

So we can expect a lot of goals in the game and the odds of 1.7 for more than 3.5 goals on offer with Betfair is good value.

Man City v Liverpool | Betting Preview

Man City v Liverpool | Betting Preview

Man City
Image by John Urquhart

Date: August 25, 2014
Venue: The Etihad, Manchester
Kick-off time: 20:00 BST

Last season’s Champion’s Man City host last season’s runners up Liverpool in what should hopefully be yet another mouth watering clash.

Both teams won their opening matches, City comfortable winners at Newcastle with Liverpool a bit fortunate to record the points at home to Southampton last week.

City look very settled these days under Pelligrini and are boosted by the 4 year contract extension that Edin Dzeko has just signed and he join players such as Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva in pledging their long-term futures to the club.

Liverpool will of course miss Luis Suarez but their squad is still full of quality with a trio of signings from new feeder club Southampton! Daniel Sturridge looks set to carry on where he left off last season after he bagged the winner against the Saints. Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Mario Balotelli but he is unlikely to feature.

City’s form


City’s pre-season started off well, winning 4 out of their first 5 albeit against mainly unchallenging opposition. They were pipped by both Liverpool and Olympiakos in extra time in their last 2 friendlies and were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal in the Community Shield. They made a lot of changes for the matches though and bare much less importance than their 2-0 away victory on opening day.

Liverpool’s form


Liverpool had a decent pre-season and capped it off with a very impressive 4-0 victory against Dortmund. Pre-season results count for little however and last week’s match against Southampton may give us more clues about how Liverpool will fair this season.

Worryingly the Saints who have lost a big part of their team to Liverpool managed to create a lot of chances against Liverpool and were extremely unfortunate to come away from Anfield with nothing. Liverpool’s defence does not look as strong as City’s. Centre back Dejan Lovren may take time to settle with Skrtel as will new full backs Alberto Moreno and on-loan Javi Manquillo.

Key Players

Man City: Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure was the stand out player of the Premier League last season and is the most important player in the City squad. He is good defensively but importantly gives City that extra creativity and urgency in their build up play along with one other important contribution, goals. He notched 20 times in 35 league matches last season and although it’ll be tough for him to have a season as good as last but you certainly wouldn’t bet against it.

Liverpool: Daniel Sturridge

Sturridge really came of age last season and with Suarez now gone, Liverpool will need him to have a season as good as last. He is the Premier League striker with the most goals in 2014, scoring a couple more than both Suarez and Dzeko. He’s definitely capable of scoring against City but I think Komapny and co will be well prepared and could keep the Liverpool marksman at bay.

Betting Advice

Key Stat: City won an incredible 17 out of 19 league matches at home last season, losing only once. City look just as strong if not stronger whereas Liverpool are arguably weaker without Suarez.

Manchester City are also unbeaten in their last five home league meetings with Liverpool and that unbeaten run looks set to continue tomorrow. Brendan Rodgers would take a point at the Etihad but I don’t think Liverpool can keep a clean sheet against City and a narrow victory for the Blues looks likely.

City were actually a shorter price to win this fixture last season and I definitely see value in the current price of 1.87. So take it before it shortens.

This fixture has seen lots of goals in recent times with 3 of the last five meetings finishing 2-2 and there’s no reason why this one shouldn’t have plenty of goals too.

You can also get a risk free £50 in play bet with Bet365 so don’t miss out on that either. Just place a £50 bet (or less, minimum £10) before the match kicks off and then place a £50 bet (or the same amount as the pre-match bet) in play. You’ll get your in play stake back if it loses and if it wins, happy days.

Best Bets:
Back City to win at 1.87 with BetVictor
Back over 2.5 goals at 1.6 with BetVictor