Commodore’s Outright Picks


With the Premier League fixtures still on the go this week, I’ve decided to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Absorbed in the week-to-week betting frenzy, one tends to forget about the long game. Profits may take longer to acquire, but if you play your cards right, you could be find yourself in the money come May. Outright betting is a different beast, a graveyard scattered with the bones of degenerate gamblers that bet with the heart and not the head. Of course, with my head and your heart - there is money to be made.

EPL Prediction: CHELSEA 24/10

Let’s start with what we know - The English Premier League. As open a title race as we’ve seen in years, many believe it to be a tough choice deciding a league winner with 16 games to go. City have been installed as favourites, currently priced at even money, with Chelsea trailing behind at 24/10. It is the London-based Blues that provide the better option for me, especially with Jose Mourinho at the helm. A media darling around these parts, “The Special One” has done it all before, and while this Chelsea team hardly match up to the vintage winners of 2004, neither do the other contenders. Their clash with Manchester City this weekend will be dubbed as a title decider, but with Spurs and Arsenal still to play at home during this campaign, you get the feeling that no deficit is too large for Mourinho to claw back. Having backed them at the outset of the season, I’ve seen enough to double down, and watch City falter in the home straight.

RELEGATION Prediction: SWANSEA 9/1

Another interesting market comes at the opposite end of the table, with a number of teams still looking nervously over their should at the trapdoor to the Championship. A closer look throws up even more surprises, with Swansea available at an extremely lengthy 9/1 to find themselves in the bottom three come May. Michael Laudrup’s side have been on the slide, with only Cardiff in worse form in the league currently. Their foray into Europe has taken its toll on his threadbare squad, with only 15 fit players left to choose from at present. Thursday night matches have taken their toll, and if by some miracle the Swans manage to sneak past Napoli, their Premier League survival hopes will suffer a major blow. You need only look at Birmingham City’s own venture into Europe following their Capital One Cup triumph to see the outcome of losing focus on Premier League survival. Looking across the other contenders for the drop, there’s not much value to be had elsewhere, with Stoke’s home form enough to keep them up, while Cardiff and Palace offer little value at just about evens.

UEFA CL Prediction: PSG 13/1

It is in Europe though that I believe there is money to be made especially in the Champions League, where the draw has thrown up some interesting ties. Manchester United were the undoubted winners of the draw, but genuine title contenders they certainly are not. Europe’s big three; Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are heavily favoured by the bookmakers, but it has hardly been a vintage year for Europe’s finest. A good enough reason to look elsewhere, and it is PSG that have caught my eye at 13/1. The Parisians will enjoy the advantages of a less competitive league, while they are expected to see off Leverkusen in the Second Round. They were eliminated last season in the quarters by Barcelona, but not without giving them an almighty scare. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have a point to prove and with no World Cup on the horizon for the enigmatic Swede, the Champions League will be his main priority this season. With a supporting class that includes Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Thiago Silva shoring up the defence, PSG might just be able to take the next step this season.

EUROPA LEAGUE Prediction: NAPOLI 8/1

Moving down a tier, we have the Europa League. Yes, that football that gives the pub a bit of ambience on a Thursday evening while people get liquored up. Of course it could also be useful in paying for those midweek lubrication sessions. Returning to football matters Juventus have been installed as odds-on favourites, especially with the final being played at their stadium in Turin. Of course fairytales like that are a rare occurrence in football, just ask Bayern Munich. It is another Italian side that have caught the eye though, and yet another to have been dropped into Europe’s second tier via a third-placed finish in the Champions League. Having been placed in the group of death, Napoli were extremely unlucky to have been eliminated, having finished level on points with both Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund. With Rafael Benitez at the helm, they will prove difficult to beat and look a side capable of going the whole way. Benitez, for all his critics, has a great record in Europe and even lead Chelsea to victory in this tournament last season. At 8/1, you could do a lot worse than back him to do it once again with Napoli.

FA CUP Prediction: EVERTON 11/2

There is something supremely satisfying in picking an outright winner, especially before the season begins. Cup competitions can prove a bit tricky, but with some luck in the draw any team can make you money. The FA Cup is a devilishly tricky tournament but having won it last season with Wigan, I can see Roberto Martinez taking his Everton side very far in this season’s competition. Perhaps you could even put together a sneaky double and truly make it something your while.

Use what you please, and thank me later. Until we speak again, Sala Kahle.

Written by Commodore Vegas
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Commodore’s Outright Picks
Chelsea To Win EPL 24/10
Swansea To Be Relegated 9/1
PSG To Win UCL 13/1
Napoli To Win Europa 8/1
Everton To Win FA Cup 11/2