The Legend of David Htan…

What a week it’s been… London took Black Friday too literally by having a black out, Eric Bristow threw his full support behind the rainbow laces campaign, and David Htan became a household name, (well in The Gambling Panel’s house at least).

What better way to spend your Saturday lunchtime than nervously praying for a goal in the Myanmar vs Malaysia AFF Suzuki Cup grudge match. In the 89th minute of this tense game David Htan secured himself a place in The Gambling Panel’s hall of fame by smashing home a late winner. To think, he was almost denied this acclaim in a first half that contained a missed penalty and the woodwork being struck twice. Fortunately for Htan and The Gambling Panel the half finished 0-0 and the rest is history.

It was a week of late winners with 8 goals being scored from the 84th minute onwards. This goes to show that if you’re willing to hold your nerve and chase the bigger odds, then the higher returns are out there. But how do The Gambling Panel pick their games to bet on?

Of course it all starts with the tweet, it could be tempting to rush straight to our favourite bookies and lump on as soon as possible, but as you’re starting to learn, that is not how The Gambling Panel work. I’m not saying there are any problems with this method but this is football and it’s full of uncertainty so we want to give ourselves the best chance to pick out those winners and make that all important profit. Once the tweet is received The Gambling Panel start looking further into the game, the betting score has already given us a starting point and takes into account a wide variety of in-play stats, but what about the team’s involved. We look into league position, goals scored and conceded, head to head record, and current form. When we can we also like to look into the importance of the game; will the result have a big impact on the title race or relegation battle, are the teams rivals, has there been a lot of media hype. But the most important thing we look out for is how often do the two team’s draw games 0-0!!! The ideal scenario would be a good top half team vs a weak bottom half team where both score and concede shed loads and contested a 5-4, 3-2, 3-3 in previous games. How that game would be 0-0 at half time I don’t know, but this equation would be Gambling Panel heaven. Obviously we’re not going to wait until only this criteria is met before placing a bet, but you see what we’re getting at.

In my ones to watch this week I’ve tried to build some of this criteria in, so let’s hope we get some half time 0-0’s and then once the tweet is received its over to you; dive straight in if you choose, carry out your own research, or play chicken with the odds. Which ever way, good luck and let’s beat those bookies.

One’s to watch:

Nottingham Forest v Newcastle (Friday 19:45 – Championship)

A game that looks like a both teams to score certainty, this is definitely one we’ll be hoping will be 0-0 at half time. Forest score and concede for fun (32 of each in 18 games) and prior to this week Newcastle were flying and have been scoring 2 goals a game on average. Neither team have had a 0-0 this season and in the pub after work on Friday we’ll be spending our winnings as quickly as we made them.

Stevenage v Doncaster (Saturday 15:00 – League One)

This game ticks a few of the extra boxes we look for, 14th vs 3rd, averaging 2.9 and 3.5 goals in games played this season, and only one 0-0 between them. Both teams are on a good run of form so I expect them to both have a go. It looks to be a certainty for goals.

Carlisle v Rochdale (Saturday 15:00 – FA Cup)

Cup games are always unpredictable and can at times can be cagey and I’m expecting something similar here. Neither team will want to fall behind early with the potential of a money spinning 3rd round tie within touching distance, but with both teams looking for promotion in their respective divisions neither will want a replay. It is because of this that I feel this game is a prime selection. There have been an incredible 60 goals in Carlisle’s 19 league games and that doesn’t include their 5-3 win in the last round. Rochdale aren’t far behind with 52 goals in their 20 league games and none of these have ended 0-0. Look out for a tight first half before both teams open up looking for that dream ticket to one of the Premier League big boys.

Erzgebirge Aue v VfB Stuttgart (Sunday 12:30 – Bundesliga 2)

Sunday lunchtime takes us to Germany where we’ll be looking to shake off our hangovers with an early winner. Erzgebirge are struggling at the bottom of the table and Stuttgart are riding high. Both are averaging close to 3 goals a game at the moment and neither have drawn 0-0. The one concern is Stuttgart, they have been flying out of the blocks in recent weeks and scoring lots of early goals but there seems to be a trend forming. In games where Stuttgart have not scored in the first 20 minutes, it has then taken them till early in the second half before making the breakthrough. Let’s hope Erzgebirge hold firm early on and this trend may continue.


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