JD has a few tips as the Premier League returns this weekend
Opening day fixtures can be a minefield for bettors as fancied teams can take a while to click into gear. On the flipside teams that have been written off during the summer can start well and then fade as the campaign progresses. Hull City in recent memory spring to mind.
Due care and caution is advised if you are looking for a bet in the Premier League this weekend. Keep things simple and you won't go far wrong.
The usual suspects are the favourites to be crowned champions, with holders Chelsea leading the betting at around 7/4 followed by Man Utd at around 12/5 and Arsenal at a much longer 11/2. Liverpool, favourites this time last year, are a long shot at 16/1 with some bookies.
From my own perspective the title battle should be duked out between Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. I'm discounting Manchester City on the basis that they have an unsettled squad that will take time to gel. I also doubt the motivation of some off their players who seem to be more motivated by the pay cheque than the desire of winning trophies for their new club. Not mentioning any names of course...
Perhaps the Citizens may prove me wrong as the season unfolds but I am happy to oppose them at this time.
Odds of 12/5 on Manchester United winning the title is appealing. They will be that bit hungrier than Chelsea and too streetwise for Arsenal. Sir Alex Ferguson will be desperate to win the club's 19th championship, and thus knock Liverpool "off their perch."
There are bags of goals in the Red Devils with the addition of Javier Hernandez, plus Wayne Rooney will be looking to prove people wrong after his dismal showing in the World Cup. Dimitar Berbatov must know it is now or never for him to show his undoubted talent. You'll get odds of 5/2 on United being the league's top scorers. I'll be having a small investment on them reclaiming the title.
Blackpool will be relegated. It is as certain as night follows day. The bookies think so too and are trading at an extraordinary 1/4 at best to fall through the trapdoor. You may think I'm being too harsh but I'll give you a couple of reasons why they are destined for the drop.
Blackpool finished a massive 31 points behind Newcastle United last season. Look at the Newcastle United squad, there isn't much in it to get too excited about and I expect them to struggle this season too.
Blackpool have failed to attract any top class players to the club to assist them in their mission impossible. For all his fighting talk manager Ian Holloway will soon find out the gulf in standard between the Premier League and the Championship is insurmountable for them.
The 1/4 price on them being relegated is not too appealing but at 8/11 to finish bottom you should be steaming in with a few quid.
In England's second tier, known as the Championship, (I'm finding it hard to keep up with these constant name changes) it's wide open. Most sides have a right to harbour ambitions of achieving promotion by getting into the play-offs or even going up automatically.
Plenty of sides could win the 'Championship' so it's best to have a punt on who you think will ultimately get promotion. Although Reading let me down last weekend in a bet I still think 4/1 on them achieving promotion is worth a small punt.
They finished last season very strongly and Brian McDermott seems to be able to get the best out of his young and talented squad. Burnley seem well equipped to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt and at 11/4 it is an excellent price.
Last week was a mixed bag for me. I made some money during the week but I got hit badly on Saturday when Reading and Gillingham failed to win. 'Twas a case of the opening day blues for both teams as Reading lost 2-1 at home to Scunthorpe and Gillingham drew 1-1 at home to Cheltenham. On days like that your best bet is to lick your wounds and not get too despondent.
Sunday was much better as Manchester United lifted the Community Shield. I had a nice even money bet on that and I identified a real opportunity when I got evens again on Hoffenheim to beat Sunderland on the same day. The price was unbelievable as Sunderland are a modest unit and poor on their travels. The Bundesliga team won 3-1 so I just about broke even for the week.
I'm hoping this weekend will get me back to making some proper money. Keep an eye out on the blog over the next couple weeks as I'm preparing a new venture where I'll be offering people all my tips and advice for this season. Let's make it a profitable one.
* Huddersfield to beat Tranmere Rovers - 1/2
* Barcelona to beat Sevilla - evens
* Zenit St Petersburg to beat Dynamo Moscow - 6/10
* Read JD's exclusive tip for the weekend in our new series 'Five Bets To Follow'
JD is Goal.com's betting blogger who lives in one of Europe's top cities and works in the stock market. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Place a bet now with Goal.com's official betting partner Titan Bet who are offering an exclusive bet £25 get £25 offer for Goal.com readers. Goal.com encourages all readers who bet to do so sensibly.