Life of a Punter: Avoid international football like the plague plus a tasty treble for the weekend

Simon won't be risking his money on Euro 2012 qualifiers anytime soon and prices up his options to get back in profit
Life of a Punter is a new series penned by Simon Pilkington where he charts the highs and lows of betting on the beautiful game. Mr Pilkington will be putting his own hard earned money and reputation on the block throughout 2011-12 and keeping readers up to speed with his progress.

It’s been a quiet old week or two on the punting front for yours truly. There were no bets over the international break as quite frankly I'm not a fan of that scene.

All too often I have been caught out fully expecting a perceivably strong nation to beat whichever minnows that Fifa’s team of buffet-loving ball pickers have drawn them with. What happens next? Said minnows proceed to stick two fingers up to the world by hanging on for the all-so-important 0-0 draw that won’t help them qualify in anyway whatsoever.

Let’s take this round of fixtures for example. I’m not necessarily saying Wales are minnows but England should have beaten them comfortably than the 1-0 the Three Lions eked out. Had I been punting on this game I'd have opted for overs in the goals market and been left with egg on my face.

Romania 0-0 France, Russia 0-0 Rep of Ireland and Slovakia 0-4 Armenia were all unlikely results that would have gone a long way to reducing my betting bankroll to rubble had I decided to bet. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of punters out there who probably returned a profit during these games but I stick by the rule of if your heart and your head’s not in it then don’t gamble on it.

Besides, the last bets I made for this blog didn’t exactly go my way either. The Europa League qualifier treble failing only on one leg, whilst QPR and Shane Long both let me down leaving the overall bankroll at £460 (€530) for the campaign.

"Much like a self-destructive relationship the self-enforced mini-break has reinvigorated me somewhat ready for the weekend of football ahead."

- Simon Pilkington

The first bit of value I like falls in Sunday’s match between Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion at Carrow Road, with the Canaries inviting value @ 6/4. Roy Hodgson's Baggies have yet to get in gear an it has the look of a contest where both teams should score. With Shane Long doubtful, the excellent Peter Odemwingie will be expected to grab goals where he is generously priced @ 11/4 with William Hill as an anytime goalscorer.

My second and last bet for the weekend is a little different. We should see a lot of goals this week and I have decided to put a treble together consisting of matches that will see over 2.5 goals occur. Priced up with bet365 at 4/1 the games I have chosen are Wolves/Spurs, Stoke/Liverpool and Man City/Wigan.

Roberto Mancini's Citizens have demolished decent teams of late and his opposite number at Wigan will be fearing the worst. Liverpool have shown plenty of ambition going forwards while being prone to a big strong attack such as Stoke's. Wolves have started well and are playing good football going forward whilst Spurs have a serious point to prove after their 5-1 home hammering to City.

Whoever you’re backing this weekend I hope the gambling Gods are with you and feel free to let me know in the comments section.

Citizen Cash | Man City have been freescoring so far

Last week’s balance: £500 (€576)
Last week’s loss: £40 (€46)
This week’s balance: £460 (€530)

Simon's Bets

* 2pts - Peter Odemwingie to score at any time against Norwich at 11/4 with William Hill
* 1pt – over 2.5 goals treble on Man City/Wigan, Stoke/Liverpool and Wolves/Spurs at 4/1 with bet365

Simon Pilkington is a sports writer, an avid supporter of Liverpool FC and has been betting on sports for the past 13 years.

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