Goal.com Betting Blog: Massimo Moratti Picked A 'Lemon' In Rafael Benitez, The Premier League Looks Wide Open, Plus Tips

Our pundit has his say on the week's news and lobs in some tips...
Football continued its unpredictable vein last weekend with some strange and odd results across Europe. From a betting point of view it can be disastrous for bettors because when favourites fail to win the bookmakers usually cash in.

The trick is to stay composed and don't lose confidence in your ability to spot a betting opportunity. Of pivotal importance is to turn a profit by the end of the week/month.

Punters that backed Arsenal to beat Tottenham in the north London derby are bound to be feeling a bit glum this week. Arsenal were best priced at 1.66 to win and have enjoyed a near monopoly over Spurs in this fixture so when they raced into a two goal lead it looked to be easy money.

Throwing the match away in this position is almost criminal and Arsenal fans must be worried about the glaring vulnerability that the Gunners have shown this season.

They have lost against teams they would normally be expected to sweep aside and for all their pretty passing and sublime technique they still have the capacity to implode when you least expect it. Arsene Wenger's troops are still 6.0 shots to win the league and I am still reluctant to dismiss then as genuine title material as they have the ability to go on a significant winning run. The Premier League is as open as its ever been.

Other leagues across Europe are beginning to take shape too. I tipped AC Milan at the start of the season to win Serie A  and they haven't let me down...yet. The Rossoneri are leading the league and its hard to see any of the other contenders matching up to them.

Inter are having a torrid time of it lately and already Rafa Benitez is under immense pressure to save his job. I witnessed their defeat against Chievo last weekend and the the reigning champions were poor.

They struggled to gain any fluency in their play and came up against a highly motivated Chievo side who were determined not to give an inch. Inter have serious injury problems and one of the other problems is surely motivation which is such a key ingredient for success in football and in life itself.

After winning the treble last season,you have to wonder how hungry and motivated the players are. On top of that, opposing teams in Italy see them as such a bigger scalp than ever and are raising their game when they meet the European champions.

A midweek win over FC Twente looks to have saved Rafa's job..for now. He's now 2.10 to last the season and 1.66 to be given the sack before then. I don't have any sympathy for Inter president Massimo Morratti as everyone else knew that the Spaniard was the wrong man for Inter. That is, everyone apart from Mr Moratti, who foisted this lemon on Inter.

Germany's Bundesliga has been a strange contest this season. Borussia Dortmund have been the outstanding team in it and are now 1.44 to be champions.

Bayern Munich have been a huge disappointment and have struggled for consistency. They are simply not the same team without Arjen Robben and it will take a huge turn of fortunes for them to be at the top at the end of the season.

Schalke have performed admirably in the Champions League but have been abysmal on the domestic front. I fancied them to finish in the top three at the start of this season as they have plenty of talent in Raul, Van Huntelaar and Farfan as well as an outstanding manager.

Unfortunately,they have failed to fire on all cylinders so far and are closer to the bottom of the table than the top. From a betting perspective I'd stay clear of the German top division as apart from Dortmund's consistency it has been difficult to call.

Forgive me Ligue 1 fans but I can't get excited about the French league. The big clubs like Lyon and Bordeaux have so far failed to make a real impact and Lille top the standings along with Montpellier.

It is a measure of how no team has been outstanding in that league with the two leaders only on 24 points after 14 games. That's not even two points per game.

Marseille are still favourites and you can get them at around 2.60 which is decent value. Lille under Rudi Garcia may be in the race for the long haul as they have excellent talent in the shape of Rio Mavuba,the young Belgian Eden Hazard and striker Gervinho. When the Ivory Coast forward is in the mood he will eat you alive.

PSG have caught the eye too but I wouldn't expect them to be challenging at the end. Only five points separates first from tenth so this league is likely to go to the wire.

The race for the Spanish Primera liga will be fought between the two great powers of Barcelona and Real Madrid. With some bookmakers they are tied at 1.90 each to win the title and there is little to separate the Clasico rivals.

Third favourites Villarreal are a laughable 76.0 to be crowned Spanish Champions which demonstrates the gulf in class in the top flight.

El Clasico occurs on Monday night and it will be a fascinating encounter. Both teams have been in excellent form lately with Real Madrid looking the mean machine you would expect under Jose Mourinho. The destination of the title will likely come down to their two duels.

If you fancy a bet on the match Barca are around 2.10 to win and Real Madrid can be got for around 3.50 with the draw priced at 3.25. Both teams to score looks a good bet for me at around 1.45 or better if you shop around.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has subscribed to my website jdfootballbetting.com. I've had an excellent response and we are in decent profit of over six units for the month and we have a chance to increase that yield this weekend.

If we keep making money like this the European Central Bank will be tapping us for a loan! If you would like to make some money from football email me on jdfootballbetting@live.com or visit my site here.

JD's Tips

 
Athletic Bilbao to win @ 1.76 (Pinnacle Sports)
Both teams to score Barcelona v Real Madrid @ 1.45 (Sportingbet)

JD is Goal.com's betting blogger who lives in one of Europe's top cities and works in the stock market. You can visit his personal site here.

Goal.com encourages all readers who bet to do so sensibly.