From the Trading Floor - Week 36

From the Trading Floor

Join Jay and DAZN Bet’s trading team as they bring you the pick of this week’s sports bets in “From The Trading Floor”

 

Slovenia v Northern Ireland – UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifying – Group H – 19:45 – September 7

Domestic football goes to the back seat for the next week, with the traditional September International break taking centre stage instead.

Thursday sees the resumption of Euro 2024 qualifying, and the key fixture involving the home nations comes from Ljubljana, where Slovenia host Northern Ireland in Group H action.

This fixture will mark the halfway point in the group, and Northern Ireland already face a monumental battle if they want to stand any chance of qualifying for next summer’s tournament in Germany.

An opening round 2-0 victory away to San Marino has been followed by three 1-0 defeats to Finland, Denmark and Kazakhstan, leaving Michael O’Neill’s team six points adrift of the teams currently occupying the two qualification berths in the group.

Defeat against Slovenia would leave them at last seven points adrift with just five games remaining, making this a crucial game for the Northern Irish.

The hosts currently sit on seven points, two points behind Finland and Kazakhstan, but a victory here will help them to close the gap on at least one of those teams, who face each other in Astana earlier in the day.

Slovenia enter this one as favourites, which I feel is absolutely merited based on both team’s form. Northern Ireland have had little to celebrate in recent years, with arguably their goalless draws at home to both Italy and Switzerland during the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign being their only most impressive results over the past three years. They have won just two of their last 11 games, with those successes coming against San Marino and Kosovo, having also drawn twice with Cyprus and losing their remaining 7 matches during this period.

Slovenia had gone 8 unbeaten before their loss to Finland in June, but they followed that disappointment up with a solid 1-1 draw against Denmark just three days later. They have lost just three times at home since October 2018, beating Poland, Norway and Croatia along the way.

With not much going the way of Northern Ireland, I have to side with the hosts emerging from this one victorious. They’ve shown enough to suggest that they are more than capable of sustaining a challenge for automatic qualification, and that really should continue here.

Traders’ Tip: Slovenia To Win @ 4/5. A £10 bet at these odds could return £18.

 

Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs – NFL – 01:20 – September 8

The NFL returns this week and the season opener in the early hours of Friday will see Super Bowl LVII winners the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions at Arrowhead Stadium.

Seven months on from their 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Chiefs start this season as the favourites to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy in Nevada next February, and they’ll once again be reliant on the combination of Quarter Back, and Super Bowl LVII, Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce leading them to success over the coming season.

Last year Mahomes set the record for most yards in a season by a quarterback, and also had his career best season in terms of pass completion percentage. Whilst Kelce completed a seventh straight season where he picked up over 1,000 receiving yards during the regular season, scoring a career best 12 touchdowns, from an impressive 110 receptions.

The Lions missed out on the playoffs last season for the sixth season running, but their 9-8 record was their best performance since 2017. Quarterback Jared Goff had an impressive campaign, throwing 29 touchdowns over the course of 2022, whilst running back Jahmyr Gibbs and safety Brian Branch were both snapped up from the always impressive Alabama CT during the draft, and will also be expected to have big debut season’s in the NFL.

Having won the AFC West in each of the last seven seasons, the Chiefs will once again be expected to have a strong showing this season, any team is going to struggle to keep their offensive line quiet, and I expect their season to start as it means to go on, with plenty of strong offensive drives. The Lions also have a wealth of talent in attack, and I can see Gibbs slotting straight in to a team that were only outscored by four other teams during the 2022 regular season.

I am not expecting this to be a low scoring encounter by any stretch of the imagination, a total points line in the early 50s is relatively high by NFL standards, but that still feels like it could be beaten when these two teams meet for this season’s kick off game.

Traders’ Tip: Over 53.5 Points @ 5/6. A £10 bet at these odds could return £18.33.

 

Cyprus v Scotland – UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifying – Group A – 19:45 – September 8

With it being nearly three months since they last played a game you may be forgiven for not remembering how Scotland started their qualifying campaign for next summer’s tournament. However, I will sum it up in one word… Phenomenal!

Many might have expected Scotland to struggle in a tough looking group containing both Norway and Spain, but the Scots reached the halfway point of their own journey to Germany 2024 with a perfect record of four wins from four.

England, Portugal and France are the only other teams who currently have a 100% record, so they have already found themselves amongst a pretty select group of teams. A 2-0 victory over Spain at the end of March might have seemed like a bit of a freak result by Scottish standards, but their other wins over Georgia, Norway and Cyprus have backed up their rightful place as the runaway leaders, by an eight point margin, in Group A.

Cyprus enter this game as firm underdogs, they have lost all three of their previous matches, and sit firmly at the bottom of the pile. Qualification for their first major tournament seems highly unlikely, but given they are only four points adrift of the top 2 they will still feel like they have an outside chance of turning their fortunes around.

Scotland enter this fixture as one of the strongest favourites on the coupon, and it is very difficult to look past them winning based on their form. However, there still looks to be a bit of value on offer when pairing this with the match totals.

Cyprus might have lost 11 of their last 18 matches on home soil, but they’ve done a pretty solid job of avoiding humiliation. A 5-0 loss to Russia is the only match during this period where they have lost comprehensively, with a 2-2 draw against Malta being the only other game to contain at least four goals. By the same token, a 4-1 victory in Armenia is the only time that Scotland have scored more than twice on their travels since the start of 2019.

Scotland should come out on top, but I feel like taking them to do so without going wild is the best option here, with under 3.5 goals being the safe choice.

Traders’ Tip: Scotland To Win & Under 3.5 Goals @ 5/6. A £10 bet at these odds could return £18.33.

 

Ukraine v England – UEFA Euro 2024 Qualifying – Group C – 17:00 -September 9

England continue their qualification journey on Saturday evening when they travel to Kyiv to face Ukraine in Group C.

Just like Scotland, the Three Lions have begun with four straight victories during the first half of their group fixtures, they sit very comfortably at the top of their group, nine points clear of third placed Italy, and could momentarily increase that to twelve ahead of the Italians game with North Macedonia later in the evening.

Ukraine currently lie in second place, after following up a 2-0 defeat at Wembley in March with narrow victories over both North Macedonia and Malta. Having played a game more than Italy, the Ukrainians will be eager to get a positive result on Saturday ahead of an equally crucial trip to Rome on Tuesday night.

England are relatively strong favourites ahead of this encounter, and it’s difficult to look past a team that has lost just one of their last fifty matches during the qualification phase for major tournaments, that being a 2-1 loss in Prague against the Czech Republic back in October 2019.

England have lost only one of the nine matches between the two teams, stretching back to the turn of the century. It feels like it should be another routine victory for the Three Lions, and it seems like there’s one man who can always be relied on to deliver in front of goal.

All-time top goalscorer Harry Kane has notched 58 goals for his country, and he has started his domestic season in fine form following his recent move from Tottenham to Bayern Munich. The 30-year-old has already notched three times during his first three Bundesliga starts, showing that his ability to score goals certainly hasn’t faded during his transition to the German giants.

Kane has also scored in each of his last six starts for England, and it only feels natural back him to continue his run on Saturday as a result.

Traders’ Tip: Harry Kane To Score Anytime @ 11/10. A £10 bet at these odds could return £21.

 

England v Argentina – Rugby World Cup 2023 – Group D – 20:00 – September 9

You really have to tip your hat off to the schedulers this weekend. Around an hour after the football team finish their match the focus quickly switches to Marseille’s Stade Velodrome, where England will get their Rugby World Cup campaign underway in the opening game of Group D against Argentina.

However, unlike their typically rampant counterparts, there’s plenty of cause for concern amongst the English rugby team, who will enter this tournament following one of the worst patches of form in their history.

After finishing a disappointing fourth in the Six Nations at the start of the year, England’s only recent success has been a narrow 19-17 victory over an equally troubled Wales team. Their other three matches during the Autumn Internationals all ended in defeat, including an embarrassing 30-22 loss at home to Fiji just two weeks ago.

England have slumped to a record equalling low of 8th in the world since then, and things don’t look to be heading in the right direction under the leadership of head coach Steve Borthwick.

The only real positive is that their opponents, Argentina, seem to blow plenty of hot and cold air with their own performances. Over the last two years they have produced exceptional displays when beating New Zealand and Australia, even inflicting a humiliating 48-17 defeat on the Wallabies in August of last year. Yet they have also been extremely lacklustre, twice losing by wide margins against the All Blacks, and conceding 52 points during a defeat to Scotland last November.

Argentina do enter the contest ranked slightly higher than their opponents, currently lying in 6th spot on the Men’s World Rugby Rankings, but it feels like the result will hinge on which version of the Pumas turn up this Saturday, as opposed to trying to evaluate how England are going to raise their own game.

Picking a winner feels impossible as a result, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a decent bet hiding amongst the odds.

Neither team has looked all that impressive defensively during their barren spells, both teams have conceded north of 50 points in matches over the last 12 months, and the last encounter between the two produced a total of 59 points, with Argentina emerging victorious by a solitary point.

The initial view is that points total here looks set to be at 45.5, and that feels like an incredibly low line when you consider that neither team has looked overly solid when it comes to keeping the opposition away from their try line. Considering this, along with the recent timekeeping rule changes which aim to create a much more fluid game, it certainly feels like this could be a match with plenty of additional points on offer.

Traders’ Tip: Over 45.5 Points @ 5/6. A £10 bet at these odds could return £18.33.

 

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears – NFL – 21:25 – September 10

Rounding off this weekend’s action, it feels only natural to head back to the NFL for the first Sunday Game Day of the season. This feels like a perfect opportunity to plug that, from this season, DAZN will be the home of the NFL Game Pass, giving customers the chance to watch over 300 games between now and the end of the season. Including all the action live from the Super Bowl on February 11th.

One of the many games on offer this Sunday includes the continuation of the NFC North rivalry between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.

At first glance it seems like an open and shut case. The Bears have won just one of their last 14 games against Green Bay, case closed. However, there will be one glaring omission when the Packers line-up for their opening offensive snap on Sunday, veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers will not be calling the play on the field.

The four time Super Bowl MVP has traded one green shaded jersey for another this season, opting to leave behind his 17 year association with the Wisconsin based franchise in order to pursue a new challenge with the New York Jets, leaving plenty of pressure on the shoulders of new starting quarterback Jordan Love, who has just one NFL start to his name over the course of his short three year career.

The Bears might have had the worst record in the NFL last season, falling to 14 defeats from their 17 games, but they’ll be hoping that sticking with Quarterback Justin Fields pays dividends. He had a poor season from a passing perspective, not managing to pass for more than 300 yards in any of his starts, but his solid rushing game certainly adds more of a dynamic to their playbook. Rather than offload Fields, the Bears have opted to try and provide more support to his game, mainly in the form of wide receiver D.J. Moore, who joins from the Panthers after starting every game over the last two seasons.

If the gamble works then they could definitely be a much more competitive force this season, Fields will need to start repaying the trust his franchise has shown in him, and he can hopefully do that by guiding them to a long overdue victory against a Packers side that might struggle to adapt to life after Rodgers.

Traders’ Tip: Chicago Bears To Win @ 4/5. A £10 bet at these odds could return £18.

 

A £10 6-Fold on the above selections could return £419.26.

 

*Odds correct at the time of publishing. Available to UK residents (excluding Northern Ireland) aged 18+ only. T&Cs apply. www.begambleaware.org

 

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