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UFC Fight Night 108: Al Iaquinta vs Diego Sanchez preview and betting tips

Good old Diego Sanchez is fighting tonight against Al Iaquinta, who is coming back from a layoff of two years.

Let’s start with Diego Sanchez, who comes from a good victory over Marcin Held at altitute in Mexico where he naturally is good because of his training camp in New Mexico with Greg Jackson. Sanchez isn’t super impressive anywhere technicall, but always comes with good pressure and is a pretty versatile fighter with decent takedowns, good top control and ok boxing. His relies on volume and going forward and has won quite a few questionable decisions with that fighting style as judges apparantly like that he keeps going forward. On top of this, Sanches is extremely durable and can take a shitload of punishment. He was only ever stopped by prime BJ Penn (when BJ was a legit killer) after the doctor’s stopped for the fight and recently was TKO’d by Joe Lauzon in round 1. Now Joe Lauzon is known for his round 1 blitzes and that’s nothing to be ashamed of really.

Al Iaquinta is a pretty good modern MMA fighter who is versatile and cross-trained in all disciplines. Stylewise I think he can be compared a bit to Chris Weidman, who also trains at the the same. He has good wrestling and decent hands with improving boxing. He has knocked out a couple of opponents in his past fights but none of them were really known for having iron chins.

For this match, I think Iaquinta will want to keep it generally standing and outpick Diego Sanchez and maybe mix it up with takedowns a little bit. Sanchez will come forward like a madman and try and grind/wall and stall to a decision. I think however that Iaquinta’s takedown defence and wrestling are too good and his boxing is just too crisp for Sanchez. I don’t think Iaquinta has the power though to put Sanchez away who is extremely though.

I see huge, huge value in Al Iaquinta to win on points @ 2.5 (3/2 in fractional odds) with Betfred and recommend playing that bet 10/10 (which should be equal to ~5% of your betting bankroll). You can sign up with Betfred by clicking here and also profit from their sign up bonus (note: you might need to disable your addblocker for this).

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UFC preview and betting tips: Patrick Cote vs Thiago Alves

After a not-so-succesful fight at lightweight, Thiago Alves is back at welterweight now and will fight Canadian tough guy Patrick Cote. Iron-chinned Cote was knocked out by Donald Cerrone in his last fight after impressively knocking out Ben Saunders and Josh Burkman back to back.

Stylewise, Patrick Cote is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. He is a complete mixed martial artist who can do everything pretty well but excells nowhere. On top of that, he is extremely durable and can take a lot of damage. He was only ever knocked out by Anderson Silva and Donald Cerrone, who are both known to hit extremely hard.

Thiago Alves is a muay thai specialist with sub-par takedown defence that was often exposed against good wrestlers (Jon Fitch, Rick Story, Georges Saint Pierre). Stylewise, I think this match-up suits Alves very well. I don’t think Cote has the wrestling to take him down and the top control to keep him down. Standing, Thiago Alves should have a big edge on Cote. I expect Alves to beat Cote in the standup easily throughout the match but not having enough power to put him away. Therefore I see Alves winning by decision.

Currently, William Hill offers 3.75 for Thiago Alves to win by decision which I think is a good value bet and is worth 6 units (6/10). You can sign up at William Hill to make this bet by clicking on the banner below (for which you may need to disable your ad-blocker).

Preview and betting tips: Aston Villa – Leicester City

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After starting out the season in spectacular fashion, Leicester seems to be losing their explosive touch over the last couple of games. The amount of goals they get is getting lower. This is reflected in the amount of shots they get on target in recent games (2 against Spurs, 2 against Bournemouth, 4 against City). This isn’t really surprising considering the fact that they were overperforming all season, I think it is simply time for them now that they drop a few places to get back to the place in the league where they would (quality wise) belong.

Villa’s main problems in my opinion are in their attack and not so much in their defence. Especially when Lescott and Richards play together they look pretty solid and are capable of not having to concede a lot of big chances. Up front, only Carles Gil looks like he could do some danger to opposition’s defence. The rest of their attacking midfielders and attackers simply just seems to be able to do real damage.

Tactically, I expect Villa to sit back and defence against Leicester, they don’t ‘need’ to win this game and therefore I don’t expect them to take risks (like against Sunderland where they then conceded 3). Personally, I think this will be a pretty boring game with a lot of midfield action and not so much chances (and therefore goals). I recommend playing a medium bet (5/10) on Under 2.5 goals @ 13/20 (1.65), offered by a lot of bookmakers currently including William Hill and Bwin.

Preview and betting tips: Manchester City – Crystal Palace

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Both teams are coming from a disappointing result. Manchester City were not able to beat Everton at home while Crystal Palace lost at Villa Park against against Villa, who are at the bottom of the table. A few things are noteworthy in these games though.

Let me start with Manchester City – Everton. City was actually the much better team in that game and should have won. They created much more chances and were quite a bit better passing than Everton. The picture below (by http://www.whoscored.com) shows the shots of both teams in that game. As you can see, City were much more dangerous in in front of goal than Everton.

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Then we move on to Crystal Palace. Palace were playing well at the start of the season and also getting results, but the last couple of games are not as good any more. Especially creating chances is slowly becoming a probelm for them. This could have to do with the absence of both Dwight Gayle and Yannick Bolasie, who are both injured. When we look at their game against Aston Villa and the shots taken (again, picture by http://www.whoscored.com), we see they were only able to get 3 shots in the box in the whole game against one of the poorest defences in the league, which is quite worrisome.

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Important for me to consider in this game as well as that midfield magician David Silva was pretty much rested in the game against Everton (only playing 17 minutes). This means that he will be completely fresh for this game to work his magic and impose his well on the game. Manchester City are used to playing 2 games a week and Crystal Palace not so much. I don’t see City having any problems with beating Palace here and therefore recommend a medium sized bet (5/10) on Manchester City to win @ 2/5 (1.4) which is currently offered by a lot of different bookmakers. including Bwin and William Hill.

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