Jack the Lad: I can't bet against the Swans
Supporter-turned-blogger Jack The Lad discusses betting in football, and shares his prediction for Saturday's clash with Brighton.
I’m not what you would call a betting man.
I like the occasional flutter on the Grand National and at our annual works day out to either Chepstow or Ffos Las racecourses, where my ultimate ambition is to come home with more money than I left the house with.
In 10 attempts this has yet to be achieved! Although this may have more to do with the amount I spend at the bar than with the bookies.
My most notable football win was putting £10 on Brazil to win the 2002 World Cup. Not exactly the most insightful or profitable punt, but it made me happy!
Although I have a passion for football, I’m generally reluctant to bet on the sport, particularly individual matches in the Premier League, for the sole reason that they’re so difficult to predict.
Perhaps it’s me and my over-simplified approach to forecasting the football, but this season it seems to be more difficult than ever.
Take the Swans, Manchester United and Huddersfield, for example. United beat us 4-0 here at the Liberty, where we in turn beat Huddersfield 2-0.
Now using my betting ‘formula’ looking at those results, you would imagine United would beat Huddersfield, albeit away from home.
Crystal Palace, lose to everyone in their first six games. They can’t even score a goal. Then they take on reigning champions Chelsea.
A nailed-on Blues win, surely?
And don’t get me started on cup games! They’re even more difficult to predict, especially with teams mixing up their selections.
I know Wolves are flying high in the Championship, but shutting out free-scoring Manchester City the other week?
They ended up losing, but who’d have thought they would be able to do what the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Napoli, Feyenoord – and everyone else for that matter – have all failed to do this season and stop City scoring? And not just in 90 minutes, but during extra time as well!
Okay, it wasn’t a full-strength City side, but they were at home and their starting line-up included Toure, Sterling, Jesus and Aguero, while Sane, de Bruyne, Walker and Stones were introduced from the bench.
And what about Tottenham v West Ham. Who’d have predicted the final score when Spurs were cruising at 2-0 with 35 minutes left at Wembley?
This weekend’s visitors, Brighton, have played their part in the early season chaos. Although they haven’t beaten any of the big boys yet, overall they are doing better than many people predicted.
Admittedly West Ham aren’t pulling up any trees in the league at the moment, especially at the London Stadium, but I have to admit Brighton’s 3-0 win there caused my eyebrow to raise a little.
And then the Hammers go and do that to Spurs in the League Cup!
While things are being predictably unpredictable in the Premier League, I’m probably going to keep my cash in my pocket, so good luck to all you out there who do like a flutter on the footy.
I suppose the good thing is that if you are willing to take a chance and bet on the underdog, there are some potentially big pay-outs waiting for you if you’re brave and have the winning combination of luck and knowledge to seek them out.
I’m not that brave, or insightful, but just for fun I’m going to have a go at predicting the score in this weekend’s match, and I’m going for a 3-2 home win. That's another difficulty I have when betting on football – I can never bet against the Swans.
C’mon you Swans!