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We’re halfway through the week, and it’s Thursday October 23, 2014 and last night we had another close-to-perfect night. We got off to a great start with Real Madrid putting Liverpool to the sword in the first-half, leading 3-0 and never looking back. So, as we thought, Real Madrid outclasses them and the -1 handicap line was there to be smashed. Real Madrid duly obliged thanks in no small part to Mario Balotelli having yet another shocker. It’s safe to say, however, that Liverpool’s defense is going to be there for the taking for nearly every side this season.
Elsewhere in the Champions League, we again hit the bar with the goals in the Anderlecht vs Arsenal game. We went for over 3.5 and we got 3. The first-half just wasn’t explosive enough. If Anderlecht had went ahead earlier, we might have had one or two more goals. Still, it wasn’t all heartbreak as Anaheim finished the night with a bang, easily beating the -1.5 handicap to give us another 2-1 day, with more profit locked in.
Today, there’s UEFA Europa League action, before we have the Chargers heading to Denver. As we head into the weekend, we’re looking to continue our hot streak on the NFL, and also get that perfect day which has eluded us by the smallest of margins every day this week.
San Diego Chargers vs Denver Broncos:
This Thursday night game is an interesting one for us, as the Broncos look like Gods at home, while the Chargers aren’t looking too shabby either. This fixture last year was also played on a Thursday night, with the Chargers taking it out 27-20. This time round, Peyton Manning is looking to avoid that and is coming into the game showing all the right signs. Add in the fact Manning tends to bag at least a touchdown against the Chargers and he’ll be full of confidence.
That being said, Philip Rivers will be pleased to see the stats that the Broncos’ passing defense is nowhere near the strongest in the league. He might just decide that the running game is off the cards, even though it has been the Chargers’ main route to success recently, as Rivers has been misfiring.
We see this is a close one, and the 8 point line is doing the Chargers no favors, and we don’t see them as dogs by that big a margin. Sure, they’re dogs, but 8 points? We don’t think so, so we are going to snap up the +8.5 on the Chargers and will be looking for Philip Rivers to return to form. There should only be one score in this.
Young Boys vs Napoli:
Out of all the games tonight, we think this is the one the bookies might have just got a bit wrong. On paper, this looks like more of a mismatch than the odds would suggest. Young Boys aren’t playing the greatest football at the moment, they’ve lost their last 3, against rivals Basel and Aarau and are not coming into this with the greatest confidence.
In contrast, Napoli are undefeated in their last 5 and know a win tonight will put them almost over the line for qualification into the next stage of the Europa League. They’re a team with Europa League pedigree and Rafa Benitez knows that he needs some success in this competition to ease the pressure on him.
We think that Napoli should just a shade of odds-on here. Young Boys’ home form flatters to deceive. Yes, they beat Slovan Bratislava 5-0 here in the competition, but Slovan are no great shakes, especially away from home. Napoli have everythinh to prove after a slow start to the Serie A season. They’ve got the team to put the Swiss to the sword and go back to Italy with all three points.
Inter Milan vs St Etienne
Yes, we know Inter Milan are inconsistent. Yes, we know that the price is that big for a reason. But we cannot see past the Italians here. They are a class above St Etienne. Inter Milan have a run of 8 home European games undefeated to defend tonight, and against a St Etienne team that are finding it difficult to score, the result, for us, is a no-brainer. It might not be the 7-0 win Inter Milan had against Sassuolo, but we don’t think they are going to struggle against a stuttering French side.
St Etienne stopped a losing streak with a 1-0 win over Lorient, but they were hardly convincing in their exploits, and will not be full of confidence tonight, especially with their captain Loic Perrin missing for the trip. Factor in St Etienne’s performance away at Qarabag, and we cannot see why Inter Milan are so close to 2.0. Get on the Italians before all the smart money snaps it all up.