A punting masterstroke at Stamford Bridge, and a painfully obvious bet on Harry Kane
Punt of the weekend: Lanzini to score first and Chelsea and West Ham to draw 2-2 (100/1)
One Paddy Power punter in Bristol scoops the award for punt of the weekend, after correctly nailing the Chelsea v West Ham fixture at Stamford Bridge. His £1 bet on Manuel Lanzini to score first and the two sides to draw 2-2 returned £101 and had everything you need to claim punt of the week.
Firstly there’s Manuel Lanzini to score first – a man who has failed to find the onion bag since the end of November, and has played almost nine hours of top flight football in between. Then there’s the drama of a game West Ham dominated. Twice the away side took the lead through Lanzini and Andy Carroll, and twice Cesc Fabregas rescued Guus Hiddink’s side.
The second goal that made it 2-2 came in the 89th minute from the penalty spot and scooped this lucky punter a cool £100. The fact that it came so late, in a match where Chelsea hadn’t had a shot on target since the 60th minute, and was probably undeserved, makes this win all the sweeter.
Banker: Tottenham 8/15
Tottenham went into their home clash with Bournemouth as the 8/15 favourites, and punters who included them in an accumulator, or who had lumped on the single, never even had to sweat. Harry Kane took just 44 seconds to put Tottenham ahead, and Spurs had doubled their lead just after the 15 minute mark.
Christian Eriksen made it 3-0 seven minutes after half time, but by that point Mauricio Pochettino’s men were on cruise control. Bournemouth had just two shots in the entire game, neither of which were on target, while Spurs controlled the game with 58 per cent of possession.
It was a stroll in the park for Tottenham, and an easy banker for Premier League punters.
Blow-out: Chelsea 5/6
We’ve already covered Chelsea scraping a point at home to West Ham in our ‘Punt of the weekend’, but it’s worth noting that they were odds-on to pick up three points in Saturday’s clash. Despite 54 per cent of Paddy Power punters backing West Ham to pick up all three points, Chelsea were the 5/6 favourites after going unbeaten in the league under Guus Hiddink.
Punters who included them in their accumulators were left to rue Chelsea’s poor form, as the home side fell behind twice, and with Diego Costa and Eden Hazard missing though injury, struggled to get back into the game. Cesc Fabregas’ brace was enough to secure a draw, but that wasn’t any consolation to the many punters who backed the favourites to pick up three points.
The value bet that looks painfully obvious: Harry Kane to score first 3/1
The PP traders feared Harry Kane going into Tottenham’s game, and had the England striker priced up at 3/1 to open the scoring against Bournemouth. The Cherries had only kept three clean sheets on the road in 13 matches ahead of the clash, while Tottenham had bagged 53 goals and were the deadliest team in the division.
It took less than a minute for Harry Kane to find the onion bag and rattle in his 20th goal of the season – bagging an early winner for the many, many punters who ploughed into the Tottenham striker to open the scoring. It should come as no surprise though. Kane now has 21 goals from just 128 shots – giving him a conversion rate of 16 per cent. He’s averaged a goal every 130 minutes in the league this season and has found the net 10 times at White Hart Lane.
Hindsight is a beautiful, and painfully obvious beast.
The longshot that nobody saw coming: Philippe Coutinho to score first but Southampton to win 3-2 (325/1)
One of the most entertaining games of the weekend came at St Mary’s Park as Liverpool sailed into a 2-0 lead before capitulating in the second half and conspiring to lose 3-2 to Southampton. Philippe Coutinho struck a beautiful opener for Jurgen Klopp’s men after 17 minutes before Daniel Sturridge’s dancing feet curled a second goal home five minutes later.
The arrival of Martin Skrtel at half-time may not have been Klopp’s greatest move, as the defender gave away a penalty within three minutes of coming on. Sadio Mane saw his spot kick saved, but the attacking midfielder scored either side of Graziano Pelle’s effort to give Saints an unlikely three points.
The winner came in the 86th minute, and clicked a 325/1 scorecast for anyone psychic enough to back it. Unsurprisingly none of our Paddy Power punters correctly punted the 325/1 bet, and it was the longshot nobody, particularly not Liverpool fans, saw coming.