Arsenal do the business at short odds, while West Ham let punters down at home to Crystal Palace
Punt of the weekend: Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea all to win 4-0 (23,460/1)
One Paddy Power shop punter scoops the award this week after sticking 50p on this punt in a shop in London on Saturday, and walking out with almost £12k. If you want a little more colour to the story you can read about his massive pay-out here, but to put it briefly this was a punting masterstroke.
In the early game Chelsea blitzed Championship-bound Aston Villa 4-0 and had bagged all of their goals before the hour mark. The less said about Aston Villa the better. Arsenal were 3-0 up at home to Watford inside 48 minutes, and Manchester City were out of the blocks even quicker, racing to a 3-0 lead away to Bournemouth inside the opening 20 minutes.
But to add a bit of spice to this bet, this dreamer needed stoppage time goals from Theo Walcott at the Emirates, and Aleksander Kolorov at Dean Court to make his punt a reality. It was certainly a Saturday to remember!
Banker: Arsenal – 4/11
Arsenal were the shortest-priced team going to the weekend, and the Gunners were well supported in singles and 3.00pm accumulators. And Arsene Wenger’s men certainly delivered for punters, in a straightforward victory that we all dream of when placing our bets. Alexis Sanchez put the home side in front inside 120 seconds, before turning provider for Alex Iwobi seven minutes before half-time.
Hector Bellerin quashed any faint hope of a Watford comeback within three minutes of the second half and then it was plain sailing for Arsenal with Theo Walcott putting the cherry on the cake in stoppage time. Watford managed just two shots on target in the entire game, while the Gunners dictated the play with 65 per cent possession.
It couldn’t have been much simpler for Wenger’s side, much to the delight of punters.
Blow-out: West Ham – 10/11
It was perfectly reasonable to think West Ham were going to deliver at a shade of odds-on at Upton Park on Saturday. The Hammers were in fact touted as being the best value bet on the Racing Post Postcast that Paddy Power do, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Crystal Palace had picked up just four points from a possible 39 in their last 13 matches (losing nine, drawing four), while West Ham had won five of their last six home games – drawing the other one to Manchester City.
There was a small speed bump early on, as Damien Delaney put the visitors in front, but usual order was confirmed before half time as Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet put the Hammers 2-1 in front.
Things started unraveling with little over 20 minutes left. Firstly Cheikhou Kouyate received his marching orders for what looked like a very harsh high foot, and less than 10 minutes later Dwight Gayle buried a right footed shot from 12 yards. The Hammers bombarded Palace in the last 10 minutes with five attempts on goal, but nothing to really trouble Wayne Hennessey.
I was a blow to West Ham’s top four ambitions, and an even bigger blow to punters relying on them in their accumulators.
The value bet that looks painfully obvious: Leicester to win 1-0 – 6/1
It looks so obvious now. Four of Leicester’s last five league games going into the weekend had finished 1-0 to the Foxes. Claudio Ranieri had instilled a grit and dogged-determination in his side, as the free-flowing supply of goals had dried up. The Foxes were scoring less, but they were keeping more clean sheets, they were confident, and Lady Luck was going along with them for the ride.
Seven of Leicester’s last eight wins ahead of the Southampton game were to nil, while the Saints had one of the meanest defences on the road before their trip to the King Power Stadium – conceding just 14 goals in 15 games.
Hindsight is a cruel beast, particularly when £10 would have returned a delightful £70 courtesy of Wes Morgan’s towering header.
The longshot that nobody saw coming: Timm Klose to score first and Norwich to beat Newcastle 3-2 (300/1)
It one of the most entertaining and crucial games of the weekend, Norwich boosted their hopes of survival in a five-goal thriller against Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United. Timm Klose put the Canaries ahead on the stroke of half-time at odds of 25/1 to score first, but it wasn’t until the final 20 minutes that this game really spiced up.
Newcastle drew level through Aleksander Mitrovic on 71 minutes, before three minutes later Dieumerci Mbokani put Norwich back in front. Mitrovic’s well placed penalty looked to have secured the Magpies a precious point with four minutes left on the clock, but Martin Olsson sparked jubilant scenes at Carrow Road by slotting home the winner in the second minute of stoppage time.
It was 25/1 for Norwich to win 3-0, combined with the decent price of centre-back Klose to score first and you get a 300/1 scorecast that nobody saw coming. It’s probably for the best as well, I don’t think many people’s hearts could have taken that thriller if they had had cash riding on it.