Right, I am going to lay it on the line from the very start: Both Teams to Score is my favourite bet in the whole wide world. It is so simple – you just need each side playing in a football match to score a goal – but like The Ramones or a bowl of cornflakes (have you forgotten how good they taste?) its simplicity is its genius, and this new column hopes to take advantage of that by tipping up a weekly treble.
When, as often happens, a team in your four-way acca is 2-0 down at half-time, you know your bet is done: this hollow, frustrated, helpless feeling builds up inside you until the only answer is to go and find the nearest 17-year-old ballboy and kick him repeatedly until he admits that he should have been watching the match from the stands drunk on snakebite, not performing the duties of a 12-year-old child.
With Both Teams to Score, it really isn’t done until final whistle goes, and for the only time in your life the last minute goal, the curse of punters up and down the land for as long as bookies have taken bets, is your friend, not your foe. The bet has everything going for it, and Saturday afternoons just wouldn’t be the same without it. No, I don’t have a girlfriend.
After a little bit of pestering and gentle persuasion, the bwin editor has finally caved in and let me have my own Both Teams to Score column (in exchange for the safe return of his pet dog) and so here it is – the first ever SC’s BTTS as absolutely nobody will be calling it.
I might as well blow my own trumpet – no-one else is going to – I have had a fair amount of success with this bet over the last couple of years, so I am hoping to translate that into winning tips from now until the end of the season. Feel free to get involved on Twitter @bwin or, if you’re the type of person who likes to aim their abuse directly at the source, @shaun_curran.
Here it goes, the inaugural SC’s BTTS! Come on, you can at least TRY to make it stick… This treble pays out at just over 7/2, with the free £20 bet you get for signing up to bwin set to return £90.67.
Derby County v Blackburn Rovers @ 13/20
Michael Appleton, the magician who is able to attain managerial jobs without any of the hassle of actually having to win football matches, takes his Blackburn side to Pride Park to face fellow Championship side Derby County in the FA Cup and there looks set to be goals at each end.
Appleton is on his third club of the season, but true to form he is yet to win any of his three games as Rovers boss. Yet that trio of matches have seen both teams find the net, and that should be the case when they play a Derby side who tend to be involved in these types of fixtures.
The Rams have seen both teams notch in nine of their last 12 games, including six of their last seven at Pride Park, and there is every chance two evenly matches teams – they sit 13th and 14th in the second tier – could play out a match with goals past both defences.
That was the case when the two sides played out a 1-1 draw on the same ground in the league in October, and with four of the last five meetings at Derby (going back to their Premier League days) seeing both teams score, I like the look of it happening on Saturday.
Nottingham Forest v Watford @ 57/100
Alex McLeish in entertaining football shocker! OK, maybe that is stretching the point somewhat but the way his team are performing, both teams to score looks nailed on when free-flowing Watford go to the City Ground on Saturday.
Big ‘Eck has been in charge of Forest for just five matches, but there have been 17 goals in those games: four of which have seen both teams find the net. It makes a change from his usual dour fare, and with Watford in town that looks set to continue.
The Hornets are flourishing under the suspiciously bequiffed Gianfranco Zola and his team of hired hands, and are now in the play-off places, just four points off automatic promotion. This has been achieved in some style, with Watford currently the Championship’s top scorers (53) and the goals are flying in at both ends of the pitch.
Ten of Watford’s last 12 league games have seen both teams score, and in 12 of their 13 away trips goals have been scored past both keepers: there is no reason why this will change at Forest on Saturday.
Bournemouth v Crewe Alexandra @ 3/4
The smile on Eddie Howe’s improbably youthful face (I’m just jealous) has been turned into a frown as his Bournemouth side endure a mini-wobble for the first time since his return, and with away-day goal specialists Crewe Alexandra in town, I like the look of both teams scoring.
After such a great run since Howe’s return, the Cherries’ only win in their last six in league and cup was last time out against hapless Hartlepool and they seem vulnerable to a Crewe side who have won six out of their last nine.
With that initial thought in mind, a look at the BTTS stats make it an even better bet. Five of Bournemouth’s seven games at home to teams in the top half have seen goals at each end, as have four of their last five matches. But it is Crewe who make this such a good bet: each team have had their defence breached in five of their last six, and nine of their 14 away league games have seen both teams score – only Bury and Walsall can beat that (ten). It makes the 3/4 look good to me.