Another day, another dollar. Some thought that Bet 13 of the £10 to 10k Challenge may prove unlucky, but I didn’t have the slightest secondary thought about putting my £66.64 on Chelsea to beat Norwich City at home and although Grant Holt’s opener enlivened the next two minutes, the Blues were always likely to come good on my faith.
Juan Mata produced the sort of performance that makes birds sing, while ace goal-getter Branislav Ivanovic was again on target. After taking the lead, the Canaries never looked like keeping the Blues at bay for very long and it was one-way traffic once right-back Fernando Torres headed in Ivanovic’s devilish cross.
Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard strikes sandwiched those goals as Roberto Di Matteo’s side extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points and my winnings to £79.30.
The quest to reach the five-figure holy grail is certainly gathering pace as it smoothly moves through the gears like a supercharged three-door hatchback. Of course, with this column reaching dozens worldwide – fans include disgraced MPs, former page three models and a man on trial for war crimes – there is a sense of trepidation when offering up each bet and yet they keep coming home in convincing fashion.
With this being international week, there’s been a void in the midweek action which has proved fruitful so far. Usually I like to place two bets per week, so having skipped past my Wednesday wager I’m in the mood to make up for some lost time and I know just the place to start.
Ordinarily, international weeks are a bit of a pain in the particulars, with games either massively one-sided or entirely unpredictable. In the sixth bet of the challenge, I went for Spain to beat Georgia and the world and European champions left it until the final five minutes before sealing the deal in the closest scrape so far.
Around the continent on Friday evening there are, once again, plenty of options for me to turn my £79.30 into something more significant and I will be enlisting the help of England to do so (I really hope those aren’t famous last words).
The Three Lions will be the latest side to smash poor San Marino and even though the hosts are 1/100 to win, there’s surprisingly good value elsewhere given that every man and his dog knows this one will be England’s with a load of goals.
La Serenissima are officially the joint-worst side in international football alongside Bhutan and Turks and Caicos Islands having won just one game in their far-from-illustrious history. Giampaolo Mazza’s men are marching towards a 50th consecutive defeat and haven’t let in less than three goals in an away game for over nine years, so I’m backing England with goals galore in this Wembley clash.
The terms of the £10k challenge mean I need to place bets of equal to or greater value than 1/10 and that gives me plenty of unnecessary scope in this fixture. For example, it’s 3/25 that there will be over 1.5 goals in the second half alone or an enhanced and market-leading 2/5 that Wayne Rooney will get on the scoresheet.
Given that the visitors have shipped 70 goals in their last ten away ties without scoring on the road since 2003, I will personally go down to Soho Square to demand the resignation of all involved if the Three Lions hit less than five and as such, Bet 14 of the £10 to 10k Challenge will be for England to beat San Marino against a 4-0 handicap at 7/25.
Now, I could have gone a little safer – it’s true. But I’m keen to cover the lack of a midweek bet and claw back some of that deficit in terms of time.
More to the point, I’m convinced England will do the business here and lash home at least half a dozen, so just under 1/4 for them to win against a four-goal handicap is well priced and also launches me over the £100 mark, which I’ve been itching to break for a number of weeks.
Current Balance: £79.30
Potential Balance: £101.50