Following the debacle of the initial £10 to £10k Challenge, when I almost lost my first two bets before being struck down in the third, things had been going worryingly well in the revised version of the challenge.
After restarting with a £10 stake, I quickly more than doubled my prize fund across five separate bets and all of them came in handsomely, with only the odd minor and momentary interruption to proceedings.
It was safe to say I’d been getting fairly complacent with my new-found prophetic skills, to the point where I didn’t find out the result of my sixth bet until a few hours after the event.
My sixth sense was for Spain to beat Georgia at odds of 11/100 and – like many other punters – I had already granted La Roja the three points before a tiki had been takked in Tbilisi.
In virtually all of my other bets, including the ultimately doomed USA Women’s U20s’ draw with China, I had tuned in on TV, found an iffy internet stream or listened on the radio to keep abreast of how my chosen ones were getting on.
It had proven a harrowing experience on occasion, not least when watching the young Americans huff and puff against the Chinese, as I found myself balling tactical advice at a group of teenage girls some 6,000 miles away.
So with Spain to beat Georgia virtually assured, my preoccupations were with England and Ukraine, but only when the suffering 68,000 crowd were very slowly making their way from the home of football to wait for one of a handful of trains away from the place did it occur to me to check how the Spanish had fared.
A quick look on bwin’s live betting service showed the game up as full-time with a narrow 1-0 win for the Spaniards, but further inspection of the match statistics revealed how close I was to another tail between the legs failure.
Despite having about 112% possession against a side ranked 86th by FIFA, Vicente del Bosque’s world and European champions left it until four minutes from time to claim the win, but more importantly prolonged the lifespan of the £10k challenge.
Roberto Soldado’s belated 86th-minute winner meant it was six wins on the bounce for me and a new tally of £23.71 with which to try to make it seventh heaven.
This weekend sees a return to domestic football after the pesky escapades of the internationals and all around the world, there are league match-ups offering me plenty of opportunity to harbour dreams of actually pulling off this ludicrous task.
Among others, I reckon BATE Borisov will keep their Belarussian supremacy going against Torpedo Zhodino, I can see Bayern Munich beating Mainz, Porto always win at home and Beira Mar shouldn’t alter that and I can definitely see there being over 1.5 goals in QPR v Chelsea.
All of the above options, plus plenty more, were available at odds of 1/10 or longer across the thousands of bets on bwin’s many markets but when sifting through the English leagues in search of an elusive massive successful accumulator, I found one bet which I just could not ignore on any of my slips this weekend.
Down in League One, Tranmere Rovers are one of the early-season pacesetters and welcome crisis club Coventry City to Prenton Park on Saturday. The Sky Blues are without a league win since their demotion from the Championship and even 11/10 for the Rovers victory in bwin’s 3Way betting market seems worth a go – but as ever, I’ll be taking the softly, softly approach in this particular marathon.
Even though a home win is on the cards here, for the seventh bet of my £10k challenge I’ll be going for Tranmere to score one goal or more at 1/4 and a succesful tip this time around will put me on £29.64 – just 36p away from the magical £30 mark.
To give you some rationale behind the selection, Ronnie Moore’s side have played twice at home this season, scoring seven times, and have found the net in 14 of their last 15 fixtures on their own patch.
On the other hand, Coventry are about as secure on the road as a hedgehog crossing the M25 and and have only kept two clean sheets in their past 27 away league matches – a horrid run stretching back to the start of last season.
The result and all other things aside, I’m confident Tranmere at home have got at least one goal in them and that will be good enough to spin me on to the midweek fixtures and a barrage of bets courtesy of the Champions League and Europa League.
Bet 7: Tranmere to score versus Coventry City @ 1/4
Current Balance: £23.71
Potential Balance: £29.64
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