As George Osborne held aloft his big red briefcase of doom, we awaited with bated breath to find out how much booze and petrol were going to cost from now on, while Dimitar Berbatov was off to renegotiate his contract with Fergie so he could still afford his cigarettes.
So what’s the best way to overcome a pocket-pounding budget? By whacking the free £25 bet you get for joining bwin.com on a 13/1 accumulator that could expand your pocket by £353.52. Then you can lean out of the nearest window and shout ‘That’s what I think of your budget, Mr. of the Exchequer!’
Norwich to beat Wolves @ 18/25
The first rule of Accumulator Club* is to always kick a team when they’re down. This proved fruitful last week when, for the second week in a row, bwin successfully predicted a Burton Albion defeat. Now it’s the turn of poor Wolves.
It’s not Terry Connor’s fault, he inherited a team who had just lost 5-1 at home to West Brom, but he has not yet been able to find the formula to turn things around, being on the receiving end of five-goal tonkings in two of their last three games.
A trip to Carrow Road will not be welcome, as Paul Lambert’s Canaries have enjoyed impressive home form this season, losing only four of their 14 games. They have hit a slight blip recently, but nothing close to Wolves’ demise, so 3/4 on a Norwich win looks too good to pass up.
* Not an actual club.
Peterborough to beat Barnsley @ 19/10
The second rule of Accumulator Club* is to always kick a team when they’re down. Barnsley have been slipping and sliding their way down the Championship table after losing eight of their last ten games.
Having said that, this match possibly poses the greatest risk of this week’s selection as Peterborough themselves have won just three away from home this season, but they have been in good form recently, beating high-flying Reading in midweek.
The goals of Tyrone Barnett have seen the Posh win two of their last three and taking that momentum to Oakwell should see them pile more misery on the Tykes and triumph in the battle of 17th versus 18th. And as with the Norwich game, the odds of 19/10 are far too generous to ignore.
* Not a film either… yet.
Tranmere to beat Exeter @ 18/25
The third rule of Accumulator Club is the old adage, ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. Tranmere have been a thorn in this punter’s side in recent weeks, scuppering two accumulators by getting unlikely draws at Charlton and Sheffield United.
Rovers’ revival under Ronnie Moore has been remarkable considering their previous poor form and as they rise further and further away from the danger zone, they look down on Exeter, who are really stuck in the mire.
The Grecians are another team in terrible form, losing their last four games and failing to win any of their last six.
Tranmere have been very tough to beat at Prenton Park all season, losing just three times, but Moore seems to have added the extra knack of actually winning the game as well (always handy), and so another win on the Wirral for Rovers seems a safe bet to me at 18/25.
Crawley to beat Rotherham @ 31/50
The fourth and final rule of Accumulator Club is to always bet on at least one game from each division to keep it interesting across the board. But don’t worry Burton fans, we’ll leave you alone this week.
We end in League Two with promotion-seeking Crawley taking on playoff-seeking Rotherham. The Red Devils have just come off a treacherous patch of form, having not won for seven games, but they got their season back on track with two victories inside a week. The recent loss of their two star strikers Matt Tubbs and the aforementioned Barnett hurt them, but Steve Evans’ men seem to have turned things around once more as they look for successive promotions.
Rotherham have fallen away in recent months and lie eight points off the playoffs. Having won just two of their last nine, the Yorkshire side will have a big task on their hands to take anything away on Saturday, as Crawley have won 12 of their 18 games at the Broadfield Stadium in this campaign.
Well, that wraps up yet another Saturday accumulator. Go forth, fellow punters and enjoy the weekend’s action.
I’m off to bet what would have been my future pension money on some Russian Second Division clash. ‘That’s what I think of your budget, Mr. of the Exchequer!’
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