Pre-season friendlies offer an unusual opportunity to lay wagers on teams from different divisions (and leagues) who would not normally be competing with one another, apart from possibly in cup competitions. Clearly the motivation behind squad selection for a friendly will be different to that of a league or cup match. Managers and coaches will be trying out young players, different formations and playing styles. This makes it very difficult for bookmakers to set odds that reflect the normal disparity between the teams and potential windfalls can be anticipated.
Look up Bet365 for a variety of pre-season games, and don’t miss the inplay facility that can give an indication as to whether the ‘bigger’ team has fielded a weakened side.
The author picked up a win yesterday when Spanish minnows (but newly promoted to the fourth tier Tercera division after an absence of twenty years), CD Almoradi were playing Elche, still smarting perhaps from playing another season in Segunda A, the second tier. The in-play odds showed +1800 on a draw when Elche were 1-0 up as the second half started. 1-0? Shouldn’t that have been much higher given the difference in league status? I went for a small punt on it and low and behold the minnows squeezed a draw late in the half.
The psychological impact of having failed within a group of top players pitched up against a supposedly lesser abled squad, revelling in success, can bridge many divisions. I picked up another last night: Bristol Rovers (newly promoted from division 2) were hosting Aston Villa (newly demoted from the Premiership to the Championship). Villa were 1-0 up into extra time and I thought my guess for a draw had fallen flat but no! Up flashed the in-play message ‘goal for Bristol Rovers’ and I had snuck another win. Nice one!