The British betting industry sustained its heaviest loss over the course of last weekend, paying out a whopping £25m.
According to Coral 14 out of 15 of their lowest priced teams all won and that was before the remaining games on the coupon brought victories for Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal.
The Tenner Bet got in on the act, too, but in typically Tenner Bet style none of the winnings came from massive liability incurred by the bookies. In hindsight, the fixture list was ripe for plucking. Success, however, comes in many different forms and it was with much relish that this columnist cheered on the San Diego Chargers into the early hours of Monday morning. At the risk of history repeating itself, the Tenner Bet is shunning the football coupon for a second week and instead concentrating efforts on the NFL Championship games.
Loading article content
NEW ENGLAND @ DENVER
This promises to be a shoot out between two of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has seen. Tom Brady v Peyton Manning has all the ingredients for an intriguing battle. The two have plenty of experience of the play-offs but it is the former who has the marked edge in wins, racking up an 18-7 record in post-season games against Manning's 10 wins and 11 losses. Furthermore, Brady has won 10 of the 14 games he has played against Manning. There is mitigation; Manning did not have an offense as potent as he has in Denver during his time at the Indianapolis Colts. Nevertheless, they were no slouches and it must be noted that this is more or less the Broncos team that choked in last year's Divisional play-offs. The Pats have also won five of six against the Broncos and eight of eight against AFC West teams. The match pits Wes Welker against his former Patriot's team-mates and head coach Bill Belichick. Welker's switch - he holds a slew of receiving records -was identified as an example of the changing of the guard in the AFC, but the wily Belichick has presided over a quiet campaign that might just end at the Super Bowl.
SAN FRANCISCO @ SEATTLE
With barely a fag paper between these teams the outcome will hinge on whether the 49ers can overcome their miserable form at Seattle over the past two seasons. As it stands, San Francisco have lost by a combined score of 71-16 on their last two visits to CenturyLink Field but won the most recent match between the sides on their own turf at Candlestick Park. There is a sense that Jim Harbaugh has wrapped the 49ers in cotton wool for a chunk of the season - certainly Colin Kaepernick has improved as the campaign has progressed and the return of Michael Crabtree - one of the offense's big weapons - has added a new dimension to their passing game. The Seahawks are 5-0 against the spread in this fixture but if wideout Percy Harvin - who has a concussion worry - is not at optimum level then the pendulum swings towards the 49ers, who have won eight on the bounce and their last three on the road.
An against the spread double on New England (+6) and San Francisco (+3.5) pays 2.72 with Oddschecker who have this week released a new app which allows punters to compare prices against seven of the industry leaders. A straight-up double yields 6.95/1 and is this week's second pick.
A win, a glorious win at last. -£38.40