Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Saturday 16 January 2010
As punters emerge blinking from their caves to watch the ice age ebbing away, they may find that the freeze has blurred the form lines. Better then to follow the sun.
Monday sees the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne, where the temperatures usually hit the high thirties. And class usually tells, with Roger Federer (3-1), Novak Djokovic (13-2) and Rafael Nadal (4-1) harvesting wins over the past five years. Juan Martin del Potro (6-1) is a threat after his US Open win.
Conditions may be against Andy Murray (13-2), too hot, tough draw, but Nikolay Davydenko won in Qatar, beating Federer and Nadal. Three times a quarter-finalist in Melbourne, he has stamina and confidence – £10 each-way, 10-1, Ladbrokes. One finalist is often an outsider so try Fernando Verdasco (£5 each-way, 30-1 Paddy Power).
The women's tournament revolves around the Williams sisters and the Belgians, with Justine Henin back in action, as well as US Open winner Kim Clijsters. Henin can win (£10, 11-2 Blue Square) with US finalist Caroline Wozniacki each-way (£5, 16-1, generally)
The NFL's Divisional Championships fill the weekend. Arizona (5-2, VC Bet) take their scoring machine to New Orleans and may win again; the Colts (2-5, Ladbrokes) face a rampant Ravens but their quarterback Peyton Manning can carve up Baltimore's defence; the Cowboys (6-5 Coral) can down Minnesota while the Chargers (1-3, Bet 365) are too strong for the Jets. £10 win each.
*We were three for four on the wild-card games, with Arizona, Baltimore, and Dallas, but the Bengals conformed to "Bungles" stereotype, missing two field goals and dropping key passes.
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