We’re back? Have you missed us?
Probably not. We have fun though, doing this feature, so we’ve decided to bring you along with us again for the long, laborious ride.
This year, Roker Riches promises to be more interactive, and we want to get the readers involved in our little game of one-upmanship.
Danny Roberts was our winner last season and he’s back to defend his crown against this season’s competitors: Connor, Dan Parker, Rory, Graham, Tom Atkinson, Walshy and Gav.
Gav is tired of losing at this game so he’s decided to hand off his bets to the Roker Report readers for the upcoming season, and each week over on Twitter you’ll be able to vote on which bets he should pick each week.
As per usual, the writers this season will all start with a balance of £50 and it is up to them to make that money go as long and as far as they can. The one with the biggest pot of cash come the last weekend of the Football season will be declared the winner.
This Week's Bonus Prize...
If Sunderland can manage to beat Derby County, the banker has promised each writer a free £5 accumulator bet for next week!
Well, you bunch of fuckers... I’m leaving it to you this season.
Pick number one - vote!— Roker Report (@RokerReport) August 4, 2017
I can live with that. Wahbi has scored a few in pre-season and Derby’s midfield isn’t exactly mobile, meaning he’ll be able to find plenty of space around their box should we play on the front foot. £5 returns £23.75.
Pick number two - vote!— Roker Report (@RokerReport) August 4, 2017
Niiiiiiiiice. Thanks guys. Arsenal to beat Chelsea in the Community Shield, and Steve Bruce’s Villa to destroy the Humberside Tigers. £5 returns £14.70.
Sunderland v Derby to draw 1-1 - 5/1: A draw is as optimistic as I can get for our season opener. It's difficult to predict, as all early season games are. £5 returns £30.
Boro & Villa double: Sticking with the relegated clubs, I'll go for Middlesbrough to get off to a winning start away to Wolves but I don't think Hull will fare as well against Aston Villa. The Tigers have struggled to attract inspiring players, despite possibly making a very shrewd appointment with Leonid Slutsky, so it could be a difficult afternoon for them at Villa Park. £5 returns £30.19.
Derby to win to nil - 15/4: Sunderland will struggle to score goals, and there is an inevitability of Derby coming to Wearside and winning. £5 returns £23.75.
Villa, Fulham & Bradford treble: All three teams are favourites - this treble basically prints you money. Thank me later. £5 returns £35.02.
Lewis Grabban to score anytime - 9/5: I quite fancy us to turn Derby over on Friday. Friday night under the lights at the Stadium will have the crowd well up for it - and that is crucial. We’ll need a new hero too, and I fancy Lewis Grabban to score. £10 returns £28.
Sheff Utd, Burton & Boro v Wolves draw treble: It’s a bit of a risk. £5 returns £98.56.
Sunderland to win - 8/5: Yup. You read that right. I'm plumping for The Lads to pick up all three points in their first game of the season. It's unheard of, I know, but hopefully we can really start this season well. £5 returns £12.
PSG, Monaco & Horsens treble: Since it’s only early doors I am playing it safe, placing down a small sum on a treble of favourites. £5 returns £19.50.
Darron Gibson to score anytime - 5/1: Picture the scene. Friday night under the lights, a tense Stadium of Light is watching Sunderland and Derby trade blows. The score remains deadlocked at 1-1 and as the minutes tick away an unlikely hero steps up. Cast aside as a pariah in certain circles, banished to the annals of history in many minds - he strides forward with purpose and guile. One swing of his trusty left boot and the ball flies into the top corner to the sound of crackling raptures. The pariah is given a reprieve. He is our hero. He is Darron Gibson. We are all Darron Gibson. £5 returns £30.
Celtic, Monaco & PSG treble - 8/11: My second bet is an Elite Big Dawgs Smashing Jobbers special with Celtic, Monaco and PSG suitably destroying messrs Hearts, Toulouse and Amiens, respectively. £3 returns £5.16.
Lewis Grabban to score 1st - 7/1: If truth be told, I’m about as experienced and proficient at gambling as Darron Gibson is at after dinner speaking - so expect an awful performance from me this season. £2 returns £16.
Sixfold Accumulator - 19/1: Boylesports hold fond memories for me as a Sunderland fan, and they offered 20/1 for a 6 team accumulator which has Celtic, Hibs, Fenerbahce, Forest, Bradford, and Sparta Praga all to win. £1 returns £20.
Derby & Sunderland BTTS: I don’t think we’ll win on Friday but I equally can’t back the Lads to lose in the first game of the season. That is something I can’t do. Therefore, I’m taking the reasonably safe option and going for both teams to score. £7 returns £12.50.
Eightfold accumumator: Celtic, Bradford, Pompey, Monaco, Marseille, Porto, Aberdeen and PSG all to win. Roker Riches is back which means weekly disappointment in my failed accas is back too - but that’s not going to put me off. £6 returns £90.67.