The State of Play
HELLO, EVERYONE! Have you missed us, all three of you who actually read this feature?
Regular readers will know how this all works - we each start the season with £100 and have to see how far we can make it go week to week as the campaign progresses. We make two picks per week - one Sunderland bet, and one bet of our choosing. Max stake is £50 and the man who has the highest balance come the end of the season will be our Champion.
Our accounts are back open, we’re all raring to go and we’re aiming to make some money. But, as you all know, it’s the taking part that counts - and last season’s winner Danny Roberts is back and keen to cling on to his Roker Riches title after he pipped Gav in the final stretch of the season to become our very first two-time champion.
Graham Falk and Rory Fallow are also back in an attempt to go one better this season after they both struggled to gain any momentum last time around.
Say hello to our newbies - Chris Camm, Matty Crichton and Paul Fletcher, who are all Roker Riches virgins and are here to show they mean business in the betting stakes.
So - without further ado, let the games begin...
The Table - Week #1
For those of you who are new to the feature - meet the Banker.
The banker lurks in the shadows and cuts a largely mysterious feature, but fear not - he’s actually a good guy and he gives us extra incentives throughout the season in a bid to keep our gang of punters motivated! Each week he sets an objective and, if it comes off, he rewards each of the Roker Report betters with a nice bonus for the following week.
This week’s bonus: If Will Grigg can start the season with a goal, the banker will give each of our punters a free £10 bet to place on a fivefold acca next week. Nice!
This week’s picks!
Gav is going with...
Sunderland to win and over 1.5 goals: I’m playing it safe with my first Sunderland bet as I’m not sure what to make of us yet. The fact that the odds are so poor for us to win means that it’s not really worth spunking my load early doors. £10 returns £19.
Fourfold: I think Brentford and Stoke will be right up there in the Championship this season, so I’m tipping them to get wins today. Similarly, I think Lincoln and Salford will do alright - and, after promotion, they’ll be keen to impress in their respective home games. Crossing my fingers - a nice acca win to get me off to a good start! £10 returns £118.
Paul Fletcher is going with...
Sunderland to score over 2.5 goals v Oxford United: After the pre-season doom and gloom of drawing three blanks, I fancy us to click in front of goal on Saturday. An early goal and hopefully the floodgates will open! £10 returns £34.
Fourfold: Stoke, Coventry, Carlisle & Wrexham to all start the season with wins. Early season betting is never easy, so I’ll risk a HUGE amount here... £2.50 returns £32.50.
Danny Roberts is going with...
Sunderland to win 2-1 and Duncan Watmore to score anytime: I have a strange feeling that Watmore will grab a goal tomorrow. If Aiden McGeady doesn’t start, I’d expect Dunc to be alongside Embleton behind the striker and, while he’s had a difficult time in front of goal recently, he still offers a lot in attack. Hopefully tomorrow is the start of a Watmore resurgence. £5 returns £80.
Five fold: Wycombe & Blackpool to pick up opening day wins against Bolton & Bristol Rovers, Lincoln City to either win or draw against Accrington Stanley, Rotherham to win or draw away from home against AFC Wimbledon and finally Salford City to either win or draw in their first ever football league game against Stevenage. £10 returns £48.28.
Rory Fallow is going with...
Sunderland to win & under 2.5 goals: We haven’t scored many in pre-season but I still fancy us to edge past Oxford and start the season positively. £10 returns £36.
Cardiff & Portsmouth double: I fancy Cardiff to bruise their way through Wigan, while Portsmouth are good value at evens as they travel to Shrewsbury. £10 returns £49.
Chris Camm is going with...
Sunderland to win 2-0 and Elliot Embleton to score first: This isnt a realistic bet, it’s just what I want to happen. A fiver on that will win me £230.
Treble: I a baby accumulator of Fulham, Stoke and Brentford all to win at 10/1 and I stuck a fiver on that as well. Hopefully it’ll come in to save that other £5 I just threw away on the Sunderland game. £5 returns £60.
Graham Falk is going with...
Sunderland to win both halves: Ooooooh I feel it in my bones, Saturday is going to be a good day. There’ll be many beers beforehand, and many beers afterwards. We’ll smash in a a goal in the first twenty, then finish them in the second. Get ready Oxford. £10 returns £36.
A big fat triple: Peterborough should overcome Joey Barton’s Fleetwood, before League One newbies Tranmere and Lincoln start full of confidence and win their season openers. £10 returns £90.09.
Matty Crichton is going with...
Sunderland to be winning at half time and full time: I think Oxford’s poor pre-season and late flurry of transfers will give us an easier chance to win. Our squad is much more settled this year and I’m fully expecting a comfortable performance. £10 returns £24.
Fourfold: Wycombe are a shoe in to win following Bolton’s horrendous situation, leaving them with a handful of signed on first team players. Fulham, Stoke and our League One rivals Portsmouth have all made excellent signings so I’d expect them all to get off to a strong starts. £50 returns £509.