Welcome to another Roker Riches episode, as we enjoy another weekend where the air of optimism continues to persist, and arguably even build, around the red and white army and their hordes of followers.
After a functional but not totally convincing win versus basement team Rochdale last weekend, the lads then very much rose to the occasion with a solid and in many ways dominant 2-0 away with against Portsmouth on Tuesday night.
By securing their first win at Fratton Park for over 20 years they built on their position in the top four; they gained points on teams around and above them, and they also purged another bogey ground/despatched another hoodoo from the past as part of this impressive results run.
Talking of hoodoos, this weekend we take a break from league one form-table dominance and go back to Wembley, home of so many disappointments over the past 50 years or so, including a couple of visits just 2 seasons ago. Whilst in the grand scheme of things many fans don’t give a toss if we win the Papa John’s trophy, winning is a good habit to retain if we can do so without any further injuries to an already ravaged squad, albeit one that is playing quite well despite those issues.
In addition, if we can make it a pleasure to visit the national stadium we always fill (apart from this weekend), then that can only bode well for the future.
How will our punters tackle this odd weekend of betting? Let’s take a look.
The Rolling Table: Season 2020-2021
Yellow card update...
Only one yellow card offender this week in Danny, who also came close last weekend. To his credit he tried to convince the officials he was struggling to provide his bets half an hour after the deadline, but the ref checked VAR and it was confirmed his submissions were well after the whistle. He is docked a tenner this week as well as his lost wagers from last time out.
This is how the table looks after the win versus Rochdale but before the Saturday/Sunday fixtures take place...
No wins claimed from the lads last Monday, so we all lose a tenner barring Danny who loses twice that. We all hope to top the kitties back up with the bets this week, boosted by the bonus awarded below.
Yes, last week Sunderland managed to successfully match or outperform their competitors in the top six, hence an extra tenner is allocated to all punters for this weekend's fixtures plus our empty Wembley experience.
No bonus bet for next weekend, but hopefully we can all make hay while the form sun shines and get the coffers topped back up.
This Week’s Bets:
Matty Crichton says...
Sunderland & Over 2.5 Goals: I am backing the lads to FINALLY win a match at the new Wembley and lift the trophy, whilst scoring a few goals on the way! £5 returns £14.37.
English Treble: I am tipping Salford to beat a Portsmouth side who are woefully out of form, Ipswich to beat Plymouth at home under new manager Paul Cook, and Carlo Ancelotti’s flying Everton to beat Burnley who simply don’t score enough goals. £5 returns £71.50.
Banker’s Bonus - Sunderland & Salford to win with both teams to score: Slighly against the odds given Sunderland have been tight at the back and Salford are underdogs, but anything can happen in a final! £10 returns £300.00.
Luke “Bomber” Davies says...
Sunderland’s in-form stars to be too hot to handle for the Tranmere defence. McGeady and Wyke both to score. £5 @ 15/2 = £42.50
Win/Win League 1 treble. I’m picking three of the lads main rivals to win their respective fixtures whilst we are away from League One duty. I’ve called it a win/win because if it comes in... we’re in the money! If it doesn’t, it means at least one of our promotion rivals have dropped points! Doncaster, Hull & Lincoln all to win - £5 @ 4.26/1 = £26.32
Bankers Bonus. Two tightly contested finals with two league one winners. Sunderland give us all a laugh and pile more misery onto Pompey by forcing them to hand us over the Pizza Trophy after being champion for just one day. Sunderland and Portsmouth to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 - £10 @ 7.27/1 = £82.66.
Phil Butler says...
Aiden McGeady to outscore the opposition. I have to say I’m dangerously confident going into Sunday afternoon’s game, and I suppose my Sunderland bet reflects this. One constant throughout this season has been our strong defensive record, and if we can keep a clean sheet and Geads can get on the scoresheet my bet will come in. Another Free Kick from 30 yards would be perfect. £5 returns £42.50.
Late Saturday Treble. Within Sunderland’s cup final slap bang in the middle of Sunday’s game, I’m going a trio of winners in the late kick-offs on Saturday, leaving the Lord’s day free to watch Lee Johnson’s men lift the famous Pizza Trophy in front of absolutely no one. Fiorentina face Benevento away from home, and whilst they’re bad I think they’ll have enough to beat Pippo Inzaghi’s witches of the South. Later in the evening, Udinese travel to Genoa and I just really like watching Rodrigo De Paul so hopefully, he can inspire Watford B to a win against Serie A’s only cricket team. Finally, Atletico Madrid travel to Getafe in a game which they’ll be looking to win if they are to win the title which seemed like a certainty a few weeks ago. £5 returns £51.48.
Banker’s Bonus: I fancy something to keep half an eye on at Sunderland’s normal Saturday afternoon timeslot, so I’m going for a couple of away sides in the EFL to win at big prices. Reading have been better away from home than at the Mad Stad all season, and 2/1 is a huge price against Forest in my opinion. In League Two, Bolton travel to a Port Vale side which hasn’t won in the last five. £10 returns £69.
Paul Fletcher says...
Sunderland to win 4-0: Dion Sanderson will be a big miss at the back for us tomorrow. Keeping a clean sheet will be a challenge but I think we can rise to it. At the other end of the pitch, we have several attacking players in form. If they all turn up, it’s going to be difficult for Tranmere to contain us. Lee Johnson has demonstrated that he doesn’t want his team to sit back and defend a lead so if we manage to get ahead, I expect us to push on and look for more goals. Who won’t be dreaming of scoring in a cup final at Wembley? £5 returns £145
Win and BTTS Lucky 15: I’m combining my usual £5 with my £10 Banker’s Bonus and backing four picks with long(ish) odds in a Lucky 15 bet. Two correct selections would return a small profit, three a healthy profit and four a mega profit. For this bet, I’m backing Bristol city to beat Birmingham, Burton to beat Crewe, Bradford City to beat Carlisle and Bromley to beat Barnet (all without managing a clean sheet between them). A £1 unit stake means that it’s a £15 bet with total potential returns of £2207.30!
Malc Dugdale says...
Prem League treble - Man City, Palace and Chelsea all to win this Saturday. I fancy Chelsea away at (dirty) Leeds, Palace have Sam’s Baggies at home, and City are away at Craven Cottage v Fulham. This should be a decent option but with the variation in form of all barring City, who knows. Fiver pays £24.95 including stake.
Champ away treble - Watford, Reading and Barnsley to continue their decent form and win away from home. Watford visit Cardiff, Reading are at Forest, and Barnsley are on the south coast at Bournemouth, but I think these have a good chance of romping in. Fiver pays £118.80
Bankers bonus - McGeady to score in the cup final from outside the area inside 90 mins - our talisman skillster has to be a good option for this game. He was immense versus Pompey on Tuesday night, as he was when we lost on pens 2 yrs ago (despite having a half busted foot). I’m backing him to score a worldy inside normal time. £10 returns £110 including stake. (all bets on Sky bet)
Danny Roberts says...
Sunderland to win: It’s typical Sunderland are to finally win at Wembley when no fans are there to witness it... but we’ll take it to finally end that hoodoo! £5 returns £9.
League One Triple: MK Dons to just beat Accrington, Doncaster to beat Northampton and Blackpool to beat rivals Fleetwood. £5 returns £45.93.
Bankers Bonus: Salford and Sunderland both to lift the EFL Trophy. £5 returns £36.
Riches Readers’ Random Pick...
Wyke to score first and Sunderland to win 3-1 - this isn’t a wild prediction and it offers boosted odds of 50-1 on Sky bet, returning a lovely £1020 if it lands with the £20 stake including bonus cash. Now that would put the cat among the Riches table pigeons.
Good luck to Sunderland and to all our fellow punters. Please remember to gamble responsibly, and enjoy your weekend. Let us know what you will be betting on this weekend, on social media or by email.
Cheers, and Ha’way the Lads!