Welcome to a special edition of Roker Riches, which has been extended to cater for the League One playoffs that the lads commence this evening. Our Riches punters will be doing their best to top up their betting coffers for next season, as we navigate our way through to Wembley, hopefully, at the end of May.
A win and a draw isn’t too bad a pair of results to take into the promotion run-off, and it is three points better than Lincoln managed. They lost 3-1 away to Charlton in their penultimate game (who then missed out on the playoffs to Lincoln, by goal difference), followed by a 0-0 draw at home to AFC Wimbledon. In terms of most recent form therefore, we have a slight advantage.
Let’s take a look at how the Riches team's bets are looking as we embark on a three game mini-cup-run to get us back to the Championship.
The Rolling Table: Season 2020-2021
Yellow card update...
No yellow cards this week. Given the challenge we have before us, the Riches gaffer Malc decided to let of a couple of late stragglers carry on, with a firm warning.
Form will be monitored as we approach the second play off leg and the final, and names are noted in case needed.
The table after that dull 1-1 draw at home to Northampton looks like this:
Though we have four players on zero, as mentioned in the last issue of Riches, they have all been granted a tenner for each playoff leg to bet, in order to regain some honour and pride among the betting fraternity of the Roker Report squad.
To make this principle even, the “current balance” listed above for Paul, Malc and Phil is now their minimum finishing balance (as they will also bet with a tenner not listed above). They can, therefore, only go upwards if they manage to win any of their bets across mid-to-late-May. It’s still possible for anyone to top the table, though.
No bonus for this first playoff leg, as we failed to score two or more and win against an already relegated Cobblers side in our last normal game of the season at home.
This time, the bankers bonus is all about defence.
The Lads have not managed a clean sheet in some time (late March, away to Bristol Rovers, which is about 11 games in the past). With the first leg down at Sincil Bank, we could really do with a clean sheet, ideally with a goal or two for us to bring back to the SOL.
If Burge and the lads keep Lincoln shut out on the away leg, a tenner will be added to the kitties for the lads to bet on the home leg this weekend. This means the skint lot could have twenty quid to bet on the SoL playoff leg; more than some of them have had for weeks!
This Week’s Bets:
Matty Crichton says...
Sunderland Bet Builder: Sunderland to win the match, Grant Leadbitter to score (penalty taker), both teams to score and over seven corners for both teams combined.
I am bust so I might as well go for it! £10 returns £230
Luke ‘Bomber’ Davies says...
£10 Semi-Final Bet Builder. A playoff semi-final first leg means I’m predicting an edgey affair… and the bet builder reflects that this week. Lincoln will be looking to not have a repeat of the last time Sunderland came to town, while the lads will be looking to take something back to the SOL and make the most of the home second leg advantage.
My bet - Under 2.5 goals, Charlie Wyke anytime scorer, Sunderland / Draw double chance. £10 returns £66.22
Phil Butler says...
Sunderland to win and Lynden Gooch to score anytime. I fancy Lee Johnson to employ a similar game plan as he did in our comprehensive league victory at Sincil Bank when he had just taken over from Phil Parkinson. This means that looking away from Charlie Wyke for goalscorers seems to be a decent strategy, and with Lynden Gooch coming into form I can see the American running onto an Aiden McGeady pass just like he did at Wembley. Hopefully the result will be the same as back in March also. £10 returns £50
Paul Fletcher says...
Sunderland to win 4-0: Thanks to our generous banker, I still have at least two chances (but hopefully three) to see my wildly optimistic score prediction come true. We’re certainly capable of pulling off such a result (again) and what a result it would be in a playoff semi-final. £10 returns £510
Malc Dugdale says...
Sunderland to win 1-0, and Aiden McGeady to score first. McGeady didn’t have a very good game against Northampton, but who can forget a couple of seasons ago? Granted that time was in the Checkatrade, but he single handedly took on Portsmouth with his determination and will to win.
If these lads cannot take this home in front of 10,000 overwhelmed Mackems in the SOL, then they aren’t ready and we need to focus on next season. Great odds of 40-1 make this a great option though. £10 wins £410 on SkyBet.
Danny Roberts says...
Sunderland and Lincoln to draw: Apart from the obvious hammering at Sincil Bank, games between the Lads and the Imps have been quite close since and it will be no surprise if the first leg ends in a draw, leaving the tie up for grabs at the Stadium of Light. A draw for Sunderland will certainly be a good one and I hope we can come away from the LNER Stadium on Wednesday. £10 returns £31.
Riches Readers’ Random Pick...
Sunderland to win and BTTS - our defence hasn’t been great for a number of games, so the random Readers pick makes sense. Hopefully the readers can get some cash back too for the remaining footy to come. £10 returns £70, with boosted odds of 6-1 on Skybet.
Good luck to Sunderland and to all our fellow punters this weekend. 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!