By Josh Powell | Stupid Punt
The return of the X Factor on Saturday nights is a reminder of how being brave can sometimes pay off. Plenty of the singing hopefuls who put themselves out there in front of Sharon Osbourne and co end up being laughed off stage, booed out of the arena or offended and confused by one of Louis Walsh’s slightly racist put-downs.
But, there are a few underdogs who pull it out of the bag and have Nicole Scherzinger lavishing them with praise while making up hip new sayings like ‘Schamaze-balls’ and ‘Spunky’ – I’m still not sure I know what that really means.
The Stupid Punt celebrates those punters who take a risk at huge odds and could potentially come out a few grand richer, as well as adorning our Paddy Power Blog Punting Hall Of Fame. All without putting themselves up for a fall in front of the chubby one from Take That.
Here are three of the more outlandish bets in the book for this Friday’s International games and some stats to try to back them up.
Correct score – England 0-2 Moldova
13 punters are on at 500/1 and one lad has stuck a tenner on it!
- Moldova have found the back of the net in six of their last seven games
- England conceded two goals in their two previous matches against Scotland and Brazil
- The Three Lions have kept just one clean sheet in their last six games at Wembley
In three head-to-head meetings between these two sides, Moldova have never won, in fact they’ve never scored so this is a brave bet. The Three Lions’ leaky defence might be the reason a whopping 13 punters have decided Moldova can dent England’s hopes of getting to Rio tonight.
Correct Score – Ireland 6-1 Sweden
One punter has staked €5 at 500/1
- The last time Ireland managed to score six past a side was November 18 1980 when they beat Cyprus 6-0 at home in a World Cup Qualifier
- Ireland have lost just one of the last five games against Sweden going back to 1970
- Sweden have conceded six goals once in the last 25 years – a 6-0 hammering by Denmark in a friendly in June 1989
It would be very difficult to make a case for Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland team being a ‘free-scoring and attack-minded’ bunch of players. In fact it’s impossible. The Boys In Green aren’t renowned for hockeyed teams by big scores, however Robbie Keane has seven goals in his last four games for LA Galaxy so you never know.
Correct Score – Scotland 4-0 Belgium
Two punters are on at 425/1
- March 2001 was the last time the Scots tonked a side 4-0 in a World Cup Qualifier, San Marino were the team on the other end of that hammering
- Belgium have been beaten 4-0 relatively recently. Japan comfortably beat them 4-0 in the Kirin Cup in May 2009
- Scotland have failed to score just once in their last 12 home games
The odds suggest this punt is slightly less ridiculous than the other two, however it’s still incredibly far-fetched. Scotland have found some confidence of late and pushed England all the way at Wembley, however they aren’t going to make Rio next year and will find it tough to hit four past a team packed with Premier League talent.
There’s a thin line between bravery and stupidity…