The odds are wrong
I really do not understand the way the bookies think sometimes. Check this out; Asteras Tripolis has not lost any of the last seven matches against PAOK, home or away (4W-3D-0L). They have won the last four games at Tripoli and they have escaped Toumba (one of the toughest venues in Greece) three consecutive times. The last win of PAOK took place at Toumba two years ago (19/10/13) but the bookies believe PAOK is more probable to get the win here (2.25 and dropping)… I am not saying it is not probable; all I am saying is that the rosters of the two teams have not changed that much to explain these odds. The preview and betting picks:
Analysis: Asteras Tripolis – PAOK
Asteras Tripolis ended the negative streak (0W-2D-3L in all competitions) with the two consecutive wins they got last week in Super League and the Cup. The first win, against Giannina (1-2), boosted the morale of the team as they clearly showed a winning attitude. The home team scored first at 4’ but Asteras answered with two goals at 39’ (penalty kick) and 81’ to get the win although their overall stats were relatively leveled (total attempts 10-8). The midweek home win against Kalloni (4-0) came quite easily because their weak opponent had no interest in the competition and decided to use a secondary lineup. The next match against PAOK will not be easy but Asteras Tripolis has found the way to deal this opponent over the last two years.
Injured: Košický (GK/4), Goian (DEF/5)
PAOK comes from an important win against Panathinaikos (3-1) which brought them back in the top places of the standings. The two consecutive draws against Iraklis (3-3 away) and Krasnodar (0-0 at Toumba) had made this game a must win situation for coach Tudor who had stated these two results meant nothing and that his team would be ready to face the Greens. He was proven right by halftime as PAOK was on the lead by 3-0 (28’ penalty kick, 31’ and 42’). Keyplayer Berbatov left the field injured immediately after his goal but the performance of the team was not influenced at all. Panathinaikos scored at 74’ (penalty kick) but they were unable to score one more goal and maybe get back on the match. The midweek Cup match against Panthrakikos (2-0) allowed Tudor to rest some players and this explains why the two goals were scored during the second half (72’, 86’). There are important absences reported for today’s match.
Injured: Konstantinidis (DEF/6), Cimirot (MID/1), Kitsiou (MID/2), Kaçe (MID/6), Leovac (MID/5/1 assist) Mystakidis (FWD/2/1 assist), Berbatov (FWD/6/3 goals)
Betting Pick: The handicap win of Asteras (+0.5) @ 1.60
The two teams had a strange start this season but they will surely find their way to the Play Offs until the end of the season. There have been changes in their rosters but right now PAOK has not convinced me they are capable of getting the win in this venue. If they failed to win Iraklis (3-3) or Giannina (3-1 defeat) how can they be treated as favorites when they actually have so many absences?
For the same reasons I believe the win of Asteras Tripolis @ 3.20 is a value bet. PAOK has not kept a clean sheet in any of the 4 away matches until now which means the option for Over 2.5 goals @ 2.10 has is also great.