It's a good job poor old Jeff Stelling can't hear the expletives that are hurled across the living room in his general direction when news of a last-minute goal is reported on Gillette Soccer Saturday and wrecks a highly promising bet.
Take last week, for example, when all was generally going well with the world until Iain Hume popped up with a last minute equaliser for Leicester at home to Colchester. A pox reward him for't.
Hume's late strike instantly reduced a tasty 94/1 four-timer within my six accumulator tips to a rather less wholesome 20/1 treble. At the same time a profitable 46/1 treble within my Yankee became a humble 10/1 double returning all of about ?5.25 on a ?5.50 stake.
Colchester, of course, were a 7/2 long-shot to triumph at the Walker's Stadium, and although West Ham had already let the Yankee down by losing at Bolton, we were still on course for three out of four thanks to Barnsley (11/4) winning at Preston, and Hereford (9/5) succeeding at Darlington.
Meanwhile, of my additional accumulator tips, Leeds had already won at evens at home to Carlisle earlier in the day, although Wolves could only grind out a draw at Bristol City.
Now that I've made last week's excuses I'll make this week's in advance because, to be frank, today was one of those occasions when I went through the coupon and struggled to find anything that really leapt out at me. It didn't get much better on a second viewing, but after much scratching around I'm quietly confident ? hope springs eternal! ? that I've scraped together a few interesting little morsels.
So, on with the yankee action. Norwich supporters are still suffering from the relegation jitters following last week's 2-1 local derby defeat at Ipswich. From what I can make out the Canaries were highly fortunate not to get well and truly stuffed out of sight, and that won't have pleased their supporters too much. For that reason I think they'll rise to the occasion at home to Championship leaders West Brom, and finally secure safety by winning at 9/4.
You've got to feel sorry for League One strugglers Bournemouth, who have had to contend with a 10-point deduction for going into administration, plus further uncertainty this week with proposed takeovers collapsing. Amid it all Kevin Bond's team have fought valiantly against all the odds, and have now won four successive games. It looks as if they're still going down, but if they continue to go down fighting it might just be bad news for promotion-chasing Walsall, whose recent results suggest a few play-off nerves. Back the Cherries at 3/1 to make it five straight wins.
Port Vale's relegation from League One was confirmed last week ? but after taking 10 points from a possible 12 Lee Sinnott's team are another side in relatively good form. On Saturday they travel to Swindon, who have really struggled of late. This looks like a classic opportunity for a relegated side to turn on the style. Back Port Vale at 3/1.
We complete the yankee in League Two, where Dagenham and Redbridge ? an old favourite of this column – have slid right back into the relegation mire in recent weeks. However, at 9/4 they look a reasonable shout away to Mark Robins' Rotherham, who won at Grimsby last week, but have basically endured a disastrous set of results since entry into administration incurred the loss of 10 points, and led to players' pay packets being deferred. Not good for morale, one imagines. Back the Daggers.
That's the yankee. For a fifth, relegated Colchester did their best to drag Leicester down with them last week, and will doubtless look to make life equally miserable for Coventry at Layer Road on Saturday. I take the Us at 9/5.
And for a sixth?well, every tip so far has involved clubs immersed in relegation strife, so I might as well finish with the daddy of them all. Derby have let me down more times than I care to remember this season, and I kick myself for returning to them once more.
Yet if the Rams have any intention of delivering a victory for Paul Jewell this season then why not at West Ham this weekend? Derby are an 8/1 shot, but Alan Curbishley's injury-ravaged West Ham have been in woeful form of late ? losing three games in a row 4-0, recovering very slightly, and then losing another three on the spin. With six defeats in eight games their form in the final stages of this season is every bit as abject as it was spectacular last season, and I bet Hammers fans have an uneasy feeling that something very nasty could be on the cards at Upton Park this weekend. Back the Rams and keep everything crossed.
How to place a Yankee
– Click on the first betting link to open up the betting slip, verify that the selection is correct and is the only selection so far, then close the betting slip.
– Click on the second betting link to open up the betting slip, verify that both the first and second selections are present, then close the betting slip.
– Repeat this process for each betting link until you come to the last selection.
– Click on the final betting link to open up the betting slip, verify that all the selections are present, then enter your unit stake in the field next the 'Yankee' option, check your estimated returns and total stake (your total stake will be 11 times your unit stake for a Yankee), enter your username and password and click 'submit' to place your bet. If you do not have an account with VCBet open one here and get a free bet worth up to ?100.