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We took home another profit thanks to a 2-1 record on Matchday 8. Now, let's keep the momentum going ahead of another weekend of Belarusian soccer.
Here are my best bets for Matchday 9.
It took some time for them to get going, but Shakhtyor have finally hit their stride. The Miners have come to life in attack, scoring nine goals in their last three home games, which is the sort of production we should expect on a weekly basis - they scored 37 times in their last 13 home matches last season.
They should have absolutely no issues in attack against a Slavia side that has allowed eight goals away from home through four road fixtures. Slavia have adopted a wonderfully open approach on their travels, going blow-for-blow with their opponents. They've conceded eight in four matches but have also scored seven. All four of their away fixtures have gone over 2.5 goals and have seen both teams find the back of the net.
Shakhtyor won this fixture 5-1 last season, and I think we'll see something similar here. The hosts are able to hit this over on their own, but we'll get at least one from Slavia as well.
Pick: Over 2.5 (-125)
We needed a goal from Belshina last weekend, and they came through for us in a big way, so I feel dirty going against them here. But they've been miserable at home since being promoted. They've lost three of their four matches at Stadyen Spartak, scoring just once from open play. Their only point at home came in a 1-1 draw against fellow bottom-feeders Smolevichy-STI.
An inability to generate any sort of quality in attack has severely hindered their efforts, and that's bad news ahead of a date with a Vitebsk side that boasts one of the league's stingiest backlines. Vitebsk already won this season away from home against Smolevichy, which is the only true measuring stick for this match, and also managed an impressive draw away to second-place Slutsk. Vitebsk are a mid-table team, but that's a significant step up from a Belshina side out of its depth in the top flight.
In a match where home-field advantage means nothing, give me the much better team at a short price all day.
Pick: Vitebsk PK (-110)
Rukh Brest have been one of the truly great stories coming out of Belarus this season. They currently sit eighth in the Premier League, just four points back of first. They've been at their best when teams open up and look to attack them, which explains their success away from home. But when the responsibility is placed on them, as it will be here, it's a bit of a different story.
Smolevichy - another newly promoted side - will be more than content to drop deep in defense, shifting the responsibility squarely onto the hosts' shoulders. Smolevichy have struggled in attack but have proven their ability to sit back and defend, which is what they will do here. I expect them to congest the final third and make life incredibly difficult on Rukh Brest, as they find a way to frustrate them just enough to grind out a result.
Pick: Draw (+225)
Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.
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