Monthly Archives: January 2012

Premier League Predictions Wk 3 (Part One)

Premier League Predictions Wk 3 (Part One)

Tonight we have our first ‘No bet’ match which means I have priced up a match near to exactly the same as those providing liquidity on Betfair. It’s on the Swansea v Chelsea match and the Chelsea of old would be odds on away to new boys Swansea but with John Terry missing, Chelsea struggling for goals and Swansea doing pretty well themselves, Chelsea are rightly so an even money shot. Some may argue they are short at that but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them grind out a 1-0 win.
Tottenham are priced at 1.25, which can only be described as a ridiculous price! I wasn’t sure where the value would be based on my % estimations but apparently it’s the draw at 7s. I’m quite pleased with that because Wigan defended well when they played Man City recently but never looked like scoring.
Liverpool and Man City are the stand out, albeit pretty obvious bets for tonight. Both are away but Wolves are a good match up for the rejuvenated Liverpool and although they have struggled at times for goals, they’ve been creating plenty of chances. Man City should ease past Everton too, who are in poor form, struggling with goals and have a huge injury list.
Finally, at Old Trafford I see value in the draw. Man Utd have been far from unstoppable in the Theatre of Dreams this season, losing to Blackburn of all teams. Stoke are renowned for being tough to beat and with Man United without the creative force of Nani and Rooney , the draw at 5.4 is the bet in my opinion.

App-solutely essential for the modern day gambler

App-solutely essential for the modern day gambler

If you are serious about your betting and aim to take a professional approach then you need to embrace the latest developments in technology if you haven’t already. Many of us have a smart phone nowadays but have you got all the essential Apps to make sure you get all the latest info, tips and the best prices?

So, here are my top ten free Apps that help keep the modern day gambler at the top of their game. Please note that I mainly bet on football and tennis so the list is influenced by this and my phone is a Samsung Galaxy S which uses Android technology:

1) Twitter – Essential for keeping tabs on latest news but also tips sent straight to your mobile by text. There’s a great betting community on there.

2) Tune in radio – Has all major radio stations plus hundreds of Internet ones. Talksport and Five Live are the best for gamblers.

3) BBC news – All the world’s news and sport. I like the technology section too!

4) Zoombet – Third-party App for Betfair. Great for placing a bet on the run but also has fast refresh rates and green out functionality which makes trading possible.

5) Fotmob – Has up-to-date football scores from all round the world. You can click on any game to alert you when a goal has been scored so you don’t have to check constantly. Brilliant App.

6) ESPN Goals – I use this when I’ve missed match of the day and I want to see who fluked their wins this week!

7) ATP/WTA Livescores – Official Tennis Scores App for all the major tennis tournament scores across the globe.

8) All major bookies apps – Goes without saying if you want to get on the bets prices on the run. Pretty much every bookmaker has their own App now.

9) Oddschecker – Again essential to see who has the best price.

10) SayNo To0870 – Not essentially betting or sport related but ringing banks and sky TV etc. on 08 numbers can be costly especially from your mobile. This App gives you a local rate alternative number that gets you through to the same place but without the extortionate rates!

If anyone knows of any other good ones that I’ve missed, then please let me know! Just a quick note about another App, Tapatalk, which I purchased for my betting forum It’s early days for the forum but I’m certain they’ll be some great content on there. Anyway, the Tapatalk App (only £2) allows you to view the forum in an easily readable format for mobile. I’m very impressed with it and I wish some of the other forums I regularly use would sign up to it.

We have a full mid-week premiership fixture list this week so I will be using some of the above Apps today and tomorrow to make sure I have access to all the information I need to make my Premier League Predictions. I’ll post these tomorrow lunch. Let’s hope for another profitable week!

Playing the percentages

Playing the percentages

So the Prem Predictions are 2 weeks in and we’re currently at a whopping 57.55% ROI on level stakes and 39.89% on Kelly Stakes! This means if you’d put £10 on every Premiership League game in the last 2 weeks and you’d see a £115.10 profit, not bad but still very early days. Level stakes still leads the way but it’s a lot closer now.
This method of betting works well because you are playing the percentages and really analysing your thoughts and predictions about a match. For example, usually you would (well I wouldn’t) consider opposing Liverpool against Bolton or backing many draws even though upsets and draws frequently happen. Most, myself included won’t know exactly what % chance 1.78 equates to, so by examining exactly what % you think an outcome will have and the % that the odds suggest you can see if you really do believe a price has value and chose either a Kelly stake (if you’re confident your estimations are accurate) or a level stake, giving some acknowledgement in the accuracy of the Betfair odds. If you’ve not seen the sheet yet, you can download form here:
Playing the percentages is very different in a Grand Slam tournament like the Australian open. Pre-tournament I tipped 2 shorter priced players (Nadal and Kvitova) and 2 outsiders albeit with winning potential (Tsonga and Kanepi). Both the outsiders are out and only Nadal and Kvitova remain. In actual fact, in both the Men’s and Women’s tournament the top 4 seeds all reached the Quarter Finals and in the Men’s Tournament it’s looking like all 4 in the semis!
This shows that you have to play the %s in a grand slam tournament differently to how you would wee-to-week in tennis. A grand slam is very much like the FA cup or the league positions. Football throws up some random results, just like week-to –week tennis but when it comes down to it you know which teams will be there. Class finds its way to the top on a longer term/format basis but one one-off event where motivation is in question, anything can happen. This is very important to consider in betting.
A quick note about the Betfair Banter forum. I have set this up again now ( and it’s staying around this time! It would be great to have some members on board and get some betting related discussion going. I like some of the content on the Betfair forum but not the format and I like to be able to subscribe to threads.
Finally, on a post by Cassini at GreenAllOver recently, he mentioned being selective is probably our biggest weapon against the bookmakers. I had a think about this and although I agree it is important not to bet where you don’t have knowledge about, if you do find 20 bets a day that you have enough of an opinion on versus the odds you should bet them all. Mathematically the more bets the better, even if your edge % goes down because of turnover.  After all, 1% profit on 1 million £1 bets gives us 10 times more profit than 10% profit on £10,000!

Prem Predictions Wk 2 (Sunday Update)

Prem Predictions Wk 2 (Sunday Update)

It was another profitable Saturday for my predictions yesterday. There weren’t as many away victories as I predicted but I got 2 right in West Brom and Aston Villa. Throw in the draw at Everton and we were immediately in profit despite only winning in 3 results out of 8!

This just shows you how important it is to find value and backing well known favourites offers very little return. In fact yesterday no return at all, as Chelsea and Liverpool both failed to win. I calculated the value based on Betfair’s odds was to oppose them but I got the draw and loss the wrong way round.

Yesterday saw a return on investment of 42% from level stakes and 21.55% for Kelly stakes, giving us a total of 49.33% for Level Stake and 14.89% for Kelly so far. Not too shabby, albeit still very early days. Level stakes still leads the way but Kelly staking moves a little closer.

Today’s games much like yesterday’s seem pretty close on paper. I have inputted my % chances and the ehas told me that the value lies with both the Manchester teams! Based on the Kelly stakes on the spreadsheet you can see that Man Utd are the better value pick as the odds are pretty close in agreement with me on the Man City Tottenham game.

Arsenal are still without Vermalen and I can see United beating them pretty comfortably by a couple of goals. Last week against Swansea they proved they lacked desire and hunger and together with their defensive frailties, I think a result for Arsenal today is unlikely. Man City v Spurs is difficult to call. Man City are showing that they are missing Yaya Toure but they’re still a pretty solid outfit and I think their disciplined approach will give them the edge of Spurs. Spurs play open exciting football and I think this could suit City.

Premier League Predictions Wk 2

Premier League Predictions Wk 2

So it’s week 2 of the Premier League predictions and time to see if we can keep beating the Betfair odds and stay in profit. Last week saw an ROI of 55.20% and anything similar would be brilliant! Judging by the spreadsheet, it seems I think there is a lot of value backing the away teams this weekend. Villa look good value to me even though it’s a Derby game against Wolves and Wigan impressed against Man City on Monday and are up against a dismal QPR side.

You can see the bets that the sheet tells me have value based on the percentage chance of each outcome that I’ve inputted below. Level stakes are currently proving to better than Kelly stakes (Kelly currently 10.7% ROI) but you can see exactly how much value each bet has based on my assumptions by the size of the Kelly stakes out of 10 in the actual sheet. (Link at the end of this post)

Aside from the Chelsea and Liverpool matches who are clear favourites, the matches look like they should be very close this weekend and the value has to be backing the away sides or the draw in seemingly 50-50 matches. The spreadsheet has however told me to back Norwich against Chelsea and although I don’t have much confidence in the bet it’s value we’re looking for and 6.0 is a big price for a free-scoring home side against an overrated Chelsea side who have been struggling to find the net.

I’ve added a column that comes up with an error and tells you if the percentages you’ve entered don’t add up to 100%. Download it and have a go yourself!

Tennis Trading on Betfair

Tennis Trading on Betfair

With the Australian Open well under way and with a whole 11 months of tennis to look forward to, I thought it would be a good time to post about the sport that I have found most success at Betfair on, tennis trading. I have just listened to the podcast on Pro Trader Tip with Scott Ferguson from Sport is made for Betting. Even though I haven’t done much trading for a while mainly due to time constraints, it has got me all inspired to do get involved again.
The podcast is here: and it’s very helpful particularly for new tennis traders.
Tennis is great for inplay trading mainly because of the regular fluctuations in the prices of the two places during a match, giving multiple opportunities to come away from a match in profit. There’s also a lot of tennis matches every year (into the thousands) and there’s plenty of money circulating on the Betfair markets inplay.
Because of the volatility of the markets you have to be very careful because just as it’s easy to win money it similarly easy to lose and you can end up chasing your tail until you are massively red on both players. I would recommend watching the markets and paper trading or using A Geek Toy’s in test mode to see how well you can read the matches and markets before wasting any money.
When you do actually to decide to commit your own cash, I would start off putting a regular stake into the market at a time and make sure that this is something you are then able to put on the next match at least 10 and preferably 20 or more times over, should you lose on this one.
To trade Tennis effectively the following things are essential:
1)    Historical Data – A good source of past data is crucial e.g. for form info, head-to-heads and surface based results.  On Court’s brilliant software ( is the best for this but there are also some good subscription based sites like tennis insight ( For the more analytical trader who wants to see historical odds data try tennisdata ( pre-match only) or Betfair Historical (
2)    Trading Software – A piece of software like A Geeks Toy ( or Gruss ( to make use of one click trading and to make trades quickly is essential.
3)    Up-to-date video feeds.  A lot of matches are on Betfair video but a Sky Sports and Eurosport subscription is recommended. Whatever you do don’t press live pause on the sky plus by mistake and find yourself trading on old pictures! This is something I myself have done. Incredible I know but true.
4)    Time – Plenty of time to dedicate to trading a match is important as tennis matches can go on for hours. Having a good set up with little distractions is also important for all types of trading. For me tennis trading is very enjoyable. Although the opportunities are there, you really have to enjoy doing it because it can take up a lot of your time.
My top tips for tennis trading are:
1)    Specialise on either WTA or ATP. It is possible to trade both but it’s hard enough keeping track of just one of these and they also require different trading methods. It’s important to know how players perform on each surface. I specialise on WTA because the markets are more volatile and knowledge on players least widely known.
2)    Have a Staking Plan – Put the same amount of money into the market each time. I would certainly do this to start with because it staking decisions are very difficult to make on the fly during a match. Overreactions, overconfidence and panic will take over but if you put 10 units into the market each time, this will enable you to stay disciplined and breed habit. At the very least have a max stake or maximum liability per match.
3)    Back high, lay low. This old cliché is actually very good advice. Backing 1.02 with half a set remaining is unlikely to be value for any tennis player and leaves you with little manoeuvre to trade. Tennis is a sport in which momentum changes very quickly and due to the scoring system, a player can go from a seemingly winning position to a losing one in just a few minutes.
4)    Trade Early – Make most of your trades (particularly entry points) in the first 2 thirds of the match. In a 3 set match I usually trade anywhere from the first couple of games to early on in the second set. There will usually be plenty of price movements here and should a trade go wrong you will still be able to get out at a decent price for not a huge loss. Starting trades late on in the second and possibly last set can leave you with very few options.

Why Betfair is still the best

Why Betfair is still the best

Betfair have had some pretty bad press recently. The system’s glitch at Leopardstown and then the down time during Friday 13th which is by no means the first and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Despite this, customers by and large seem to be happy to stay loyal to Betfair and in my opinion this is because Betfair is still the best option for customers and here are the reasons why:

1) The interface – It’s far superior to any other. Betdaq is a very poor copy and it took me a while to trust it when I first decided to sign up, such is the unprofessional look of the site. Inplay markets are strange too and money disappears very quickly and takes an age to come back.

2) The number of markets – Betfair offer markets on pretty much everything whereas Betfair’s coverage by any other comparison is poor.

3) Commission is irrelevant – Yes Betdaq are offering better rates of commission to try and attract new customers but the market makers who use bots to set prices on Betfair and Betdaq just factor this into the price they set on betdaq. This makes the odds generally lower than what they are on Betfair and even though it often works out the same after the lower commission is deducted, there is no incentive to change to a less superior interface that they are unfamiliar with.

4) Winners already on Betdaq too – The only argument for not continuing to bet with Betfair is the premium charge but this doesn’t affect 98% of customers and those it does affect are not going to cut off their nose to spite their face and turn off their Betfair bot when they can bots running on both Betdaq and Betfair. For most bot players it’s not a one or the other choice.

So it is very difficult for Betdaq or any other exchange to compete with Betfair and it would have to take something radical to get more liquidity into the site. The average non-premium charge paying customer has no reason to move and so the liquidity will always stay with Betfair. I would suggest a makeover for the site and to offer more markets but this costs money and the desired result far from guaranteed.

I don’t really know what else Betdaq can do to compete and I am by no means an expert but I think the average punter will want to see a better price or equal to that of Betfair when they log in and probably won’t be smart enough or concerned enough to calculate price after commission. So I would make the commission structure the same as Betfair’s and look at other incentives like giving losers cash back or something similar.

I also think they need to work on their marketing. It was a while before I realised Betdaq existed and if it wasn’t for reading around I may have taken a good while longer to find out. I suspect there are a lot of punters out there who still don’t know about Betdaq.

Prem League Predictions Wk 1 (Monday Update)

Prem League Predictions Wk 1 (Monday Update)

Just a quick post on the Premier League game for tonight. I entered my percentages into the sheet and then the Betfair odds and it tells me to back the draw tonight! Man City winning is clearly the most likely outcome and I agree with the 1 in 10 chance of Wigan winning but I feel the 4.9 offered on Betfair for a team that have already drawn against Liverpool and Chelsea at home is a tad high and therefore City are a bit short. City have Silva back but no Yaya Toure who in my opinion and statistically has influenced City’s results more this season.

I have also updated the sheet now so it only bets once per match, that being the outcome that has the biggest edge. From Saturday’s results it was clear that in betting on 2 outcomes in some matches had limited my profit and although there will have been times where the second best outcome did come in, I have decided that one bet per match is the way to go.

It seems safer to bet on two outcomes in match but I feel it is probably the same as ‘greening up’ too early or laying the opposition when you feel that the other team will win. Long term it will be more profitable to go with the biggest value bet. Doing this has bumped up the return on investment to 23.20% using Kelly and 72.44% using Level stakes! Mathematically Kelly should come out on top by the end of the season if my odds are accurate but I have a feeling there is more value in bigger prices and I may have a tendency to overestimate shorter prices a bit (like Arsenal yesterday) and this is why level stakes may turn out better

Why not download the spreadsheet and see if you can do better! Let me know if you don’t understand the sheet or think it can be improved in any way. I am going to add a setting for level stake, just in case you want something other than 10 units and will also add a setting for Kelly Bank per bet too.

Premier League Predictions Wk 1 (Sunday Update) – 71% ROI for today!

Premier League Predictions Wk 1 (Sunday Update) – 71% ROI for today!

Unfortunately my Premier League Tip of the day for West Brom to do the business at home (2.16) lost. Norwich are showing that they can score against anyone right now but whether or not they will encounter the slide down the table away like Blackpool who had a similar approach, did last season.

The Premier League Predictions as a whole had a superb start. Based on odds available at Betfair I manage to cash in on a home win for Blackburn and draws at Stoke/Liverpool and Totenham/Wolves. The Kelly stakes showing 49.48% ROI and Level Stakes showing a massive 71.25% ROI. Yes, you cant read too much into ROI after one round of bets but nevertheless it was a great start and showed that we found a lot of value. See the link for the sheet below. Please note that the ROI shows less than the percentages above because tomorrows bets have now been placed.

Judging by the updates on Soccer Saturday, Sunderland could have quite easily come away from the Bridge with a draw and Villa sounded unlucky not to have taken all 3 points and so our results could have been even better.

On to tomorrow then and it’s Newcastle at home to QPR and Swansea at home to Arsenal. Newcastle still without the influential Steven Taylor but QPR on a poor run and no Joey Barton. Mark Hughes is the new QPR boss but is overrated as a manager in my opinion. He lacks charisma and enthusiasm and so I don’t expect him to have anything like the effectt Martin O’Neill has had a Sunderland.

Swansea are a good footballing side but history sows that these match ups really suit Arsenal. I don’t think Swansea have enough of a physical presence to hurt Arsenal and I expect them, especially with the return of Van Persie to win convincingly.

The spreadsheet advises a decent sized bet on Newcastle and a small bet on the draw, so effectively laying QPR but this way we get better odds and our biggets bet so far on Arsenal. I’m quite suprised Arsenal are 1.86 on Betfair and expected them to be a fair bit shorter. Level stakes leads the way so far but it will be interesting to see whether this continues.

Premier League Predictions Wk 1

Premier League Predictions Wk 1

One of my favourite things to bet on is Premier League Football Matches. I don’t always bet on all matches, only the ones I feel I have an edge on the odds in but I do like to try and predict the outcomes regardless of having a bet or not.

The Premier league is notoriously hard to profit long term from, since the odds are very accurate due to information available so easily to all but liquidity is huge on these matches on Betfair so any small statistical edge could prove very profitable. So I have decided to see how my odds compare to that of Betfair’s each week and whether or not I can beat them long term.

I have knocked up a spreadsheet that allows me to enter the % chance that I believe each outcome has and then after I have put in Betfair’s current odds the sheet tells me how much to bet using the Kelly Staking Formula. It is based on units of 10 as the max but the sheet also calculates what the profit would have been if level stakes of 10 units had been used. You can download the spreadsheet here:

It’s not really fair to compare profit from Kelly stakes out of 10 with level stakes which are always 10 but the sheet also shows return of investment (ROI) which will gives us a better guide of which staking method is performing best (or worst). As soon as you input the result of the match the sheet with update the profit/loss.

So this week the spreadsheet has told me to make the following bets this week (See below). The bets that show the most value based on Betfair’s odds are West Brom at Home and both Man United and Liverppol to draw. My one real bet will in fact this week will indeed be West Brom at home at 2.16. Hodgson has worked his defensive magic on West Brom and Norwich are leaking goals for fun. 2.16 is a very good price in my opinion.

I won’t touch the United and Liverpool games but I do think they are too short. I don’t believe these teams win 7 times out of 10. Stoke are tricky opposition for Liverpool, having beaten them earlier this season and Sunderland are flying under O’Neill and with Chelsea struggling for wins, who knows what might happen in this one. I am also quite tempted by Villa at home. Everton are struggling for goals and have a host of injuries at the back.

United should ease past Bolton but I don’t believe anyone in this League warrants odds of sub 1.2. This isn’t La Liga and United have been beaten by Newcastle and Blackburn in their last 2 matches! I will update the sheet (link above) with Sunday and Monday’s games tomorrow, when team news is better known.