Monthly Archives: August 2013

Tennis Ratings – Review

Tennis Ratings – Review


Occasionally amongst all the spam and awful tipsters on twitter or the internet you come across someone who really knows their stuff about sports betting and who has a very professional approach. Dan from Tennis Ratings is certainly one of these and reading his daily thoughts on the day’s tennis has become part of our morning routine.

Dan’s Tennis Ratings website is a tennis trader’s haven containing lots of information, guides and spreadsheets provided to help you profit from tennis betting and trading. Similarly to how extremely accurate predictions of the outcome of football matches can be determined by goal expectancy, Dan focuses on serve hold expectancy or ‘projected holds’ as the basis for his edge.

Tennis Trading Handbook contains all sorts of golden nuggets

Tennis Ratings offer a number of subscription based services and there’s no better place to get started than by purchasing the complete tennis trading handbook which contains all sorts of golden nuggets about the best times to enter trades based on sound statistical data. Crucially, he recognises that the odds in-play move from the starting price on a very accurate model on average but fail to factor in the relative merits of particular players throughout the match. This means that by really knowing your stuff you can gain an edge on the market. There are many more valuable insights into the world of tennis trading and you can purchase the guide for a one off payment of £25.

Daily spreadsheet outlines plan to exploit in-play inefficiencies

We’ve written before at Betting Tools about just how efficient the pre-match and in-play markets are on average but that there are anomalies especially in-play. To take advantage of this you need to keep a close eye on what’s happening not just in terms of form, injuries, motivation etc. but the actual latest stats too and this is no easy task. Dan does this hard work for you and produces invaluable statistics as a basis to help provide entry points in the markets.

Dan provides this information via statistics in an excel spreadsheet which is update on a daily basis. The sheet itself is based on Dan’s tennis model which creates his own odds again based on projected holds but also takes into account the speed of surface. The odds produced by the model reveal pre-match opportunities and the projected hold stats can then be used to gain an edge by opposing players in-play. The stats whilst not easy to collect are presented in a colour coded easy and easy to understand manner. Access to the spreadsheet costs £30 for 30 days. There is a useful video of Dan talking you through the spreadsheet itself here:

Pre-match tips service also available

If trading is not something you enjoy or have the time for then Dan also provides tips send out to subscribers daily. There are so many tennis matches played on a daily basis and it’s difficult to know just where the value lies. We’ve mentioned before just how difficult it can be to profit from tennis betting and that very few achieve an ROI above 2 or 3%. At the time of writing this article Dan’s return is 6.67% after 167 tips. No mean feat! These tips are provided in exchange for a very reasonable £1 a day and a subscription of a minimum 30 days.

Ultimate In-play Spreadsheet Free Sample

Tennis Rating’s latest product is the Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet that demonstrates. Most traders are aware that usually the best opportunities to profit come in the early to middle sections of the match and not necessarily at the end of each set where most stats are produced around. Dan recognises the weakness is such stats and has carefully constructed some very meaningful in-play statistics. It also helps dispels any myths about notoriously labelled chokers and tells you who really struggles to serve for sets or matches.  As an introductory offer to this new product Dan is offering a free sample of players so you can see test out his stats for yourself and see how you can get an edge on the markets.

Staking advice only thing missing from this service

Dan is a full time tennis trader and is clearly able to make good profits from his tennis trading. One thing we would like to see however is some information about what kind of stakes he uses and what are typical profits for him as I think this would be inspiring to novice traders. It would also be handy to see videos of him trading a match and putting his stats to use so we can get a feel for how many times he enters the market and how he goes about changes his liabilities/positions when time is of the essence.

Free in depth previews and pre-tournament suggestions

Dan’s daily musings on the day’s tennis matches are extremely accurate and he provides advised entry point for many matches.  He also writes in depth pre-views prior to every big tournament. These previews can be read for free but to beat the market and get access to all the juicy stats and information you’ll need to subscribe to his services.

To summarise, here are the 4 main products that Tennis Ratings offer:

1) Tennis Trading Handbook (£25)
2) Daily Spreadsheet  (£30 for 30 days but taster options too)
3) Pre-match tips (£30 for 30 days)
4) The Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet (Currently free sample)

All 4 of Dan’s products can be purchased individually or in various packages depending on what it is you are looking for. There are gold and silver packages which can also be split into betting only or trading only ones.

Overall a highly recommended service

We at Betting Tools are very experienced in the area of tennis trading and we highly recommend the services provided by Tennis Ratings. His low risk high gain style of trading is perfect for growing a small bank into a large one. Almost everything that he advocates in his tennis trading guide agrees with our own findings. The subscriptions are reasonably priced, not cheap but well worth the money considering the edge they can give you and for the amount of specialist knowledge and time that goes into providing them.

Special Offer for Betting Tools Readers

If you’d like to purchase the TennisRatings Trading Handbook  or ‘Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet’ then quote the code ‘BettingTools’ at the time of purchase and you will receive the following:

  • 7-day Daily Spreadsheet Subscription with any Handbook Purchase
  • 7-day Daily Spreadsheet Subscription with any ‘Ultimate In-Play Spreadsheet’ Purchase



Tennis Trading

Tennis Trading

Image from BetAngel’s Tennis Trader Product


Making a profit from tennis betting is extremely difficult because pre-match odds are very easy to price up. You have 2 outcomes and with a built in bookmaker margin or exchange commission you have to have constantly keep your eye on the tennis circuit to find a consistent edge.  The ones that do manage it won’t have returns much higher than 5% and 2 or 3 more likely. There are people who trade tennis in play however that do much better than this.

Locking in profits by backing and laying

Trading tennis is basically backing or laying a player on the exchanges (Betfair, Betdaq etc) and then betting on the reverse outcome at hopefully equivalent better odds to lock in a profit. So a simple example would be backing Nadal to beat Federer at 1.8 and then laying off at 1.3 after he has won a set and thus locking in a profit. You can level your profit by using Betfair’s cash out functionality but you can also play around with different levels of green on either side by using the whatif functionality. Some people prefer to make only a couple of bets as their trade for one match whereas some traders will enter the market on many occasions throughout a match.

Tennis has lots of odds fluctuations

We’ve discussed the pros of trading and in particular the commission benefits it provides but what else makes tennis so good for trading. Well there are plenty of odds fluctuations in the majority of matches.  The women’s matches (WTA) see a lot more wild fluctuations in general because there are more breaks of serve and we highly recommend trading on the women’s game. This isn’t to say that you will get on the right end of all these fluctuations but often even when you’ve made a bad entry point there will be another opportunity to make a profit or get out of the market for a smaller loss. The aim is simply to have many more winning trades that provide more profit than the losing ones.

Matches on nearly every day for 11 months of the year

Tennis is also great for trading because it’s on so often. There are tournaments played daily for 11 months of the year and it’s only really December that doesn’t see any tennis. After 11 months trading tennis you’ll find December is a much welcome break anyhow! So tennis is extremely well suited to trading and because of this liquidity (money available to win) in play is very good for the most part.

Accounts with Betfair, Bet365 and Pinnacle are best for Tennis Trading

Many of the tennis events are televised or at least streamed on the internet. Access to Eurosport and Sky Sports is obviously particularly useful. Betfair and Bet365 also show a lot of matches and accounts with these are a must if you trade tennis. Both have matches that the other doesn’t and Bet365 is particularly useful for Challenger events and has a greater range of different markets to bet on.

One other account that we highly recommend is that of the bookmaker Pinnacle Sports. They often beat Betfair (after commission) on many starting prices so if you are planning on an entry point at the start of the match and possibly not laying off then using Pinnacle Sports could be more beneficial. There is also the possibility of Betfair going down during a tennis match and it may not be possible to trade out with Betfair. Again using Pinnacle who have high limits would be a good option in this scenario.

Know your surfaces and make notes about players

There are lots of different tennis trading strategies that people like to attempt but no one strategy applied on every market is likely to bring you consistent profit. The markets are still pretty efficient in play but by learning how to read a match and anticipate what might happen will allow you to take advantage of prices based on models. Knowing  your surfaces and the differences between them is important for example. Not only are many players much better on some surfaces than others but some absolutely hate certain surfaces and show little motivation to do well on them. Andy Murray for example has pretty poor record on clay in relation to other surfaces but the markets always have plenty of faith in him despite this.

It’s also a good idea to make notes about players. Who is a strong server, who switches off for periods of a match and what do and what type of tennis do certain players find difficult to play against? OnCourt’s tennis software allows you to do this very easily and stores all your notes in a database so you can see them against each player when they are due to play. Access to software such as this or a website like tennis insight is highly recommended and well worth the money but they are not absolutely vital to do well from tennis trading. Simple stats like head to heads and serving statistics can be found for free on the internet but for convenience, more detailed stats and advice from other bettors these are a very useful resource to have.

Enter the market by laying low to keep liabilities small

In the tennis markets there are plenty of examples where a player’s odd’s goes very short and looks to have won only for the market to swing back again. This doesn’t happen all the time but if you can identify when this might happen it’s a very good way of building a small bank up into a larger one.

By laying a player at a short price your liability is very low and should the market move in your favour profits will be proportionally big. In contrast to this if you back short you need to stake a lot more to make the same kind of returns and this could leave you with sweaty palms. Because of the scoring system and individual nature of tennis it can be difficult to put a match to bed and examples of players failing to do so are common.

Entering near the potential end of a match more risky

We generally advise entering the market somewhere between midway through the first set and the first few games of the second.  Consistently entering too soon after it’s started and you will be betting close to start price which is not going to provide much value long term and leave it too late and the risk of losing your whole stake is much greater. This isn’t to say there aren’t great opportunities to trade near the end of matches as there are but they carry much greater risk and we prefer to already have a green book (in profit) before making these riskier trades.

Remember that Tennis Trading is not a guaranteed road to riches and is still gambling. Have a read of our 5 common trading mistakes before you get started.

Hopefully that’s given bettors/traders that might be new to trading and tennis trading in particular a decent insight and some food for thought. In the next couple of blog posts we’ll be reviewing the services of Dan from tennis ratings and we’ll also be looking at betting software such as Gruss and Bet Angel to automate your trading. This can be extremely useful especially when wanting to trade tournaments such as the upcoming US open where the matches are played at very awkward times for European traders.

Common Sports Trading Mistakes

Common Sports Trading Mistakes

Photo by Images_Of_Money (flickr)


In the last blog post we discussed the advantages of trading over betting. Despite these advantages many people will find they actually lose more from trading than they do betting! This is partly because of the false security trading gives you and because of the way people panic in reaction to things they are seeing.

Here are 5 common mistakes that unprofitable traders make:

1)      Overestimating chances of winning  because you are watching

It’s very easy to overestimate the chances of things happening when they are already on the way to doing so right in front of your very eyes. Not many people feel comfortable backing something that doesn’t look like happening at the moment, no matter what the price or how long there is left for things to change. This causes people to over react to the team they thought would win when they are looking like they are doing so.

If what you thought would happen is happening and the market is in agreement then the price is likely to go too low to offer any real value. Not only this but people tend to overstake or top up their bets when this kind of affirmation happens. Similarly people will also see their original bet losing and increase their liability by switching and betting more on the opponent. You may get away with it a few times but it will be very destructive when it goes against you.

2)      Going in big because you don’t intend to lose it all  

We fully advocate trading stakes being bigger than those used for betting but many people still use too big a % of their betting funds for individual trades. Just because you plan not to lose your whole stake doesn’t mean you never will. If you trade tennis for example, retirements are very common and losing your whole stake is very possible. In most cases trading regularly with any more than 10% of your funds is likely to end in disaster.  Assume the worst case that you could lose all your stake so that you can plan and you are prepared when it does happen.

3)      The dip in and dip out trade

Sometimes when people don’t have much of an opinion on whether a price is value or which way a match is going to go they may be tempted by the ‘dip in and out’ trade. This is where you put a whole lot of money into the market to lay off a few seconds/mins later for a small but seemingly ‘non risky’ profit. The trouble is it is still very risky and the few times the market moves against you will far outweigh any profits you make doing this.

People also tend to do this with no thought towards value or what they will do if the market does go completely against them. In tennis trading people like to attempt this when a server is 30-0 up but the market has almost assumed the hold of serve and the price moves very little sometimes not at all even when the hold I completed.

So have patience and wait for real opportunities to present themselves and don’t be tempted to over trade.

4)      Holding on to losing position too long

If you consistently cut your wins then cutting your losses is also important but it’s common for people to get out of a winning position too quickly and hold on to a losing one too  long. It is hard to accept making a loss but having the discipline to accept this and perform with as little emotion as possible will only make you a better trader.

5)      Manual trading in unsuitable markets – horse racing, darts, low liquidity tennis matches

Some markets move far too fast for manual trading to be effective. Surely nobody still bets manually on horse racing in running? If you are watching on TV you are many seconds behind the actual race and the refresh rates on Betfair are so poor that the only time you are likely to be matched is when you can get poor value. The cross matching system has somewhat mitigated just how disastrous the effect from this can be but it’s still not advised. You are trying to compete with very clever bots who are not only ahead of your pictures but who can react much faster. Sports like Darts also have periods that are too quick for manual trading and you have to be sensible with your entry points.

If liquidity is poor in a amarket then you also have to have your wits about you. There will be gaps between prices and although this can present opportunities for getting value prices you can’t guarantee being able to trade out very easily.

In the next couple of blog posts we’ll focus specifically on tennis trading and reviewing one of the best around in Dan from tennis ratings.


Advantages of trading over betting

Advantages of trading over betting


In play trading involves backing a player, team or selection and laying or backing against them with the aim of locking in a profit. This is usually performed on the betting  exchanges where this is simplest but there are many people who also like the use of bookmakers like Pinnacle who have great value odds and high limits. Some like to have this option available at all times just in case of exchange outages which are quite common especially with Betfair!

More bettors now able to try trading

In years gone by to trade you had to use your own maths, play around with the ‘whatif’ function on Betfair or use some kind of betting software to calculate the appropriate stakes for your trades but in recent years Betfair have deployed their own ‘cash out’ functionality. The cash out functionality will offer you the worst case and although it will match you at better odds if it can it’s not the most effective way to find value in trading.

Trading has advantages but gives false security

It is however because of this that many more novice bettors can now understand the trading process a lot easier . It’s common for people who discover trading for the first time to think they have found the holy grail and that trading is so much easier than betting. Much of this is down to the sense of security they feel when they are able to ‘cash out’ of their Man Utd bet when they go 1-0 up but what people tend to do is cut all their winning bets short but never cash out of their losing bets. Long term this is most likely going to make you a long term loser and there is much more to understand about profiting from trading.

Trading is effectively still betting and you still need to be able to find value in your trades for example. That said, trading does offer advantages offer betting and in this blog post an d the next we look at why trading is better than betting and some of the common trading mistakes that novice traders make.

Reasons Trading is easier to profit from than betting

1)      Commission structure – benefit lots of small wins than big wins and big losses

The commission structure on the exchanges benefits traders more than it does people who bet only and let their bets run. This is also the main reason that the premium charge was introduced. A lot of people think this charge is unfair but in truth most are unlikely to have to pay at least until they’ve made many thousands of pounds and not paid a fair amount of commission in relation to their winnings.

Here is an example of how trading works out better than betting. Let’s say you make a £100 bet on a tennis player at 2-1 (3.0) and it loses. Then you make another bet on a tennis player at evens and it wins. Your total profit and loss is +£100 but you’ pay 5% on your one winning bet of £200 which is £10, giving you  an after commission profit of £90.

Now let’s say you backed at 2-1 (3.0) but layed of at evens in both bets giving you a profit of £50 in each match. It still gives you £100 profit but you only pay £2.50 commission on each match meaning you take away £95 after commission. This £5 may not seem much but the effect of being able to make such trades over and over again has a big effect.

2)      Many in play models based on pre-match odds and points/score changes

I’m sure most of you are aware of just how accurate pre-match odds are as they are easy to model long term. Most of the in play liquidity will be based on these pre-match odds and the factors that are easy for computers to take as inputs. By this we mean things like score, time left etc and so if a price was value pre-match, there’s a good chance it still will be in play to a certain extent regardless of what is happening.

3)      Easier to gain an edge in-play as you can spot non calculable things

It is obvious that by watching a match you can better judge who might be a better bet because you can see things like motivation with your own eyes. You won’t be the only one looking out for these thing though so aim to spot things other’s may have missed or might not have considered to get a bigger edge. A good example of this was a few years back when someone on the Betfair forum informed everybody that they’d heard Wozniacki’s dad tell her in Polish to retire at the end of the set and she did!

4)      Fewer losing streaks with trading compared with betting

Profit and loss can fluctuate wildly in betting results and trading profit/losses will generally be less volatile. Value bets don’t always win but when you trade and find value there’ll be lots of opportunities to lock in profits. With trading you can often find poor value but still have plenty of chances to trade out and make a profit and when betting you can regularly find value and lose. When trading you might sometimes choose to take a few small profits other times big but if you’re staking is sensible you should be able to keep these profits fairly consistent.  Having less volatility and less variance is mentally easier to cope with for us humans.

5)      Much easier to predict what the market thinks will happen and what it will do than it is to predict the outcome.

The way in which the prices move in play can be very predictable on the exchanges. For example, in markets where there is a huge favourite that is in danger of losing it often doesn’t take much for the price to move drastically. This kind of market can be volatile and a couple of points won in a row and the markets faith is restored. People are looking for turning points and generally over react to things that they think fulfill their own beliefs on what they expected to happen. 

Again we should iterate that trading does not offer guarantee successes and there are pitfalls to avoid which we’ll discuss in the next blog post. There are time costs associated with trading and it can be very stressful. It’s also harder to profit from it than it was in the past as the markets are much more accurate in play due to the introduction of Betfair’s cross matching system. But it is still very much possible to make lots of money by trading in play.

Markets which provide good opportunities to trade are usually ones that have lots of odds fluctuations and where liquidity is decent. Having no set finish time is also important because these markets are more difficult to accurately model in play.

To finish here are 5 of the best sports for in play Trading:

1)      Tennis
2)      Cricket
3)      Darts
4)      Baseball
5)      NFL

Pricewise Tips – ‘The world’s best tipster’

Pricewise Tips – ‘The world’s best tipster’


Probably the best known successful tipster on the horses is Racing Post’s Pricewise. John McCririck referred to him as the world’s best tipster and his tips are the ones the majority of racing fans looks for first. For those that don’t know the man behind the Pricewise persona is Tom Segal.

With little information about his record online we have recorded the performance of Pricewise Tips for over 2 years. We can confirm that he does make a profit but he doesn’t compare to the very best horse racing tipsters on our site.

Studies past races and form

Tom spends many hours watching past races and studying form to try and find horses at value prices. His tips are usually selections at big prices and although his losing streaks can be big, he comes up with enough winners at prices good enough to make very nice profits. Opinion of his tipping seems to change from week to week and impatient novice punters declare him rubbish, only for him to become the best thing since sliced bread when he finds another huge priced winner.

Finds big priced winners but stakes should be small

We here at Betting Tools have followed Pricewise’s tips each Saturday for the past 6 months and as you can see form our Tipster Table the results are very impressive. The trouble though that most people have when betting on his tips is that they bet too much and consequently can’t withstand a bad losing streak.

Good advice to anyone following his tips is to set your stake for 6 months or even the year and don’t change it. Set it to something that you know you will be able to bet on as much as 30, 40 or even 50 times over. Even if that’s a few quid, it should still be enough to make a nice healthy return and staying in the game is one of the most important aspects of betting.

Get on early for best price

A lot of people want to know just how profitable his tips are and it does depend on a number of factors. Firstly are you talking all his tips and at the prices he advertises in the Racing post or the start price. Well we aren’t the quickest to get to the Pricewise tips but generally put them on the site before 10:30. We use the prices we get (with best odds guaranteed) then because we want it to be simulate what prices your average punter can get.

Lots of profit but need to maintain faith through losing streaks

As previously mentioned we started off by only following his Saturday tips and they have proved very profitable for us but he has struggled during the big festivals which we also now include in the Pricewise Record. There will be bad losing spells so expect them and you’ll be less disappointed. These kind of losing streaks are inevitable when backing at value prices like this but it is also the best way to make the most profit long term. so it is important to maintain the faith and take a long term view 6 month or a year when assessing profit and loss.

Pricewise doesn’t account for going

An interesting thing to note about Pricewise tips is that he does get told which races to make his selections from. There’ll usually be a lot of runners and although filtering tips isn’t recommended if you think a race is particularly difficult to price up you may decide to swerve one of his tips. Pricewise also makes his selections a day or more before and so his selections aren’t based on any kind of ground or going. This could make it possible to effectively filter Pricewise’s tips and make even more profit! Here is a good video about Tom discussing how he goes about finding his tips:

One thing’s for sure though is that these tips have done better than any other horse racing tips we’ve come across. We have found that many horse racing tipsters feel comfortable backing much shorter selections and  backing too many of these  just doesn’t provide any value long term. Finding value, most of the time at bigger prices is going to be more rewarding in the long run if you can withstand the losing streaks.

Get free alerts when Pricewise selections are posted

So get your staking plan right and start following Pricewise’s tips. If you submit your email address on the Pricewise page here:  you can get them sent directly to your inbox when we post them on our website as long as you are either a profitable tipster or a contributor i.e. you post comments. If you are neither of these you can pay £10 a month to get tipster email alerts from our site.

Some people prefer to bet on Pricewise’s tips each way and if you aren’t sure about the often confusing placing rules then make sure you bookmark this page to help you:

Bet365 and William Hill have been best price on over half of Pricewise’s tips when we’ve gone to bet on them so these are 2 accounts well worth having if you plan to bet on Pricewise’s selections.