Monday, 2 September 2013

Gareth Fale

Hope you saw Gareth Bale being paraded in front of a reasonably-filled Bernabeu stadium this afternoon. Here he is, in the picture on the left, sitting all tight and erect whilst the Real Madrid president, Perez effuses about him.

 Personally I thought it was a little rude to be listening to a compilation of Aled Jones, Cerys Matthews, Charlotte Church and Tom Jones ballads on your headphones when someone is eulogising about you, but maybe that’s just me.

With 20 to 30 thousand (seemingly jobless) people turning-out to see the little Welsh monkey strut his stuff, it doubtless wouldn’t have taken much to please this lazy afternoon throng. Bale’s advisors had made him memorise a couple of meaningless platitudes in Spanish, which they seemed pleased enough with – but then came the big moment. Bale changed into his Real Madrid strip and trotted out onto the pitch, ready for the infamous keepy-uppy segment. 

Surely this is what everyone had really been waiting for. Just how good would an 85 million pound player really be? Perhaps this man could make the ball levitate just with the power of his mind? Maybe he could pull-off some magical tricks that no one had ever seen before. Maybe he would make the crowd all whoop and holler with excitement at his skill and deftness of touch?

Erm, no. Eight-five million pounds? You’ve got to be having a laugh! Three times he tried to keep the ball up and three times he failed miserably. I think he had the ball off the ground for no more than ten seconds – at which point he gave-up, bent-down and held the ball for the assembled photo journalists. My eleven year old daughter can do better than that and she’s on pocket money of eighty-five pennies a day. Oh dear, or dear. I’m sure he wanted the ground to open up at that point because it was horribly embarrassing. What an epic fail.

I personally think Spurs have done an excellent bit of business here today. Disregarding my undeserved ribbing of our unassuming little sheep-shagger, Bale is undoubtedly a fantastic player, and he pulled matches out of the bag on several occasions for us last season. I have no complaint with him at all. He has pace in abundance and a cracking left foot. He looked like a wanker when he kissed the Real Madrid badge, which I thought was naff beyond words, but all-in-all, I wish him good luck.

But he’s only one player and we’ve used his money to buy half a new team. This should provide more depth to our squad and help us through any injuries in mid-season. Like any purchases, some will succeed and some will fail, but at the very least we have shortened that testing process.

I would personally have liked to see one more striker come in as I’m not totally convinced by Soldado so far, and Lamela will surely take time to find his feet, but it’s decent business all the same. Spurs looked a bit leaden on Sunday but it is early days and I’m sure we will do okay.

Right, I'm off now to practice my keepy-uppy. Well, you never know do you? It could be my road to a fortune.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Champions League Draw

Always bugged me a little that it isn't called the "Champion's League" (with an apostrophe) rather than the "Champions League" (without one), but we'll leave that to one side for the moment.

The draw for the group stages was made yesterday. Ideally I would have liked to have been at my computer when the draw was made, as there is always a chance to make money on teams who find themselves in a difficult or easy group, but I was on the motorway at the time.

Arsenal (happy days) have an awful draw and will hopefully be dispatched before the knock-out stages. Man Utd have a couple of reasonable teams in their group but should progress. Man City have Bayern in their group but overall it looks better for them than in previous years. Chelsea have the easiest route through to the knock-out stages.

Even given the draw, I personally still think Chelsea are a little short to win the whole thing. They have a decent squad but I just can't see them winning the whole thing, and at 10.5 to back, that just doesn't feel like value to me.





Anyway, time for a fun punt I think. On this occasion, I'd expect Man Utd and Man City (who I am hoping will be dark horses this time around) to make it through the group stages.  I also fancy PSG to do quite well, and they also have a favourable draw. Add in a sprinkling of a couple of outsiders in the shape of Leverkusen and Napoli and we have ourselves a bit of interest in the competition for twenty notes.

The idea of course will be to trade these teams when the knock-outs begin. Hopefully they can all make it through. Why not give it a go with your own thoughts.





Monday, 19 August 2013

Fossil Frog

Surprised to see Arsenal go down to defeat yesterday. Luis Gustavo has obviously brought some much-needed steel to their defence and they looked really solid at the back with him in there.

I also thought some of the link-up play between Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez was absolutely superb. They already seem to have developed an understanding and I'm sure they are going to terrorize the other Premier League teams as the season progresses. Fast, fluid play full of goal threat. Higuain proved yesterday what an astute signing Arsenal have made, and I'm sure he will repay the large fee with goals aplenty.

I was also impressed with their new midfielder from Lyon, Maxime Gonolans. What a star he was. Spraying the ball around, orchestrating the play from the middle of the park like he owned the place. Yes indeed, despite the defeat yesterday, these are exciting times for Arsenal - and for their legion of fans...

Huh? What's that? What do you mean? Parallel universe? Are you sure?

Of course as a Spurs fan this is all enormously enjoyable and heart-warming stuff. I think it must indeed be a parallel universe because it's supposed to be us Yids that are tight-fisted, rather than our odious neighbours. But look where we are now. Wenger has got so used to saving his pennies that it appears he's completely forgotten how to spend at all. Or perhaps he's harking back to the day when you could pick up a Thierry Henry for £11 million and is baulking at any of today's prices. I really don't know. But if Arsenal continue to perform poorly on the field - and with injuries and suspensions already throwing their paper-thin squad into sharp relief that could well happen - then the pressure on the dinosaur Wenger and the Arsenal board can only grow ever more intense.

It will be interesting to see how it all pans-out.

_____________________________________


Slow start for me as I'm still really in "summer-mode". The weather is still really nice and I was out most of the day laying block paving in my garden. I also feel inclined to go out and socialise when I get the opportunity. The autumn and winter will still leave plenty of time for full-on trading so there's no need to panic. The season is long and opportunities are everywhere.

I did of course have to trade my Spurs, and was happy to see them get off to a winning start. It's always a bit nerve-wracking playing a newly-promoted team on the first day. Adrenalin can go a long way for the newbies in those circumstance and it's easy to get tripped-up.



Football: £128.80  Total P&L:  £128.80

Football Showing 1 - 13 of 13 markets
Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Crystal Palace v Tottenham : Correct Score  18-Aug-13 13:30  18-Aug-13 15:23 39.13
Football / Swansea v Man Utd : Correct Score 17-Aug-13 17:30  17-Aug-13 19:21 24.76
Football / Swansea v Man Utd : Over/Under 3.5 Goals  17-Aug-13 17:30  17-Aug-13 19:10 12.82
Football / Swansea v Man Utd : Over/Under 2.5 Goals  17-Aug-13 17:30  17-Aug-13 19:00 16.76
Football / Zenit St Petersburg v Anzhi Makhachkala : Match Odds  17-Aug-13 15:15 17-Aug-13 17:05 0.00
Football / QPR v Ipswich : Correct Score 17-Aug-13 15:00  17-Aug-13 16:54 -4.60
Football / QPR v Ipswich : Over/Under 1.5 Goals  17-Aug-13 15:00  17-Aug-13 16:54 -15.00
Football / Nimes v ESTAC Troyes : Match Odds  16-Aug-13 19:00  16-Aug-13 20:48 20.70
Football / Nimes v ESTAC Troyes : Correct Score  16-Aug-13 19:00  16-Aug-13 20:48 -7.00
Football / Chateauroux v Tours : Correct Score 16-Aug-13 19:00  16-Aug-13 20:41 5.70
Football / Chateauroux v Tours : Over/Under 2.5 Goals  16-Aug-13 19:00  16-Aug-13 20:21 13.11
Football / Sochaux v Lyon : Over/Under 2.5 Goals  16-Aug-13 19:30  16-Aug-13 20:14 9.69
Football / Nimes v ESTAC Troyes : Over/Under 2.5 Goals  16-Aug-13 19:00  16-Aug-13 19:46 12.73




Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Wet Tits

Further to my post about laying favourite teams in the various league's winners markets, there are a couple of other possibilities I'd like to draw your attention to.

There is a good chance that quite a few of you don't like the ante-post betting due to the long time it takes to get a return on your money. This is a fair point. Most people don't have huge betting banks and so tying-up your money over nine months can be annoying.

Okay, so what about these instead? These are Aston Villa's opening three matches:

  1. Arsenal v Aston Villa
  2. Chelsea v Aston Villa
  3. Aston Villa v Liverpool
Now the markets may have taken these matches into consideration already, but a quick lay of Villa to finish in the top ten for the duration of these three matches doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

Also, these are Man City's opening matches:

Man City v Newcastle
Cardiff v Man City
Man City v Hull
Stoke v Man City

With Man Utd having some difficult opening fixtures and Chelsea also meeting Utd in the third match, a back of Man City in the winners market for these opening games also doesn't seem like a bad idea. Quick ante-post bets with a short time to wait until they are settled.


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The rather strange title for this post comes as a result of looking at the stats on my blog. Of the Google searches that resulted in the user finding their way to my blog, two searches for "wet tits" strangely led those people to me. Of all the porn sites that this particular search should have pulled up, I do find that somewhat bizarre.

Afterall, as I'm sure you'll agree, there is so much high-brow philosophical adult discussion in this blog. All I can say is:

Huge erections, hot sex, come in my mouth, anal, double penetration and huge bouncy tits.

There, that should help to bring in a few more visitors from now on :-)
 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Football as an investment



Yee-F*cking-Harr! 

It's back again. Yes, after a long (and I have to say enjoyable) summer, the football season proper kicks off again this weekend. It's good to have it back.

I know there have been plenty of you betting on the summer leagues over the last couple of months, and I trust you've all been doing well and are profitable. However, my question to you is: are you refreshed? Are you raring to go with all guns blazing? 

No? Yeah, me neither.

Actually I am. I was very happy I had a break from betting as I feel very enthusiastic and optimistic about the forthcoming season.

So, what's the post title all about? Well, I was looking through all the winner markets for each individual league and was amazed at how many of them (according to bookies and exchanges) are already apparently sown-up by certain teams. 

Is anyone, for example, going to win La Liga this season apart from Barca or Real Madrid? And how about the Scottish Premier League? Will there be any upset there?

No, I don't think so either. So let's have a scout around these winner markets and look what's what.



So, what have I done here? If a team was a clear favourite to win their league, such as Celtic and PSG, then they appear on their own and their odds are those that you can find on the exchange. If there is not a clear-cut favourite, such as in England, then I have dutched those named teams to derive the odds. Spain does not have any odds listed, because if you dutch Barcelona and Real Madrid you lose money (100.7% of the book! Any debate over the lack of competition in that league can now surely be put to bed).

The point I'm making is that some people like to look around for an nice ISA or a high-rate bank account where they can put their money. Others like to dabble on the stock-market. Here, although there is certainly an element of risk in each league (stocks can go down as well as up), we can easily see the given "interest rate" for each market and perhaps use them in this way. For example, if you are unable to beat a 16% return on your money from more conventional investments, then maybe you should consider dutching Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd this season. No one else has won it for the previous nine seasons.

Of course I'm a hypocrite. I put the idea out there with no real intention to do anything like that myself. Rely on Mancs and Chelski to look after my money? You've got to be kidding.

Personally, I think the most ludicrous of all these odds I've listed is that of Bayern's. I do realise that they won everything last season and that they have strengthened their squad again during the summer, but Dortmund have won the Bundesliga two seasons out of the last three and, at those odds, I feel compelled to oppose them. Dortmund are not as strong as they were, but any blip in Bayern's form and their odds only have one way to go. Odds of 1.22 before a ball has been kicked just seems plain daft.

Actually, I don't think you would go too far wrong opposing every one of these listed above. I've already opposed the top English teams, as mentioned previously HERE, and I will certainly look to lay Bayern too. I also know that some of you have opposed PSG at their very low odds. 

And what about Spain. I remember a couple of seasons ago when Levante went flying off and topped the league for a decent amount of time. We only have to get something like that again and there would be some profit.

All ideas to consider. Good luck for the forthcoming season to all of you. 


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Royal Baby Name betting



These are some of the odds on offer from Paddy Power.

Elvis, Rumpelstiltskin and Charming are just a few of the names on offer at 500/1, as is Wayne at 250/1 (not sure if that is a homage to Wayne Rooney or if people hoping for Wayne King? Although that doesn't really work)

Personally I like Kong at 500/1 (which does work) and think it would be just right when the child finally comes to the throne. I'm almost tempted.


Monday, 1 July 2013

NOW I can take it easy

Shame that I broke my run in the final of the Confederations Cup last night. I had a solid run of wins all through the tournament (even though I did miss a few games), but that came to an end when Spain failed to turn-up for the final and were simply overrun by a brilliant Brazil side.

I made a good sum on both the semi-finals, opposing both Brazil and Spain to Win Both Halves of their respective matches, plus adding-in some correct score trades. All I needed to do was be sensible in the final and I would have a clean-sweep of wins for the tournament.

Luckily I didn't do much damage as I didn't really trade the match properly. I'd been out all day and got back at about 7:00pm in expectation of catching the Uruguay v Italy play-off match - only to find it had started at 5:00pm and I had missed the whole thing. Bit annoyed with that, but I had enjoyed a nice sunny day with Pimms and charcoaled sausages so I couldn't really complain.

By the time the final came on at 11:00pm I was utterly exhausted and just wanted to flop in my bed. At the same time though, I was determined to watch the final as I expected it to be a good game - and I wasn't wrong there. Not having the energy or willpower to put my laptop on, though, I settled instead for watching the match in bed with the thought of placing the odd bet on my phone should the situation arise.

As you all know, Brazil started like a train and Spain started like Thomas the tank engine stuck in the sidings. When Brazil went 2-0 up, I assumed they would take their foot off the gas and Spain would start to play. I layed Brazil @ 1.17 for £100, and then when Brazil went 3-0 up just after half-time, I layed them again for another £100 @ 1.04.

The liability was very small, just a mere £21 in total. Laying teams in this situation, although it failed this time, is generally a low-risk sensible thing to do (as highlighted HERE) - but if I had been more than half-asleep I might have considered laying Brazil not the best use of my money on this particular occasion. The truth was that Spain were just never at the races.

So, a very small loss but a great tournament overall and a nice little bit of diversion while we all wait for the football season to start again.

Soccer: -£21.00  Total P&L:  -£21.00

Soccer Showing 1 - 1 of 1 markets
Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Soccer / Brazil v Spain : Match Odds 30-Jun-13 23:00 01-Jul-13 00:51 -21.00


_______________________________________


There is a month or so to go before things hot up again. As stated prior to the Confederations Cup starting, I do like to put my feet up this time of year, so I'll probably cool-off on the posts while I make merriment.

As I do so, of course, there will be all manner of transfer shenanigans going on. Ronaldo might go. Cavani might come. There is talk of Rooney moving too - although I personally can't see him going to PSG or Real Madrid as some have suggested. Let's face it, the man can hardly converse in his own language; how is he possibly going to manage with French or Spanish?

As Ian Rush rightly pointed-out, "playing in Italy is like being in a foreign country".

Monday, 24 June 2013

Pooh-gate

As I'm sure you're all aware now, Guy Poyet was sensationally sacked from his role as Brighton manager last night, while he was live on air, broadcasting in his role as pundit for the BBC during the Confederations Cup match between Nigeria and Spain.

The timing of the announcement on Brighton's website and via their Twitter feed was of course designed to cause maximum embarrassment to Poyet, but it does seem strange how quickly this has all got out of hand.

This dates back to May when Crystal Palace came to visit the Amex stadium for the Championship play-off semi-final second leg, and found excrement smeared over the visitor's dressing room. This in itself is a bit strange, as it's a bit like vandalising your own home, but we'll leave that to one side for one moment. The main question is who and why.

Now if you're guessing that Brighton have subsequently conducted some kind of DNA testing and discovered that the brown brick came from the anal lips of the former Chelsea star himself - then I don't think that's the case. No, this was not Poyet putting on a traditional Uruguayan welcome as far as I know; and I also don't believe Poyet sees himself as the new Bobby Sands of the football world.

Apparently Poyet was utterly outraged himself and fired-off an email (luckily that's all he fired-off) to all his staff, demanding to know who the culprit was and that they be sacked immediately. He also demanded a scratch-and-sniff test be performed on all employees.

But somehow this ranting carried-on further, and went on to question the ambition and direction of the club, although the precise nature of the criticism is not known. Maybe he thought the club was going down the pan. Maybe it was along the lines of: "You're shit and you know you are!"?

Either way, this verbal diarrhea was a bad move. Brighton Football Club took offence to the tone and/or content of this email and subsequently suspended Poyet and some of his coaching staff. Now that the dust (or perhaps the steam) has settled, they've now taken the decision to remove him entirely. Wiped from history, if you will.

So there you have it. Poyet is gone. Shafted by Brighton Football Club. Personally, I think the whole thing stinks and reckon it will leave a nasty stain on Brighton's reputation.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Better than the World Cup

I don't know about you, but I've been finding the Confederations Cup a terrific competition to both watch and to trade. End-to-end football. Open, attacking, free-flowing play from fully committed players. Great stuff.

As mentioned in a previous post, before the tournament started, I was hoping that the Confederations Cup, having less kudos than the other major international competitions, would mean more attractive, uninhibited, open play - and happily it has certainly turned-out that way so far. I hope it continues.

Ten matches have been played to date. Nine out of the ten have seen over 2.5 goals - and even if you completely ignore the two matches involving Tahiti, which does squew the data, that still equates to 3.75 goals per game. That is highly unusual in international competition.

I traded with rather small stakes last night, but still found it relatively easy to make a profit. It's not always like that of course, but I'm grateful for those occasions when it is.

Tonight sees Uruguay against Tahiti, so I suppose the most active markets in that match will be the "Correct Score 2 Home" or the "Correct Score 3 Home" ones. Personally, I don't feel very comfortable trading these "dead-cert" kinds of matches so I'll probably just leave that one alone.

In the other match, Nigeria are up against it. They know that Uruguay will secure three points, so they have to beat the World and European Champions if they want to stay in the competition. Spain will want to continue their winning run. I hope that means another lively and entertaining game.

I really recommend that you watch and get involved in some trading of this competition. It's well worth it.


Football: £124.12  Total P&L:  £124.12

Football Showing 1 - 4 of 4 markets
Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Italy v Brazil : Over/Under 6.5 Goals 22-Jun-13 20:00  22-Jun-13 21:55 4.44
Football / Japan v Mexico : Correct Score 22-Jun-13 20:00  22-Jun-13 21:52 34.64
Football / Italy v Brazil : Correct Score 22-Jun-13 20:00  22-Jun-13 21:50 57.35
Football / Italy v Brazil : Over/Under 2.5 Goals 22-Jun-13 20:00  22-Jun-13 21:16 27.69


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Breaking Premier League News!


Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea will all fail to win the title this year. Yup, you heard it here first. That's my shock prediction. Take a moment to let that earth-shattering news slowly sink in.

Of course, when I say they will fail to win the title, I should perhaps clarify that statement a little. I mean they will not win it in the first couple of months of the season.

Really sticking my neck out, huh?

With the Premier League fixtures out today, I realised that I hadn't yet taken a look at the EPL Winners market. Nothing like a little ante-post bet to whet the appetite, is there?

And it's a simple one for me. With all the changes going on with the top three teams, it's obvious the market doesn't have the first clue who's going to win the title this year. Look how close their prices are. Have you ever seen them like that before? The market has basically thrown its hands up in the air and shrugged, "I dunno!"

Anyway, as I said, it's simple for me. There are always a few changes of league position in the first couple of months of the season, so I've layed all three teams for a total potential profit of £500.

I will never realise that full £500 of course, but that hardly matters. As the positions change, to-ing and fro-ing during the first few months, I'll slowly hedge away my red and hopefully leave a nice little green book come the winter. Well, that's the theory anyway. My liability is only £75.

By the way, if you want to see how teams can change place through the course of a season, then remember to use my League Table Time Machine that I created for you all last year. This can show the rise and fall of each team after each match.

___________________________________________


I made a little bit of pocket-money on the U21 final between Italy and Spain last night. I was out during the match so I set a couple of mug bets up before I went out - but I have to confess that I read the game completely wrong.

Like everyone else, I thought Spain would win, but I figured it would be a much more cagey affair than it was. Six goals and seven yellow cards doesn't sound cagey, does it?

Anyway, I placed a lazy Lay The Draw on the match, with a small saver on 1-1. My reading was that it might end 2-0 or 2-1 to Spain.

Shows just how little I know about this game of association football.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Lags Eleven


Footballers are supposed to be icons of the modern era, and people who we can look up to and respect. They are supposed to be model citizens who we can all aspire to emulate, as they strive for increasing levels of greatness...

Erm, or not.

Let's face it, we love the game of football, but often those people who are attracted to playing "the beautiful game" can occasionally be somewhat flawed individuals. Some are a touch arrogant, narcissistic and just too wrapped up in themselves to care about anyone else - and some are just downright criminal.

Looking down the last few decades, I thought it highly worthy to build a football team out of those players who have crossed the line between hardworking law-abiding citizens and dirty, low-down scumbag criminals.

Here goes:

Manager:
I thought I'd start with a manager who is held in high esteem within the football arena; a top quality dutch manager in the shape of Guus Hiddink. The fact that he was also found guilty of tax evasion (story here) is neither here nor there.


Goalkeeper:
There are a couple of contenders for this position. First off we have Colombian Scorpion-kick specialist, Rene Higuita, who lit up Wembley all those years ago with that spectacular save, but who also managed to tarnish his image by being involved with drug lord, Pablo Escobar, and a cocaine problem that saw him fail a drugs test.

But in the end, I've decided to stick closer to home and go with David De Gea, Manchester United's famous shot-stopper, who was caught stealing a Krispy Kreme doughnut out of tescos (story here). Marvelous. A great save by De Gea (of  £1.19).

Defence:
Unfortunately I'm going to have to bring in a couple of old stalwarts to help me fill my defensive positions - so I'm having Vinnie Jones: assault (story here), Tony Adams: drink-driving (story here) and Glen Johnson: stealing a toilet seat (story here). 

I need one more player, of course, but defence is the one position where I've struggled a bit (as you might have guessed from the toilet seat theft), so I've had to cheat slightly and bring in Arsenal's Peter Storey. He spent much of his time as a midfielder, but I believe he did start-out as a defender. More importantly, however, he has a long string of crimes to his name, including running a brothel, car theft, counterfeiting, smuggling pornography and threatening behaviour (buy his book here!). Top job Mr Storey. Thanks for stepping-in for me.

Midfield:
Another dependable player, if something of a cliche - but Joey Barton: common assault (story here) can always be relied on to get himself into trouble. Joey is helped-out in midfield by Gary Charles: threatening a bouncer with a knife (story here) and Jan Molby: reckless driving.

Attack:
Okay, I'm doing well. I just have to sort out my strikers. Happily we have an array of talent up front from which to choose. Do bear in mind that I'm not just looking for football talent here. Weak-willed, inconsiderate and irresponsible are also important qualities in a team like this.

So, to make a formidable striking force, Maradona has to gain a slot: shooting journalists (story here). He can weave his magic and lay it on for either Duncan Ferguson: assault (story here) or Marlon King: multiple offences (story here). I do realise that Marlon King might be considered too mediocre a player to get into my side, but he is arguably our most criminally-minded individual off the pitch and so makes the grade.



So there we have it. I've managed to field an entire team with reprobates and criminals, albeit by having to go across different playing eras to do so. This is of course decidely harsh on my part, as I could pretty much select any profession in the land and manage to find a bunch of crooks amongst them. No problem.

But then again milk-men and plumbers are not held-up as icons are they? They're not looked upon as role-models and put on pedastals. They're not hero-worshipped and treated like demi-gods half the time.

And I suppose the whole point of this is, that neither should footballers. They are just a bunch of twats like the rest of us, and probably more so. Kicking a bag of air around a patch of grass is not a reason to elevate an individual's status, and the real shame is on us for allowing that to happen.

Oh no. Look what you've made me do there. I've only gone and ruined it all by being serious at the end.



Monday, 17 June 2013

Trading to recovery

The Mexico v Italy match last night went pretty much according to plan, and was easy enough to make money from. The Spain v Uruguay match, however, was not so easy.

Even though the match finished with one of my chosen scorelines, when trading that doesn't really matter. I say that because if you are trading seriously then you should always be looking ahead in the match and trying to predict what is going to happen next. Using that information, the idea is then to start covering-off other dangerous scorelines using the potential green that you already have. We're trading, not betting.

If any of you watched the match last night, you will have seen Spain start like a train. They were fabulous, and if anyone doubted that they are still right at the very top, then that was quickly dismissed yesterday. Fast, fluid movement and lovely to watch. Superb football.

So, sensing an early goal and that it was going to be a long night for Uruguay, I put some money on 3-0. When the first goal went in, I layed some of my red off. When the second goal was scored, I layed off a bit more. Then I scalped myself into a position where I had green on every score. The late goal by Horse of the Year winner, Luis Suarez, was an added bonus, but this does illustrate the benefit of trading, whereby it's possible to turn around a potentially losing situation into a winning one.


Football: £133.10 | Golf: £23.93 | Tennis: £33.85  Total P&L:  £190.88

Football Showing 1 - 2 of 2 markets
Market Start time Settled date Profit/loss (£)
Football / Spain v Uruguay : Correct Score 16-Jun-13 23:00 17-Jun-13 00:53 58.28
Football / Mexico v Italy : Correct Score 16-Jun-13 20:00 16-Jun-13 21:53 74.82

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With regards to tonight's match where Tahiti play Nigeria, it's difficult to find much in the way of value. Nigeria are listed at 1.07 to win the match, and I suppose at those super-skinny odds, I may feel like laying them during the first-half for a few pennies. If Nigeria take some time to find their feet, and before Tahiti tire, then the odds could possibly move a little.

Alternatively "Any Unquoted" in the "Correct Score 2 Away" market might be worth a look if there is no goal towards the end of the first half, at which point it could be worth laying with a view to trading after a couple of goals.





Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tonight's Matches


Brazil looked reasonably comfortable last night in the opening match. Great strike from Neymar in the first couple of minutes, and the last goal was very slick also.

By the way, don't worry about getting an early night tonight in preparation for work in the morning, and forget all about that boring golf competition that's going on somewhere in America. Instead, settle down to BBC2 and BBC1 at 8:00 and 11:00 this evening and watch Mexico v Italy and Spain v Uruguay.

Everyone's is predicting a low-scoring affair in the first match, and that may well be the case. Personally I'll be scalping this match only, which will allow me to dip in and out of the match as the action rises and falls (hopefully it does rise occasionally). The advantage of scalping the whole match, of course, is that I'm not taking a position throughout the entire course of the match. I'll just be making hay during the appropriate trends of the game.

With regards to the second match, I said yesterday that I'm interested in Uruguay, and indeed I am. Up front they have Diego Forlan and Luis (Red Rum) Suarez, and they are both prolific for their national side, even though as a team they are struggling to make it to next year's World Cup.

Spain are obviously favourites for this match but, all things being equal, you would expect both teams to get out of the group, with Nigeria and Tahiti failing to progress if the form book is right. A draw wouldn't be a particularly bad result for either team, but with this competition not having the same kudos as the major ones, I'm hoping that all the teams will play with a little more bravado and openness than normal.

So, with the array of attacking talent on both sides (Suarez especially will want to impress the likes of Real and Barcelona), alongside some signs of occasional defensive frailties, I'm guessing there might be one or two goals in tonight's match.

Dave from Betfair Football Trading - the highs and lows is a great advocate of, what he has termed, the Scatter Gun, whereby you back pre-match 1-1, 2-1 and 1-2, and then perhaps 20 minutes in when the odds are good enough, a little back of 2-2 also. This is his mainstay strategy and it's held him in good stead. If you're not familiar with it, then I suggest you pop over to his blog and devour everything on there. Do note, however, that this is a trading strategy and not a set-and-leave approach. You need to manage these scores in-play.

I'm not sure the starting odds are quite right as far as Dave might be concerned (perhaps Spain would be a little short for his liking), but personally I think this is a reasonable fit for this match and that's what I'll be going for. I'll obviously also do a bit of scalping on this one also, as it can help iron-out the kinks in pretty much any chosen strategy.

Good luck tonight if you trade.




Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Confederations Cup

It was only a couple of posts ago that I found myself whining about the lack of decent football activity during the summer, and that this was the perfect time to take a break and recharge the batteries.

Well don't you listen to a single word. Pah! All utter nonsense because today sees the start of the Confederations Cup and there is definitely some interest to be had here. Sixteen matches over 15 days, involving some of the world's top countries (with a few minnows thrown-in for good measure) and, listening to the players and managers being interviewed, it's easy to see how seriously everyone is taking this. This is the major practice competition before the World Cup next year, and all the teams involved want to win.

For Brazil, of course, it's also a double practice run for them. They can test out their grounds and their infrastructure ahead of the real thing. Interestingly, goal-line technology is also being used in this competition, so it will be intriguing to see how that fares.

So, what do we have? Well, these are the teams involved and, for good measure, I've also plonked their World Elo Ranking alongside too:


  • Spain (1)
  • Brazil (3)
  • Italy (8)
  • Mexico (11)
  • Uruguay (17)
  • Japan (25)
  • Nigeria (34)
  • Tahiti (141)

As you can see, there is really only one whipping-boy in the whole competition, with a decent spread of opposition amongst the rest. Brazil, as the hosts, and Spain (who have chosen a very strong squad) are the obvious candidates to win the whole thing - but Uruguay, the South American Champions look interesting to me.

Of course Uruguay have Mr I'm-very-hungry-so-do-you-mind-if-I-take-a-chunk-out-of-your-arm Suarez in the team, and they also have Edinson Cavani, who apparently every team in the world is going to sign this summer. Anyway, they look like dangerous opponents. They play their first match on Sunday against Spain, and I'm expecting that to be well worth watching. Spain beat them in February 3-1 but their recent form has been good.

Next, you could also consider Japan, who can boast some really decent attacking talent and Nigeria (the African Cup of Nations Champions) to upset the apple cart in a couple of matches. Japan play today against the hosts Brazil, whilst Nigeria will be hoping to get a decent start when the play Tahiti on Monday.

The winners odds are shown below for your interest. But my advice is to get involved. Don't be a wanker and take time off during the summer. Whoever came up with that stupid idea should be shot at dawn!



Incidentally, 188 have a small promotion on the Confederations Cup, which should help:









Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Cry Baby

This is Jesus Navas, Manchester City’s £15 million signing from Seville. The picture was taken as he arrived at Manchester International Airport, in preparation for life in England. Doesn’t look very happy, does he?

This is an extract from the BBC website:

Navas has suffered from chronic home-sickness in the past, and spent his entire career at Sevilla, which is 20 miles north of his hometown of Log Palacios y Villafranca. He turned down a move to Chelsea after helping Sevilla beat Middlesbrough in the 2006 UEFA Cup final, citing a fear of living abroad. Navas has suffered from anxiety attacks when away from home for extended periods and has been forced to leave training camps on several occasions.

Well done Citeh. Top signing that. The first sign of trouble and he'll be on a plane faster than you can spunk another title chance against the wall. 

With Navas and Carlos AWOL Teves now both in the team, Citeh have also announced the signings of Banacek and Magnum PI, so they at least stand a chance of tracking down their players once they have fled the country.




According to reports from reliable sources, Navas arrived at the airport and immediately tried to purchase a ticket back to Spain. Well, after seeing Manchester, who can blame him?

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Betting Momentum

After my long break, I wandered into the trading chatroom the other day, absent-mindedly placed some bets on a couple of U21 Euro Championship matches, which both lost me a bit of money - but I actually found myself watching a rather nondescript movie called The Double, starring Richard Gere halfway through the matches, and I ended-up just switching my laptop off without even trying to manage my postions.

So what was that all about then?

After thinking about it for a couple of days, I realise now what's going on. In the first instance, I'm one of those people where it takes a while to get back into the swing of things. I need a while before I'm mentally back in gear, and I have built-up enough momentum to start betting/trading seriously. I find it also takes a little while to become attuned to the prices of things again after a long lay-off.

Unfortunately that's not all. I am a football fan and with one or two exceptions, I trade football and not much else - but I realise that I'm not the type of fan that can just sit and absorb any match that's on. I have to be "interested" in the match or I can happily just switch it off.

I am interested in all the major European leagues, especially and obviously the English leagues, but I have found that interest wane considerably come mid-may when they are all done and dusted. Many of you make good money during this "off" season, when some of the lesser leagues start, and all power to you for that, but for me making money from the match is not enough to sustain me. I also need to be entertained or at least interested in the teams involved. Now that might sound all very precious on my part but that's the reality.

For myself, also, this time of year is a natural break that I look forward to. Football trading is nothing more than a hobby for me, and I don't want to risk getting bored with that hobby or to feel that it's become a duty. Also, with the increasingly good weather, I also have no real inclination to be stuck inside staring at my computer screen when I could be out with friends or baking up a storm on my barbeque in the garden. Next month, the children will be on their summer break and I want to enjoy that time with them also.

It is, afterall, all about balance. When I'm not enjoying the sun or out with friends, then I want to take the opportunity to prepare for next season. That means updating my spreadsheets, gathering more data, working on my database, etc.

So, I may dip my trading toes back into the water over the summer on a few occasions, but I will recognise the facts and largely give it a rest. That's not to say that I will completely neglect this little blog of mine. I'll try and come up with one or two posts of interest to you all, and I'll try and post semi-regular over the summer.

Good luck to all you who will continue to trade during this time.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

What a relief


I turn my back for a few moments, and all kinds of whacky happenings have been going on in my absence. Yes, I'm back home and, although I had an absolutely fabulous time abroad, I'm relieved and happy to be home.

However, all the footy shenanigans have been going on whilst I've been away. Very interesting indeed.

All change in Manchester I see, with Mancini out, Fergie and his purple nose safely wheeled off to the retirement home, only to be replaced by yet another jocular, bubbly and excitable Scot. The Special (Needs) One back at Stinkford Bridge. Mark Hughes, who's managerial skills seem almost inversely proportional to his skill as a player, miraculously finds himself back in gainful employment after Stoke advertised at JobSeekers Plus, so on and so forth. All very exciting.

I was more than a little gutted to see my lovely Spurs yet again fail to reach the last four. The usual blip that we always suffer at the same time of year did for us yet again. Consequently, we'll be lucky to keep hold of our little monkey-faced genius Gareth Bale, but if someone is foolish enough to offer £85 million for him, I'd be happy to see him go for that. We could replace him with Ronaldo I suppose :-)

In other areas, I've noticed that those decent people at tradingfootball.eu have also been busy while I've been away, and seem to have been doing okay. They've added some interesting new strategies up which I will be analysing in due course.

Of course, I'm not about to detail what those strategies are here as that would be grossly unfair, but their strategies did make me knock-up yet another little spreadsheet that some of you may find useful. 

When looking to create a new strategy for yourselves, you obviously want to cover as many of the possible scorelines as possible, even if some of those scorelines will end-up as a scratch or smallish loss. You may decide to cover a selection of scorelines at the outset of a chosen match, and then work towards covering off any remaining danger scorelines as the game progresses. Or you may just be the type of person who likes maximum coverage right from the word go.

Either way, to help you all work-out what a possible strategy could be, I have created a little hedging spready.


This is a rather simple spreadsheet, and the only changes you need to make are in row 4, where you can choose to Back or Lay any selection (or selections) in the match odds, both teams to score, Under/Overs and Correct Scores market. Click on each item in row 4 and a dropdown will appear allowing you to choose either Back or Lay. 

Playing around with the spreadsheet will allow you to see which Backs and which Lays cover-off which scorelines, allowing you to develop a strategy. 

It's mildly lame, I suppose, but some of you may find it helpful.


________________________________


On a different note, I have to report that I've been (correctly) taken to task regarding my last "testing your strategies post. I had a couple of basic mistakes in the spready and some anonymous chap was kind enough to spot them and point them out to me:


Anonymous1 June 2013 15:36
I am afraid the spreadsheet is not correct.

1. The column K : Result column needs to look at the Full Time Result (and not part Time result). Your need to look at column G instead of column J.
2. The calculation of the return in incorrect. For example your first return for the match Blackburn3 Everton2. You lay Everton , and Everton wins 1-0; you should therefore lose your stake and not win.
3. The result and return columns were incorrect.

Unfortunately once all corrections are done, the return is
- £ 61.

Happy to send the amended spreadsheet to anyone. Just send me an email to jmf@btinternet.com


Anon is of course spot-on about my silly mistakes, but largely I suppose it doesn't matter in this instance. The main point about the post was to get you all to start testing your own strategies. The spready that I knocked-up took about half-an-hour and was specifically for the post in question.

I will, however, endeavour to do better in future. Do bear in mind though, that the spreadsheet I've just posted above also only took 30 minutes and so there is a decent chance that has errors also!






Monday, 22 April 2013

End of the season (for me)

For personal reasons, this year has been quite different to those previously. So, like many football teams, my season is effectively going to end early this year.

On Friday, I'm flying off with my family for a nice six week break. We'll be visiting Malaysia and the Philippines, soaking up the sun and generally relaxing. I've been to South-east Asia several times before and it's a fabulous part of the world.

For me personally it will be a chance for rest and recuperation, and I will recharge my batteries ready for the rest of the year. Hopefully it will also herald a good trading season come August.

So, apologies for a rather erratic set of posts this year, but I do foresee a return to a more steady, continuous  set of posts in the new season.

I hope you all have a good end-of-season trading/betting, and I might touch base with you all again come mid-June when I get back.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Testing your strategies - part II

In my last post, I showed you how to collect the raw data from www.football-data.co.uk and to use that data to apply a basic strategy against every single match (all 380) in one fell swoop to see if that strategy was a winning idea. Sadly, it wasn't, but this was a reasonable first stab at some back-testing, and hopefully even that simple example will have triggered some ideas in you that you want to test.

As you get more into this, however, you will quickly start to see some problems with the approach I have outlined. Many strategies rely on looking at previous results to assess current form or to help with the selection process of a particular strategy. The back-test that I showed in my last post provides no method to select a team’s previous match or indeed their previous n matches.

There are a few considerations when looking to solve this problem: 
  1. We don’t know the number of games a team has played so far.
  2. We don’t know if a team’s last match was played at home or played away (different column in the raw data).
  3. We don’t know how far back a team’s last match was (i.e, the last one could have been postponed). 
Strategy Idea:
Let’s take a concrete example that we want to test. I have an amazing idea (yes, another one) to lay any team below odds of 3.00 who’s last match was at home and where they lost that match without scoring a goal. So, if a team lost their last match at home to nil, then they will become a lay target. Okay, so how do I achieve this? I need to: 
  1. Check the odds in their current match (are they equal or less than 3.00?)
  2. Check if they were at home in their last match.
  3. Check if they lost their last match.
  4. Check if they scored a goal in their last match.
If all these qualifying criteria equate to true, then I must assess whether I would have won/lost money laying such a team. In other words, what would my P/L have been?

Previous matches: 
So, how do we solve these problems? Well, as in most things in life, there is more than one way to skin a cat. I have a method that I have come up with to allow me to overcome these issues. Doubtless, my solution is not the most elegant or effective around as I’m certainly no Excel guru – but it seems to work okay and should allow you to satisfactorily test a wide variety of strategies that require the resolution of these issues.

Below you can download the latest version of my E0.xls spreadsheet. The original test is still in the workbook, but now I’ve added another sheet and called it “Test 2”.


In this “Test 2” sheet, you will see a whole new set of columns. For the columns G up to K, I have simply reproduced the data within the raw data sheet E0. This is merely a convenience and allows me to manipulate the data free of the actual raw data. As mentioned in the previous post, this is always good practice.

If I wanted to make this sheet into some kind of template, I would also be tempted to turn these various columns into “names”, but I won’t go into that right now as I'm already worried that I'm going to confuse the hell out of you all.

I do realise that, for those of you who are not Excel-orientated, what I'm going to describe below might be a bit too much, in which case you may want to pass on the whole thing – but for those of you who even have some small knowledge of Excel, this is probably all understandable. I hope so anyway.

Meat and Potatoes:
Right let's crack on. Columns L and M are also copies of columns in the data sheet, and are the home and away match odds. Using these helper columns, I can now start to build-up my lookups properly.

In Columns C and D, I have added a game count for each team (just a simple COUNTIF). Then using that game count and the team name, in columns A and B, I have simply concatenated (joined) these two values together to create a string that I can subsequently use to lookup previous matches. The concatenation is very simple:

            cell_ref & cell_ref

For example: =IF(G13="", "", G13&C13)

We are now pretty well setup to perform our previous match lookups. To assess each team’s previous match, we need to do this: 
  1. Generate a lookup string “on-the-fly”.
  2. Try and find a match for that string in the previous match data.
We have the current game number for both teams, so we need to do something like this:

            String = team_name + (current game number – 1)

This is cool, because we can now go back any number of games to pick up the result from previous games. If I want to find out the result of a team’s match 6 games ago, it’s simply (current game number – 6). Columns E and F use this lookup technique to find-out if the previous game was a home game or an away game.

=IF(C22<2, "", IF(ISNA(VLOOKUP(G22&(C22-1), $A$12:B607, 1, FALSE)), "A", "H"))

Hmm, what’s all this then. Looks a bit complicated. For columns E and F I’m saying:

If the number of matches is less than two, then put an empty string there, otherwise perform a vertical lookup (VLOOKUP) of the team_name+(game number -1) on the column containing the home name lookup tags (column A). The "ISNA" bit is saying, if there is an error (in other words, it cannot be found), then that must mean there previous game was an away match, so I can put an “A” in the cell, otherwise I did find it and I can plonk a “H” there.

So, columns E and F are themselves helper columns, but I’ve already used the lookup values in columns A and B to good effect. This is essentially the same kind of lookup I will be doing to test the actual strategy.
  
The real good news is that all of these columns A to M that I'm talking you through can be largely ignored and you don’t really need to know how they’re constructed. I just thought it would be helpful if you did know. The actual testing of our strategy can be found in columns O to T – but you can use this sheet to test other strategies and helper columns A to M should prove useful for numerous strategy tests.

Testing our strategy:
If you look at row 33 in the spreadsheet (where I have highlighted it in yellow), I have identified Everton as a team that last played at home and lost to nil (row 25).  How did I do this?

=IF(OR(H33="",F33="A", C33<2, D33<2, M33>$B$4),"", IF(AND(VLOOKUP(H33&(D33-1),$A$12:K32,9,FALSE)=0,VLOOKUP(H33&(D33-1),$A$12:K32,10,FALSE)>0),1,""))

Again, this looks much scarier than it actually is. Let’s break it down. The first part

IF(OR(H33="",F33="A", C33<2, D33<2, M33>$B$4),""

Is a set of disqualifying criteria. It’s saying: “if H33 (away team name) is empty” OR “if their last match was an away game” OR “they have played less than two matches” OR “their match odds are greater than 3.00”, then leave the cell blank. If all those criteria are met, then I can continue. The next bit:

IF(AND(VLOOKUP(H33&(D33-1),$A$12:K32,9,FALSE)=0,VLOOKUP(H33&(D33-1),$A$12:K32,10,FALSE)>0),1,"")

Is saying: “if the team’s last match resulted in a home scoreline of 0” AND “the team’s last match resulted in an away scoreline greater than 0”, then plonk a value of “1” in the cell. This then acts as a flag that we have a qualifying match. Columns Q to T then work from the fact that this is a qualifying match, and they see if laying the team in question would result in a win or not – which is essentially the same as the simple checks from my first post.

Looking at the results, we appear to have found 16 qualifying matches throughout the season, and have made £63 profit, which is an ROI of 39%. Cool.

Before we get too excited, however, there are a couple of things to note. The data from football-data.co.uk provides average odds but presumably these are Back odds, where as my strategy involves laying teams. The odds would therefore not be as favourable as I am using. Also, the number of qualifying matches is extremely low. I would need to either play with my maximum odds (if you change the figure in cell B4 you can do this yourself) to help me pull in more games, or I would need to run this strategy against an awful lot more matches. With such a small sample of qualifying matches, I am at the mercy of variance. In other words, it could just be a small hill just before the unending gradient downwards.

But once again, I haven’t spent any of my children’s hard earned inheritance (as they guy off Dragon’s Den would say) and, based on the results, I would say I need to investigate and experiment further. Or you can :-)

Hopefully, however, all this meddling has shown those of you who presently don't get involved in testing that it's really not that difficult. Once you get your hands dirty with it and build a couple of tests of your own, you will start to to get an idea of how intriguing it all is.

Even if that amazing Holy Grail of betting is not really out there and waiting to be discovered, you can nevertheless come-up with a half-decent idea and give it a thorough test against a vast amount of historic data in about twenty minutes. This will give you a reasonably definitive answer one way or the other.

Just remember, dont' go trialling it the using the fun method first!





Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Testing, Testing!


If you’re like me and you’ve been betting/trading for any length of time, then you’ll have left a large number of “foolproof” systems, strategies, ideas and whimsies behind on the “exchange highway” – with many of them never even having seen the light of day. 

There are essentially two ways to test a strategy or idea, one of which (in my opinion) is far safer, more thorough, less time-consuming and generally more accurate. The other is perhaps more fun.

The fun method is test an idea out by trialling it with small stakes, perhaps even automating it so that you don’t have to slavishly sit at your computer to run the actual trial. This is okay but even with small stakes on a losing, high-turnover strategy, it’s quite easy to trickle away a reasonable portion of your betting bank. Also the question then becomes, how long should I run the trial for? Is one week, two weeks, two months sufficient? What is a reasonable sample? Tricky isn’t it?

The other, and far more practical method is to back-test any new strategy first. Now the lazy and feckless amongst you will probably be groaning right about now. 

Hurrumph! It’s too difficult and too time-consuming to back-test something. Easier just to try it out.

Yes, it certainly is easier just to throw a bet down and “see how it goes”, but even if you’re just a serious hobbiest, this is unacceptably dumb. If you’re a professional or semi-professional and working like that, then perhaps you need to find another line of business.

Back-testing is admittedly no substitute for live betting, but it can sort the wheat from the chaff before you even embark down that road and potentially cost yourself money. I have ideas and strategies flying around in my head all of the time. Most of them are completely daft and fanciful, but some appear to have real worth and substance. It’s these ideas that can be dangerous unless treated properly.

Oh my God! This idea is amazing. I can really see this working.

Stop right there. Don’t you dare put a penny into the market. BACK-TEST IT! 

In truth back-testing is really not that difficult. I’ll even take you through an example of back-testing to show you just how easy it really is.

First off, pop along to http://www.football-data.co.uk/data.php#download where you can download several season worth of data for all the major European leagues. This is all free-of-charge and is an amazing resource to have at your disposal.

These data files are downloadable as CSV files. What are CSV files, you may be asking? Well, these are text files where the data is separated by commas. The acronym CSV simply stands for Comma Separated Values. Once you click on a file and it downloads, what you need to do is open it using Excel and save it as an Excel workbook. The reason we do this is so that we can perform calculations on the data.

These data files are helpful to us bettors because they contain the average odds for each match, so we can not only see if one of our ideas will win lots of times or not, we can also see, given the average odds, whether the idea will actually make a profit or not. That is an amazing time-saver, isn’t it? No need to keep betting over and over to check an idea. Here we can test against thousands of matches in a few minutes. If the idea makes money after back-testing, well that is the time to start testing it in the live environment!

Okay, so we’ve downloaded our test file and we’ve saved it as an Excel workbook. We open it up and see a lot of data in there. On the same website, there is a key to each of these fields, but they are nearly all easily interpreted anyway.

Now so you can see a practical example of back-testing, I've provided you with a short example, In the link below, I have provided last year’s EPL data results. 


If you open it up, you will see two sheets. The first one is the “E0” sheet. This is the raw data provided by football-data.co.uk. You will find it good practice to generally avoid adding formulas and calculations directly into the raw data. This is best left untouched and a new sheet used to work out the “winning strategies” (we hope). This way, you can apply your ideas to any set of data without having to try and unpick all the formulas and calculations from the data.

The second sheet is what I’ve created to help us perform our back-testing on the data. Right, so let’s suppose we want to test the idea that there is money to be made by backing Over 2.5 goals in every match where the odds are greater than or equal to 2.00. 

Now this is obviously a rather rudimentary example, but it should still be helpful to see the mechanics of it all. The whole test on last year’s Premier League took me less than five minutes. That's testing 380 matches, and I could very easily expand that out to several seasons or several leagues, allowing me to test my idea against thousands of matches.

In my “Test” sheet, I have written in plain English what I’m testing. This is easy to forget if you open the sheet up after a couple of months, so it’s always good to remind yourself of what you’ve already tested. I’ve also separated-out the odds I’m testing against (C3) so that I can change this and the results will update “on-the-fly”. This gives a bit more flexibility. For example, odds of 2.00 might be a loser, but what about odds of 1.90?

In the raw data sheet (E0), the odds section begins at column X and finishes at column BS. Most of these are match odds, some are Asians and some are the 2.5 goals odds. We’re obviously interested in the 2.5 odds. Columns BI to BM contain “BbOU”, BbMx>2.5”, “BbAv>2.5”, “BbMx<2.5” and “BbAv<2.5”. In order these are:

  • The number of bookies used to derive the averages
  • Betbrain maximum Over 2.5 goals odds.
  • Betbrain average Over 2.5 goals odds.
  • Betbrain maximum Under 2.5 goals odds.
  • Betbrain average Under 2.5 goals odds.

I think we’re just interested in the averages here, so we want the BbAv>2.5 column (which is the BK column). Right, so in column B of my test sheet, starting at row 13, I have this formula:

=IF(AND(ISNUMBER(E0!B3), E0!BK2>$C$3), E0!BK2, "")

What I’m doing here is checking that the B column in the “E0” sheet contains a date. If it doesn’t, then it must be an empty row and I can ignore it. I do this because the EPL has 380 games per season, but the Championship and below have 552. I want to make my test sheet “data agnostic” if at all possible. 

The second check in this formula is whether the Over 2.5 odds in the BK column of the “E0” sheet are greater than or equal to my stated odds in C3. The little “$” marks around the C3 means it’s static, allowing me to drag this formula all the way down the sheet and it will still refer to C3. Anyway, if both those conditions are satisfied, then I display the actual average odds.

Column C just reports if the bet was a winner or a loser. A “1” is a win and a “0” is a loss. The “Return” showed is my stake (C4) multiplied by the given odds. Of course if you’re betting on the exchange then you will also have to take commission into account (C5), which gives us an actual P/L in column F. The final result is seen in F10.

Unfortunately, as you can see, this particular strategy would not have made me any money in the Premier League for last season. It could be worth checking other leagues and other seasons to see if there is any variation, but on the face of it, there is no edge here.

But hey, I haven’t spent a single penny of my bank finding out the answer. And that makes the last five minutes playing around with the data well worth my time. 

In my next post, I will provide a more complex example, that performs lookups based on the previous match for each team. This also can then be used as a template for a wide variety of backtesting scenarios.