Monday, 24 October 2016

One In a Thousand...

Just going to start by saying what a great win for Chelsea, one they needed badly. At Arsenal they were all at sea - now it's three clean sheets in a row under a changed defensive system. I am not totally convinced that Chelsea's worries at the back are over but at least the Blues have Zouma to come back and Terry available.

Anyway, to another incredible match on Saturday - Espanyol v Eibar.

I traded this game and it was unreal. Eibar are mid-table, Espanyol close to the relegation zone. Espanyol hadn't won at home in four matches going into this game and are a team with low morale at present. By the end of the first half Espanyol were 0-3 down, courtesy of some shocking defending (worse than Man Utd yesterday :) only for them to launch an unlikely comeback in the second half.

At 2-3 in the 84' Caicedo was sent off for Espanyol - down to ten men you were pretty much thinking game over (again!) - only for Baptistao to score in the second minute of injury time to make it 3-3 and snatch a point.

Like an idiot I grabbed the Espanyol 'win trading chart' because they were 'in my head' at the time - when I should have grabbed the draw trading chart. Anyway you can get the general idea.

Sunday, 16 October 2016


Is this the beginning of the end...?

So we've had the rise in hate crimes since Brexit. In America ethnic minorities have been abused and even set on fire in the street as a result of Trump rhetoric. The majority of people that perpetrate these crimes have no doubt always held the same views - some may have been borderline and have now been tipped over the edge. It shows how people can easily be swayed - how as soon as they feel they are supported by "the state" or by a powerful figurehead, their actions become 'justified'. Comparisons with Nazi Germany are not too far wide of the mark. If people feel marginalised or unrepresented - they can be mobilised to affect change.

It's not always a bad thing to be a contrarian.

Rebellion can seep into all aspects of life - sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Change is in the air and I think it's only because we are who we are (call it being British! :) that we will not allow this 'shift' to become full blown anarchy.

Take the 'clown craze'. This happens every year in the lead up to Halloween. This year, however, it is particularly bad. It wouldn't surprise me if this was all rolled up with what has been happening politically in the US and the UK. The boundaries of what is acceptable are rolled back. Something that should be harmless fun has become something a little more sinister...

Cue - haunting song by Iron Maiden - "Tears of a Clown"

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics...

Lies, damn lies and statistics... I hate to say it but Disraeli was right! It is also an 'issue' in betting and trading for many punters.

Do stats matter in football trading (or probably any sports trading for that matter). The answer is 'Yes' and 'No'.

How many times have you researched a bet, only to find that the result is the opposite of what you predicted?

How many times have you heard phrases like: "Not betting in the French League (French League 2) goals" or "Dutch and Swedish leagues produce lots of goals.." etc. It's largely irrelevant - all market prices are largely correct and most people wouldn't know value if they saw it. Is a 0-0 draw value at 8.6 but not 8.2? Are Man Utd value to win at 1.42 but not 1.36? Few can really take advantage.

In the leagues / teams with fewer goals in them, the odds on goals being scored are higher and vice versa.

The average punter may as well forget about stats.

So why bother betting or trading at all if stats offer only limited advantage and there is scant value around? Critically, most of us have the ability to watch football matches. If you can read a game - you can get your edge. (Not forgetting pre-match traders but that's another blog post..:)

Do I use stats? Simplistic answer, yes. I use stats to model (in an unsophisticated manner) the match or event. If the 'behaviour' in play is as, or close to, what I have predicted pre-event, I go with it. If not I am likely to exit. I suspect though that there are many in-play traders who don't even bother with stats and do very well - they just go by what they see. I like to have some kind of plan.

The other night I was trading in the 'Under 2.5 goals' market in Celta Vigo v Barcelona (why you might wonder! Ok, Messi wasn't playing and I know Celta can be tight in defence - but even without these stats I still would have looked at the game!) Celta's previous three La Liga matches at home finished: 2-1, 0-4, 0-1. Barcelona's previous three La Liga matches away finished: 0-5, 1-5, 0-1. Last season the corresponding fixture finished 4-1 in favour of Celta Vigo. Did I think the game would go over 2.5 goals? Almost certainly. So why trade the Unders? Simply because the odds 'decay' from kick off and I could watch the game, deciding when to enter and when to exit.

From memory the odds on offer at the start of the game were around 2.72. I watched for a few minutes and then got in at 2.6. It was all Barcelona but Celta were holding there own in defence. Then Celta started launching their own attacks - the game began opening up and I started coming out of my position. This was around the 20 min. mark and I was laying at around 1.98. A couple of minutes later Celta scored. I would have been on for about a 30% profit. The goal just game a bit soon / I didn't exit quickly enough - so it was a scratch trade 0.00. No profit, but I was able to avoid a loss by exiting when I felt things were about to go against me.

The final score was 4-3 to Celta Vigo!

The important message here is not to limit yourself by eliminating leagues or teams for one reason or another. Odds are a great leveller - pretty much every football league offers the same opportunities for profit. Choose a market that suits the match that you are watching - sit back and enjoy the game!

Friday, 30 September 2016

Traders Dream Match...

Fantastic trading opportunity the other night between Celtic and Manchester City (Champions League). I won't pretend that I was 'in' it! I just chalked it off as being too much of a one-sided affair. I still had the thrashing by Barcelona in my head and even though City are no Barcelona and Celtic had the advantage of playing at home, I still couldn't bring myself to consider the game and chalked it off in favour of others.

In the event it would have been a perfect match to trade with Celtic taking the lead each time in a 3-3 draw but never really looking as if they had enough control to hang on to the lead.

When I finally turned on the TV, goals had already flown in - so I just sat back and watched the rest of the game which was hugely entertaining.

Celtic's 'tidal wave' trading chart..

Anyone wondering (which you're probably not!) why the blog is more football orientated these days as opposed to racing focused. Simply, I am trying to trade more football (especially during winter) and less racing - reversing the ratio really. There a many reasons, domestic and otherwise. There is also the fact that I really don't enjoy watching racing and love football. I will still probably do the odd big race meeting on the blog - as the posts have a good record!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Stupid English Money...

Stupid English money..?

Well it finally happened - the one billion pound barrier was shattered by the end of Premier League transfer window. The good thing is that the slice of the pie is getting bigger for lower Premier League clubs, so in essence greater parity in the league should follow. Watford spending £50m says something, Palace shelling out over £25m for Benteke says something too (but I'm not sure if it's good!) The bottom placed club will still get around £80m. The bad news is that other football clubs on the continent and in the lower leagues are sure to suffer, with transfer fees going through the roof how will they be able to afford players? The German's call it 'stupid English money' and they have a point.

Perversely, the astronomical fee paid by Man Utd for Paul Pogba could yet turn out to be the best value deal of the transfer market - it's just the £20m paid to his agent, Mino Raiola, that irks - even if it did cost him a few hours of his time.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Premier League...

The Right Man?

So it's up and running again - as well as the hype, the ridiculous post match questions posed to managers, revolting Sky Sports running the show...I could go on. I suppose we just have to take it. On the positive side at least Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher are reunited. I think Neville actually knows his stuff - just a pity he couldn't get the message across at Valencia.

They were at it again last night before the Chelsea game - something like:
David Jones:"Your not a big fan of defenders doing Cruyff turns in the six yard box are you Jamie?"
Jamie Carragher: "I've had five or six foreign managers and not one of them would want me - or any defender - to be doing Cruyff turns in the six-yard box."
Gary Neville: "You couldn't do them anyway (chuckles)."

Must be in the contract that they need to have a go at each other at least once a session.

So this season:

I took Chelsea at 13/2 to win the title. It's the first time I have bet on them to win the league (I am a fan so tend not to bet on my team and in previous seasons the price has been prohibitively short). I don't think you can look at last season. The players simply decided not to play for Mourinho. In a 'company' the whole lot would have been fired and replaced - but you can't do that in football, certainly not mid-season. I think that price will get a lot shorter at some point in the season for a decent trade - the price just looked ridiculous to me for a squad of their calibre with no European football.

I think Conte is a superb manager. When he took over at Juve they had finished 7th or 8th in the previous season - he then took them to three consecutive titles. He has done well with an Italian National team devoid of any real talent. He is hugely passionate but can be petulant too sometimes. Let's hope he can take the pressure of the Premier League without cracking or offending too many people.

Liverpool could be a threat, no Europe. They obviously won at Arsenal but they also let in three goals and Arsenal don't have a particularly potent attack, so that would worry me. Liverpool will be good to watch but will probably just fall short.

I had a bit on Spurs at around 11/1 - for a trade really. Based on their performance last season and barring Kane having a confidence crisis after the Euros, they could put a run together and go much shorter.

I have laid Man City because I felt the Guardiola factor pulled them in to a price that was layable. They have bought a lot of players but something still bothers me about them when I watch them play. Pep might or might not sort them out. 3.25 is not a price I would be taking for them to win the league. I might trade out of the lay if they drop a few places.

So to Jose and Man Utd (sob). You almost think 'he will win it because he has to'. Not for Man Utd but for himself after what happened last season. He has a monstrous ego that needs to feed now and that can only be good for United. I wonder if Mourinho will still be at United in five, six, seven years time. I hope not because it would mean that Chelsea didn't do enough to keep him. I have profit on them if they win because of the Man City lay - but I will just leave it there and perhaps watch them all the way to a top two finish.

Leicester: I just think the Champions League and the loss of Kante will kill off any chance of a repeat title

Best of the rest, West Ham. Stoke to do better than expected maybe.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Worthy Winners?

Portugal ended up winning Euro 2016 even though if we ran the tournament again they would be unlikely to end up on top. Were they dull? Yes. Will they care? No.

Results sequence. Draw (1-1) Draw (0-0) Draw (3-3) Win (1-0 a.e.t) Draw (1-1) Win (2-0) Win (1-0 a.e.t).

Just the one win in normal time then against Wales. Wouldn't it be great if England could manage the same kind of form!

It goes without saying that Portugal are far from the best team in Europe but they have a plan that they execute well in every game.

Renato Sanchez had to to be the highlight though for Portugal.

At least my bets didn't do too badly.

My main bet to lay Spain to win their Group at 1.67 won.

Top Scorer saver on Griezmann at 11/1 won.

Player of the Tournament - Griezmann 14/1 also won.

So good profits.