Monday, 31 October 2016

150 000/1 Double...

I'm not sure what it is about my choice of Spanish football matches at present.. I have been involved in only two La Liga games in the last week or so. In both I was hoping for a goal or two but wasn't quite expecting the final results of either!

Last night I was on the Las Palmas v Celta Vigo match in La Liga. Just like the Espanyol v Eibar game - it was a six goal thriller, a player sent off, with the away team going three goals up by half time, only to be hauled back to 3-3!

Celta scored three goals within 16 first half minutes, only for Las Palmas to respond with three goals within 16 second half minutes.

Beautiful symmetry...

I should have gone for the 3-3 result double :)

If you'd gone for the 3-3 result double - odds of around 120/1 for each game - you would have won at odds of around 15000/1.

If you'd gone for the 3-3 result double, with a sending off (in both matches) at odds of say 9/4 (remember it's La Liga!) - then you're on a 150,000/1 (approx) winner.

If you'd also gone for the away team being 0-3 up by half time in both games...well, someone else can do the maths but we're talking many many millions to one.

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.

Nantucket Sleigh Ride...

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!