Month: November 2019

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Stick or twist with a tipster reviewing their methods?

Those of you who follow the Bet Diary closely will be aware that Football Lay Profits have had a somewhat torrid time of things lately, and in fact the year as a whole has underwhelmed for the service.  Members were sent an lengthy email last week that provided theories for why this might be so and to reassure followers that measures were being taken to turn performance around.

This is admirable and provides evidence of a tipster who has a desire to do well by their customers. It is a fair point too, to say that a tipster must continually be evaluating their edge, it’s potential erosion, and opportunities for the exploitation of an edge elsewhere.  In FLP’s case, this might mean concentrating on dropping some leagues as a source of lays and finding others.

This is a task fraught with difficulties.  The last thing anyone wants is a system or method that looks superb historically but which, however unintentionally, has been backfitted (please note, this is NOT what I am suggesting FLP has done!).  The fact is that the proof of an edge is revealed by the eating of the pudding, and not until.  The problem of course is that that ‘eating’ process means risking hard cash in the form of placing bets.

From a purely personal perspective, I’m afraid this is not something I wish or choose to do.  I’d rather take a watching brief to see if a tipster who is adapting to changing market conditions, closing off some previously profitable angles and introducing new ones to replace those lost, can do so successfully.

It is true that the best tipsters can modify their methods and strategies to stay ahead of the markets.  I’d go as far as to say that they have to if they have any hope at all of longevity.  I just would rather not be risking my hard earned whilst they go through the process.  It is for that reason that I’m drawing a temporary halt to following the FLP lays.  I sincerely hope to jump back onto the action in the near future.

Portfolio performance for November to date

Main portfolio: ROI 2.83%, ROC 1.24%.

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 25pts, +35pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 31pts, -19.4pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 68.9pts, -4.5pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 18pts, -2.816pts

Golf Insider: Staked 29.5pts, +4.045pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 24.75pts, -6.3pts.

Precision Value: Staked 87pts, +26.781pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 25pts, -6.036pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 14.75pts, +4.625pts.

Racing Service 3: Staked 44.5pts, -15.7pts.

To bet, or not to bet. That is the question (when the odds aren’t right).

It’s a little known fact that in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the agonizing and moaning over suicide and the unfairness of life that began with this famous quote was misspelt by the printers.  Dopily, due to a mead or two too many over lunch, they omitted the ‘t’s, changing “To bet or not to bet” to “To be or not to be”.

You see Old Bill Shakespeare had an eye on forging a career for himself as a racing pundit and of penning a regular betting column in the weekly publication “Turf Wars”, a 16th century forerunner to the ‘Racing Post’.  Word has it he was a fearless gambler, appreciating always the need to find value, and he would spend hours deliberating whether a price being offered down the local bookies was one he should take or not.

Hamlet wasn’t the only work of Britain’s finest ever writer to reveal his love of the nags.  It was in the midst of a dreadful losing run that Wilbo was inspired to write the famous quote we see in Richard III: “A horse. A horse. My kingdom for a horse.”  You can see how desperate he was getting for a winner, and the contempt he held the beasts in that were losing him money hand over fist.  The theory is that Big Bill S was being mithered by the heavies employed by Stratford’s bookmaking fraternity who, if they’d managed to catch him, would have made pretty sure his writing days were ended, what with not having any fingers left in one piece and all.

Anyway, I did actually have a serious point to make.

Reading the excellent Making Punting Pay blog I read how the author, should he not be able to take an acceptable price on a tip, wait for the price to hopefully rebound, thus maximising his chances of tying in the value.  Now I’m certainly not going to advise against this approach and there’s a lot to be said for it.  If we’re not betting at value prices, we’re not going to make any money.

However, I do wonder if things are quite as clear cut as this.  Something A. of Racing Service 2 is regularly pointing out, is that money coming in for horses that have caught his eye as potential winners, especially when arriving closer to the off, is often highly significant.  In these circumstances I’d suggest, that even if an advised price of say 10/1 was missed, and in the pre-race market the odds continued to contract, a 5/1 or 6/1 SP might still actually hold a decent level of residual value.  Looked at from the opposite angle, if a tipster advises odds of 10/1 which you take, but the horse has drifted to 20/1 by the off, your 10/1 doesn’t look to have much value in it at all, does it?

I really don’t know what the answer to the conundrum is.  The other thought that has crossed my mind is that provided for the majority of your bets you are getting the advised prices (ie. those at which your tipster believes there to be sufficient value to merit striking a bet), actually backing the odd one that has contracted significantly (and is therefore more likely to win) will potentially smooth out the losing runs a little.

It’s a minefield, I don’t mind admitting.  I’d be interested in your thoughts.

PS. If you’re not reading the Make Punting Pay blog, you really should – it’s excellent.  He doesn’t write nonsense about gambling playwrights, either.

Portfolio performance for November to date

A word for Bet Alchemist who is almost singlehandedly trying to prevent November from being one of the worst months ever.  An amazing 33/1 winner last week – what a hero!  Nice to see Racing Service 2 knock in a 14/1 winner too.  There is cause for optimism.

Main portfolio: ROI -5.46%, ROC -1.6%.

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 16pts, +26.225pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 18pts, -15.9pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 68.9pts, -4.5pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 8pts, -5.341pts

Golf Insider: Staked 13.5pts, +3.1pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 14pts, +2.074pts.

Precision Value: Staked 58pts, +7.531pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 17pts, -3.787pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 9.75pts, +2.625pts.

Racing Service 3: Staked 33pts, -25.2pts.




The ever-changing football betting markets – easier or harder to make a profit?

Let me put something to you.  Do you think that the increasing availability and use of statistics for top level football is making it harder to make money from football betting?

I – for my sins – support the not-so-mighty-at-present Arsenal.  I follow a few Arsenal related accounts on Twitter, and listen to two Arsenal-focused podcasts each week.  Increasingly so, much of the discussion centres around what the statistics are telling us (currently that Arsenal are undoubtedly, crap!). We have Expected Goals (xG), Expected Goals Against (xGA), Expected Goal Difference and points approximations, number of successful passes into the penalty box/final third, interceptions, pass success rate, etc. etc.  You get the gist.

Now either all this readily available and free to access information you might think, could well give the punter a potential edge.  If you’re prepared to put the graft in to read and interpret the stats, perhaps angles can be found, edges created.  Or…

Are the trading teams at the bookies now using all this info to price up matches more accurately and efficiently.  Is it becoming harder than ever to make ongoing profit from betting on top tier football?

I honestly can’t decide which way it’s going.

This has to be a consideration moving forward though.  It’s coming to the time of year when I like to sit down and think about the services to follow moving forward into the new year.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we should all give up on betting on footie, far from it.  I can’t help thinking that for the bettor who specializes and becomes an expert on a particular footballing niche, whether that be lower/non-league football or whatever, the future remains bright.  But I do think it’s a question worth asking, and I’d love your thoughts…

Talking about thoughts and Comments on the Bet Diary, I was asked if I was going to replace the Morning Value Service with the new Precision Value offering.  The answer is that yes, I am (have).  And for simplicity, I’ll be backing the tips at all prices, not just those at up to 3/1 which the old service provided.

Despite a good start from Precision Value, the month as a whole has got off to a bit of a shocker.

Portfolio performance for November to date

Main portfolio: ROI -17.39%, ROC -3.13%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI -23.45%, ROC -5.07%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 7pts, +4.1pts.

Racing Service 1: Staked 4pts, -1.9pts.

Football Lay Profits: Staked 68.9pts, -4.5pts.

Football Service 1: Staked 8pts, -5.341pts

Golf Insider: Staked 6pts, +3pts.

Northern Monkey: Staked 6.5pts, +2pts.

Precision Value: Staked 27pts, +4.582pts.

Football Service 2: Staked 12pts, -1.927pts.

Racing Service 2: Staked 3.5pts, -3.5pts.

Racing Service 3: Staked 15.5pts, -10.1pts.

October review – a month as bad as the weather.

Is it ever going to stop raining?  Seriously, it’s bloomin’ wet, and has been for what seems like forever and a day.  Has the weather made it harder for tipsters through October?  It can’t make form reading any easier if there are on-going uncertainties over the ground conditions, but that shouldn’t effect the footballers, should it!?

October was not good.  I guess I was due a bad month, and October served one up for me.  Oh well, it had to happen at some point.

Of the nine services in action, only four ended in profit but the story really is that of those four only Racing Service 3 performed strongly.  On the other side of the coin, Football Service 2 had a dreadful time of it, Racing Service 1 not much better, and Golf Insider failed to produce a positive return from any pick.

Now as you know, I was away on holiday for the last third of the month and there’s no way I’m going to waste time going back to see “what I could have won”, as the late, great Jim Bowen might have said (host of gameshow Bullseye, for those of you not old enough to remember ’80s and ’90s television).  So I’m conscious that one or two of the services that ‘disgraced’ themselves in October may in fact have banged in winner after winner that I’ve subsequently missed.  If they did, please don’t tell me, eh?

It’s getting to that time of year that I’ll be reflecting and looking to see what services I might change for 2020.  I’m aware too that I’ve still to round up thoughts on knowing when to drop a service, so we’ll resume that particular thread next week.

Until then…

‘Main’ portfolio: ROI -11.85%, ROC -5.92%.

‘Broxchange’ portfolio (Football Lay Profits, Football Service 1, Golf Insider): ROI -6.25%, ROC -3.18%

Individual Service Performance

Bet Alchemist: Staked 25pts, +4pts, ROI 16%, ROC 4%.

Racing Service 1: Staked 32pts, -23pts, ROI -71.87%, ROC -11.5%

Football Lay Profits: Staked 143.8pts, +4.83pts, ROI 3.35%, ROC 2.41%

Football Service 1: Staked 20pts, +0.097pts, ROI 0.48%, ROC 0.19%.

Golf Insider: Staked 41pts, -41pts, ROI -100%, ROC -10.25%.

MVS: Staked 44pts, -5.875pts, ROI -13.35%, ROC -5.87%.

Northern Monkey: Staked 52pts, -9.267pts, ROI -17.82%, ROC -10.29%.

Football Service 2: Staked 25.95pts, -9.981pts, ROI -38.46%, ROC -24.95%.

Racing Service 2: n/a

Racing Service 3: Staked 48pts, +16.737pts, ROI 34.86%, ROC 11.95%.