Month: June 2020

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Almost back. Let’s hope it’s with a bang!

I’m excited about starting up my betting again.  I’ve missed it.  Never have words rung truer than Joni Mitchell’s when she sang about not knowing what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, when viewed through the prism of the pandemic and its affect on sport and betting.  It’s inevitable that as soon as you have no choice, when you can’t bet, that you quickly forget about the dreariness of losing runs, the constant rush to secure the best prices, or anything else that we tend to moan about when we ARE betting.  Nope, all those things are forgotten for now, and instead it’s with an eager sense of anticipation that I’m looking forward to striking my first bet in quite some time tomorrow.

So I’m giving myself a slap on the back for exercising self-discipline and refusing to get drawn into betting at the earliest possible opportunity, and instead have waited until the start of July to get back to it.  I explained my reasons for doing so in last week’s post.  Although I stand by my reasoning, I didn’t have any particularly strong conviction that my chosen course was the correct one.  So it’s been interesting to see since I wrote that post, a couple of things that back up – in a far more scientific and statistical way – my decision.

The first comes from newly reviewed racing service Flat Race Betting, which uses artificial intelligence and modelling to identify value selections.  Although it is possible to sign up for the service the first month has been provided for free with strong advice not to bet whilst the models are able to utilize more data and get back up to speed, as it were.  You can read a lot more about it here.  In a nutshell, you will find a diagram that shows how the algorithms are proving to be no quite so powerful since the resumption of horse racing than they were prior to it, the salient issue being a relative lack of recent data.  It is notable too that the performance of the models is improving day by day.

The second comes from the following tweet from @stevectilley:

If you had backed every horse that has run in June so far at Betfair
SP you would have made +13.5% ROI. 2019 June blindly backing every
horse at SP 34.5% loss. 2020 June doing the same 15% loss

Clearly more unfancied longshots are winning than is the norm!

Anyway, this is all rendered a side issue as of tomorrow, when the betting boots will be dusted off and into battle I shall go.  Looking forward to it.

Next week I’ll have the first results update from the various services in the portfolio.  Let’s hope we get off to a flying start.

Until then…

Betting is back! Bookies beware…just not quite yet.

Before I start my ramblings, may I just express the hope that you have come through these past few months fit and well, and family members, friends and colleagues likewise.  The virus has not yet been eradicated and we must naturally continue to be wary and act appropriately, but we have reached a point now where sport is returning – albeit in some unfamiliar guises – and there’s plenty to bet on.  The light at the end of the tunnel is shining ever more brightly and is growing stronger and stronger with each passing day.

We had Royal Ascot last week, the return of the Premier League, and football in other major European leagues has returned too.  No doubt the tipsters we all follow, who have endured an enforced period of hibernation that perhaps has granted an opportunity to take stock of their methods and strategies, will all have been champing at the bit to get going again.  I know I was with my own betting, and yet as things stand, I have not struck a bet since lockdown began.

My own, and I stress very personal view, is that June would be used as a period of waiting for form and fitness to settle a little and watching to see if there were any fundamentals associated with betting on a sport that had shifted at all.  It’s been interesting to note the huge increase in the percentage of away wins in the Bundesliga since that league rebooted, the theory being that without the pressure home fans exert on referees to influence decisions (subconsciously, before any referee reading gets their knickers in a twist!) and the momentum that vociferous support can provide a home team, means that “home advantage” is not currently a thing.  You take my point?  I’m not saying this is fact, but if there’s something to it then the relative percentage chance of each outcome of a match will have shifted a little.  In such a climate of uncertainty, I’d rather keep my money in my wallet.

Same with the racing.  How have different stables been able to operate through lockdown and social distancing and the subsequent difficulties of running a yard?  All I’m sure will have adapted, but the nature of things is that some will have adapted better than others.  Consequently their horses will be fitter than those from yards who have found working through a pandemic more of a struggle, but whose horses might previously have shown superior form.  This is purely anecdotal, but I’ve heard from a few who have said that their betting performance since racing resumed has been awful.  It could of course simply be short term variance at play, the law of Sod kicking; as we finally have something to bet on, that cruel mistress wakes herself up from her own lockdown slumbers, yawns, stretches, and wreaks betting havoc.

So, my plan is to start betting again on the 1st of July.  A nominal date and there’s nothing scientific about choosing that particular day to get going again.  It just appeals to my vague tendency towards OCD – new month, new start, etc.  All nonsense of course.  But that’s the way I roll… 🙂

See you next week.