PCB’s Betting Week – 1st July

Why are footballers and jockeys so often unveiled as poor punters? It is a question that presents itself whenever one of their number is revealed as a chronic gambler or indeed, when they are asked to offer their lame opinions, off the cuff, as interviewees.

Being immersed in your chosen sport, you’d assume, would give you a massive betting edge but this is rarely the case. Sadly, the sporting world is full of ‘experts’ who can’t bet for all their inside knowledge. The simple reason is that a combination of too much information, irrational prejudices, poor discipline and a scant regard for the maths probabilities involved ensures that the odds always remain in the bookies’ favour. Indeed, tomorrow’s racing at Sandown offers a timely reminder that in betting, patience and methodical habits will often eclipse inside info or expert analysis as a source for finding winners.

Why It Pays To Follow Coral and Bet365 This Week

The first thing to notice about the Sandown card is that it is sponsored by bookmakers Coral. My experience, based on my time at The Tote’s HQ in Wigan, is that on these occasions he who pays the piper calls the tune and that the sponsors will have extracted their pound of flesh in the form of gaining the inside track on all ‘their day’s’ runners and riders….one way or another. It isn’t illegal – the conversations may have involved ‘theoretical’ discussions about the sponsors laying specific bets from trainers or connections – but it is certainly unethical. The upshot for us is that at Sandown tomorrow – we should look to be favouring those horses that Corals go shortest price about and looking to oppose or discount the runners where Corals offer the most generous odds. And a similar strategy at Haydock is also recommended tomorrow with another bookie, Bet 365,  ‘supporting’ the racing.

The Haydock card also sees the reappearance of The Fonz, a runner I marked your card with after it was blocked off at Royal Ascot, as a likely future winner. At 9/1 tomorrow it has a fair chance in the Old Newton Cup Handicap. The only issue is that it is joint best price with Bet 365 (the sponsors) – so perhaps we should be wary.

Talking of Ascot runners, our Four Pronged Attack service winner Brown Panther is a solid 9/4 favourite to take Sunday’s German Derby. You can read about my 4PA service here. The system also picked out a 40/1 winner last Saturday up at Newcastle with Tominator obliging for followers.

Closer to home though it is all eyes on Newmarket for the July Meeting next week, three days of quality racing, climaxing with Saturday’s July Cup where I think Delegator is a strong selection at 4/1 – as long as the ground remains dry.

At Wimbledon and in the boxing tomorrow, I am happy to oppose popular sentiment in the form of media darlings Maria Sharapova and David Haye. Petra Kvitova and Vladimir Klitschko respectively, appear to have the power to dispose of their hyped opponents. While the prices look right in the boxing, barring a late patriotic gamble on Haye tomorrow, I like Kvitova’s chances and also a 2-1 set scoreline in the ladies’ tennis final.

Stenhousemuir at 12/1 My Bet of the Week

However, the biggest play this week comes in the form of a bet I have already sent to members of my new Football Antepost service. Now that my members have had chance to lump on, I am happy to share it with you all through this column.

I have had a very positive word for Stenhousemuir at 12/1 e/w with Bwin (10/1 general). In a stagnant transfer market in Scotland, Stenny are throwing around money like water paying as much as £400 a week to key men such as ex-St Mirren striker Stewart Kean and a supporting cast of former SPL and First Division leading lights. With more signings promised I can only see their prospects improving as the money talks. Another massive factor in The Warriors favour is an excellent plastic playing surface that should see them sidestep the usual backlog of games in the spring that has occurred in the last two seasons following harsh winters. Stenny have halved in price since opening up as a 20/1 chance with Ladbrokes a fortnight ago and while we’ve sung the praises of simple applied common sense at the start of the column for Haydock tomorrow, this is one occasion where a bit of inside info on playing budgets and signing targets looks very likely to go a long way – at a still big price.