PCB's Betting Week: Ray Winstone Might Be On To Something…

Sporting insight for this week’s betting from Paul Chandler-Burns (commonly known as PCB) – a professional gambler, racing pundit and member of the Smart Betting Club team.

In football seasons past, the Saturday ritual for punters has inevitably meant  getting the bets on before heading off to a match with one ear pressed to a radio but in the coming seasons winter Saturday afternoons are just as likely to be spent at home in front of live streams of match action poised to bet in play.

In play is increasingly where it’s at, and it’s not just Bet 365’s rent-a-cockney Ray Winstone that says so. The scrolling advertising hoardings detailing SBO’s changing handicap prices at Premiership grounds are just recognition of the facts of life in the Far East, where in play has been the only game in town for quite some years. And in betting, where the Far East goes we are sure to follow.

For those of us brought up on 1×2, the football pools and scrunched up Saturday coupons, this latest innovation of the information age feels like a dangerous Brave New World but one look at my own research suggests that this is an innovation that we really should all embrace.

One of the key themes of SBC’s Essential Guide to the 2011-12 Football Season, which is out next week is that us punters are having to grow ever more wily in pursuit of betting profits.

My own feeling, forming part of my contribution to the Essential Guide is that by kick off time the prices in most match win markets are pretty much bang on as a result of the bookie’s built-in profit margin and the correcting influence of shrewd early money. In my final season of betting ‘traditionally’ I returned a mere 3 per cent ROI from my 1X2 bets and that’s a poor return for many hours of time intensive hard study over the course of the season.

However, you needn’t despair, as the guide shows there is more than one way to skin a cat and indeed, if you are prepared to show a bit of patience you will likely to be able to attain your required price on your selection after 10-15 minutes of goalless action. And of course, betting this way you also get the benefit of seeing the teams play before committing yourself, allowing you to take a literally better informed view on the action.

There are other advantages too. Not only can you benefit from drifting prices as the game progresses. You will also find increased liquidity, virtually bottomless liquidity in some leagues, and also if you are betting on the exchanges you can also neatly sidestep the thorny issue of account restrictions that is the bugbear of most profitable punters. Sure, betting in play takes discipline and a bit of getting used to but it could just be a gifthorse we’d all be fools to ‘look in the mouth’, at this point in time.

You can read more on this subject and also get expert on your own football betting in this season’s guide and I would heartily recommend you get your hands on a copy.

As for the final day of an exhilarating Glorious Goodwood – wasn’t Frankel simply fantastic? – it could pay to side with high drawn horses in the handicaps on Saturday.

In the 2.05 Golden Desert (stall 25) and Thunderball (stall 26) are very much of interest.

In the 310 it is a classic Newmarket versus Ireland confrontation with last season’s Oaks winner Snow Fairy coming into the race bang in form after some scintillating recent work.

In the Stewards Cup, the favourite Hoof It (ridden by Kieran O’Brien) has a massive chance in stall 18. The second favourite, Mac’s Power, has a diminished chance, I reckon, on account of being drawn in stall one. In the same race Pastoral  Player (stall 24) is a frustrating character who has far greater potential than he’s shown on the racecourse thus far. Tomorrow though could be his chance to atone on a day when we can have a nice twist on that hoary old  maxim: ‘buy high and sell low’.

With the ground looking markedly quicker on their side of the track I’ll certainly want to be siding with the high numbers tomorrow.