Mikes Football Bets 31st March

Putting up my bets for this weekend early as some such as in the Man Utd – West Ham game have seen the odds drop. A full write-up will follow…

Main Bets
1 pt over 2.5 goals. West Ham V Man Utd 1.92 Ladbrokes
1 pt Birmingham +0 Asian Handicap V Bolton. 1.83 Pinnacle
1 pt over 2.5 goals. Wigan V Spurs. 2.10 Paddy Power/Stan James
1 pt Blackpool +1 Asian Handicap V Fulham. 2.04 Canbet/SBObet/12bet

Shortlist Bets
1 pt over 2.5 goals. Newcastle V Wolves.  1.96 Pinnacle/12bet

Fink Tank Ratings Update

You can find some background on this test here.

Fink Tank provide predictions on football games based on their model which is roughly based around shot on target. The Fink Tank team found that shots on target was the best predictor of the outcome of a football game and when you rate this for various attributes you can have a reliable prediction model. For our test, we use the predictions from Fink Tank and only bet when the predicted % chance is better than the predicted chance implied by the available bookmaker odds. The bigger the difference, the bigger the value on offer in theory.

No bets this week, but here’s an update on last week’s picks with results in the far right column.

There were a couple of cases where playing the double chance with the draw would have reaped a nice reward. Spurs v West Ham and West Brom v Arsenal were good examples of this.

It’s also interesting to see where the profits are coming from this season. In previous posts, I’ve outlined how it’s the bets with 10% value or higher which are bringing home the bacon. Along similar lines, backing all bets below 2.25 has lost -8.5 points, whereas backing at 2.25 or above only would so far have made 40 points with an ROI of 23%.

For more tests of ratings services like this in sports from football to horse racing, check out how membership of Secret Betting Clubcould help you.

Mikes Football Bets 25th March

Very close to a good weekend for the Main bets last Saturday and Sunday with the late Dimitar Berbatov goal, adjusting our profit in that game from a full 0.95 pts to just 0.475. We just needed one further goal in the Sunderland – Liverpool game to pick up a further 1.42 pts profit, which would have made a major difference to our ROI. Such fine margins at play, although of course, the belief is that evens out over the season. As it was just a 0.45 pt profit for the Main bets from 3 pts staked.

Ante-post wise though it was a good weekend with Stoke climbing back into the top ten for our bet on them at 7/2 and Blackpool conceding 2 more goals to ensure they still have the leakiest defence in the top flight (we are on at 11/8). It’s anyone’s guess who is going down now though although I am confident that at least 2 out of our 3 bets on Wolves, Wigan and West Brom to go down will pay out.

There are no bets this weekend as its International Football and so I am preparing for what should be a manic April, with plenty of games lined up in the English top flight!

Why England always lose at football

I’ve recently been thumbing my way through a brilliant book called ‘Why England Lose & Other Curious Football Phenomena Explained’, which has inspired me to think differently about my betting on the beautiful game.

Now you would think a book entitled ‘Why England Lose’ might just contains 2 words… “Emile and Heskey”… but actually it tackles many of our (often wholly baseless) theories on football. Most England fans for example think that we underperform on the national stage, but as the book explains…as a nation we actually if anything do better than the stats say we should!

Beyond just England though, the book reveals some great stats for betting, such as the fact that home advantage globally is worth a head-start of roughly 2/3rds a goal per game. It’s not going to be bed time reading for the likes of Robbie Savage, but it is a great read if you like to think beyond footballing clichés.

Thankfully though you don’t need a master’s degree in Economics like Arsene Wenger to make use of stats in football (or even know how to sign a half-decent goalkeeper). Here are some ready to use resources and tips on how to apply them to your betting.

The Fink Tank Ratings

The Fink Tank ratings provided by the boffins at Dectech, bring together a number of factors to assess the percentage probability of a particular team winning, drawing or losing. We’ve been keeping track of the performance of these ratings here: https://secretbettingclub.com/blog/category/fink-tank/

Our test is simple, if the predicted chance of success is better than that implied by the bookies, you take the bet. So far the approach is working very well with a return of 31.55 points for the season with an ROI (Profit on Turnover) of 13%.

Kick off Percentage Stats

I was also put onto another great resource to help you with this in the form of http://www.kickoff.co.uk/, which lists the percentage chances in each Premier League game using easy on the eye pie charts.

They’ve also got a neat little tool which converts the percentage predictions into odds for you and vice versa. For example a 10%chance equates to 9/1 and this can be really useful for working out your bets.

Continue reading

Fink Tank Ratings & Value Bets

You can find some background on this test here.

Fink Tank provide predictions on football games based on their model which is roughly based around shot on target. The Fink Tank team found that shots on target was the best predictor of the outcome of a football game and when you rate this for various attributes you can have a reliable prediction model. For our test, we use the predictions from Fink Tank and only bet when the predicted % chance is better than the predicted chance implied by the available bookmaker odds. The bigger the difference, the bigger the value on offer in theory.

This week’s bets:

For more tests of ratings services like this in sports from football to horse racing, check out how membership of Secret Betting Clubcould help you.

Fink Tank Ratings & Value Bets

You can find some background on this test here.

Fink Tank provide predictions on football games based on their model which is roughly based around shot on target. The Fink Tank team found that shots on target was the best predictor of the outcome of a football game and when you rate this for various attributes you can have a reliable prediction model. For our test, we use the predictions from Fink Tank and only bet when the predicted % chance is better than the predicted chance implied by the available bookmaker odds. The bigger the difference, the bigger the value on offer in theory.

This week’s bets:

For more tests of ratings services like this in sports from football to horse racing, check out how membership of Secret Betting Clubcould help you.

Mikes Football Bets 17th March

I believe that one of the secrets to profitable football betting is knowing when a certain team is suffering from a major over-reaction, normally leapt upon by much of the media and tv/radio pundits as something to discuss. This is either too much praise or too harsh criticism and with this in mind there are a number of such teams I am betting on this weekend who fall into this category.

First up is Liverpool who were deserved winners against Man United last time out and are flourishing from the freshness that Kenny Dalglish has brought and the impact of Luis Suarez has had upfront. They are far from the finished article though, despite some already tipping them for the title next season, nor were they as bad as some ‘experts’ claimed a few months ago. Despite the recent improvement, they are still not convincing defensively especially away from home and with them likely to set up with a 4-4-2 at Sunderland this weekend, I think the 2.42 on Over 2.5 goals in this game is way too big. Admittedly the Black Cats are not exactly banging in the goals themselves but Danny Welback is now back to support Asamoah Gyan and the potency in both attacks is being under-rated here. Odds of 2.42 indicate a 41.3% chance and I make it more 45% and higher.

Another team widely debated of late is Man Utd and its clear to all how much they miss the power and pace of Vidic and Ferdinand who are both likely to be out at home to Bolton. They will also be missing Scholes, O’Shea & Rafael with Fletcher doubtful meaning they will lack at least 4 starting players and they don’t have the replacements of quality to step up. It takes a brave man to back against United at home where they have dropped just 2 pts all season but the +1.25 Asian Handicap for Bolton at 1.95 looks value. Bolton have lost to 5 out of the top 6 away but 4 of those games were by 1 goal margins so they have not been embarrassed by any means.

My final main bet sees another team with a strong home record – Stoke who always target these type of games for three points with the long throws and the barracking of a vociferous crowd. Newcastle have struggled without the influence of Joey Barton in the centre and though they can be frustrating inconsistent I think they may struggle here.

Shortlist wise, I also want to go against the media flow and back Arsenal at 1.83 to beat West Brom. Its second vs. 4th bottom and the Gunners have won 5 out of 6 games away at similar placed teams in the league. Fabregas may well be back and they actually played well initially against United before being sprung on the counter. With a normal build-up to this game, Arsenal would never be as big as 1.83.

Everton are without 3 key players in Cahill, Fellaini and Arteta so creating chances is going to be especially hard for a team that has struggled to score all season. The visit of Fulham is also a real test as the Cottagers have only lost 5 out of 14 away this season, all of which were in games to top 6 sides except for one blip at West Brom. Fulham with a +0.5 Asian Handicap at 1.85 looks value to me with this in mind. The home team have been very inconsistent of late though so only a shortlist selection.

Finally both Spurs and West Ham have been far from prolific at home and away respectively with both of them having under 2.5 goals records in about 61% of games this season. The odds of 2.21 on under 2.5 goals therefore offers a touch of shortlist value.

Main Bets
1 pt Bolton (+1.25 AH) V Man Utd. 1.95 Betinternet/12Bet
1 pt Stoke (-0.25 AH) V Newcastle. 1.97 188bet
1 pt over 2.5 goals. Sunderland V Liverpool. 2.42 12Bet

Shortlist Bets
1 pt under 2.5 goals. Spurs V West Ham.  2.21 Canbet/SBObet
1 pt Arsenal to beat West Brom. 1.83 12Bet
1 pt Fulham +0.5 Asian Handicap V Everton. 1.85 Canbet/SBObet

Checking the Cheltenham Pre-Race Markets

Checking the Cheltenham Pre-Race Markets

This article was taken from the latest newsletter developed by our sister service over at www.racingproofing.com. One of the services that proofs to this site – The Market Examiner, helped perform some very interesting research into market movers at Cheltenham Festival. Should you take notice of a horse that drifts in price or shortens significantly before the off? This research reveals all, including some useful strategies that you may want to utilise this coming week!

For more information on The Market Examiner visit their site http://www.themarketexaminer.co.uk/ or check out their page on Racing Proofing.

Over to Sam from the service…

“At The Market Examiner, we specialise in morning odds moves, where we closely study market changes, using a set of criteria to pinpoint profitable selections.

But with the excitement of Cheltenham just around the corner we thought we would take a look at whether late market moves before each Festival race is off are any sort of guide to a horse’s possible success.

Considering that many of the Cheltenham races are priced up several months in advance, the market has a terrifically long time to become stable, established, and therefore, you would probably imagine, efficient. So when we hear Big Mac screaming at us that a 25/1 shot has been backed into 16s, should we take any notice? After all, the 6/1 favourite, drifting to 13/2, may have already been punted down from 25/1 a couple of weeks earlier.

We’ve looked at the price of every horse which has run at the Festival over the last five years, from opening show to SP. When a horse has touched a certain price or two, but returned to its original price for its SP, we have marked him or her as unchanged.

The findings are quite interesting.

From 2006-2010, 2,392 horses raced, and of these – 595 shortened in price (24.9%), 512 lengthened in price (21.4%) and 1,285 stayed the same (53.7%).

Of the 125 races, 46 were won by a horse which had shortened up (36.8%), 34 were won by a horse which had lengthened in price (27.2%) and the other 45 won by a horse whose odds had been unchanged (36%).

So we can see, that horses that shortened in the betting ring (and therefore almost certainly on the exchanges) just prior to the off, well outperformed those who drifted or stayed the same. They won over 10% more of the races than they should have been entitled. Intriguingly, those horses which drifted also won slightly more than they should, while those whose odds which were stable underperformed. However, strike is is not the same as profitability. For the complete picture we need to look at performance in relation to the odds on offer…

So is there any way to make use of this information this year?

Well, of the 50 Festival handicaps in the last five years in which at least one horse shortened immediately pre-race, 22 were won by a horse which had shortened in the market (from 266 candidates). Backing each one blind at SP would leave us with a loss of -37.5pts. However, if we look more closely at the SPs of these winners, we find that only one came at 20/1 or bigger (Thousand Stars in last year’s County Hurdle (25s into 20s)). If we eliminate those bigger priced selections, we are left with 21 winners from 188 efforts (average win price 8.88/1), and a 19.5pt profit at industry SP, or 10.37% ROI.

If we look away from the handicap races, we are left with a much more sorry story. 329 selections were backed down in price pre-race, 24 won, with an average SP win price of 7.61/1, leaving the bank down by 122.42pts. It appears then that in these cases, horses shortening in price don’t win often enough for you to profit from the shorter odds. So if looking at market moves, it may be best to stick to handicaps.

What about those festival “bankers”, which open up on course at 2/1 or shorter, and are backed further in before the off? There have been 16 such contenders over the years, but only 5 had gone on to win, leaving us with a level stakes loss of 4.67pts. The list of infamous casualties include Detroit City (6/4 in the ’07 Champion Hurdle), Kauto Star (10/11in the ’08 Gold Cup) and Voy Por Ustedes (4/5 in the ’09 Ryanair Chase). Maybe a strategy for the layers?

So what is our conclusion? In general, it seems that ‘following the money’ is not an easy route to riches at the Cheltenham festival, but by focusing on specific races such as handicaps, you might be able to prosper. Rumours of betting coups abound at Cheltenham, but quite often these can be little more than Chinese whispers. In the case of festival bankers, it could pay to ignore or even do the opposite of the late money flow”

Fink Tank Ratings Performance Update

You can find some background on this test here.

Fink Tank provide predictions on football games based on their model which is roughly based around shot on target. The Fink Tank team found that shots on target was the best predictor of the outcome of a football game and when you rate this for various attributes you can have a reliable prediction model. For our test, we use the predictions from Fink Tank and only bet when the predicted % chance is better than the predicted chance implied by the available bookmaker odds. The bigger the difference, the bigger the value on offer in theory.

No EPL games this weekend due to FA cup action.

Last week showed a small loss of -0.67 points:

Here’s an update of the performance so far this season:

Breaking down the results, it’s interesting to see what is performing well:

All bets: +33.87 points. 231 bets. 15% ROI.
Bets with more than 10% value: +49.99 points. 167 bets. 30% ROI.

So it seems, the bigger the difference between the available odd and the Fink Tank’s prediction, the better your returns, which is what you’d hope to see.

For more tests of ratings services like this in sports from football to horse racing, check out how membership of Secret Betting Clubcould help you.

Mikes Football Bets 9th March

There is only the one midweek game featuring Everton at home to Birmingham tonight but I can’t back the inconsistent Toffee’s as short as 1.55 to win. They have been a real Jekyll and Hyde team this season and with 3 key players in Cahill, Fellaini and Neville out, its anyone’s guess as to which side will turn out.

As there are no weekend games due to the FA Cup it’s also a chance to have a look at the Ante-post market and see where we are up to.

Our Ante-Post Portfolio

Currently we have 9 different ante-post bets advised through the season and are showing a 0.38 pt profit from them so far (a full list copied at foot of email). A number of these are very borderline, especially with so many teams so closely bunched up in the table but we do look on course to make a profit. If either Stoke can finish in the top ten or Wigan finish above Wolves, then this profit will increase significantly.

I do want to add one bet to this market though and am advising a 1pt bet on West Brom at 15/8 with Skybet to be relegated. Although Roy Hodgson has done well since taking over I am far from convinced they have enough quality to stay up. They also have some very tough fixtures coming up in their remaining nine games with home matches against Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea & Everton and trips to Sunderland and Spurs to navigate.

Ante post Bet
1 pt West Brom to be relegated.  2.87 Skybet