PCB's Betting Week – 24th June

If ever there was an object lesson of the perils of betting in management markets it comes with the appointment of Andre Villas Boas as Chelsea manager after Guus Hiddink had traded as short as 1/6 for the job, just days before.Boas first shot to prominence in the UK in 2005 when, as opposition scout for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, one of his scouting reports was leaked onto the internet. Six years on it still makes fascinating reading.

Andre Villas Boas allegedly got his big break, when he was improbably set to work by his neighbour Sir Bobby Robson for Porto.

Aged just 16, AVB allegedly button-holed the venerated Geordie boss, in the apartment block where both men lived, and suggested that the manager look to involve Domingos Paciência, the current Braga coach, in Porto’s games more regularly. The rest as they say is history…

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PCB’s Betting Week – 24th June

If ever there was an object lesson of the perils of betting in management markets it comes with the appointment of Andre Villas Boas as Chelsea manager after Guus Hiddink had traded as short as 1/6 for the job, just days before.Boas first shot to prominence in the UK in 2005 when, as opposition scout for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, one of his scouting reports was leaked onto the internet. Six years on it still makes fascinating reading.

Andre Villas Boas allegedly got his big break, when he was improbably set to work by his neighbour Sir Bobby Robson for Porto.

Aged just 16, AVB allegedly button-holed the venerated Geordie boss, in the apartment block where both men lived, and suggested that the manager look to involve Domingos Paciência, the current Braga coach, in Porto’s games more regularly. The rest as they say is history…

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Football Betting: The State of the Nation

In this special blog posting, SBC Editor Greg Gordon, himself a scout and proven football tipster from the Scottish leagues as well as a deep thinker on the sport helps examine the state of the modern game from a betting and tipping perspective.

Where We’ve Been

As Sir Alex Ferguson might say: “Football, bloody hell!” Another season over but after 10 months where the front page coverage dominated the back pages it’s a hard one to weigh up.

Amidst Rooney-gate and ref strikes, mail bombs and super injunctions occasionally some football did actually break out.

Barcelona confirmed their pre-eminence in the world game with a panache no-one else will likely match, for as long as the Catalonians’ retain their focus.

Elsewhere winners appeared to emerge almost by default and it wasn’t just some leading tipsters who endured a season of two distinct halves.

In The Bundesliga virtually every club changed their manager at some stage – contributing nothing to a muddling competition that was as dull in the second half as it had been exhilaratingly car crash before the winter shutdown. After losing The Carling Cup final, Arsenal’s points-per-game total thereafter put them in 14th – below Wigan, Wolves and Blackburn as they ‘earned’ another fourth placed finish from a season that had intermittently promised more.

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The Transfer Insider Betting Column 24th June

The Transfer Insider – June 24th

Welcome to this the latest column from Ed Darnell of the Secret Betting Club focusing on all the transfer window news with a betting perspective. Ed will be reporting back on all the latest developments every Friday at the SBC Blog.

I’ve covered Manchester United and the other title contenders so this week I’ll turn my attentions to the promoted sides.  I’m not a proven tipster, but as this is for the SBC I’ll run through a few odds and have an overall look at the market first off, offering my thoughts along the way.

Personally, I’m not a fan of getting into the outright markets at this stage of things.  Too much can happen between now and the start of the season, although we do have the benefit of the fixture schedule, but then again, if you can try and gauge where the market may go then there is money to be made.

I’ve used bet365 for the following odds, but a quick comparison with Skybet and William Hill show very similar trends in terms of favourites for relegation, and Swansea are the massive favourites.  They’re 4/7 with bet365 and Skybet, and an abysmal 4/9 with William Hill, but why? Because they came up in the play-offs? That’s the only reason I can see.  Swansea have been in and around the top teams in the Championship ever since they won promotion from the third tier in 2008, missing out on the top six by small margins for two years before their success last time out, but more on why I reckon they can make a fight of it later. In contrast Norwich have won two promotions in a row and arguably overachieved last season (based on the fact their squad from League One didn’t change that much), yet, presumably because they finished, they’re a slightly better 4/6 to be relegated with bet365.

This isn’t to say I think Norwich are certainly heading for the drop, but I would argue Swansea stand a better chance of staying up at present.  QPR are a different animal altogether and will probably be able to attract a better standard of player, so I’ll deal with them last.

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PCB's Betting Week – 17th June

As a professional gambler, the summer offers a great time for a change of pace.

With breathing space between the big events summer is a time when I can go back to basics and re-evaluate cherished thoughts and ideas that, at other times, get simply treated as a matter of course.

It is something we can all benefit from doing, not just punters, but also those so called experts in the media – pundits, summarisers and commentators.

Indeed, it seems to me, that they have founded a whole industry on the principle of the Gamblers Fallacy – the almost karmic notion that the universe is in perfect harmony and that luck, both good and bad will even itself out over some preordained period of time. Its conclusion is that all, in the best fairytale tradition, will all end happily ever after and something we all need disabused off.

The Gamblers Fallacy is the cliché that the punter clings to during a string of unlucky losers or the under-fire manager throws up in his press conference as a consolation when his side have been stung by another late, offside goal.

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PCB’s Betting Week – 17th June

As a professional gambler, the summer offers a great time for a change of pace.

With breathing space between the big events summer is a time when I can go back to basics and re-evaluate cherished thoughts and ideas that, at other times, get simply treated as a matter of course.

It is something we can all benefit from doing, not just punters, but also those so called experts in the media – pundits, summarisers and commentators.

Indeed, it seems to me, that they have founded a whole industry on the principle of the Gamblers Fallacy – the almost karmic notion that the universe is in perfect harmony and that luck, both good and bad will even itself out over some preordained period of time. Its conclusion is that all, in the best fairytale tradition, will all end happily ever after and something we all need disabused off.

The Gamblers Fallacy is the cliché that the punter clings to during a string of unlucky losers or the under-fire manager throws up in his press conference as a consolation when his side have been stung by another late, offside goal.

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The Transfer Insider Betting Column 17th June

The Transfer Insider – June 17th

Welcome to this the 2nd column from Ed Darnell of the Secret Betting Club focusing on all the transfer window news with a betting perspective. Ed will be reporting back on all the latest developments every Friday and you can find his thoughts last week, including his take on Arsenal, Man Utd & Chelsea at this link.

Last time I covered the title contenders, or the big three, of Arsenal, Chelsea and (of course) Manchester United.  I’m going to have a run through the other likely candidates this week – Liverpool, Spurs and big-money Manchester City.

Can any of these three win the league?  The likelihood is probably not but on the other hand I don’t see why not, especially in the case of City.

Liverpool and Spurs could surprise a few and mount a decent challenge if they manage to invest right in the summer, it is pretty unlikely but both can build and improve on where they finished.

I wouldn’t blame you for disagreeing with me over Spurs and Liverpool, neither came anywhere near eventual champions Manchester United last season but there are other factors to consider.  Spurs had the rather sizeable distraction of the Champions League last season and I doubt they’ll treat the Europa League with the same respect throughout the coming campaign.

Liverpool have no European football to concern themselves with at all – and their form following Kenny Dalglish’s arrival was certainly impressive.

Could this be all set up for the most entertaining title battle in the history of the Premier League? Let’s hope so but I’m getting ahead of myself – time to get down to business.

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PCB's Betting Week – 10th June

If you are thinking of an antepost bet in the Premiership this summer then don’t bet too soon….

It may be high summer but already, the bookmakers are busy publishing their lists of antepost odds and specials in a multitude of markets. However, if you think you think you’ve spotted a value runner in one of these markets then the advice could be to hold your fire.

In a Premiership that is largely functionally ‘broke’ the buzzword concept in the boardrooms this summer is ‘player trading’ as the clubs look to shuffle their packs within their means rather than splash the cash. For the midtable regulars especially, that means wheeling and dealing in a fairly shallow pool. Namely, trading similar standard players (and managers) from direct rival clubs, or hoping to acquire the cast-offs from top sides whose ‘nearly men’ have been frozen out of their 25 man Premiership squads. The impetus for this is the new UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations. UEFA say: “The regulations are aimed at bringing about a situation which curbs the excessive spending and inflated transfer fees and player salaries that have endangered football in recent years. They call for greater discipline and more rational financial behaviour from clubs, and encourage clubs to operate more responsibly by not spendingmore than they earn, while settling their liabilities punctually.”

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PCB’s Betting Week – 10th June

If you are thinking of an antepost bet in the Premiership this summer then don’t bet too soon….

It may be high summer but already, the bookmakers are busy publishing their lists of antepost odds and specials in a multitude of markets. However, if you think you think you’ve spotted a value runner in one of these markets then the advice could be to hold your fire.

In a Premiership that is largely functionally ‘broke’ the buzzword concept in the boardrooms this summer is ‘player trading’ as the clubs look to shuffle their packs within their means rather than splash the cash. For the midtable regulars especially, that means wheeling and dealing in a fairly shallow pool. Namely, trading similar standard players (and managers) from direct rival clubs, or hoping to acquire the cast-offs from top sides whose ‘nearly men’ have been frozen out of their 25 man Premiership squads. The impetus for this is the new UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations. UEFA say: “The regulations are aimed at bringing about a situation which curbs the excessive spending and inflated transfer fees and player salaries that have endangered football in recent years. They call for greater discipline and more rational financial behaviour from clubs, and encourage clubs to operate more responsibly by not spendingmore than they earn, while settling their liabilities punctually.”

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New – The Transfer Insider Betting Column

The Transfer Insider – June 10th.

Welcome to this our latest column from the team at the Secret Betting Club, focusing on all the football transfer window news with a betting perspective. Expect to read Ed’s thoughts every Friday throughout the summer!

Before I start, I’ll introduce myself a bit.  My name is Ed Darnell and I work as a full time sports journalist for various publications. As such I get the chance to read transfer rumours – basically all day, every day – throughout the summer.   I’ve linked up with the Secret Betting Club to share the rumours I’ve picked up on a weekly basis, in order to help aid your betting decisions – without offering straight tips.

As we’re at the very start of the summer transfer season, I’ve stuck to just three of the biggest teams in the Premier League first off.  As the transfer window progresses I’ll probably change the format to include every Premier League clubs’ comings and goings but as we’re in the early stages I’ve decided to keep it simple.

I read countless pieces of speculation, comments and downright lies throughout the summer (in fact, most of the year). From this I like to think I’ve gained a relatively good idea of how to gauge a story and weigh up sources, I think.  But I will say this – until the ink is dry, the pictures are taken and it actually happens, don’t count on it!

Manchester United

According to the Manchester Evening News at least, the Glazer family are prepared to back Sir Alex this summer to a pretty hefty degree.  As a note – local media tend to be quite good when it comes to transfer speculation, I’d trust something I read more in say, the MEN, Marca or the Liverpool Echo than in a national paper/website in regard to most, but not all, rumours. Manchester’s evening paper have a notoriously cosy relationship with Sir Alex, a manager who looks after his favoured few.

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