Saturday, 30 June 2012


The impressive Italian performance on Thursday eliminated the Germans from the competition and all but concluded my betting activity for the Euros. As I said before, my only remaining bets were on the Germans, so having lost those I will not be getting involved in the final game. My outright bets have been quite disastrous over the last few weeks, which is not a good sign as the outrights are what I am looking to trade over next season, but I put this down to the tricky nature of a knockout tournament. If you lose a match in the Premier League your odds might drop but there is room for recovery. If you lose in the Euros you are out. I did manage to claw back some of the £35 I had on Germany by backing over 2.5 goals at 2-0, and bits of trading on the tennis. I will do a full P+L after the tournament has ended and everything has been settled up.

As for the final I have no idea how it will go. Spain look dominant but Italy have been the surprise package throughout, and Pirlo will be a good match for Spain, although it will be interesting to see if he can still find space when up against 6 midfielders. That's all from me today, I'm going out to enjoy the sun. I have landed myself a week's work experience at the Daily Telegraph next week, so blog posts may be a bit scarce next week, so bear with me.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Please never end, Euros

We are currently coming to the end of 2 days without football from the Euros, and I wish it would come back already! Luckily we have other things to distract us like Wimbledon, but nothing can really compare to the high quality football tournament which has materialised over the last couple of weeks. In betting terms I have little left to look out for, apart from a decent bet on Ze Germans (2 £10 free bets and £35) as well as a £5 free bet on Gomez to top score. Last time I said that I placed a £50 bet on the Germans to win at 3.4 in the hope that they would stuff the Greeks, which they duly did, and I reduced my liability by £15 there, as I am willing to gamble on them beating the Italians on Thursday. The Italians are undoubtedly difficult opponents and I think that the attacking flair of the Germans will be stunted somewhat, but overall I think Germany have a better attacking force and should be able to squeeze through. I certainly don't buy all this 'the Italians always do well against Germany' nonsense. Different teams, different competitions, therefore meaning the events are unrelated and irrelevant. Had Germany never beaten Italy in 100 attempts we might face a different story as then a psychological impact inevitably falls upon the Germans, but as it is, I think the Germans won't even consider the history, especially as most of them won't have ever played Italy competitively. Previously I noted that the Spanish are very difficult to predict and I fully stand by that statement. Should it be a Germany-Spain final I will green up all bets for equal money on each outcome, as I really have no idea how Germany will fare against Spain. Two completely different yet very effective teams, though only one of them has proved themselves thus far.

The end of England's tournament on Sunday was sad to see, but I found myself not too disappointed and without any regrets. It's quite obvious we didn't deserve to win against Italy and I  think we would have been trounced by the Germans in the semi-final, so overall it wasn't too disappointing. The team is still developing and at the end of the day, a centre midfield partnership containing a knackered Gerrard and Scott Parker do not possess enough creative quality to topple midfields containing Pirlo, Ozil or Alonso (to name just a few). This time it was not to be, as I think we all knew from the start, but it was a valiant effort with the resources we had. On a more positive note, it was a top effort from this guy to put off the Italians in the shootout, maybe Hart should have tried it? I wonder if that is in the rules or not?

Ascot was brilliant to watch and the highlights for me was watching Frankel storm home, and the Gold Cup which was a fantastic race. On the other hand, I was very excited to watch the Aussie horse race in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, but the 1/6 shot looked more like Black Pudding than Black Caviar. I was disappointed at the spectacle, as I think many were, oddly horse racing seems to love one horse dominating every race it races in, whereas in football if one team is at the top for too long people get restless and resentful. I highlighted Sporting Bet's excellent free bet offer which it turned out was too good to be true, as the bookie bottled it and withdrew the offer after the first day. This cost me about £50 in potential profit and I was pretty angry, but the blow was softened by another Bet365 in play offer which saw me take £30, despite big problems on the site at the time of the bet. I wish I hadn't been able to get my bet on now as they are giving out £50 to those who weren't able to place their bet as an apology! I wasn't to know though. 

I have no plays on Wimbledon as tennis isn't my strong point, and the outright markets offer little value to my untrained eye. I have been doing small stake in play scalping with ups and downs, but I'm mainly confined to mobile betting as I have been watching the matches on the TV at work, meaning opportunities are limited. Apart from that though I am just looking forward to the semi-finals at the Euros, both should be good games, although I fear low-scoring. I hope you all enjoy them and have a good end to the competition. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Italian break

I have just come back from a weekend trip to Rome, and have just caught up with all the weekend's action. I did managed to catch the England and France games, as well as bits of the others, but not enough to give me my fix. From what I have seen, Portugal have made the most ground in the last round of fixtures, and Russia were the disaster story. I was pretty angry to see Russia not even qualify from such a strong position, as otherwise I think my accumulator had a very strong chance of winning. Although saying that, if you are going to bet at 21/1 you will get burnt, so I am not going to lament for too long, and hopefully France will top the group tomorrow and I will get a free bet refund. As I said in my previous post, my bets are all over the place at the moment and it is difficult to keep up with them all, even though I have them all logged! A few bets have been settled but I think I will post a P+L of them all after the group stages are over with. In my bet on France/England in a straight forecast at odds of 5, I decided to trade out at 2.34 for £20 all round so that I can enjoy tomorrow's games in peace.

In terms of new betting opportunities arriving, the aforementioned Portuguese and Germany are looking the strongest candidates for a 'value' bet. The Spanish are still joint favourites after their underwhelming match tonight, but I still don't feel like backing them. It is a difficult situation because the Spanish after playing boringly yet effectively, and are getting the job done quietly, just as they did two years ago at the World Cup. The problem is that their performances lack oomph and I can't see that too many people will be particularly excited by the prospect of watching or backing them at the moment. The Germans are the complete opposite and, whilst it lingers in my mind that they may come down with a bang, I have decided to back them at 3.4 for £50, in the hope that they will smash Greece and I can trade out for a free bet on Germany. Portugal look attractive at 9s with their quarter final against the Czechs their first port of call, one which I would expect them to win, but they have the problem of potentially facing Spain in the semis, something which I feel could hold the market back from shortening Portugal to a price worth the effort. Apart from that, there isn't much else to look at at the moment, Gomez looks good for the golden boot but the price isn't really great and I question whether Germany would take him off for Klose if they were struggling and needed a goal late on.

Away from football, this week sees the start of Royal Ascot as I am sure you are all aware of, and of course throws up the opportunity for Mike at Bonus Bagging to root through all of the bookmakers and give us the best offers. So far it has been a bit empty on the free bets side as the bookies look to be a bit knackered out from the Euros, but Sporting Bet are doing a fantastic offer which should see me be able to lock in around £60. On mobile only, they are giving you a £20 free bet EVERY DAY when you stake £20 on one of the races each day, meaning a potential £100 in free bets. Brilliant offer. I began to wonder whether the bookies got annoyed at people who blogged or wrote about matched betting as they don't want people to use their free bets in this way, but then I realised that it doesn't really matter for them as I will more than likely lose money to them, whilst winning my money on Betfair. I will be backing long odds horses in order to maximise the free bet, meaning that Sporting Bet will probably get most of my £100, whilst my profit will emerge in my Betfair account. It must be the only scenario in which everyone is a winner: Sporting Bet get my stakes, Betfair get my commission, and I get my profit overall. I'll keep my eyes peeled for other offers but there doesn't seem to be too many about at the moment.

Tomorrow should be a good day with Frankel racing and England playing, so I hope you all enjoy it and make a buck or two along the way.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Never doubt the Germans

Much has happened since my last post and this is turning into one of the best international tournaments I have been old enough to appreciate (which isn't really that many in fairness as I am only 20). Nevertheless, we have seen some shocks and surprises, as well as fantastic individual and team performances. Group A, which looked the most boring on paper has oozed entertainment so far, I just wish it never had to end. I was anticipating one shock from one of the big teams, as there normally tends to be, but I didn't really think it would come from Holland. I highlighted Denmark as a good side in my preview however, yet I didn't think that they would actually beat the Dutch! Holland have failed to perform though, with the exception of Sneijder who I think has been exemplary throughout, and look to be plummeting out of the competition. I was tempted to back them after their defeat to the Danes, as their odds rocketed sky high, leaving me with a slight suspicion that the market had slightly overreacted. I thought better of it though after seeing that their next game was Germany, and I am thankful that I did so because the Germans were superb as always.

From a betting point of view I sometimes feel that is a shame to bet on games, and after I have placed a bet I wish I had just let myself enjoy the spectacle in peace. This was a particular thought of mine when watching the France/England match, as I knew that I had my bet on France to win outright, as well as France to top the group with England second. As it happens a draw was a decent result for me, and I DID cheer when England scored so don't worry, I'm not that much of a traitor... not for £20 anyway. Generally speaking however my betting has been good and I look to be in profit thus far. It is a bit tough to tell at the moment with so many different bets on, and I will update the P+L properly and the end of the tournament, but I do know that I am in profit so far, and hopefully can continue this. I have, by and large, refrained from getting carried away in the vast amount of markets offered throughout the tournament as I did during the World Cup, but any time I have been tempted I have been able to win my money back in-play. In a rush of blood to the head I backed Ibrahim Afellay to be in the top 4 goalscorers at 18 after I found out he was starting the first match. I hoped he would score and I could lay it off but it wasn't too be and it was only £4 lost. I have won around £13 trading in-play since my last update, and I am yet to record a red amount thanks to being very careful with what I bet on, and only betting if I really see an opportunity. The collapse of Holland meant that they slipped to odds of 16 after their loss against Denmark, and I thankfully chose to take a loss of £8 on all outcomes in my £15 outright bet on them. It was tempting to leave the bet on, or even back them further, but I am glad I made the right choice in the end. The France bet is still ongoing as there has been no significant movements either way after their draw, but I am now doubting their prospects after watching Italy, who will be tough opponents in the quarter final if they are to progress. Talking of Italy, I was perplexed to see them priced at 4.3 to win the group after their very impressive draw with Spain. If both teams win their last two games, as would be expected, then the group will come down to goal difference only, and Spain have been playing with no striker... odd I thought. Saying that though, I thought the Italians looked brilliant but there is something about them and their corrupt nature which makes me not trust them.

In other bets, my group to score least goals bet was boosted tonight after 8 goals in Group B, who had previously only scored 2. As I predicted, Ronaldo has been woeful yet again for Portugal and has scored no goals, giving my Benzema to be top Madrid scorer bet hope, though he is goalless after one game, and Pepe scored today and is outrageously leading the charts. Laying Denmark to be bottom of their group work wonders and I greened up after their victory over the Dutch for £10 on all outcomes. Van Persie has been another who has been disappointing, but he was able to bag himself a goal tonight meaning that a Ladbrokes free bet should be on its way to my account, though that does only mean I break even so far for this offer. Lastly, the Bet365 offer I alluded to in the last post worked wonders again, and it was so simple to take £35 off of them, I just wish they did the offer every week.

A final sobering thought for today was the blog which I stumbled upon earlier this week, written by a gambling addict who is trying to get his life back on track. I admire the blogger (named Paddy) for trying to tackle his addiction, but at the same time it is scary to think that some for some people gambling goes too far. I will follow the blog with interest and I really really hope that he is able to resist his temptations, as it sounds as if he has lost most of what is important in his life already, and I hope it doesn't lead him to get in any deeper. I think the blog will really help him as it will allow him to express everything he can't express in real life through the window of anonymity, so I hope he keeps it up. Good luck to him.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A good start, but I won't jump on Russia thanks

The Euros kicked off with a bang yesterday and it was a good day all round for myself. Poland vs Greece luckily wasn't the bore fest that everyone was expecting (though it did still end up under 2.5), and the Russia match was very entertaining from start to finish. The Russians played some brilliant football at times and, with better finishing, they could have won by even more. The reaction in the betting markets after the game however, was a bit over the top. It is quite natural for Russia to shorten in many of the markets, but I think we will see a drift by the end of the week, as none of the major forces have played yet. The fact still remains that Russia will have to play a team from group B in the quarters, most likely Holland or Germany, and I still question their ability to beat either of those, or even Portugal if they are to progress. It's never really a good idea to enter the betting market AFTER the reaction (unless you're laying of course), so I will not be backing Russia any time soon.

From a personal point of view, the matches played out beautifully for all of my bets. In addition to my bets outlined in the previous post, I added France and Netherlands in the outright market for £15 each, group C to be the lowest scoring group (as advised on my other blog), a mad long accumulator of all the opening matches (only a pound's worth), and Van Persie was selected to be my man for the Ladbrokes top scorer free bet offer. Along with these, the bookies are doing a lot of spontaneous offers throughout the days and Paddy Power have restarted their enhanced odds specials (for more details see my Paddy 'ell post from a few weeks back). Coral have also cottoned on to the idea and did their first enhanced special on Twitter yesterday (which I missed), so I will be keeping a watchful eye over their Twitter pages in the next few weeks. Bet365 are doing their brilliant £50 free in-play offer which should see me take around £30 guaranteed. If you don't know how to match bet this free bet there are guides online, it is quite straightforward and is an excellent opportunity for a small bonus. My outright group winner accumulator had a good start yesterday as Russia won emphatically and the other two drew, leaving Russia in pole position for next week. It was also a big boost for my bet on group C to be the lowest scoring group, as before the kick off group A were favourites for this, but 7 goals soon corrected that. And lastly the mug accumulator I put on went to plan as I had draw in Poland game then a Russia win, so only 6 more results to go! I won back my £1 stake though and a bit more as I took £4.32 for laying 2-1 in the Russia match, in my only real bet during the match.

Tonight I have Germany and Holland to win, and would like them both to win for my outright bets too. Preferably Germany will spank Portugal and Holland only just beat Denmark, but again I want to see lots of goals! Good luck everyone, yesterday was brilliant and the weekend's line up looks even better. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Good afternoon everyone, only three days to go until the start of the Euros and, you may have already guessed, but I cannot wait. Us Brits are being spoiled this summer, what with the Jubilee this weekend (I'm not really a royalist but yesterday made me proud), the Euros, Olympics, Wimbledon etc. We even have dear little Republic of Ireland in the Euros and, although they aren't British, we like to pretend they are when they do something good. So anyway, today I will be telling you all my thoughts and betting ideas for the Euros where I will be attempting to make a few quid. I must first announce a disclaimer though: I have little knowledge of International football (as most people, if they were true to themselves, would also concede). Naturally I have watched more of the bigger teams, and will have watched all the players for the EPL over the year, but when put in to international perspective we all know this means little. This means that any betting over the next few weeks will, by the majority (I'm not accusing you all of ignorance), be more of a risk than normal. In order to counter this I will be looking to make some money exploiting the offers and using matched betting (with help from our friends over at Bonus Bagging). But anyway, in the small event that I haven't completely talked you all out of moving swiftly on from this blog already, here are my thoughts and bets for the Euros.

I have been looking through the qualifying matches and the friendlies from the last few years, and all that I have decided is that they mean absolutely nothing. Most of the big teams swept through their qualifying groups against teams of vastly inferior caliber, giving us no real help on how they will do in the finals. The only team to slip up was Portugal, who only managed to come 2nd behind Denmark, who are in their group at the finals, along with Germany and Holland. That group is undoubtedly the group of death, yet bar a German or Dutch slip up, I can't really see Portugal progressing. In my opinion, the team to watch in that group is Denmark, as I feel they have the potential to nick a point off one of the big 2, as well as potentially beating Portugal. Because of this I will be laying Denmark to finish bottom at 1.7. In addition to this I had a £10 free bet from Betdaq for the Euros, so I put it on Germany to win the tournament at 4.3. Ordinarily I would trade this is if they started strongly, but with it being free bet I think I will leave it for the duration of the tournament, or at least until they trade odds-on.

Over in England's group I have already placed a £20 bet on France 1st England 2nd at odds of 5. I did this a couple of weeks ago and I am now slightly regretting it, as I am beginning to doubt England's ability to even make it out of the group. I think I will leave the bet on, though trading opportunities will be a bit tough with the two teams playing each other in the first match. England are a confusing side and our thinking is not helped by the overly-optimistic or overly-pessimistic media, so I think I will attempt to stay out of the betting when England are concerned, and I will just watch and... enjoy? Should England lose to France the odds of them progressing will presumably get more attractive however, and I may choose to spend a penny or two on that angle, though I will be careful not to get sucked into the patriotic hole of doom. A couple of bookies have offers on group winners accumulators, and Sporting Bet's appears to be the best. 50% winnings enhancement if it is successful, and if it loses by one you will get a free bet refund. This is quite tasty and I will be backing France, Spain, Germany and Russia at 21/1 (plus a 50% enhancement). Nothing exciting there, all four are favourites, but at those odds it is worth £10, and I will probably chose to lay it if things are going to plan. Definitely more of a punt than a trade though.

Over to the goalscorer markets and these are always extremely tough, mainly for the reason that no one knows who is going to start for each team. Gomez and Van Persie lead the betting and this is naturally based on their club form and the fact that they both play for strong teams. If Germany are able to progress out of their group, they will face the 2nd placed team from Group A, so a pretty easy route to the semi-finals and an opportunity for Gomez to bag a few along the way. 1.66 on Germany to reach the semis looks attractive incidentally, but I think I will leave that one. Even so however, I don't think I will be betting on Gomez or anyone else in that market as it's too tough to call, so instead I will look at the markets for top goalscorer within each club. I have been looking for a way to oppose Ronaldo scoring many throughout the tournament, but his top goalscorer price is too high to lay and the under 1.5 goals option price is okay, but not too appealing. My thinking is that I don't think that Portugal will get out of their group, and all of their group games will be very tough as they are. Ronaldo struggles in the Portugal shirt, and will attempt to drag his team through to the quarters, but for all his talent, he tends to struggle when things are left solely to him. For these reasons I think backing Benzema to be top Madrid scorer is a good bet at 2.5. As a sidenote, Ladbrokes have offered 1.83 for Ronaldo to score a freekick during the tournament is a contender for the worst bet of the tournament. Don't get me wrong, I love Ronaldo and everything he does, but his free kick conversion rate is incredibly low. He will score 4 or 5 worldies a season, but miss about 40 or 50, no bet for me.

In addition to this I fancy Van Der Vaart to be Tottenham top goalscorer at 4.0. The other contenders are Defoe, no scorer, Modric, Kranjcar and Parker. It remains to be seen if the Dutch will start with one up top as usual, or go with both Van Persie and Huntelaar, but if it is the former, I expect Van Der Vaart to be a starter. Parker, Kranjcar and Modric are not prolific goalscorers and, whilst Defoe has a goal or two in him, I can't see him getting in the team ahead of Welbeck or Carroll. If he fails to beat these two, then it is unlikely that he will have any chance when Rooney enters the fold again. Based on this therefore, I think that just one goal could be enough for VDV and as I predict the Dutch to make the Semis at least, this bet stands a good chance.

I do believe that that is all for now. Ladbrokes have an offer on the Top Goalscorer market - bet £20+ on someone, and every goal they score you will receive a £5 free bet. I will take this by betting on either Van Persie or Gomez (yet to be decided, any thoughts?) and laying them on Betfair for a small loss. One goal and free bet should put me in profit so this could potentially be a tasty offer. I will more than likely be betting more throughout the tournament but these are all of my pre-tournament bets. I'm going to be keeping my stakes low though, as like I said, it is a bit of a minefield and I don't want to blow a load on it. Please let me know your thoughts and what you personally are going for this tournament. I hope you enjoy it immensely and make a few quid along the way. And, although I am one of the pessimists, they play the most boring football, they always disappoint and the treatment of Rio has been a disgrace, come on ENGLAND! Good luck everyone.


  • Laying Denmark to finish bottom of Group B @ 1.70
  • Group D straight forecast: France/England @ 5.0
  • To win groups: France, Germany, Spain, Russia @ 21/1 (plus add-ons)
  • Benzema to be top Real Madrid scorer @ 2.5
  • Van Der Vaart to be top Tottenham scorer @ 4.0
  • Germany to win outright @ 4.3