Friday, 30 November 2012

Polar Opposites

Fourteen games into the season and some interesting angles are beginning to open in the markets. Up top it seems quite routine at the moment, with the Manchester duo powering ahead and both neck and neck for the title, both at odds of 2.3. There is little to choose between the two at present, but the derby next weekend should give us a better indicator. Chelsea have seriously dropped off the pace at the moment and, despite Benitez's appointment, I can't see them seriously challenging long term this season. If we look at the standings at this stage last season, interestingly Chelsea are actually 2 points worse off than they were under Villas Boas, despite all the money they have spent and their quick start to this campaign. United backers will probably take encouragement from the fact that United are on the same amount of points as 2011/12, yet City are 6 points worse off.

Not surprisingly, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs are significantly down on last years tallies, while Everton have made an improvement. The biggest movers however, are the flourishing West Brom and the floundering Newcastle. West Brom are 11 points better off, while Newcastle are 12 points worse off, currently sitting at 1.23 and 2.82 respectively to finish in the top 10. I take issue with people saying that West Brom are 'over-achieving' as it suggests they don't deserve their position, when they have performed excellently so far and deserve this success. I do however, feel that this is a success which may be relatively short lived and have therefore chosen to lay them for the top 10 at the short price of 1.28. Newcastle on the other hand are a more confusing matter, having been hit severely by injuries and facing the difficulties of balancing a European competition with the league. They also have the matter of the African Cup of Nations which will probably see them lose a number of important players throughout January. Despite this however, I still feel they have a good team, and one which is certainly capable of making the top 10. They're currently only 5 points off the top half and the price of 2.82 is looking increasingly tempting to me, I will decide over the next couple of days whether to take it or not.

Down at the bottom I have joined the Redknapp bandwagon and layed QPR for relegation at 1.9. I expect Harry to have some impact, at least, on the squad which is clearly a lot better than their current position. There is also the possibility that the owners might invest more cash in January so the current price is attractive for many reasons. If they get one win I reckon momentum might pull them out of the bottom 3 quite quickly.  

Elsewhere the UK Championships start tomorrow and I can't wait. I won't be trading it, apart from a £5 interest bet on Robertson, but I will just enjoy it as a spectacle. Good luck with your weekend trading.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Long Shots

I was looking through a couple of old posts on my blog when I stumbled across this from April last year. It is a long post but among the waffle I found an interesting point by former self:

'...after 9 games 7 Bayern wins, 1 draw and a loss, 25 goals for and 1 against, saw them 5 points clear and as low as 1.2 for the title. 1.2?! After 9 games? This isn't Spain. Their form naturally deteriorated and now Dortmund are 8 points clear and unbackable on Betfair. Lesson learned, and that is what I will look to do next year.' 

This season has seen a similar pattern as Bayern have rushed into the lead leaving everyone in their wake and after 11 games were W10 D0 L1 F32 A4, 7 points ahead of their nearest competitor Schalke, and odds of 1.11 to win the title. They did recruit players such as Shaqiri and Mandzukic over the summer, but this is still a team who finished 8 points off Dortmund last season. One of the main reasons for the short price is the poor start by defending champions Dortmund, who sat 11 points behind Bayern after 11 games. Dortmund did however manage to keep the majority of their team over the summer, including stars such as Lewandowski and Reus, and have demonstrated their technical abilities in the Champions League, particularly against Real Madrid. With all this taken into account I chose to lay Bayern at 1.12 for £400 (liability £48), and I would be surprised if I didn't see a profit on this at some point in the season. This weekend Bayern dropped 2 points away to Nuremburg and Dortmund won at home to Furth. Bayern actually extended their lead to 8 points because the two below them both lost, but Dortmund are my best hope at chasing down Munich so it is their results which are the most crucial. After the weekend Bayern drifted a tiny amount to 1.13/1.14, hopefully it'll continue. I contemplated doing the same thing with Barca, but the Spanish league is a different thing all together, so I have decided to leave that one well alone. Instead I took on Chelsea to finish in the top 3 at 1.27. 

I chose to trade out half of my liability in the Arsenal top 4 bet at evens, which was handy because they're now down to 1.74 after their derby win. I'm going to leave the remainder of it for now because they still have a couple of tough games to come. By my reckoning however, I think it is almost time for them to hit their purple patch, and an easy Christmas period might mean that I switch to backing them rather than laying them. It'll depends on where the odds are in a few weeks though so I shall let you know.

Elsewhere I had a very poor week this week and made a loss of around £15. I don't really think I did a great deal wrong to be honest, apart from in one game where I made a bad decision, but mainly the results went against the trends in the matches I picked. It is swings and roundabouts though, and I have been having a number of profitable weeks so I guess this is just one of those weeks where luck eludes you. You can't win all the time.

Tonight is the Champions League and I'm not sure I will be dabbling too much in those murky waters. Some teams are already through, and some are already out so mindsets completely change and it is difficult to call. If I do get involved it will be small stakes. Good luck if you have a bet tonight. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Trading the outrights in-play: Do or Don't?

With another weekend of comebacks and collapses from the Premier League's so called 'elite', I stumbled across an interesting thought when watching the outright markets: is it wise to place bets on the outright markets when matches are in-play? As regular readers will know, the outright markets are where I have been focusing a lot of my attention this season, and this thought appeared in my mind when I looked at the odds in-play. Over the weekend both United and City went behind, and the winners market yo-yo'd accordingly. With United starting at 2.15 to win the title, they drifted to around 2.6 after slipping two goals behind, before Chicharito completed the comeback and they ended the match hovering between 2 and 2.1 for the title. Similarly, City started Sunday around 3.3, before drifting massively to 4.5 whilst being held by Spurs, and finally completed their comeback to return to the 3.2-3 mark. 

Man United Graph

Man City Graph

This got me thinking about if it is worth getting involved in-play in order to take an over-reactionary price in the market. If we have learned anything over the last decade or so it is that United, and now City, are masters of the comeback and rarely slip to unusual defeats. United in particular have been particularly poor at the back this season, but have so far had enough firepower to keep coming from behind time and time again. The benefit of taking a high price in-play and banking on a comeback is that, should the team fail to come back in that particular match, the trade is not lost and it can continue for the duration of the season. But although the price may seem attractive at the time, there is still scope to say that more often than not you will end up with egg on your face.

The problem with taking the prices in-play is that the prices are disfigured, and although that could work in your favour at times, it is more likely to confuse you in the long run. The length of a match is far too short a time to be making any big or rash decisions. I don't believe anyone should make huge decisions based on a team's performance in one match, or even one half of a match, as things can change very quickly in football. Sure, most people trade the in-play match markets throughout the game, but the outright markets require a lot more attention. For starters, the amount wagered would need to be large to take any decent size profit from the trade, and such a quantity would be something I would be uncomfortable with on an impromptu bet. Another reason to hold back and let the match unfold, is that you will probably get a higher price if the result stays the same, than you would in-play. The odds on City to win the title are going to be larger after they have LOST to Spurs, rather than whilst they are LOSING and might possibly lose in the end. 

Lastly, and most crucially in my opinion, is why not just trade the match odds market if you think a comeback is on? They have the potential to be so much more lucrative and you need not risk such large sums either. Had you put £100 on United to win the title at 2.6 when they were 2-0 down to Villa, you could now take a £25 profit on all scenarios. If you put £100 on United to beat Villa at top in-play price 11.5, well, you do the maths. And while you could argue £100 is a lot to stake on the last 40 minutes of a football match, you would only needed to have staked around £2.50 to take a £25 profit. 

This weekend was another positive one for me as I made another small chunk of profit, and my outright trades continued to progress. The results at the Emirates and Stamford Bridge were almost perfect for me, it is just a shame that Spurs couldn't hold on that tiny bit longer. It's unlikely I will be trading the internationals and I am bored already of Wilfried Zaha, who has suddenly become the most sought after player on the planet. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this blog topic, particularly from anyone who does trade the markets in-play. There must be someone out there, because otherwise there wouldn't be movements! 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Work, text betting and profits

I apologise for the lack of posts recently, but I have been pretty busy at university recently. Being in my third year, things are starting to get a little bit tough so time for trading and blogging has been a tad limited. This is something I was prepared for however, and is exactly the reason I have embarked on my newer challenge of making a profit from the long term markets as it suits my situation better. Despite this however, I have been making bits and pieces over the last few weekends, taking a total profit of £24.41. The initial difficulty I was facing with trading this season is beginning to ease up a bit for a number of reasons; I am beginning to get back into my old ways and have adjusted my staking plan so it is more effective; There is more form to choose from now and trends are starting to shine through; I have had the last few weekends free for a bit of trading. The point about trends is the most crucial I feel, as this is something which bears a lot of weight on how I trade. I am a bit of a stats man, and I will do research on trends in goals, form, teams playing at certain places and so on, so the fact that I now have some data to work with is extremely helpful, and ensures I am not just guessing, as many are at the start of the season.

My bets in the longer term markets are shaping up nicely also, particularly as Chelsea and Arsenal are beginning to slip as I predicted. I will remain in my Chelsea trade for a while yet, as I think that their 'poor spell' is just beginning and they will begin to drop off over the Christmas period due to their small squad. At present they are still at a respectable 2.04 to come in the top 2. In my top 4 trade, Arsenal have been woeful as predicted and it is the time of year when Wenger's head is being called for, but their price is being held low by the torrid performances of their closest competitor: Spurs. I have previously expressed my reservations in putting my faith in Spurs and they have proceeded to throw away numerous chances to pull away from Arsenal in the league. Despite the anarchy in the Gooner camp, they still remain at 1.82 to finish in the top 4. I think I have decided that if Arsenal beat Fulham today and Spurs lose to City tomorrow, then I am getting out of this bet. I will instead swap my stance to laying Spurs, as they have a particularly nasty month coming up.

I tried out Paddy Power's text betting service this week, as I was using it for matched betting purposes, and I was impressed with how easy it is to now make a bet. This is of course likely to be highly detrimental to the addicted punter who can't find a bookie or a laptop, but for everyone else it is a stupidly fast way of placing a bet. By texting '50 Man United Teletext' I had put on a £50 bet for United to win, which was confirmed by an automatic reply text. The only problem with the service is the inability to peruse the odds and find a bet one might like, meaning that you are blindly choosing to back a team without knowing the odds. In order to find the odds, you could obviously go online on your mobile but then why would you not just place the bet online? I think the service is a good idea, but very gimmicky and unlikely to be used too much once the novelty has worn off.

Bet365 returned their famous £50 free in-play bet this week and it was as good as ever. I managed to match the bet to take a £35 profit, while taking a £32 profit from matching my text bet at enhanced odds. I won't put matched betting results in the P+L as I don't think it really counts as 'trading', but I'll keep you updated on what I do do so you know where to look for the latest offers. Paddy Power are offering enhanced odds on certain bets on your first text bet (up to £50), so look out for those to take a small profit, if you haven't already.

That is all from me today, I hope you all enjoy your weekends.