The Sports Bookie Blog

Wednesday Footy Picks from Fred Done

January 30th, 2007

BetFred scored 85 out of 100 in our latest bookmaker assessment

Fred Done of top UK bookmaker BetFred.com has sent us his thoughts on Wednesday’s Premiersip action.

BookieLabRat.com rates BetFred at 85% – in our top 5 – bookies for football betting. Have a look at the comprehensive bookmaker review here. (or click here to see how they compare to other online bookies)  

FOOTBALL RUN DOWN – Matches 31 Jan 2007Sorry, no USA residents can bet at BetFred
Fred Done

The Premiership title race is getting more and more interesting by the minute.

After Chelsea and Manchester United’s slip-ups in the league just over a week ago, Liverpool who have been the form side in the Premiership in the last eight or so games are now only five points behind Chelsea with the chance of making it two this week.

Watford got a rare win also giving them the most miniscule of a chance to avoid the drop.

Here’s how I think the Wednesday games will pan out.

Chelsea 2/7 (1.28) v Blackburn 8/1 (9.00), the draw 10/3 (4.33).

With Shevchenko finally scoring and Drogba still in top form, a Chelsea win looks to be the safe option here. Although Blackburn’s recent form say’s they can not be discarded. 2-1 home win is 7/1 (8.00).

Newcastle Evs (2.00) v Villa 9/4 (3.25), 9/4 (3.25) the draw.

Martin O’Neil has made some great signings, especially the Norwegian John Carew as part of the Milan Baros to Lyon deal. I think Aston Villa are a great price here. 2-1 Villa is 11/1 (12.00) with £9.65m signing Ashley Young 10/1 (11.00) to score first. If Carew starts he has a big chance at 6/1 (7.00).

Man Utd 1/8 (1.12) v Watford 16/1 (17.00), the draw 5/1 (6.00).

This is more a case of “how many” as opposed to who will win. Man Utd are so fluent at home this season with all players contributing to their goal scoring campaign. A home 3-0 win is 6/1 (7.00) with Saha who may return to action this week 7/2 (4.50) to score first.

Bolton 4/9 v Charlton 11/2, the draw 11/4.

Bolton appear to be coming out of their poor recent form after a spirited performance against Arsenal. With this in mind I can see them taking home advantage. 1-0 Bolton is 6/1 (7.00). Captain Kevin Nolan is 8/1 (9.00) to score first.

Key Betting Terms Explained: Overround

January 29th, 2007

Sports betting odds are based on probability, reflecting the sportsbooks and bookmakers estimates of winning – but they also contain a margin to enable the bookie to make a profit if they get a balanced book.

This “margin” is called Vig, Vigorish, Juice or Overround and all these terms are taking about the same thing – the bookies “built-in” margin on the bets. Therefore it’s obvious that the lower the overround, the better the value in the market.

So how can you tell what the overround is in a market? Let’s work through a couple of examples :

In a handicap market for a European football match between Arsenal and Real Madrid, where both teams had an equal chance of winning (and the draw is refunded), without an overround they would both be fairly priced at even money or 2.00.

However, the bookies do not offer this price, instead they need a margin to make a profit and so they might only offer a price of 10/11 (1.91) on each team. A price of 1.91 reflects a 52.3% chance ( calculated as 1.00 / 1.91 = 0.523) and so the overround on this market would be around 105%. 

For US sports the simplest example is seen in the ATS bet (Against The Spread / handicap bet). Again if the spread was set correctly then without overround both sides prices would be around 2.00 (or +100 is US betting odds) – reflecting a fair price for a 50% chance.

But the effect of the “vig” (US slang for Overround) results in each of the sides usually being priced between 1.90 to 1.96 (depending on your bookmaker) rather than the 2.00

Many bookies will take around 10% margin from each market – however one of the most consistently sharp bookies (especially for US sports bets) is PinnacleSports where they only take out around a 4% margin rather than the 10% “industry standard”.

An underround can occasionally occur when you look at odds between bookies, say, if you could get 11/10 (2.10) on both teams. This is also called an arb. 

(Arbitrage – Where a variation in odds available allows a punter to back both sides and guarantee a win will be the subject of another Key Betting Terms Explained Blog soon).

Sorry, no US bettors at PinnacleSports>>GO TO Pinnacle Sports

>>Key Betting Terms Explained: Spread Betting 
>>Key Betting Terms Explained: Fixed Odds Betting
>>Key Betting Terms Explained: Asian Handicap Betting

Home of the Money–back Special

January 29th, 2007

Paddy Power is Ireland’s largest bookmaker and one of the UK’s fastest growing bookies since launching online services in 2000. You can always rely on Paddy for some entertainment along with your betting and we enjoy a stab at some of Paddy’s Cash Backs.

Paddy Power Bookmaker offers lots of cashback specials

Here’s PaddyPower’s latest cash back offer – there are usually a couple on site at all times.

OK, so that might sound a longshot for Baptista, but actually these fun little insurance policies pay out more often than you’d think (well, than I thought they would anyway!). 

Well here’s a quick summary of the cash back offers that have cost Paddy a bob or two in the last six months.

46 horse racing cash back offers have paid out with offers like “Our Necks on the Line” where if your horse finishes second beaten by up to and including a neck in a specific race Paddy’ll refund your losing stake.

Just one greyhound cash back has come in in the last six months (where your dog failed to win but finished in the same place as it’s Trap number – top job Debbie’s Choice!).

While the only successful rugby cashback was on the England v All Blacks on Novemer 5, 2006 as Shaun Perry had to score a try on his debut. Well done Shaun!.

Five football bets have paid out in the last 6 months – they’re listed below:

(1) Christmas Cracker! Wigan v Chelsea 23 Dec, 2006 There were 5 or more goals in the match.

(2) Seventh Heaven! Rangers v Celtic 17 Dec, 2006 The last goal in this match was scored by a player wearing the number 7 shirt

(3) Booker Prize – Chelsea v Arsenal 10 Dec, 2006 Former Arsenal hero Ashley Cole received the first booking or the last booking of this match

(4) The Late, Late Show! 1st Weekend of the Premiership Paddy Power offered to refund all losing 1st/last goalscorer, correct score & scorecast bets on any of that weekend’s Premiership matches if there was a goal scored in injury time at the end of either half of that match.  – He refunded on West Ham v Charlton

(5) Boxing Clever! Celtic v Everton 24 Jul, 2006 The last goal was scored from outside the penalty area and so Paddy paid out again.

Sorry no US bettors>>Visit PaddyPower Bookmaker for better betting value

Key Betting Terms Explained: Fixed-Odds Betting

January 28th, 2007

Fixed odds betting explained in simple language Fixed-odds betting is the easiest to understand and by far the most popular form of betting. Its popularity stems from the fact that you know how much you can win, or indeed lose, when you place your bet.

In the UK, fixed odds betting traditionally uses Fractional odds (for example 5/1 = five to one, 15/2 = fifteen to two).

Use of Decimal odds (such as 6.00 or 8.50, the equivalent of 5/1 or 15/2 respectively) is growing in popularity in other countries and most good online sports bookmakers give you the choice of odds format to display.

Both Fractional and Decimal odds are simply ways of telling you how much you could win from your stake – and how likely it is you’ll be successful.

Odds of 5/1 (6.00) mean that your selection will win, in the bookies opinion, once in six attempts – 5/1 is short for “5 losses to one win”.

Your potential winnings are calculated by multiplying your stake by the odds.

The most straightforward kind of fixed odds bet is a single. You just pick a selection and put some money on it. If it wins, you win.

The next most obvious fixed odds bet is a double – you pick two selections and they both must win. The winnings from one bet are staked on the second. Say you bet £10 on two 5/1 (6.00) chances. The first one wins, so you get £60 back as shown earlier. This £60 is then your stake for the second bet – so if it wins you’d get back £60 x 5 plus your stake back, giving a total of £360.

You can also bet each way, where you put one bet on your selection to win and the same amount on it to be placed. If it’s placed, your first bet loses, but your second bet gets paid out at a fifth, a quarter or a third of the odds, depending on the bookie’s rules.

Links to Other Key Betting Terms Explained:
>>Spread Betting
>>Asian Handicap Betting

>>Visit BookieLabRat.com

Key Betting Terms Explained: Spread Betting

January 27th, 2007

Betting terms explained courtesy of BookieLabRat betting site assessorsSpread Betting is a betting style popular with UK punters and is offered by a limited number of specialist betting firms.

So what is spread betting?
The basic premise is that a spread betting firm such as Sporting Index, Hi/Lo, City Index, Cantor Index or IG Index predicts the outcome of an event and then offers a ‘spread’ based on that figure. (Spreads can be offered on sporting, financial or any other types of events)

You, the punter, then decide whether you think the result will be higher or lower than the spread firm’s prediction.

A cricket example is that the firm may predict that the Australian cricket team will score 245 runs, so they offer a spread of 240-250 runs (if the actual score falls between that range they win regardless – but they rarely get it bang on).

In this example, you have to decide if you think Australia will score more than 250 or less than 240. If you think more, then you ‘buy’ at 250 and stand to win 1x your stake for every run more than 250 that Australia makes. If you think they’ll score less than 240 runs, you ‘sell’ at 240 and win 1x your stake for every run short of 240.

The main thing to remember is that you always buy at the higher number in the spread and sell at the lower one.

If you predict wrong, you lose – in this example, 1x your stake for every run over 240 or under 250.  So if Australia actually makes 275, and you’d bought for a stake of £1 per run @ 250, you’d win £25. If you sold @ 240, you’d be losing money, and would lose a £ for every run you were out -£35.

Another aspect to spread betting is that the spread is constantly updated throughout the progress of the event. Prices are revised ‘in-running’ to reflect the current state of play. Say Australia reach 100 without loss. They’ll revise their spread upwards to say, 280-290 runs.

If you originally sold at 240 for £1 per run, you might be thinking you made a mistake, but there are ways to limit your losses – you can ‘close’ your bet by placing an equal-sized bet in the opposite direction. So now if you bought Australia for £1 per run at the latest spread of 290, you’d be taking a £50 loss – the difference between the spread you sold at 240 and the one you’re buying at 290. This would be admitting defeat, but you’d instantly know how much you’d lose.

For that to make sense, you’d have to now believe that Australia would score more than 290, because of they end up scoring fewer runs, you’d lose less than the £50 if you kept with your original bet and let it stand.

The reverse is also true. You can take a profit rather than leaving it to chance. If you originally bought Australia at 250, and the spread had been revised to 280-290, selling at 280 would guarantee a £30 win (again, the difference between the first and second spreads).

Here’s a Football Spread Betting example.

Say Arsenal is playing Man Utd and a spread on offer for the game has Arsenal with a goal superiority of 0.1 goals to sell, or 0.4 goals to buy.

This would be normally written 0.1 / 0.4 and means that when you buy at 0.4, if Arsenal wins by a goal, you’d be paid out at [(1-0.4) x your stake].  If Arsenal wins by 2 goals it would be [(2×0.4) x your stake].

Conversely if you didn’t think Arsenal would win you could have sold at 0.1.  So if the match was a draw you’d lose [(0.1-0) or 1/10th of your stake] but if Arsenal were beaten by a goal then you’d make (1.0-0.1) x your stake.

The settle-up of this spread where the stake was £10 is illustrated below.

Example of a football spread bet

 

 

 

 

 

 

In football spread betting the stake is usually not just £1 per goal (like the £ per run cricket example), but £10, £20 or £100 per goal and so can result in big wins – or big losses!

As winnings and losses can mount up quickly in spread betting, it’s advisable to bet only on events you understand (duh!), and then can keep a close eye on so you can cut your losses or take profits in-running.

NOTE:
As spread betting is only offered by a few companies the spread margins are fairly tight. In general punters can make a lot more money long term on fixed odds and/or Asian Handicap betting than on Spread bets when you consider the amount of risk involved.

>>Next Key Betting Term Explained: Fixed Odds Betting – coming soon!
>>Last Key Betting Term Explained: Asian Handicap Betting 

>>Visit BookieLabRat.com

Football Bets – Their Pain your Gain?

January 26th, 2007

Top Irish Bookie PaddyPower.com can always be relied on for some entertaining bets.

Here are a couple just released today that should appeal to the slightly twisted:

1. CHELSKI’S ROUBLES
Having reported losses of £140 million and £88 million over the last two years, Chelsea’s 2006 figures are due shortly. With the money doled out again on Shevchenko’s transfer fee and record-breaking wages for several players, how will they have performed in the last 12 months.

What will be Chelsea’s Reported losses for 2006? Latest odds for Chelseas 2006 report

 

 

 

OK, so making money off Chelsea’s woes is not your thing – what about this one then?

2. NEXT PREMIERSHIP PLAYER TEAM to have a PLAYER BREAK A BONE during a Premiership match.
Savage, Ooijer, Van Persie, Bowyer have all fallen foul recently as well as the regular procession of metatarsals. 

Who’s next?
Latest odds available at PaddyPower.com

 

 

 

 

Tomas Rosicky is Little MozartDO YOU FANCY LITTLE MOZART’S CHANCES?
Paddy’s Latest Money Back Special is on the Arsenal v Bolton game. If Tomas Rosicky scores the last goal in this match Paddy Power will refund all losing 1st / last goalscorer, correct score & scorecast single bets on the match. Max refund €300/£200 per customer/bet.

 

Sorry, no US bettors can join Paddy PowerIf you’ve not got an account at PaddyPower follow this link for a free “bet 25, get 25” joining bonus.

>>Here’s link to the bookmaker review on Paddy Power for the latest info on this bookie.
>>Use this link for more special bets and the latest PaddyPower Betting Bulletin (games 27 and 28 Jan)

Key Betting Terms Explained: Asian Handicap Betting

January 25th, 2007

Don’t be put off by the concept of Asian Handicap betting. If you bet on football you should at least understand all forms of betting available to maximise the earning potential and minimise the risk for each game. Successful betting is also about choosing the best betting style and then the right bookmaker.

I personally like Asian Handicaps because they remove the draw from the equation. This is an important consideration as a quarter of all football games end in draws.

Not all bookies offer Asian Handicaps, and as with all odds, it is well worth shopping around to get the best for Asian Handicaps. I run a stable of bookie accounts accordingly but three are outstanding in this area: MANSION Sports, Pinnacle Sports and Bet365. I recommend them personally – because I use them successfully myself.

Asian Handicaps – A Betting System to Even Up The Game
Asian Handicap is a form of betting where the perceived weaker team (or underdog) is given a number of goals head start. Conversely, the team perceived to be superior (the favourite) is penalised or ‘handicapped’ an equal number of goals in an attempt to make the two teams equal for betting purposes.

The favourite has to overcome the handicap, and will have it taken away from its final score. The handicap for the favourite is preceded by a minus (-). The underdog is given a ‘head-start’, and will have it added to its final score. The handicap for the underdog is preceded by a plus (+).

The wider the gap between the two teams, the greater the number of goals head start is given to the weaker team. If the two teams’ on-field ability is considered to be approximately equal, no handicap is given to either team.

Two types of Asian Handicaps – Single Handicaps & Double Handicaps

SINGLE ASIAN HANDICAP BETS : Example Brazil -1.0 v England +1.0

In this example, England has been given a 1 goal head start over Brazil. This means that all bets on England will win, provided England either win or draw the match. If Brazil wins the match by at least two goals, then all Brazil bets will win and all bets placed on England will be losers. If Brazil wins by exactly one goal with the -1.0 handicap the scores are considered level and all stakes will be returned.

The table below lists the most commonly used Handicaps and the outcome of each:

Asian Handicaps are a great way to bet

DOUBLE ASIAN HANDICAP BETS : Also known as Split or Quarter Ball Handicaps

Double handicaps are used to split a wager into two equal and separate bets – each with the same odds to win, but at a different single handicap. This can result in the following scenarios:

  1. Both bets win, therefore the full win amount is returned.
  2. One bets wins and one bet draws (stake returned). This is commonly referred to as ‘Half Win’.
  3. One bet draws (stake returned) and one bet loses. This is commonly referred to as ‘Half Loss’.
  4. Both bets lose, therefore the full stake amount is lost.

Split Ball Bets

Ready to bet? For great football coverage and the BEST ASIAN HANDICAP ODDS on the Internet these three bookmakers are outstanding:

>> Visit Bet365 Bookmaker (sorry, no USA bettors)
>> Visit Pinnacle Sports Book (sorry, no USA bettors)

If you’ve still got questions contact us at BookieLabRat.com.

Cheltenham Festival Free Bet

January 24th, 2007

Second Chance bet at BetFred this weekendIf you like the challenge of backing the top horse then this bookie offer is specially for you!

Think of it as some insurance if your horse comes  in second rather than a winner.

Betfred is giving you a “second chance”. Have a bet on any race at Cheltenham on Saturday 27th January and if your horse finishes second they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £100) on the same horse at the Cheltenham festival in March.  

Of course there are some Terms and Conditions…

  1. Your horse must finish second in any race at Cheltenham on Saturday 27th January 2007 and WIN any race at the Cheltenham Festival
  2. Maximum refund is £100 (or your currency equivalent) per customer
  3. Free bets will be automatically placed on your original selection if it runs at the Cheltenham Festival, between the 13th and 16th March 2007.
  4. The free bet will be placed on the first race your original selection runs in. Any subsequent races at the festival will not be eligible for a free bet.  
  5. For any each way bets, only the win part of the stake will be eligible for the free bet.

>>Here’s a link to top UK Bookmaker BetFred for more  info. [New customers are also eligible for a £20 free bet]

>>For more info on BetFred read the latest sports bookmaker review here.    

Sorry, no USA residents can bet at BetFred

Sorry, No US bettors can join BetFred SportsBook.

Blind Luck or Calculated Risk?

January 23rd, 2007

Life is fraught with risk. There is no getting away from it: life is a game of chance and some of us are simply better at playing it than others.

See below for some simple tips on smarter risk takingThe good news is however, that risk can be turned into cold, hard cash. But there are 2 types of risk: blind risk and calculated risk.

The first, blind risk is useless and a waste of time. Blind risk is the calling card of laziness, the irrational hope, something for nothing, the cold twist of fate. Blind risk is the pointless gamble, the emotional decision, the sucker play. 

If you embrace blind luck, well – we wish you the best, but we don’t rate your chances.However, calculated risk has built fortunes, nations, empires (I’m sure there should be a dramatic musical accompaniment to this bit). Calculated risk and bold vision go hand in hand. To analyse a situation or opportunity, think it through logically, see the possibilities and then make it happen. This is what differentiates sucker-play from quality calculated risk taking.

At BookieLabRat.com we are a group of risk junkies, chancers, players – we love the thrill of backing our judgement against a bookmaker, or increasingly, someone else on the other side of a betting exchange wager. Our PokerLabRat.com team feel similarly about poker wagers.

There are some “simple smarts” you can do to increase your mid to long term betting bankroll. One of them is to take value bets.

Value is quite simply the chance of a bet winning multiplied by the odds taken. Well – if you can’t improve the chances of the team – then the best thing to do is improve the odds you take!

There often is a significant difference between bookmakers in the prices available on a given fixture. (And we mean reputable sports bookmakers – do not even consider betting with dodgy guys as getting a payout is really important too… but that’s another blog topic. There are rogue operators out there!)

Run accounts with several online bookmakers so you can select the best odds and betting opportunities on a specific punt. How hard is that?

It’s a statistical fact:
that by distributing your betting funds & using 4-5 bookies you will get 10-12% more out of your betting than by simply using 1-2 bookies.
– that by distributing your betting funds & using 8-10 bookies you will get 15-20% more out of your betting than by simply using 1-2 bookies.
 
If you have active accounts at multiple bookmakers online – and only take the top prices – then YOU WILL WIN 10% or 15% or 20% MORE than you do today – even if you change nothing else.
Come on risk takers – be smart!For the latest independent reviews on sports books, bookmakers and betting exchanges take advantage of either or both of these free sites:
>>BookieLabRat.com
>>GoonersGuide.com

Find out what’s hot and not about your bookie – are they even in the top 5? Which other online sportsbooks should you add to your stable of bookmaker accounts? Visit the sites above to find out more.

UEFA Picks Team of the Year for 2006

January 21st, 2007

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas was yesterday included in the Uefa team of the year alongside two other Premiership players, his club captain Thierry Henry and Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard.

Fabregas’ selection from the Uefa poll, which drew around four million votes, reflects his growing reputation across Europe. Henry, despite having been a losing finalist with France in the World Cup, was a rather more predictable pick. His consistent inspiration for Arsenal sealed his place in the team for the fifth time in six years, while Gerrard was chosen for a second time.

While the Premiership provided three names, its share was eclipsed by that of Champions League winners Barcelona, whose achievement merited four members in Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o, Carles Puyol and Gianluca Zambrotta, plus manager Frank Rijkaard.

———————————————————-

Uefa team of the year (4-4-2) :

Buffon (Juventus) — Zambrotta (Barcelona), Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Puyol (Barcelona), Lahm (Bayern Munich) — Gerrard (Liverpool), Fabregas (Arsenal), Kaka (AC Milan), Ronaldinho (Barcelona) —
Henry (Arsenal), Eto’o (Barcelona).

Coach: Frank Rijkaard (Barcelona).

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