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Value selections and general musings

Tuesday 5 March 2013

05 Mar 13 19:30
Recs 1/4, P/L: -8.2pts, ROI -0.42 (11.3-19.5/19.5)

Short post today.

Lay Real Madrid (2.34) for 5 pts (liability 7pts) at Manchester United

Big match. Could go either way. Real too short at 2.34, bit disrespectful to Man Utd and has to be taken on.

The comeback starts here - Follow the Dog Cool
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Monday 4 March

03 Mar 13 20:16
Recs: 1/3, P/L : -3pts, ROI : -0.79 (11.3-14.3/14.3)

A quick line for Monday - busy day expected, so might not get to a computer before MNF, so I am putting the bet up tonight as it is a pretty obvious one to me.

Lay Man City for 10pts (exposure 5.2pts) at Aston Villa

Yes, I know City are the most likely winners, but 8/15 is too short. They are 6-5-2 away from home, Villa are 3-4-6 at home. On either set of statistics, an away win is slightly less than evens. It is true that where a lowly ranked team played a higher ranked one, this might be expected to revert to expectations, and it may, but I am mindful that City have lost away to Sunderland and Southampton, and drawn at West Ham and QPR. With that in mind, and with their overall statistics, 8/15 (or an effective 66% win expectation) is just too low (or high in terms of expectation). A number of high street bookies are also happy to lay this price, so in I go.

GL all. I will be back late tomorrow with a preview of and bet for the Man U / Real game.

Follow the Dog Cool
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Sunday 3 March

03 Mar 13 11:19
Recs to date (from 02.03.13): 1/2, P&L: 0pts, ROI: 0

Bit of a nothing day yesterday, with West Ham's surprise (to me) win, cancelling out Leicester's defeat. I am keen to have an interest, in the NL derby today though to get the ball moving again.

Spurs -v- Arsenal - match result to be a draw, 3pts @ 3.55

The teams here appear closely matched, being adjacent in the table at 4th and 5th. Spurs (7-4-2 at home) have four points more, but an inferior overall goal difference (15 v 22). At home their Gd is +7. Arsenal are 5-5-3 away from home and have a Gd of +6.

I always start from the premise that each result is a 2/1 shot and adjust according to form, home advantage etc etc. To me it is clear that Spurs should have a greater chance than 2/1 to win, particularly given their home advantage and recent form, but I think that would dent Arsenal's chances (ie. increase the notional 2/1 tissue) more than it affects the chances of a draw. I think the current price of 2.4 for a Spurs win is about right. I also don't think that a draw is a bad result for Spurs (which may be why Arsenal's price is pitched relatively low - they definitely would not be helped by a draw). I would probably invert the Arsenal and draw prices, ie. have the draw at 3.25, Arsenal at 3.55. In truth it is a tough call whether to back the draw or to lay Arsenal (at 3.25 or 9/4) at the current prices, but I will take my chances on the draw for a potentially bigger draw (see what I did there ! Grin).

This advice is not a trading one - I will ride out the odds (will be travelling anyway), hopefully Bale has exhausted his injury time heroics for this season !

Good luck if you play.

Follow the Dog Cool     
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Saturday 2 March

02 Mar 13 10:25
Greetings all and welcome to Spring ! From now on, for recording purposes, I am going to rate bets on a scale of 1-10. 10 is a maximum bet for me.

However, in contrast to last Saturday, not much to get the punting juices flowing today. I had mrked out four possible prices of interest:

1. A lay of Leicester at Ipswich at up to 2.3 (6/5)
2. A back of Stoke at home to West Ham at 2.3 or above
3. A lay of Liverpool at Wigan at 1.8 (4/5) or less
4. A back of Hartlepool at Doncaster at 5 (4/1) or greater.

In the event, the prices on 3. and 4. are not currently good enough to warrant involvement. Good discipline, Dog.Happy. I will check the LIverpool price again later in case of an influx (one might even say the usual influx) of mug backers of Liverpool at odds on away from home (their record away this season is 3-6-4, a win percentage of 30.76).

So the current bets are:

5pts back of Stoke at home to West Ham @ 2.36

Although not everyones idea of a football team you would like to watch week in week out, you have to admire the job that Tony Pulis is doing at Stoke. They have a 6-6-1 home record and lie tenth in the division, already effectively safe from relegation concerns. Their home record is as good as anyone bar the 2 Manchester clubs in terms of points returned and directly comparable to Everton (6-6-1). Their away record is another matter, but we need not be troubled by that today. West Ham also have good home form (6-4-4), but have struggled away from home (2-2-9) and have only scored 8 away goals all season. Kevin Nolan is also out which is likely to be negative for them. If I were pricing this up, I would probably have Stoke shorter than evens, maybe around the 8/11 mark (and certainly so if I were a greedy bookie). Ask yourself this; what price would you have Everton to beat West Ham at home - 6/5 ?

6.3pts lay of Leicester at Ipswich @ 2.26

Although Leicester started the season off like a train, they now sit in 5th place in the Championship, five points off the automatic promotion places and six points clear of the team just outside the play offs. They are another team with a very strong home record (12-2-3), but have definitely not been so consistent away from home (5-4-7). Conversely, Ipswich started the season off dismally, but have restored some form of order and now lie five place off the bottom of the league, four points clear of the relegation zone. Their home form is uninspiring at (5-5-7), on the other hand, they have certainly not lost more than they have not lost. Bitter experience has taught me that backing teams with statistics like Leicester, away at teams with statistics like Ipswich is a fast track to the poor house particularly at odds significantly lower than 6/4. A lay at 2.26 is therefore a low risk value play for me.

Good luck to everyone with an interest today.

Follow the Dog Cool

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Monday 25 February 2013

25 Feb 13 12:45
A tricky EPL match tonight - West Ham -v- Spurs (8pm, SS1). I am not too keen on betting on Spurs at the moment, having laid them in both matches against Lyon, on the first occasion losing out only to a Gareth Bale extra time goal and then in the second leg hilariously (I say now) in the process of cashing out, on the basis of my experience from the previous week, when the market was (slightly prematurely, I thought) suspended as Dembele shot home from what seemed like the half way line again well into injury time. Hmmm.

Anyway, current prices West Ham (3.6-3.65), Draw (3.5-3.55), Spurs (2.28-2.3). These are very close to the lines available with the bookies, so not much of a margin there. West Ham are 6-4-3 at home, Spuds are 7-2-4 away. Again, these statistics are pretty supportive of the current prices. The Racing Post "tips" the draw; always a sign they have no idea what is going to happen.

My suspicion is that the Spuds price will contract, and I would certainly lay them at around 2.1 or lower (any form of pre-match odds on would be a maximum lay), equally West Ham would start to become an attractive price at 3.9. But for the moment it's hands in pockets. There is not even much deviation between the over / under 2.5 price, spread 1.97-2.04 to give us an interest.

However, the joy of betting is that there is always something else to look at and there is also a Liga match tonight - Levante -v- Osasuna. It looks like this is available for online viewing for Sky customers. Anyway, prices are Levante (2.08-2.1) Draw (3.5-3.55) Osasuna (4.1-4.3). Levante are mid table and 7-1-3 at home, with a moderate (home) goal difference of 21-15. Osasuna are two places above the drop zone, 1-3-7 away from home with a goal difference (away) of 8-19. Levante played in the Europa on Thursday, beating Olympiakos 1-0 away, completing a 4-0 aggregate victory. That form, and their league position, is way above anything Osasuna have produced this season and anything above evens on the home win is just too generous. I am on at 2.1 and my advice is a strong, but not a maximum, back of Levante.

Back to the day job tomorrow, but will post again as and when time allows and opportunity beckons. I am not expecting the 100% start to this blog to last forever, but let's enjoy the form while it lasts !

Hasta la vista ! Cool

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Milan Derby

24 Feb 13 17:44
I have been looking for an interest in the Milan derby this evening. Inter are at home to AC. Prices as I write are Inter (4.1-4.2), draw (3.55-3.6), AC (2.06-2.08).

Now, I don't profess to any specialist knowledge about the Italian league or about the teams, but I can see that AC are third in the table and Inter fifth, with one point between them. Inter have a home record of 7-3-2, AC have an away record of 4-5-3.

If one took an analogous situation from the EPL, the match ups - in statistical terms only and in very broad terms - are something like Chelsea playing at Arsenal, or Man City playing at Sours. Would either  of those go off at 2.06-2.08 ? Maybe, but I would be layer rather than a backer at that price. So I will lay AC Milan, to small stakes.

Ciao for now. Cool
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It has been said that sometimes this game can be a case of looking so hard for winner, and that when a winner comes and knocks on your door, you turn it away because you "are busy looking for a winner" . The opposite, I am increasingly coming to appreciate, is true of value.

Assuming that our prospective punter has a good knowledge of sport, whether a price is wrong or right is as readily apparent as it is in Tescos or in any other transaction. For example, if I saw 8 top end razor blades for sale for about £10, I wouldn't have to think too hard about sticking them in the trolley. Obviously you would need to check the product - was the pack intact, were they genuine, but if so, buy as many as you can ! It is often said that if something is too good to be true then it usually is and the background checks need to be taken to find out the full facts to ensure we avoid that trap.

The reason for the annoying little diversion into Tescos is that I think I have unearthed 2 obviously mispriced items on Betfair in the Premiership today.

1. Newcastle to beat Southampton at 2.24.

I should add that I am a fan of Newcastle and so follow their fortunes closely. On the negative side, it is true that Tim Krul, their number one keeper and Hatim Ben Arfa, their most creative player,  will miss this game. It is also very possible that Yohan Cabaye will not be fit. They also played in Europe, in Russia, on Thursday. However, thanks to Mr Ashley digging deep in January, they will still be able to field a strong side, including a very strong back four, three or four of whom did not play in Russia (Debuchy, Santon, Colocinni, Taylor although Mbiya Yanga (! what a mouthful) may start), a midfield comprising Tiote (who was unwell midweek) and Sissoko and Gouffron, returning from injury up front. I am not worried about Rob Elliot in goal, he has already shown good form and reliability in the early rounds of the Europa League this season.

Southampton have been in excellent form, and did not play midweek, but have an away record of 2-4-7 this season, and it is their home form which has particularly impressed of late.

Newcastle would usually be 4/6 or 4/7 for a game of this nature and would have routinely been that price in the Autumn, ironically before the arrivals in the January transfer window, which have unquestionably strengthened Newcastle's squad. Newcastle are 6-1-6 at home. Although I would be a layer at 1.8 or less, the available price is substantially better than evens and so I will be having a maximum stake on this.

2. Man City to beat Chelsea at 1.97

This is a razor blades price. I would have had City at 4/6 on my tissue. They are strong at home (9-3-1), Chelsea have good away form (7-3-3), but played (badly and with a number of their galacticos - Mata, Hazard and Oscar spring to mind) on Thursday. True it is that they can recall Ba (if Bentiez is allowed to play him ahead of Torres, oh bit of politics there !), Lampard, Cole and Ivanovic, but City have the majority of their outfield players fit (with he exception of Kompany and possibly Barry, apparently), know that this is a must win game after United moved 15 points clear yesterday, and have several points to prove after a febrile display against Southampton in their last league game. They have also had a free week, no doubt much to their frustration, to prepare for this.

However you cut it, I think evens is just too generous. And it's another max bet. Unusual to get two in one day, but there we are. Gift horses and all that.Right, after all that talk of razor blades, I'm off to shave now.

Good luck if you play, but not if you lay ! Cool
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