Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I'm not a moaner by nature....

...but I'm going to moan about a couple of things tonight!

Firstly can someone please tell me if I'm imagining it or are Betfair taking longer than ever to unsuspend a market? I don't think this is a figment of my imagination, and it really is getting beyond  a joke. I'm still not 100% sold on the reasons for suspending a market on a goal or a red card to be honest. The 8 second delay is there to protect people from others whose information is quicker means they can have an unfair advantage. I acknowledge that  the various livescore websites sometimes make mistakes, but surely it's a trader's own responsibility, to a large degree anyway, to ensure the accuracy of his information before placing a trade. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting looking at those large red letters on my Geeks or Evo and not being able to enhance or rescue a position. Especially when another goal is scored whilst this is going on, and, of course, the law of sod invariably makes this a goal that you needed AFTER having adjusted your position and not BEFORE!

Whilst I'm in whingeing mode, why also do they feel the need to suspend a market when someone stubs his big toe in the general direction of a goal, or takes an acrobatic tumble after a perfectly fair tackle? Let's hope the new LadDaq experiment prompts a review of what has to be amongst the worse customer experience most people are likely to suffer at the hands of a multi-national corporation. Whilst they're about it perhaps they can remove Lee Dixon's gurneying fizzog from the front page of the new and exciting 'betting experience' web page.

I'm on a roll now.

Said 'betting experience' web page is NOT what I want to see - I want the old in-play coupon displayed, on one page. That's it. So every f'g night when I log on I click on 'Revert to Old'. And every f'g night it asks me 'Are you sure ..... you want to revert to old?'. Yes, thank you. Very sure.

That's dealt with the major gripes I have with our trading provider.

My second main moan concerns Chelsea fans more than the majority of traders I would guess. The mighty Blues are becoming a joke. It's almost as certain a profit to lay them at a 2 goal lead than it is to lay Liverpool in any circumstance. This can't go on. Will someone please arrange a cab for Rafa?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Correct Score Gaps

Jack commented on the little Correct Score trade I highlighted in my last post. By way of illustration look at the screenshot taken from a Chilean Cup Game tonight. The shot was taken about 10 minutes (only because I didn't think of doing it before then!) and clearly shows the quite sizeable discrepancy between the current  (0-0) score and 1-0 , 2-0 and 3-0.

I chose not to do the trade this time, having laid 0-0 and Any Unquoted, primarily because, as Sultan sarcastically alluded to the other day, South American football is a tad .... unpredictable! Had I got involved I reckon I could have got matched at about 8.2 ish on 1-0 looking at the gaps in the market.

As it transpired it would have been a sensible move to have got involved as Uni Chile scored at 23 minutes and after the market had settled it looked like this...

As you can see a fairly safe, easy, profit had been there for the taking.

Monday, 28 January 2013

What an FA Cup day!

There was a steady stream of people on Five Live's phone in session this evening bemoaning the decision of Mr Rodgers to field a 'weakened' team against Oldham. Spurs fans were accusing AVB of similar things. What these people miss, or forget, in my opinion, is that the FA Cup still has a massive attraction to the lowlier clubs. It's their opportunity to match up against the big boys, give the fans a day (or more, if successful) to remember and to benefit from some much needed TV revenue. The magic of the FA Cup is still alive and kicking.

The teams fielded by all of Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs should really have been able to see off their respective opposition. Two of the three can now concentrate on the league, and Liverpool in particular have enhanced their reputation as the cash cow of the current season for us traders who oppose them. The fact that they couldn't is the great thing about the cup.

Matches that go against expectation throw up all sorts of problems and opportunities for traders, which made for a challenging, enjoyable and profitable day overall for yours truly.

One trade I was able to do several times today involves taking advantage of market reaction to events. With the score at 1-1 between Barcelona and Osasuna the price on offer to lay 2-1 was 7.2 whilst the current, 1-1 score, was north of twenty. By laying 2-1 I was quickly able to take a profit when Barca scored again in short order sending the odds out to about 20. Now I know it could be argued that with only about half an hour gone that my lay was fairly safe, taking the profit enabled me firstly to avoid any risk, and secondly freed that part of my bank to be used again immediately for other trades. These situations occur frequently and are well worth looking out for.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Is 'nothing' the same as 'anything'?

After a modestly successful trade on the first League Cup semi-final it all did go decidedly pearshaped with the second one! Having written that with respect to the Correct Score market in the Swansea v Chelsea match that 'anything could happen' I was bitterly disappointed by the 0-0 final score.

As a Chelsea man it obviously hurts to bow out of a competition with a whimper rather than a bang, and as a trader who has placed his position around the assumption of goals (and Chelsea goals, at least in part, to boot) a 0-0 is an unmitigated disaster.

Having read my post again once the immediate post match gloom had dispersed the clues were there really. Swansea thoroughly deserved their place in the final. I said that Laudrup had them well organised and he knew exactly how to play the match, and to be fair had I been slightly more 'neutral' during the game I would (should) have adjusted my position in light of the evidence before me.

Plenty has been written and said about the Hazard v ball boy incident but I can't be the only one who found the whole thing doubly bizarre. For a grown man to even think about kicking a ball out from under the prone body of a teenager is frankly untenable, and for that same youth to then go rolling around as it he was either a) Suarez's brother or b) recently shot by an anti aircraft gun just elevated the whole thing to the ridiculous in my mind.

Let's hope the FA Cup returns football in the UK to some semblance of normality this weekend.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

It was in danger of going pear shaped...

...but my reading of the Villa v Bradford semi-final proved accurate in the end! A full-on assault on the Bradford goal in the first twenty minutes gave the premiership team a one goal advantage and saw a massive swing in the 'To Qualify' market, with the odds on Bradford, still holding a one goal aggregate advantage, flying out massively. I'll admit that at one point I did consider taking the loss and moving on. To their considerable credit Bradford equalised early in the second half. I always thought they'd score at least one goal. I went out shortly afterwards, but laid the 1-1 scoreline to cover my stake on the TQ bet. The liability was higher than I would have liked - but as it turned out it was a very smart move!

The Villa 2-1 win meant that I won both the back of Bradford in the TQ market and the 1-1 lay - double bubble as we say in the South East!

As a Chelsea fan I am in about five hundred minds about the other semi-final. Swansea are a force to be reckoned with, Laudrup has them well organised, playing well and has made some quite astounding purchases working with a relatively small budget. Playing at home with a two goal cushion they are strong favourites to be playing Bradford in the final.

Anyone who writes the Blues off at this stage could regret that decision. Whilst they seem totally inept at the Bridge at the moment their away form is strong. The quality of the squad screams goals and I think they will be smarting from that defeat at the Bridge, especially as the second Swans goal really was a gift! Ivanovic is a great player and he, I'm sure, will wish to atone for his failings.

My five hundred minds have now, in the process of writing those last two paragraphs, crystalised into one. I think Swansea TQ at 1.42 is a value lay and that's what I'm going to do. From a Correct Score point of view  frankly anything could happen, but I do fancy a few goals. To me, the stand out low liability lay is the 1.03 offered on Any Unquoted in the Correct Score 2 Home market. If Swans race to a two, or even three, goal lead watch that price leap out.

Good luck if you trade the match.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Interesting match tonight - round two to follow

For those wise old sages who claim the League Cup (under whichever advertising guise it is in hock to this, or any other, season) to be an inconsequential competition should have watched or traded the match between Bradford and Aston Villa this evening. This was a proper old fashioned English cup tie with that old favourite of the sloggers from a lower league taking on the might of the Premiership. We Brits love the underdog winning and Bradford ran out 3-1 winners tonight.

On their way to the semi final Bradford had already taken the premiership scalps of both Wigan and Arsenal, albeit through the medium of a penalty shoot out in both cases. Tonight, being the first tie of a two leg semi-final, they beat the 'superior' team fair and square in open play.

Villa have been woeful of late, shipping goals like nobody's business and this latest defeat will surely have increased the pressure on manager Paul Lambert. They did get a valuable away goal, and a 2-0 win at Villa Park will see them through. But I've got my doubts.

As the first leg drew to a close I was already formulating in my mind a cunning trade for the second leg based around laying Bradford in the To Qualify market and backing some correct scores at Villa Park. Until I looked at the odds, that is.

At the time of writing I think the price on Bradford to qualify is massive at 1.87 so my trade will now be reversed and I'll be looking to back Bradford to qualify. Apart from the fact that I consider them highly likely to score at Villa Park, for every minute they hold Villa at bay the TQ price will steadily come in. Should they take the lead, or equalise to 1-1 on the night it will crash.

That's my read of it. Be interesting to see if I'm in a minority of one as usual!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Proof, if it were needed....

.... that I really should stick to trading in-play!

Zero, zip, zilch from 4. Hope no-one lost any money but if you did the warnings were there!

Friday, 4 January 2013

3rd Round Opportunities

The retail motor trade is busy on a Saturday, so as always no in-play trading for me until the evening matches. In such circumstances I sometimes look for a couple of 'set and forget' trades and a couple of low liability punts to have something to look forward to when listening to 5 Live on the way home from work.

Following on from my last post which discussed eyesight problems and low liability 'contrarian' trades I thought I'd flag a couple of such opportunities for your consideration. If you've an ounce of common sense you'll discard them as the rantings of a lunatic, but for interest here they are.These punts carry a wealth warning so if you do get involved please use stakes you can afford to, and are prepared to, lose.

The FA Cup third round usually throws up a surprise or two, and there are two low liability lays I'm going to set and a couple of tentative backs as well. I don't honestly expect either Spurs or Citeh to not win their respective ties so will leave match odds for braver souls or those able to trade in-play. I do, however, think both represent reasonable value in the Half Time markets - if you can get matched. I'd be prepared to take odds up to about 1.6 - 1.7 on each and will set up accordingly.

In terms of backing the two that catch my eye are both home wins - Palace against Stoke and something draws me to back Crawley against a team with more urgent issues elsewhere in the form of Reading.

Good luck if you try any of these or for any other trades of your own, but I know the best opportunities will present themselves in-play. Wish I was able to partake, but sadly I can't.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Contrarian opportunities

I've been gently joshing The Sultan over his eyesight with respect to what I thought was a perfectly legal goal scored against his beloved QPR last weekend, and in that exchange he boldly told me to expect a shock in tonight's match with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. His prediction? A 1-1 draw.

Now, I've a lot of respect for Sultan's knowledge of tennis and trading. His blog is always interesting and worthy of a read, even if, like me, you have no real interest in tennis. With the best will in the world, though, to be honest I thought that being a) predominantly a tennis trader and b) a QPR supporter that his knowledge of football would be..... shall we say, on the skinny side :-)

How he must be quaffing the best champagne from the finest cut crystal glass tonight! Against all the odds and expectation QPR managed not the 1-1 he predicted, but a 0-1 win! So hats off to him for that call.

I didn't, of course, take any notice whatsoever and planned a trade around the expectation of goals, lots of them, for the home team.

What this little episode has  done is to remind me that very often, particularly with a sport like soccer, it is by going against the market that you will find the best opportunities. Your strike rate will not be high, but the odds available should compensate. In this instance Chelsea were in the mid 1.2's to lay pre kick off and 0-1 was north of 30! So a relatively modest investment would have paid handsomely.

Finally, Sultan, I do think QPR are worthy of a lay in the Relegation market. I'd rather be laying them after they'd been beaten tonight but that didn't happen. I do, however, think that at 1.5 or thereabouts there are sufficient games left to see some profit there even if the Great Escape doesn't happen.