People who understand sport but not betting, or in particular spread betting, dismiss the value of betting by gut. More times than I care to remember I have heard a person who is knowledgeable on sport say, ‘I feel that…’. This is loose talk but should not be dispelled when making your bet. If the bet doesn’t feel right it will more often than not be a loser for you. This “gut” combined with staking factor can make you either go rich or go broke depending on how good or bad you do it.
Staking is a key factor in any betting and in particular spread betting. The issue is as follows: In fixed odds betting if a horse is 10/1 and you believe it to be a 9/1 shot to win the race you would stake £10. If it’s a 10/1 shot and you believe it to be an 8/1 shot you would stake £20, and so on. In spread betting this rule does not necessarily apply. Yes, grade your bets in a linear fashion depending on how far wrong the price is away from what you perceive it to be; however, always build in a ‘blow-up’ factor. By this I mean always ask yourself, does this bet have a possibility of going horribly wrong on me? It is never good to lose. It is always risky to cover. It is never nice to get to losing margin. Keep your shoes tie and win big when risk is low not might have won only won.
For example, you might surmise that the total shirt numbers in a Chelsea v. Blackburn game is far too high at 32–35. If you made an aggressive sell at 32 you could of course be striking a brilliant bet. However, any number of scenarios beyond your control can occur; for example, a low numbered shirt is substituted/sent off/injured and replaced by a very high number shirt. This can happen for several players and then you are staring down the barrel of a huge loss even though you made a sensible bet. These are the joys of unlimited liability betting but they are also the catalyst for higher rewards and high-adrenaline betting. Remember, the more right you are, the more you win. Nowadays spread betting traders have to price up a vast array of markets on a vast range of events. With the advent of Sky TV and the explosion of sports channels, twinned with the volume of live sport and ways to bet on it, demand on traders is huge. Therefore, not every price can now be right. In a football match if Aston Villa are 5/6 to beat Newcastle then that is the price. However, more of the exotic markets on the spreads are sometimes going to be plain wrong. If you spend the time looking on the sites you will find a long price. It’s just that it might be ‘How many players will be wearing gloves in the Premiership this weekend?’! You now have to offer clients as many markets as you possibly can to trade on. However, especially on the more specialist markets, we tend to get turned over on a market we thought might just see a few small trades but ends up being a huge company position. This is the game we play and over time we hope we can win, but often we do not.
On a similar note a golf or tennis spread trader might have to price up two tournaments over a weekend. That’s a lot of games to mark up. Not all prices can be correct. Fact! Not much depends upon price and bet on odd but everything hangs on outcome and win. Try to look through fixtures, not to look to fixtures, try to find low risk win and win not to odd, not to market turbulence but to real outcome. The more you up percentage of wins on better odds the more you upgrade your betting cash.
Finally, we come to betting in-running. This is a doubleedged sword. On the one hand, if a bet is going well you want to take your profit and leave with some cash. However, there is always the issue that you are paying the spread to get out of the bet. The same, of course, is true in fixed odds punting. For example, say you buy the time of the first try in a rugby game at 22–25. After 20 minutes and no try the price is 40–43; you close your bet for a 15- point profit. Profit is always good but you have had to pay a three-point spread to get out of the bet. Unless you are convinced there is an imminent try there is a stronger case for staying in the bet. This is true in more cases than not. Yes, it’s annoying if a guaranteed profit turns into a loss, but over time you will make more using this strategy. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but be brave… fortune favours it. Be brave not dumb.
‘Building up a database of how players have fared when winning or losing sets at various stages of matches is an invaluable in-running tool.’ – James Pyman of the Racing Post on tennis betting Your books can beat bookies. Caution and fact and be on your own tide.
‘There is a considerable body of evidence which says that, contrary to the general perception, winning the toss has very little effect on the eventual result in the one day game and none whatsoever in first-class games of three or more days.’ – cricket betting expert John Ize Start from assumption that all occurrences are independent among themselves and be sure they are. Patterns are not necessarily clear from anomalies.
‘Cover yourself if backing a boxer traveling to a foreign country, by having a saver on the draw. Biased judges can often be reluctant to allow the home fighter to be beaten in front of his own fans. There are often more ways than one for a fight to be drawn, and a draw gives promoters the chance to stage a lucrative repeat performance.’ – Graham Sharpe, who profited at 40/1 from Lennox Lewis’s scandalous failure to be given the verdict against Evander Holyfield If you know more then bookie you will beat him if you fairly account your knowledge and put it to action.
‘In ante-post horse racing betting the rule is usually “all in, run or not”. Try asking your bookie to offer you “all in, drugged or not” when betting on athletics or cycling.’ – Graham Sharpe Build your position don’t be shy if you don’t ask you won’t get it.
‘We must get used to the fact that most of the sport we watch on TV is not as live as it is often claimed to be. And with American golf it is often not even close to being live.’ – This cautionary warning, which must be heeded by inrunning punters, is from Paul Kealy of the Racing Post. He pointed out that ad breaks often mean that shots are later shown ‘as live’. Also, of course, you only need watch two TVs showing different coverage of the same event to see for yourself the inherent delays in transmission methods, which can make a huge difference if you are trading whilst watching the slower version against other punters using the faster. Your information source must be as flawless as possible.
‘The best advantage a punter can secure is if they take a stance against a bookmaker who has taken a stand on any given event.’ – Malcolm Boyle, betting expert, 2006 Just don’t do it faith blinded. Bookies would do something else if they aren’t profiting.

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