The Punter: How Your Betting Patterns Will EvolveAugust 23, 2016
You saw the first part, then the second…and now Wycliffe goes further with more insights and markets you’d never thought of in a bid to help you line your pockets this coming weekend. If you have ears…
Welcome back to the murky world that is betting, fellow punters. In the last two articles I have outlined psychological, behavioural and tactical changes I’ve experienced in my early betting ventures. This article is about, well, a more level-headed approach a seasoned punter will undertake in the search for consistent returns. Not 100% returns. No one wins every time. Not even those individuals who have ‘fixed games and hot tips’ they shout to the rooftops with aplomb for anyone with a reasonable amount of change to spare to hear. Otherwise everyone would quit their jobs and drive million dollar cars and bask in the sun like lizards and not worry about debt and global warming (maybe worry a little about a nuclear apocalypse).
Why match fixers are not the bookies’ biggest problem
Well, two parties usually collude, usually a player and a punter, to ensure a result goes a particular way. The punter stakes large on such an occurrence and the player gets a cut of the winnings. That’s match fixing, basically. Now, bookies have systems that flag ‘suspicious’ bets and this is in the form of a very large stake from even 2 or 3 punters on something like ‘first corner’ or throw in and other events unrelated to scoring. Entire teams can be bought off but that is very rare still. And whoever has the money to buy off an entire team has the money to be a bookie, so it’s not worth the hassle, and it can be costly to a match fixer if one member sells him/her out. Match fixing where teams are bought off is prevalent in South East Asia, and those that do it are sort of ‘mile high club’ members, a very small percentage of rich tycoons who control the industry, while west of the Balkans it’s usually just one person and a player doing it, because most of the tycoons are the bookies themselves.
So, the ‘match-fixers’ you meet on social media are just people like you and me who have done extensive research and have come up with an accumulator based on simple statistical analysis.
Who are the bookies afraid of? It’s a combination of self-control, discipline and research (I know, I sound like your high school head-teacher). The reason bookies are so rich is because of the lack of punters’ adeptness in any one or all of such qualities.
If you bet once a week (self-control) but it’s an 8 fold accumulator (lack of discipline) which you’ve done extensive research on, 7/8 times the house will always win.
If you bet every day (no self-control, and unless it’s an English week in all major European leagues in which you’ll most likely be staking on teams you’ve never seen play), and it’s a simple 2 game accumulator but you do no research, you might not lose as much as in the first case but you’ll still lose almost half of the time.
If everyone bet on short odds (combined odds not surpassing 2.2), with at most a two-game accumulator, once or twice a week, the bookies would be out of business. The bookies are often very ‘helpful’, such that punters will receive tips from their websites, or text you an accumulator outright. Because they know accumulators with more than 2 games in it are very rarely successful.
Markets You’ll Find Profitable
In this stage I find out something quite interesting. From all the matches I’ve watched, some occurrences are usually more or less the same regardless of the result. In a derby match, for instance, a certain number of players usually get booked, or they have lots of corners, etc. So I realize, winning consistently doesn’t even involve goals. Managers nowadays are hired because of their philosophies, and some philosophies don’t change game to game, maybe not at the rate in which goals do. I can predict the pattern of play much better than I can predict the end result of a game. And with the bookies offering more than just 1×2 odds and over/under 2.5 goals and anything related, they are also very kind to offer odds on occurrences where one doesn’t need to care a hoot about the result and/or number of goals scored. Not to a large extent anyway.
If you’re betting on ‘over’ a certain threshold ( I usually advice against betting on ‘under’ bets, unless you have solid stats of 20 previous games on a particular team) then this is what you should look out for;
- These are usually end to end affairs. Form goes out of the window in such games and most likely both teams will contribute due to attacking play. Sevilla-Betis, Milan-Inter, Sunderland-Newcastle, Sunderland-Middlesbrough, Lazio-Roma, Sampdoria-Genoa, City-United, Spurs-Arsenal and so on have a record of having plenty.
- Big/Grudge matches. For the grudge matches Barcelona-Real Madrid, United-Liverpool come to mind, but most games which usually have corners are those games between big teams with attacking philosophies. Attacking philosophies are like playing with wingers in a 4-4-2 or wide forwards in a 4-3-3.
- Based on philosophies, it is best not to stake on games in which one of the teams has a strict defensive formation or have coaches known for shutting up shop and hoping to nick one on the counter. Avoid teams with a 3-5-2 formation which become 5-3-2 when they defend. Or teams usually set up as a 4-5-1 when they defend. It means Team 2 will always be doubling up on Team 1’s wingers when they lose possession. So when a team good in possession play encounters a team which is good defensively, most of the corners will come from the ‘possession’ team which will affect the total number of corners. There is a 1×2 format in corners, where Team 1 is pitted against Team 2, but I find three-way bets to be more risky. In this case am talking of combined numbers, such as over 8.5 corners going upwards. One case example is when mid-table or lower-half teams go to the Camp Nou or the Allianz Arena, most of the corners will come from the home team, which will not be good if you’re looking for a combined total.
- The three above are those that you don’t need so much research on, however, a simple checking of stats will give you some interesting numbers, such as a team usually has a high corner count when they play at home regardless of the defensive nature of the opponent (Manchester City, mind you). Or just check stats that show both teams not included in the three categories above each usually having a high count of corners. Also, don’t stake on teams who like to ‘walk’ the ball into the net. Look out for teams with midfielders who take long range shots more than often.
Good leagues for corners (which I heavily lean on) are Italy and Spain, if you depend on stats. In England it’s only the derbies and a few crunch matches that usually come alive.
Bookings usually depend on the country and the nature of the referees in each country. Refs are more lenient in England than on the continent, which I guess is common knowledge. There is a lot more strictness (and cheating) in Spain and Italy, so big games and derbies involving a card happy referee are bankers.
3) Time of first substitution
Although this is a three way market (First half, During the break, Second half), I usually just look for games involving teams with managers who rarely like to tinker since second-half subs are more common. Most top teams usually change players during the break, so essentially you’re looking for clubs with thin squads and in the lower halves of the table.
These three (Corners, bookings and time of substitution) are those that stand out for me in terms of markets/options not entirely dependent on goals. So, what about a reliable market that you can get consistent winnings that is dependent on goals?
4) Goal scorers
Anyone with a fantasy league team does research based on the hope that their picks (mainly strikers) will score. Same logic in betting. A good and reliable striker on good form will almost always score (Yes, a totally fit Sergio Aguero usually has odds of about 1.5 to score). So, why not stake on your fantasy league captain to score?
5) Live Betting
Team 1 is dominating Team 2. They have rattled the post, forced a few good saves from the keeper and have won successive corners. Or Team 1 has pulled a goal back after going 2-0 down and the momentum is with Team 1. The ‘Next Goal’ bet is also a good one in live betting, since all the research you need is right in front of you in real time. In instances when am not watching a game and browsing on the internet and I see Team 1 is 3 goals ahead, then the ‘next goal’ will almost always likely come from Team 1, on the assumption that they are on a roll and the opponents have lost morale. Live betting also helps if the corners research hasn’t drawn up much, and the tempo of the game (high, mostly) probably means you can get double figures.
All I’ve discussed is the markets in which exploring them will bring more consistent rewards. I am a ‘corners’ specialist. I usually win 7 out of 10 times on this market with this simple strategy.
I find out the games in the major leagues (Spain, Italy and England) per month involving my ‘teams’ (mostly Sevilla, Milan, Inter and Man City) , big games and derbies and list them down. Two games for Saturday and two for Sunday. Each betslip usually has a cumulative odd ranging between 2 and 2.3. A two-fold betslip of over 9.5 corners per game. Or I’ll pick one game and stake over 10.5 corners on it. And a budget for each betslip. So that’s 8 times in a month if there’s no English week (no league fixtures in midweek).
I’m not at the ‘perfect’ stage yet. I’m still evolving. Maybe I’ll meet one of you with more refined tactics with a higher win percentage than the one I’m currently on. Vincent Tan bought a club with proceeds from gambling (ok, betting). For now, I just want a bookie to read these three articles, consider me a threat and close my account.