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Showing posts from January, 2013

World Hurdle antepost preview

Cheltenham's fast approaching and for many, that means starting to extract any value out of the money-back offers that start opening up about now. It makes sense when you can't be certain which way some contenders will go, and now that Big Buck's has gone amiss, this race is an option for several more than it could have been. Bear in mind though, that promo offers like that usually come at a cost, and that means extra percentage in the market. Regular contributor Jon da Silva, @creamontop, has stepped forward to take an early look at the feature staying hurdle of The Festival.

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World Hurdle

My favourite jumper was a hurdler called Morley Street who achieved a Timeform rating of 174 and won five straight years at the Aintree Festival. Had he been better trained he might have been one of the greats. Yet Big Buck's a giant who Morley would have laughed at at 21 furlongs or less is rated 176. Top class three-mile hurdling is for specialists. Yet take B…

the worst attempt at stopping a horse you ever did see....

I posted this on Twitter last week and got plenty of retweets, I probably should post it on the blog for reference in future years.

This race is from Mons in Belgium. The race was worth €4500 and the standard looks to be remarkably low. Bare in mind that Belgian authorities do not permit fixed odds betting (bookies or Betfair) on local horse racing as the potential for fraud is too high.

This is a dead-set shocker. Watch the #2 horse, white body, maroon sleeves and cap, outside the leader from about halfway.

the worst attempt at stopping a horse you ever did see....

The horse was owned, trained and ridden within the same family. The jockey, Sascha Stappaerts, had her riding licence taken away immediately, awaiting a hearing on February 1. I doubt she'll be riding again anytime soon...

Argento Chase preview

After strong doubts earlier in the week, it looks like all systems go at Cheltenham tomorrow for Trials Day. It's a quality card being under two months away from the festival, so time to bring in the expertise to assess a couple of races. Calum Madell, @calummadell, weighs in with his preview.

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2:25 – Argento Chase

There are doubts about a number of these but Tidal Bay is the most solid option by far and he’s run some superb races of late. He did have a setback earlier in the week and even though Paul Nicholls wouldn’t run him if he wasn’t 100% sound, it is something you have in the back of your mind.

Imperial Commander is of course the real fly in the ointment as he wins this comfortably if returning to the racecourse with his best form after a long layoff, especially in receipt of 10lb. Connections would be pleased with simply a good run though.

There’s still doubts for me that Grand Crus and Hunt Ball are up for a slog in the mud like this over three miles, ev…

Betting Bank and Bankroll Management

It's been a while since I posted an educational piece from another author. Declan Meagher (@declanmeagher76) is a pro punter from Ireland, he will have more articles like this coming up on his new blog.

Betting Bank and Bankroll Management

To make money gambling you need to be placing bets that have a higher probability of success than the odds at which you back them at. Over time good luck and bad luck will even itself out and it will be the sum of these probabilities that decide your fate. If you do indeed have an edge in the bets you place, you should win money. I use the word should instead of will for a simple reason. It is possible to have an edge on every bet you place but still lose money. Sounds implausible? Bear with me and I’ll explain.

Let’s say your Betting Bank is €1,000. Your kind bookmaker offers you 2.05 on heads in a coin toss. This offer is available for 50,000 coin flips, but you can only use your original bank, and if you lose it, you’re done. How much should…

Betdaq.... sold...... FOR HOW MUCH???

So as rumoured for a while, Ladbrokes have finally acquired the lemon, sorry, purple-coloured betting exchange, Betdaq. For a mind-boggling €30m as 'initial consideration'. That's an even more ridiculous price than Fernando Torres for £50m, or any English player Liverpool have purchased in recent seasons!

As I've written previously there are no logical business reasons for this acquisition.

from Nov 29, 2012

The Racing Post reported this week that Ladbrokes are nearing a decision to acquire Betdaq. This baffles me, it really does. Betdaq are a complete and utter lemon. Their only rival in the market has kicked so many own goals over the years with the premium charge, followed by an increase in the premium charge, cost of API and data use, customer service standards which have fallen faster than Facebook share value, site crashes and various other faults. So many pissed off Betfair customers, yet Betdaq are still tailed off with a lap to go. Around the world, Betfair i…

Tour Down Under

Experts in less popular sports are hard to find, and even harder to keep hold of as they become successful. Betting on cycling has been getting more popular each year recently, and accordingly, bookies keep offering more events on the sport. Who knows what will happen in the light of Lance & Oprah last week.

This week, the professional cycling circuit heads to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under and the best cycling tipster on the planet, Wheelie, has been preparing for weeks. Bets and analysis are posted on his blog, but after the price has been claimed by subscribers. It's worth considering investing in this service. I can attest to last year's results...

Wheeliebets.com

In the UK, Sky Sports will have coverage of the Tour Down Under live overnight, with highlights at a more respectable hour for those who have to work, or aren't being kept awake all night by babies!

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots NFL Preview

More great work from Andy Richmond, @bickley14. As with the NFC game, this is just a snippet of the full article. Find the lot at NFL Insight.

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NFL Preview – Conference Championships 2013

Game Keys:

Baltimore need another composed game from QB Joe Flacco

Will that energy sapping victory in Denver leave the Ravens running on empty?

Patriots to establish their running game behind their dominating O-line

Welker; can the Ravens cover and control him from the slot

Hernandez is a key player for the Patriots, a lot of the good things they do go through him – watch where he lines up.

Brady needs to be aware of Ravens defenders like Ed Reed, who loves an interception

Ravens need to pressure Brady – but be selective.

Can the Ravens cope with the Patriots no-huddle/hurry-up offence?

What defensive schemes do the Patriots run?

Boldin, Smith, Pitta and Jones give Flacco plenty of options in the passing game

Can the Ravens find their deep passing threat again especially ag…

San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons NFL Preview

Game preview time, none better at analysing from a betting-related perspective as Andy Richmond - @bickley14. The full preview for this game can be found at NFL Insight.

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NFL Preview – Conference Championships 2013

Game Keys:

Can Atlanta ”control” a mobile quarterback after struggling with them this year

Atlanta to run the ball as well as last week to give them balance on a tough 49ers D

Atlanta must be able to tackle far better in the second level of the defence; missed tackles will spell big trouble and big yardage gains for the 49ers

49ers to make more use of tight end Vernon Davis

San Francisco to create dynamic 1-on-1 matchups for their wide receivers, especially Crabtree

Atlanta to use zone blitzes to create pressure and confuse Kaepernick

The battle in the trenches will prove vital, particularly the protection of Matt Ryan

Ryan must stay patient against the San Francisco base Cover2 man defence

Atlanta wide receivers White and Jones must win their battle a…

NFL Conference Championship prop bets preview

After absolutely nailing the player props bets last weekend, it's time to welcome back Scottish NFL devotee Ian Steven, @deevo82, to preview tonight's two Championship games.

San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are the home team in this encounter but the 49ers are the bookies favourite and rightly so on paper. What is emotive and not taken into consideration is the fact that the Dirty Birds and the Niners used to be bitter division rivals before the NFL realignment so there is added spice to the match up. The Georgia Dome is going to be full and rocking which evens the balance out slightly. Atlanta fans do not have a Lombardi trophy gathering dust on their mantelpiece there is definite yearning after speaking to a few Falcs fans this week.

Where San Fran are strongest is on defense. Navarro Bowman, Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and Justin Smith are all on top of their game and importantly, they are all three-down defenders making it difficult for Atlanta to sc…

BuzzSports buzzes off

Word has reached the SportIsMadeForBetting rumours desk that BuzzSports, pioneers of the zone live play-by-play betting system have closed down with immediate effect. You wouldn't know it from their website but reliable sources have told me traders were called at 11pm last Wednesday night and informed the founder of the company had decided to pull the pin on the business with immediate effect.

I believe staff were offered a generous redundancy package, rather than the company going bust. It came completely out of the blue for staff, I even know one guy who had a job interview with them scheduled for the following day!

Why did they fail? Purely speculation but they spent heavily promoting their product at trade exhibitions, in industry publications etc but it's not a product I could ever see catching on. It's a niche market, perhaps ahead of its time, and I query whether they could ever have exclusivity over the product - surely it wouldn't be long before another firm…

Australian Open women's preview

Throughout the Aussie Open, I'll be writing my usual previews for local website theshark.com.au, with match betting action for each round. To kick off the fortnight, here's my look at the women's draw.

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Amid the stinking hot weather embracing Australia in January we have the Australian Open, a brutal test for tennis players, most of whom spent December in freezing cold Europe. Those who haven't done the hard yakka in preparation will be found out. Victoria Azarenka is current number one and defending champion, but this time there's a 100% fit Serena Williams in the draw. That pair stand clear above another six or eight players, then it falls away for genuine winning chances. Let's take a look through them:

1 - Azarenka - came up with a new excuse for a retirement last week in Brisbane - a bad pedicure! That's 25 retirements/withdrawals in six years, the woman has the pain threshold which would embarrass the average bunch of pre-schoolers. …

Australian Open men's preview

Throughout the Aussie Open, I'll be writing my usual previews for local website theshark.com.au, with match betting action for each round. To kick off the fortnight, here's my look at the men's draw.

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And so the season starts again. The Aussie media and one-eyed public will be caught up in Tomic fever expecting him to win, while the rest of us can look at the tournament through a dimension called REALITY. With Nadal being injured, one positive out of his absence is at least a five hour long final is unlikely. Djokovic, Federer and Murray all won Slams last year so it's hardly a surprise they dominate the market.

1. Djokovic - reigning champ aiming to become the first man to win three Sir Norman Brookes Trophies in a row since Roy Emerson in the 60s (1963-67). Finished last year in fine style and has taken the low-pressure lead- in by taking the Abu Dhabi exhibition and the Hopman Cup path, where any losses have no effect on his ranking. Ignore the …

Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers NFL Preview

Time for some deep insight on the biggest playoff game of the weekend (at least to Andy & I). I've been a Niners fan since the Joe Montana days and Andy's been a Cheesehead for many a year. If you want in-depth coverage, then read on! Andy Richmond, @bickley14 has been a part of a very successful NFL trading site this season, called NFL Insight. Here's the link to the original preview. All this weekend's matches will be covered in depth there.

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Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers NFL Preview

NFL Preview – Divisional Play-Offs 2012 Season

Game Keys:

Green Bay to maintain more balance this time around

The Packers hold a clear advantage at receiver they must use it

Keep Rodgers upright at all costs – handle the 49ers pass rush

49ers must establish the run to ease the pressure on Kaepernick

Can Kaepernick challenge and beat the aggressive Packers secondary

Turnovers – Rodgers rarely turns the ball over; Kaepernick must be mindful of ball sec…

NFL playoff props

Taking a different angle for betting on the NFL playoffs is Ian Steven, @deevo82. His last contribution to the blog was very successful - tipping the NFL Division winners.

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NFL playoff props analysis
For reference, my betting scale is 1-10.

Ravens vs Broncos

Peyton Manning seemed to defy medical logic by his superb season this year after multiple neck surgeries. Denver shocked the Steelers last year in the wildcard round with Tim Tebow under centre so having an MVP at QB should lead to a deep playoff run, especially with a very stingy defense led by joker backer Von Miller. Manning is the master of reading defences at the line of scrimmage and it will be a constant chess battle with Manning audibling at the line of scrimmage and Baltimore quickly checking out of a pressure package into a cover 1 or cover 3 defense.

The Ravens welcomed back Ray Lewis after missing most of the season with a triceps tear. The linebacker is still not 100% healthy but his leadership skil…

NFL playoffs - Seattle @ Atlanta preview

January means the SuperBowl can't be far away. This weekend we'll have four different previews of the playoff games, providing many different angles for a bet or a trade. First off the rank is Ghislain Hofman, @gghofman, an astute NFL fan taking a close look at the Seahawks-Falcons game. You'll also find his material on the SBB site.

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Seattle @ Atlanta

It's the second week of post-season as the playoffs swing into gear. The prize to the winner will be a shot at the conference title with a view to making a Superbowl appearance. The Seahawks (11-5) come in off a good win over Redskins after going 14-0 down early on. The Falcons (13-3) look to keep their home dominance this season intact (only loss was meaningless final week game at home). The Georgia Dome has been a good home to them.

Russell Wilson now becomes the sole remaining rookie quarter back starter, a lot like Flacco when he came into the NFL, he has overcome the critics of his game and…

WTA fantasy competition 2013

No, it's not how to score a night out with Sharapova, she's engaged now anyway. Along the lines of the successful and long-running fantasy competition (www.tenniscomp.com - started offline over a decade ago), I've created a similar contest for the women's tour. There are plenty of tennis punters who focus more on the WTA Tour, me included, so why not have one for the fillies as well?

www.wtatenniscomp.com

£10 entry as per the other comp, payable via PayPal. All entry fees distributed as prizes, minus 5% to cover PayPal fees.

Many thanks to @dpwoodford for his work in getting this going. so quickly, please forgive the rough edges!

The groups for the competition are listed on this printable sheet.

The more the merrier, get on board! Entries close at the start of the Australian Open, and all points gained so far in the season count. Any queries, contact me on Twitter or email via the site.

L'Ormarins Queen’s Plate Preview

Elite level racing is worth watching anywhere in the world and this week I'm excited to cover South African racing for the first time. The Queen's Plate is one of the premier races on the South African racing calendar and covering it for the blog is a former colleague of mine, Alan Moscrop. You can follow him via @alanmoscrop and his work on a collective blog with a few more of his countrymen, Goodforthegame.

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2012 L'Ormarins Queen’s Plate Preview

The 2012 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate takes place at Kenilworth on Saturday and has served up one of the strongest Queen’s Plate field seen in many years.

The month of January in the South African horseracing industry is all about the action taking place in the southern parts of the country, as Kenilworth plays host to succession of top class feature and graded horse racing action from now through to the J&B Met (which takes place just inside February). This weekend’s L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate is one the jewels…