Online betting diary – March 2012

March 2012

29th March, 12pm

The first legs of the Champions League quarter finals are over. Only Real Madrid can be completely happy after these games, the rest were fairly tight affairs. Our bet on Benfica v Chelsea to have at least 3 goals was beaten fair and square, although things could easily have been different. We felt a goal was probably needed in the first half to have a chance with this, and unfortunately it didn’t come despite a number of reasonable chances. In the glamour tie of the round it finished a surprising 0-0 between AC Milan and Barcelona, the odds on that would have been huge! Plenty still to play for in the second legs next week then.

This week we have another full program of Premier League fixtures to get stuck into. There are plenty of decent matches, but for me it looks like a weekend short on potential shock results, in fact I think the bigger teams are going to dominate.

With that in mind, I’m going to suggest a treble for Saturday and a double for Sunday, with a very small bet on the full fivefold. So, whats it to be? (Picks in UPPER CASE)


Aston Villa v CHELSEA (1.90)
MAN CITY v Sunderland (1.25)
Queens Park Rangers v ARSENAL (1.61)


NEWCASTLE v Liverpool (2.62)
TOTTENHAM v Swansea (1.40)

I think we’re getting a great value accumulator here, as some of the prices for the above bets are surprisingly good. I see particular value in Chelsea at almost even money, and Newcastle as home underdogs at 2.62. With Liverpools recent away form, this is a stand out price. Resurgent Arsenal are a generous 1.6 away at a woeful QPR, and the other two picks are supposed home bankers.

If we place these bets with Ladbrokes we have the Saturday treble with odds of 3.85 and the Sunday double at 3.67. Combined, the five-fold is a huge 14.1 (just over 13/1!)

Lets split the bets up into a total of £10:

Saturday treble. £4 @ 3.85
Sunday double. £4 @ 3.67

Plus the five-fold accumulator. £2 @ 14.1

Good luck, enjoy the matches.

26th March, 4pm

We couldn’t come up with anything we fancied sufficiently to publish a bet for the last weekend. Considering the number of drawn matches and upsets, its probably a good job!

This week is the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals. The only remaining English team in the competition is Chelsea and they play in Benfica on Tuesday. Benfica have already played an English team in the tournament, having qualified from the same group as Man Utd, drawing with them twice in the process.

With home advantage to come in the second leg, I suspect that Chelsea would be happy to come away from this match with a draw or narrow loss. Something like a 2-1 defeat would leave them in a decent position for the return leg, and I believe they will be going out there to get at least one away goal. Benfica are a decent side, but their home form has been mixed. Generally they are strong, but they have come unstuck on a couple of recent occasions, particularly against the bigger teams.

These first leg games can be cagey affairs, but on this occasion I’m going to oppose the market and take a punt on goals. Looking at Betfair, the Over 2.5 market shows these prices:

Under 2.5 goals. 1.75
Over 2.5 goals. 2.32

My take on it is that Benfica know they probably need to win to have a chance in the second leg. Chelsea know that Benfica are more than capable of scoring away from home, so they will want to get an away goal in the bank. Its a tight call, but I think that significantly better than even money is a decent price.

Todays bet:

Tuesday 27th March. 19:45. Benfica v Chelsea, over 2.5 goals. £10 @ 2.32.

22nd March, 1pm

Chelsea did the business for us last week, a 3-1 win over Napoli in 90 minutes brought the bet home comfortably. Chelsea are the sole English team left in Europe after they went on to win the tie in extra time, we’ll take a look at their quarter final a bit nearer the time.

This weekend we have a full Premier League program to look forward to, we’ll be going over the fixtures today and the fancied bet will be on the site tomorrow. We’re on an excellent run of winning bets at the moment, lets keep it going!

12th March, 12pm

Good news if you left the Spurs bet to run and complete the treble, they did the business with a 3-1 replay win over Stevenage. We’re on a decent run of results at the moment, lets see if we can keep going with a look at the football this week.

There’s an absolute stand out price for me this week, and we’re looking to the Champions League on Wednesday night. Chelsea host Napoli having lost 3-1 in the first leg. They are looking for a 2 goal win against the Italians, provided they do not concede more than 1 goal. If they do, they will need to win by 3.

The Italian outfit are a classy side, and its going to be very difficult to Chelsea to progress. However, I can see them having enough to win this game. Di Matteo seems to have steadied things a little and has recorded 2 wins out of 2 games. Napoli would ultimately be happy with a 1-0 or 2-1 loss, but how will they approach the game? If they can score they know things become very difficult for Chelsea. If they try to just defend they could be in trouble if its as little as 1-0 going into the last quarter of the match.

The deciding factor for me is the price. Chelsea are currently 1.85 on Betfair for the win, in a game they absolutely have to win. I think Chelsea will win, and I wouldn’t even be that surprised if they qualified.

Todays bet:

Wednesday 14th March. 19:45. Chelsea to beat Napoli. £10 @ 1.85.

Final note for this week is a look at the Premier League title race, which is now very much a two horse race. If you have been reading some of the earlier betting diaries you’ll have noted that the Premier League outright market can be a good one to trade on Betfair. Well before Christmas we were discussing the merits of City’s title bid, and the conclusion at the time was that they looked worth laying at odds-on. The expectation was that at some point, City would be back above even money, and after they lost at Swansea yesterday this was proven absolutely right. City are now as long as 2.52 on the exchanges, and any lay placed at odds-on would now be in a fantastically healthy position.

Is there still value in this market? Well I won’t be backing Man Utd at 1.66, but what about City at 2.52? Mancini thinks that the derby match will decide the destination of the league, I’m not convinced it will. The fixture list is certainly looking a bit more favourable for the red side of Manchester, and its entirely possible that there will be more than 3 points between the sides come that match. Should United have a 4 or 5 point lead, but lose to City, the season will undoubtedly go down to the wire. I think the smart trades have already been made, but will continue to watch this one unfold.

7th March, 2pm

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to write in this morning following the tip from yesterday. As you all pointed out, the Spurs game is actually being played tonight! However, the treble stands and we are looking in rather good shape to pull it off after Arsenal and Chelsea both won last night.

Spurs go into the game tonight with a price of just 1.2, a win is absolutely expected. Although this is very likely to be the case, given that we have two parts of the treble in the bank, we could actually lay Spurs on Betfair to guarantee a win no matter what the result tonight.

Current position:

Spurs win, our treble comes off. We make £15 profit.
Spurs do not win, we lose a a fiver.

If we lay Spurs, we take the backers stake should they fail to win.

Position if we lay Spurs for a backers stake of £5:

Spurs win. The treble comes off and we win £15, but we lose the lay bet, costing us £1.
Spurs do not win. The treble fails and we lose the fiver. But we win the lay bet, winning us the fiver back and breaking even overall.

I’m confident that Spurs will win, and therefore I’m going to let my bet ride. However, if you want to make this into a no-lose bet, lay Spurs as above on Betfair to recover your stake.

The final note on this, is that you could instead “green” your position. This is the process of trading out the position to guarantee a profit no matter what happens. This is effectively reducing the treble back to a double, but if for any reason you don’t want to let it ride, this is the thing to do.

Consider instead that we lay Spurs for a backers stake of £17. The positions will be:

Spurs win. Win treble = £15 profit. Lose lay bet, lose £3.40 (£17 x 1.2). Total profit = £11.60.
Spurs do not win. Lose treble = -£5. Win lay bet, win £17. Total profit = £12.

This guarantees around £12 no matter what happens tonight.

6th March, 4pm

A good start to the new month, with West Brom turning over Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday. In hindsight, we could potentially have also had a stab at next manager to leave as well. Chelsea parted ways with Andre Villas-Boas on Sunday morning, and given the recent managerial revolving door at Stamford Bridge, it was becoming inevitable!

This week there is a variety of football. We’ve got FA Cup replays, Champions League, Europa League and a full fixture list to follow at the weekend. For todays bet we’re going to have a small punt on a treble, with a look at the weekend football to follow later this week.

So what’s on tonight?

Champions League:

Arsenal v AC Milan (agg 0-4)

FA Cup replays:

Birmingham v Chelsea
Tottenham v Stevenage

Arsenal are all but out of the Champions League after a 4-0 loss in Milan. Tonight is most likely to be about recovering some pride, unless they can get a couple of early goals and really get at Milan. You’d expect the Italians to settle for a draw or narrow loss, knowing they don’t really have much to do.

In the FA Cup both Chelsea and Spurs will be looking to avoid a repeat of the blips that left them facing these replays. I expect Spurs to get the job done easily enough, perhaps the tougher game of the two is the trip to Birmingham for Chelsea. Birmingham have a very good home record, but have lost a few key players ahead of tonights match. Add to this the new manager effect for Chelsea, and I think they will have enough to get through this one in 90 minutes.

So we’re going with a small treble, at the following prices:

Arsenal @ 2.1
Chelsea @ 1.66
Spurs @ 1.21

The treble will pay just over 4s if it comes off. Because there are 3 elements we have to get right, lets keep the stake down, a fiver will do.

Todays bet:

Wednesday 6th March. 19:45. Treble of Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs all to win. £5 @ approx 4.2

2nd March, 12pm

We finished February with a healthy profit, lets see if we can carry it on into March.

We start today with a look at the Premier League. Every single team is in action and there are a number of tasty looking matches. Carling Cup winners Liverpool take on Arsenal in Saturdays early game, there are six 3pm kick offs, then Sunday is a televisual feast with the remaining 3 matches on in order throughout the afternoon.

My betting radar is trained on Saturday afternoon for this one though, when Chelsea travel to West Brom. The bookies are making West Brom a 3/1 shot, with Chelsea chalked up at even money. The combination of West Broms home form and Chelseas recent away form shows little appeal on either price! However, I fancy a punt in the Draw No Bet market here. Before I nail my colours to the mast, lets look at the last 5 games for each team:

West Brom (Premier League only):

Played 5. Won 3, drawn 1, lost 1.

Chelsea (Premier League only):

Played 5. Won 1, drawn 3, lost 1.

Chelsea have struggled away from home lately, no wins since they came away from Wolves with a late 2-1 victory. At home things haven’t been much better, their only win in the last 5 was at home to Bolton.

West Brom have a decent record in the last 5, with their last home match an impressive 4-0 win over Sunderland. Prior to this their home form has been a bit wobbly, but on the whole they are perhaps looking a little better than their position in 13th would suggest. They are already well clear of the relegation places, and in reality there’s not a great deal left for them to play for this season. Maybe this explains the relaxed, attacking display against Sunderland?

I see this game as a “nothing to lose” type match for West Brom. They certainly aren’t expected to win it, but if Chelsea continue to wobble on the road, then maybe its a game they can just sneak. The clincher for me is the price though. Even with the security of the Draw No Bet market, you can still get better than 2/1 on the baggies. Yes, Chelsea are still the favourites, but to me that’s a bet worth a small investment. Only the Chelsea win will turn it over.

Todays bet:

Saturday 3rd March. 3pm. West Brom to beat Chelsea, in the Draw No Bet market. £10 @ 3.1