Online betting diary – September 2011

September 2011

26th September, 2pm

This weekend saw Manchester United drop their first 2 points of the season, with Stoke fully deserving of the 1-1 scoreline. If you take a moment to look back to 19th September you will note the suggestion that the odds of 1.8 on Man Utd to win the league looked far too short. Well it didn’t take long for this to be proven right, if you did lay them at the time you can now guarantee yourself some end-of-season profit by backing United at close to even money! Another little example of what you can achieve on Betfair with a little thought. Often the opportunities at Betfair come along because you can lay rather than back, this was a classic example of exactly that.

This week in football we will be looking to use a Champions League free bet. As one of the leading European bookmakers, you will find that Betclic have one of the most extensive markets for the Champions League games, so be sure to check them out if you are having a bet this week. Remember that for new customers, the offer is a completely risk free bet of £30. If you do hit a loser, you will get your £30 back.

So, what are we going to bet on?

There are a few tasty looking games involving the English sides, particularly the clashes involving Chelsea and Man City. Both are away to decent quality opposition, and games like these can often give an indication of the progress made by a team in the early part of the season. For me, the most interesting game is Man City’s trip to Bayern Munich. City have had a relatively easy start to the season, but one stand out score amongst their results was the 5 goals they put past Spurs on their own ground. Bayern are looking very strong in the league, having won their last 5 games without even conceding a goal. The market rightly makes Bayern the favourites, but their odds of close to even money do show a lot of respect to Man City.

Frankly, it looks a difficult game to call. Instead of trying, I’m going to have a look at the goals. Over 2.5 goals at Betclic is currently available at 1.75, and this seems a little low for my liking. I think this game will be difficult for Man City, but I also believe Bayern will find keeping a clean sheet against City a lot more challenging than against some of the German teams. So, with all this in mind, the Betclic market for “both teams to score” has appeal at 1.65. This looks to be the perfect use of a risk free £30 bet! Fingers crossed tomorrow night.

22nd September, 2pm

Unfortunately last nights pick was narrowly turned over, Liverpool winning 2-1. I was a little surprised to see Liverpool field an almost full strength side for this game, perhaps that in itself betrays their expectations in the league and FA cup this season. Given the team changes made by the other top sides, it is worth considering Liverpool outright in this competition at 7s with Ladbrokes and a few others. If they continue to take their matches this seriously, they can expect to progress to the latter stages of the competition.

Bets such as this are generally low risk, but even so it pays to look closely at the team selection. When the Liverpool side was announced around half an hour before kick off, the odds on them shortened immediately. If we’d waited until then, it might have been wise to back out from the bet. As ever, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but in betting it pays to learn these lessons.

19th September, 4pm

A crazy match at Old Trafford completed this weekends Premier League action, United coming out on top 3-1, but it really could have been 7-7! United now lead the Premier League by 2 clear points, but in my opinion the price of 1.8 for them to win the league (on Betfair) is too short at this stage of the season. I am currently evaluating the upcoming fixures to see if this is a price worth laying at this stage? Its a long term bet, but I do not believe for a minute the price will not go back up at some time in the coming months. If it doesn’t, its going to be a walkover for United and a boring season to watch.

This type of trade is not one for the betting diary, but again is something to consider for those of you who like getting involved in the betting exchanges. Also along these lines, we are pleased to announce that we are currently reviewing the leading exchange betting trading platform that is Bet Angel, check the betting software page shortly for the full details.

Early this week in football is the Carling Cup. There are a few games on Sky Sports, with the stand out fixtures being Leeds v Man Utd and Brighton v Liverpool. A quick look at Betfair shows these current prices:


Leeds 6.6
Man Utd 1.58
Draw 4.4


Brighton 5.4
Liverpool 1.72
Draw 3.95

I can’t see much value betting outright in the Tuesday game. The price on Man Utd is low considering they are likely to change the entire team for this match. Leeds will be well up for this game, but are firmly sat in mid-table Championship and a gulf in class behind tomorrows opponents, 6.6 is about right, but isn’t generous. The draw at 4.4 holds some appeal, and is potentially a price that could be traded in-play if it turns out to be a tight game, but I would not make that call at this stage.

Instead, lets look to Wednesday. Liverpool were put to the sword by Tottenham yesterday, and now face a potentially tricky trip to high flying Brighton. The Championship outfit have made a great start at their new home stadium and will fancy adding to Liverpools run of 2 consecutive away losses. Backing the Championship team outright is perhaps a little risky, so instead lets consider a couple of different options.

1. Lay Liverpool. Odds 1.74.
2. Back Brighton in the DRAW NO BET market. Odds approx 4.0

Noteable in Brightons start to the season are the goals conceded, just 5 in 7 games. At the other end they have found the net 11 times, if Liverpool play as badly as Sunday you can expect Brighton to add to that tally.

This is a classic example of risk and reward. Option 1 returns a little better than even money, option 2 a lucrative sounding 3/1. For option 1, a draw is good enough. For option 2, a draw is money back. For me, its option 2, but accepting there is a good chance this will finish up with money back.

So todays bet is £20 on Brighton in the DRAW NO BET market on Betfair, at odds of around 4.0.

15th September, 4pm

Firstly, the result from last night was Benfica 1 – 1 Manchester United. The choice of DRAW NO BET market meant that we didn’t lose anything, but perhaps this was a little fortunate as the United keeper was certainly the busier.

Interesting point of note with this game was the way the odds moved on Betfair after the annoucement of the teams. Manchester United made 8 changes from the team that had taken Bolton apart at the weekend, and the feeling in the market was clearly that the United team was significantly weakened by all these changes. In the match odds on Monday, United were around 1.86 for the win, by the time the game kicked off it was 2.24. This is a huge swing for anyone who was wise enough to lay United earlier in the week, they could have backed United before kick off at the significantly higher price to lock in a tasty profit. As ever, easy in hindsight, but these are the sort of things that successful Betfair traders are thinking about. Put it another way, do you think there was much to lose laying United at 1.86 on Monday? Even if their strongest team had been selected, the price before kick off could not have gone much lower when playing a decent side away in Europe!

At the moment I’m having a look at the upcoming sport. Tonight sees Stoke and Tottenham in Europa Cup action, then the weekend sees more Rugby World Cup and a full round of Premier League fixtures. Watch this space!

12th September, 6pm

Firstly, the result from the chosen Premier League match was Arsenal 1 – Swansea 0. As predicted, Arsenal were good enough for the win, albeit only just and they failed to fully overcome the handicap. A £10 loss is the bottom line here. However, Arsenal are an interesting team at the moment, and I can see some value in the upcoming weeks, assuming their form improves as expected. More on that soon.

Moving onto the football this week, there is appeal in one of the markets for the Champions League first round this week. Given the start made by the two Manchester based teams in the Premier League, it is no surprise that we are looking to Wednesdays fixtures for this one.

Manchester United are on the road in Portugal, coming up against a Benfica side that has made a solid start to their domestic campaign. They currently lie second with 3 wins and a draw from their opening 4 games. However, Manchester United presents an entirely different challenge to the Portugese domestic league, and they bring a formidable away record in Europe with them.

It is difficult to see United failing to score in this, but their defence hasn’t exactly been watertight on the road either. Perhaps just backing United at close to evens is therefore a bit risky. Instead, lets consider the DRAW NO BET market on Betfair. Here, Manchester United are 1.44 at the moment, and this seems a fair price.

The DRAW NO BET market is exactly as it sounds, and if the game does finish up all-square, then all bets on the market are voided. It is worth pointing out that this means it is a poor choice of market for anyone attempting to trade, as a draw will wipe out all the hard work!

However, for the bet today this is perfect. It is difficult to see United being turned over, so we have a very low risk bet for a fair price, which will pay off if they do win the game. If they have to settle for a draw we get our money back.

So for today, its £20 on Manchester United to beat Benfica, in the draw no bet market on Betfair.

9th September, 6pm

Well England were predictably poor again, but at least it didn’t cost us anything. Thanks to the dreadful miss late on by Earnshaw, England scraped the 3 points and landed the HT/FT portion of the bet.

There’s plenty Premier League football coming up this weekend, for todays pick I’m going with the Arsenal v Swansea game at the Emirates. Arsenal’s problems are well documented, but at last Arsene Wenger has spent some money in a belated effort to reinforce his squad. They have made a few interesting signings, particularly the likes of Arteta and Mertesacker. The big German defender will shore up the leaky defence, and Arteta can step into the creative void left by the loss of Nasri. With a few other decent signings as well, it is far too early to write them off.

Swansea have had a tough start to the Premier League. A 4-0 reverse at Man City has been followed up with consecutive 0-0 draws at home to Sunderland and Wigan. I don’t expect them to add to their points tally at Arsenal tomorrow, but the current price of 2/5 on Arsenal doesn’t particularly appeal either.

Therefore, I suggest a venture into the Asian handicap betting market. In particular, the market for Arsenal (-1.25), which is currently trading at 1.9 on Betfair. Asian handicap betting revolves around giving a headstart to one of the teams, and this is what the number in brackets represents. In this case, because it is a quarter ball handicap, it also indicates a split bet. These are Arsenal (-1.0) and Arsenal (-1.5). If both parts win, the bet is a full winner, if only the first part wins, half your stake is refunded. To illustrate, these are the 3 possible outcomes resulting from this bet, based on £20 stake:

1. Arsenal win by 2 goals or more. Win £18
2. Arsenal win by 1 goal. Lose £10
3. Arsenal do not win. Lose £20

This sets us up for a small loss if Arsenal only win by one. If they win by more than one then the bet is a winner. More about Asian handicap betting is available in the Betting Basics section.

5th September, 2pm

England did the business on Friday night for us, a much more comfortable victory than expected was pretty much wrapped up by half time. The good news here was that the £20 bet at 3/2 was the winner, which meant a return of £50 for a £20 profit.

One other point of note regarding that game, was the huge movement in the match odds before the game. At the time of writing the diary the day before the game, England were as low as 1.55, yet by kick off on the Friday, it was just over 1.8 on Betfair. This would have been representative of what the market thought about the team selection, but for me I’d say 1.55 was way too low, and 1.8 was a touch too high.

Spotting these sort of swings can lead to risk free profits, particularly when using the betting exchanges. England could have been layed at 1.55 on Thursday, then backed at 1.8 on Friday just before kick off. A profit locked in before a ball is even kicked! Always easy in hindsight, but worth a mention nonetheless.

Tonight England play Wales at Wembley. England have not been playing quite as well at home, failing to register a victory in any of their last 4 outings there. On that basis, the current odds of 1.15 at Betfair have absolutely no appeal! Wales are not a world beaters, but they did secure a half decent win over a reasonable Montenegro side at home on Friday, something England failed to do earlier in the campaign.

I do expect England to win, but we need to look for some better value in this match. To do so, its back to the half time / full time market (odds from Betfair):

1. Draw HT / England FT @ 5.3 Stake £7
2. England HT / England FT @ 1.54 Stake £13

This gives the following returns:

1. Draw HT / England FT £37.10
2. England HT / England FT £20.02

Basically we are setting up for England to win the game, hoping that it will remain a draw at half time. If England are ahead at half time and win the game, we break even. Any other result is a £20 loss.

Of course the most likely outcome here is break even, but I think its a value shot for a game that otherwise wouldn’t be worth betting on.

1st September, 4pm

We finished August £20 to the good, lets hope we can keep the run going into September.

Today I have a strongly fancied bet for the International football tomorrow, and we’ve also got a brand new offer to go with it! The Betclic risk free bet means you can stake £30 on this game knowing you can’t lose. If the bet loses, Betclic will refund your stake!

So with absolutely nothing to lose, what are we going to bet on?

England beat Bulgaria convincingly at Wembley earlier in the campaign, the final score was 4-0. I don’t think they will win by such a margin again, but I do see England as being strong enough to take the 3 points. Rather than bet on England for the win at 1.55, instead I fancy the half time / full time market, with 2 bets as follows:

1. Draw HT / England FT @ 3/1. Stake £10
2. England HT / England FT @ 3/2 Stake £20

If we split the £30 bet across these two outcomes as above, either one winning will result in a £30 profit. I expect England to win, and as long as they aren’t behind at half time, this looks a solid bet to me.

Remember to take advantage of the Betclic risk free bet and you can’t lose on this one no matter what happens!