Betting Bad

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening to anyone and everyone who is taking the time to read my brand new weekly series “Betting Bad.” Are you a wannabe Kenny Rogers – a gambler? Aren’t you sick and tired of following all these betting accounts of Facebook and Twitter, the ones that allegedly haven’t made a wrong call since 2001, and yet somehow you haven’t won three bets on the bounce, period. Well, if you are sick of all these accounts, then why not follow this.

As fair warning, I absolutely 100% guarantee that you will NOT win a lot of money, if you follow my tips then you’re a fool! Why? Why would a wannabe sport writer call his audience a fool? The answer is simple – I am an atrocious gambler. Truly horrible. Aside from a very lucrative five months at the beginning of 2015, I am terrible. My ambition outclasses my talent levels, quite frankly, and aside from the first half of 2015, I would say that I am in a deficit, gambling wise.

You are probably sat there now, in bed, on the bus, or in the bathroom, asking yourself “why?” Why should you follow my tips, why should you keep reading? What is in it for you? Well, my valued reader, that is the catch. I’ve told you I am a horrible gambler. Even read the title again, BETTING BAD. This is where you luck in. I will pick anywhere from three to five matches, encompassing the English and Scottish professional leagues, and from there outline their odds, and why I believe that they are worthy picks. Sure, if you are a madman then you can opt to follow them, if that is your prerogative. But I urge you, this won’t win you much money. You’d be significantly better off if you treat this more as a tripwire scenario, avoid my selections at all cost.

Now, like anything, I have rules and guidelines which I aim to follow religiously. Never, EVER bet on a cup match, it’s poison, it is a trick. A team can play a second-string team and win 4-0, Manchester United or Arsenal could play a full XI and lose. Shocks happen, we all remember Chelsea losing at home to Bradford. Another rule to remember is that if a team’s value looks too good to be true, it almost always is.

If a team 5th in League 2 are playing an away game 150 miles away to 22nd in the league and have weirdly high odds, it isn’t a mistake from the bookies, there is a reason, and the further down the leagues you go, the more unpredictable form can be. I am a big believer in the influence of a crowd, so unless the risk is very low, I tend to try and bet on the home side as much as possible. The final rule, WE DO NOT CASH OUT. Nope, no way, not an option. We are in it to win it. To paraphrase Captain Barbosa, in the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie “These rules are more what you’d call guidelines, than actual rules.” What I am saying is that I am dumb, and will bet on the cup, I will see that value and pick a team that looks “too good to be true,” and yes, I am a hypocrite. I will cash out. I once cashed out a losing bet for a £1.50 profit. If I had had faith in my bet, it went on to win £140.

So, without further ado, we will begin our Betting Bad fixtures. All odds will be taken from SkyBet, and will no doubt fluctuate somewhat between time of writing and publication. All bets will be put on an accumulator as a £5 bet.

EVERTON v West Brom – 6/5

Perhaps not the most cut and dry Premier League fixture this weekend, but I see great value in this selection. Admittedly, Everton are on a run of poor form, but they have also had some difficult games in this period of downturn. They have been revitalised by “Big Sam” and quite frankly, he is a manager with more quality than his not-so-little finger than Alan Pardew has in his entire being. Factor in the Goodison Park crowd and the fact that star centre-back Johnny Evans may have his sight set more on the goings on at Champions League-chasing teams, rather than his own Championship chasing team, and there are the makings of a goal-laden performance from
the Toffees.

WOLVES v Nottingham Forest – 4/9

You just can’t look past Wolverhampton Wanders this season; their Portuguese infused side are taking the league by storm, already ten points above 2nd place Derby County with 27 matches played. Nottingham Forest are in different form, they may be on a high from knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup recently, but they haven’t won in their last five league outings. This may be a potential slip-up for Wolves, as Forest have recently employed a new manager in Aitor Karanka, replacing former Brentford and Rangers boss Mark Warburton. Even the new manager bounce that blesses so many troubled teams may not be enough to help Forest out. I can see Wolves winning by a landslide here.

Barnet v LINCOLN – 1/1

Read back to paragraph three. What was the second rule? If a team’s value looks too good to be true, it probably is!!! BUT, Lincoln are in the playoffs, only two points away from automatic promotion, and in a decent vein of form. Decent is not exactly the vote of confidence one is looking for in a team you are placing money on, but compare this to the fortunes of Barnet, rock bottom of the football league, 92nd out of 92 teams. Their recent form chart shows the dreaded five consecutive red L’s. The away factor isn’t ideal for betting, I always have more confidence in a favourite at home, but at evens this looks like having potential to be a steal.

Albion Rovers v ST JOHNSTONE – 4/11

I don’t like the term “banker” in a sporting context, it so rarely is. And this is the Scottish Cup, so there is a chance that St Johnstone might put out a B side. As a keen viewer of Scottish football (don’t judge me…) it appears that Tommy Wright takes the competition seriously, and would see this game as a relatively easy route to the next round. The away element is far from ideal, but then again if this was at McDiarmid Park, the Perth Saints would have odds sitting about 1/3. With 22 places and a whole division, separating the sides, this has to be considered nothing more than an odds booster.

Bet Slip.

Everton 6/5

Wolves 4/9

Lincoln 1/1

St Johnstone 4/11

£5 placed at 7.67/1 returns £43.33

So, I only had four rules, and I have already broken three of them. I bet on an away team, I bet on a cup match, and I bet on a team whose odds appeared to be too good to be true. In this concluding section I will show my profit-loss margin, but being week one, that is a little tricky to do… All I can say is that these four teams WILL NOT WIN. You should absolutely NOT bet on this, as I am, and I will lose! Best of luck with your weekend bets, feel free to tweet your own selections, or tell me how stupid my predictions are. Above all, remember that betting should only enhance the fun of sport, so please, please, gamble responsibly.