Monday, August 25, 2008

Phil Taylor to go undefetaed in 2009 Premier League Darts - 4pts @ 10/1

Phil Taylor's record in the Prmier League darts is a s follows:

Win Draw Loss

2005 11 1 0
2006 11 1 0
2007 11 3 0
2008 10 1 3


The 3 2008 defeats were in the early part of the seaon when he had lost is form. Taylor is now back to his very best. Skybet have made him 10/1 to go undefeated next year - I would make this an even money chance! (at most). I've tried to have 10pts on, but was restricted by Skybet to 4 pts.

European Order of Merit - Henrik Stenson 4pts win 12/1

Stenson finishedthird this weekend in the KLM and has brought himslef back in contention for the European OoM. With 42 of 54 events palyed, the top six standings are as follows (with best prices):

1 Padraig HARRINGTON €2,350,556 (8/15)
2 Lee WESTWOOD €1,839,480 (100/30)
3 Miguel Angel JIMÉNEZ €1,794,092 (16/1)
4 Henrik STENSON €1,773,617 (12/1)
5 Graeme MCDOWELL €1,675,186 (50/1)
6 Robert KARLSSON €1,674,436 (33/1)

Harrington is the quite righly clear favourite, but with 12 events to go you would be a brave man to back him at a best priced 8/15 - this markets has seen significant fluctuations already this season. Prize money is biased towards the end of the season - this increases the uncertainty (and makes Harrington/Westwood players to be taken on). Westwood is way too short at 100/30, so the value has to be one of the other 4.

Without knowing the detailed entries, it is difficult to pick a single individual. However, I've decided to back Stenson at 12/1 - other bookies have hime as a (more accurate) 8/1 chance. He is currently 6th in the Official World Golf Rankings and was 4th in the Euoropean OoM last year. Stenson is currently in great form (3rd in the Open and 4th in the US PGA).

Lock in Profits on Federer for Gand Slams

Those of you who are long term followers of my blog know that in Jan 08 I backed Federer at 11/2 to win no Grand Slam events (after he had lost the first Grand Slam). He has since lost the French Open and Wimbledon. I've now decided to lock in my profits by backing himn for the US Open at 3/1. I've done this at Boylesports who refund my bet if Djokovic win (a very reasonable cash back offer). The P&L for my combined bets are shown above.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bourdfais to be biggest improver - 66/1 1pt E/W

The Toro Rosso cars are performing well this weekend. Having made it into Q1, Bourdais has taken the opportunity to 'high fuel' his car. If/when a safety car is deployed, this will give him more strategic options. I have therefore backed him with at Victor Chandler at 66/1 (1pt E.W 1,2,3) from 10th on the grid to be the biggest improver.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Any Other European Grand Prix - 'Other' Driver to be placed on the Podium - 5/1 ( - 8pts

Victor Chandler have opened a market on what drivers will finish on the Podium for the European Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa 2/7
Lewis Hamilton 1/3
Kimi Raikkonen 1/2
Robert Kubica 11/10
Heikki Kovalainen 2/1
Any Other Driver to finish on podium (other than 7 quoted) 5/1
Nick Heidfeld 7/1
Fernando Alonso 14/1

For the reasons outlined below, this Grand Prix has an increased likelihood of an unusual result. I've therefore had 8pts on 'Any Other' driver to finish on the Podium. This bet has paid up for the last five Grand Prixs! I think it is a 2-1 chance at most.

'Any Other Driver' to win European Grand Prix (50/1),

Victor Chandler have formed the following market on the European Grand Prix at Valencia.

Felipe Massa 11/10
Lewis Hamilton 15/8
Kimi Raikkonen 4/1
Robert Kubica 9/1
Heikki Kovalainen 20/1
Nick Heidfeld 80/1
Fernando Alonso 100/1
Any Other Driver (other than 7 quoted) 50/1

I think 'The Field' is a great bet for the following reasons: -

- Possible rain (
- Toyota/Toro Rosso are making significant progress (Toyota are close to catching BMW in performance)
- Narrow road track (similar to Montreal) makes a safery car likely (1/4 chance)

All these factors increases the 'randomness of the result. I tried to have 2pts at Victor Chandler, but was limited to 1pt.

N.B. Is it just me, or is anyone else haing problems getting bets on with bookies - it seem all my bets are now being limited. It makes me laugh when you hear that bookies are apparantly prepared to stand £10K bets!

Northern Ireland Trophy 2008 - Graeme Dott 1.5 pts E/W 66/1 (Paddypower), 1.5 pts 1st 1/4 (12-1, SJ)

2006 World Champion Graeme Dott had well documented problems with depression last year causing a sifnficnat drop in form. However, his latest performance in Berlin may indicate that he has put these problems behind him,. He won in Berlin by beating John Higgins in the Semi Final (5-4) and Shaun Murphy (6-1) in the final. If he repeats this level of performance in Northen Ireland, he will be one of the leading contenders for this event. I asked for 2 pts E/W with Paddy Power, was limited to 1.5 pts E/W (even less by Stan James!)

Macguire is the favourite in 1st 1/4 (where Dott is). Macguire complained of a possible rub injury in Berlin - I'm unsuire whether this has been sorted. However, this only encourages me to back Dott. I've therefor also had 1.5 pts at 12-1 at Stan James (asked for 4pts, limited to 1.5pts).

NASCAR - Bristol Motor Speedway - Carl Edwards 2.5 pts win

Carl Edwards has qualified on pole for this race. He won this race last year and has an excellent chance to win again this year. His main rivals (Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson) did not do well year last year and have only qualified this year in 9th and 24th respectively.

I'm having 2.5 pts on Carl Edwards at Boylesports (max. allowed, I wanted 4pts). If/when Carl Edwards does well in this race he will surely shorten for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. I've therefore had 2pts at 5/1 on Carl Edwards for the Sprint Cup to cover my previous 10pts at 7/1 on Jimmie Johnson.

I am convinced the Sprint Cup is highluy likley to be between Kyle Busch (6/4), Carl Edwards (5/1) and Jimmie Johnson (6/1) with Busch too short in the betting - I;d make it 2/1, 5/2, 5/2 , 20/1 bar.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Premierhsip 'Top 4' to not lose at home in 2008/2009

Looking at the history of the Premiership since 2003/4, each year at least one of the 'Big 4' have not lost at home. The prices for this to happen for each club this year (at Corals) are:

11/2 Arsenal
7/2 Chelsea
4/1 Man Utd
6/1 Liverpool

I think these are all good prices. The trend for home losses by these clubs is decreasing (and hence the likelyhood of a club going unbeaten at home is increasing). This is dues to the gradual strengthing of the Top 4 compared to the rest of the Premiership. I think that is highly likley that a minimum one club will go unbeaten at home, with a reasonable possibility that two clubs could do this (as last year)(and an outside chance of 3/4 clubs).

I;ve had 4pst on each of these teams to not lose at home in 2008/2009

Monday, August 11, 2008

US to win most Gold Medals - 11/2 (Betdaq) - 8pts

China probably should be favourites to win most Gold medals, but the market has over-reacted to their (limted) early success. After 3 of 16 days of the Olympics (and 34 of the 302 gold medals decided), the standings are as follows:

** G S B Total

China 9 3 2 14
US 3 4 5 12

However, I believe the latter half of the Olympics substantially favours the US (the Athletics only starts in Week 2).

I am therefore suprised/pleased to see that I cna back the US at 11/2 at Betdaq to win most Gold meadls - I'd make them closer to a 2/1 chance (at most). I've therefore had 8pts win on US to win

Sunday, August 10, 2008

US PGA - Stuart Appleby 66/1 - 2 pts E/W 1/4 1,2,3,4

With a rain interrupted 3rd round, I am backing Stuart Appleby at 66/1 (2pts E/W). He has completed 2/3 of his 3rd round - I think the more holes of the 3rd round completed the better. Although the greens today will be slower (a help), the fairways will be slower (a hindrance) and the rough will be harder to get out of. In addition, for those about to start their round, it will be mentally tough to play 36 holes in a day. If Appleby can post a 3rd round score of +2 (he is currently on +4) I think he could be right in the mix come in the end of round 4.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic Men's Tennis - Murray/Nalbandian against the field

Totesport have offered excellent E/W terms in the Men's Tennis (1/2, 1,2,3). This has persuaded me to have the following bets:

Murray 3pts E/W (12/1)
Nalbandian 1pt E/W (33/1)
(Both Max. allowed for me by Totesport).

The surface for this tournament (which has traditionally thrown up suprise results) is 'hard', most similar to the US Open.

Murray has a straighforward path until the 1/4 finals when he meets Nadal. Following Murray's recent Cinncinati win, he will have a plausible chance of beating Nadal. (Murray is clearly 4th best in the workld right now). If he beats Nadal, I would be confident Murray would win at leat a Bronze medal (meaninng a minimum 6/1 payout).

Nalbandian is likley to meeet Djorkoff in the 1/4 finals (in the same half as Murray/Nadal). Nalbandian is a naturally gifted player who has been in poor recent form. Howvber, at 33/1 I'm willing to take a chance that playing for his country will inspire him to return to past glories.

Olympic Boxing - Light Welterweight - Bradley Saunders - 20/1 1pt Win - Betfred

Bradley Saunders has an excellent chance of winning a Gold Medal for GB in the light welterweight category. He won a Bronze Medal in the World Championships last year and won recently in Taiwan in the Presidents Cup (beating Manus Boonjumnong enroute to the final). This latest result clearly showed Saunders has recovered form his hand injury. Boonjumnong is a 3-1 chance in this event, showing what a good price the 20/1 on Bradley Saunders is. I've tried to have 4pts on with Betfred (they were the last bookie going 20/1) but they restricted me to 1 pt.

Shergar Cup - Mosse Top Jockey 8/1 (Skybet), Bet365 (Bet365)

I have completed some analysis on the top Jockey at Ascot today. (This is scored using the following system:

1st Place - 15 pts
2nd Place - 10 pts
3rd Place - 7 pts
4th Place - 5 pts
5th Place - 3 pts

(All jockeys have 5 rides. Each race is a 8 runner handicap).

I am suprised to find that Mosse is not joint favourite with Hughes. The spreadsheet above details the current prices at Betfair on his runners. I've had 1pt at 9/1 (max allowed) (Bet365 - come on guys!) and 4pts at Skybet.

Championship Special - All three relegated sides to be promoted - 50/1 Paddy Power

Although it is unlikely that all three relegated sides will be promoted, I think 50/1 is a reasonably generous price. It is not without precedent - all three relegated Premiership sides were promoted 11 years ago. Birmingham, Derby and Reading are 1st, 3rd and 5th in a (quite open) Championship betting and cases can be made for all of them to be promoted. It also 'supports' my thinking that 2nd in the betting QPR will not meet expectations. Unfortunately, I've only been allowed 0.5 pts by Paddypower.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Jimmie Johnson - 7/1 - 10pts win

After 20 races of the 36 race season, the current standings after are as follows:

1 Kyle Busch 3,004
2 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 2,751
3 Jeff Burton 2,733
4 Jimmie Johnson 2,689
5 Carl Edwards 2,684
6 Jeff Gordon 2,544
7 Greg Biffle 2,460
8 Denny Hamlin 2,453
9 Kasey Kahne 2,441
10 Tony Stewart 2,399
11 Matt Kenseth 2,366
12 Clint Bowyer 2,283

The current prices are:

Kyle Busch 13/8
Dale Earnhardt Jr 13/2
Jimmie Johnson 7/1
Carl Edwards 7/1
Jeff Gordon 12/1

These relatively cloesely mirror the points standings, with Kyle Busch a heavy favourite.

The fact that 12 places are listed is no coincidence. Since 2004, to ensure that that the NASCAR series stays 'alive', the points are set to 5000 with after 26 races (i.e with 10 races to go) for the top drivers (top 12 in 2008). The only points benefit of winning races prior to this date is the addition of 10 pts per win for prior wins (not hugely significant). The first 'key' race is the 27th race (the Sylvania 300) on 14/09/2008 and the series finishes at the Ford 400 on 16/11/2008.

(The closest similarity I can think of is the Football League Championship playoffs).

The past results of the NASCAR (since the new scoring mechanism) are:

Leader After 26 races (final position in brackets)

2004 Jeff Gordon (3rd)
2005 Tony Stewart (1st)
2006 Matt Kenseth (2nd)
2007 Jimmie Johnson (1st)

Winner after 36 races (position after 26 races in brackets)

2004 Kurt Busch (7th)
2005 Tony Stewart (1st)
2006 Jimmie Johnson (2nd)
2007 Jimmie Johnson (1st)

The last three Sprint Cup Series have gone to a driver who was either 1st or 2nd after 26 races. (Lower down the order there is a much less strong correlation).

With 6 races to go to the 10 key races, the man currently in form is Jimmie Johnson (he is favourite this evening). He has been relatively unlucky this season so far - I think he is likely to be either first or second in the standings after 26 races. As he has won the last two NASCAR Cup series (also 2nd in 2004 and 5th in 2005, Jimmie Johnson) may well have the expeience to win a third.

I've therefore backed Jimmie Johnson at 7/1 (10 pts win) at Stan James.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Olympic 2008 - Men's Javelin - Tero Jarvenpaa - 12/1 - 4 pts win

Jarvenpaa could well spring a surprise in this event. In the recent Finnish Championships (24-27th July 2008) he shocked the Finnish public by beating the Finnish legend (2007 World Champion and World No.1) Pitkamaki with a personal best throw of 86.68m (Pitkamaki only threw 82.28m - he has 'technical problems').

1. Tero Järvenpää FIN 86.68
2. Tero Pitkämäki FIN 82.28
3. Esko Mikkola FIN 79.87

Ranked 4th in the world, Jarvenpaa could just be peaking a the right time. The other major challenger is the World No. 2 Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen who won in Athens 2004. These three athletes filled the first three spots at the Bislet Games in Oslo in June 2008 when they finished as follows.

1 Thorkildsen , Andreas NOR 87.73
2 Järvenpää , Tero FIN 86.49
3 Pitkämäki , Tero FIN 85.92

Perhaps the Finnish public should not have been so suprised in teh Finnish Championships....

(In addition, Thokildsen threw a 87.36 in Stockholm in July 08).

I am more than happy to take a chance on Jarvanpaa at 12-1 rather than Pitkamaki at a top priced 6-4 (Pitkamaki is very much underpriced). Thokildsen is probably correctly priced at 5-2 (although he should perhaps be a 2-1 chance). I'd make Jarvanpaa approx 4-1 (at most). The other Javelin thrower at a good price is Australian Jarrod Bannister - he looks overpriced at 20-1, but I will stick to a single bet.

Youtube video of 86.68m throw (in Finnish)

SPOTY Update - Paula Radcliffe 20/1 4pts

If Paula Radcliffe wins the Olympic Marathon, I would make her a heavy odds on chance to win SPOTY. The Women's Marathon has now been priced up and she is a 5/1 chance to win (2/7 to make the race). I am therfeore having 4 pts at 20/1 (William Hill) on Paula Radcliffe for SPOTY 2008. (Bigger prices are availible elsewhere but William Hill ae one of the few bookmakers where my account is not hevily restriced e.g. Bet365! allow me 45p).

My main 'runners' for me in this race are Sotherton and Radcliffe - I will produce an updated .xls showing my market position on SPOTY after the Olympics.