Thursday, April 30, 2009

Premier League - Boro to beat Man Utd - 4 ps - 7/1

Man Utd are planning to field a weakened team on Saturday against Boro (see I think the 7/1 is the price assuming Man Utd will field a full strength side. With a weakened Man Utd side, I'd make Boro 9/2 chances. I'm therefore having 4 pts at 7/1.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eurovision Song Contest 2009 Update - Germany - 1pt E/W - 300/1

Last month, I had the following bets (the current new best prices are in brackets):

Ukraine - 50/1 (28/1)
Russia - 66/1 (50/1)
Serbia - 250/1 (100/1)

However, as stated in my post, there is no real way to tell how the 50% jury vote will influence the result. I've therefore had a new bet which may payoff if the jury vote becomes unexpectedly significant. I've backed Germany at 300/1 with Boylesports / Stan James (a 'cheeky' 1pt E/W). They have both cut this price, but 200/1 is still available at BlueSq.

After the disaster of 'No Angels' last year, they German public have selected a poor man's Ricky Martin called Alex Swings.

However, he may have more chance than you would expect by the fact that he has persuaded Dita von Teese to perform with him.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Darling to say "sorry" in 2009 Budget Speech - 5pts - 8/1 - Extrabet

This is a hard market to call (both for bookies and punters alike). I have a feeling (and it is no more than that) that politically it might make sense to use the word "sorry" in his speech. He could say the word in many ways, i.e. "I'm sorry that the opposition feels that way about my excellent work" or "I'm sorry that my predictions last year make me look like an idiot now".

"Sorry" was used by Gordon Brown last week to put a lid on the last scandal and could again be used in this speech. Ladbrokes were going 7/1 - they are now into 4/1. Extrabet opened at 10/1 (which I missed).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

9 or fewer Classified Cars - Chinese F1 Grand Prix - Centre Bet - 4 pts 16/1

For there to be 9 or less classified F1 finishers, you need a combination of collisions, mechanical faults and, most importnatly, rain. There is a > 50% chance of rain tomorrow in the Chinese Grand Prix. What is also important is that it will not be a monsoon (like in Malsyisa) but relatively light rain. This will be enough to cause cars to leave the track, but not enough for the race to be cancelled.

I think Centrebet are generous in offering 16/1 on there being 9 or less classified finishers. With forecast rain, I'd make it a 4/1 chance.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eurovision Song Contest 2009 Preview

Those of you who are long term followers of my blog will know that my recent bets on the Eurovsion song contest have been hopelessly bad. In 2007 I backed DJ Bobo with 'Vampires are Alive' only to see it not even make it out of the semi-finals. In 2008, I switched to a betting strategy based on regional block voting, based on the analysis from Oxford University.

'How does Europe Make Its Mind Up? Connections, cliques, and compatibility between countries in the Eurovision Song Contest'

This was the correct strategy, but I made a poor selection (Belarus) using this strategy. This year I have completed more detailed analysis using the same 'regional' strategy. From this work, four countries stand out based on results in the past 5 years - I've listed my stakes next to each:

Greece (8/1) - 0 pts (price too short)
Ukraine (50/1) - 4 pts E/W
Russia (66/1) - 4 pts E/W (have the benefit of having pre-qualified to the final)
Serbia (250/1) - 2 pts E/W
(E/W terms 1/4 1,2,3)

(20 pts staked in total)

Norway are a ludicrously short price at 6/4. Although I have listened to the above four songs, I've made no attempt to judge which songs will receive the most votes (a previous mistake of mine). These four countries were all considerably shorter in the betting last year, when they all did well. This is a worry as this implies that the market is a good guide (not good when you are backing at long prices!).

I suspect the reason why these countries are made longer prices this year is that the voting process has changed. This year, half of the votes from each country will be decided by the public and half by a jury. It is unclear how this will affect the votes cast, so I have not tried to factor in this change. At least half the votes will be cast as previously and arguments could made for both greater and less bias with a jury involvement.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

3.45 Kempton - Something - 4pts E/W Ladbrokes

I am convinced that Something should be one of the favourites in this race. He showed he returned to form last time on heavy ground (tired at the end of race) at Haydock when he was well backed. If he reproduces his Polytrack form (2/2 at Lingfield), he will win this race easily. He could be incredibly well hancicapped.

At 33-1. he is excellent value - I've had 4pst E/W (Ladbrokes have limited me to 1.5pts, so I've placed the other 2.5 pts E/W on at a slightly shorter price at Betfair).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Justin Rose to lead after Rnd 1 of Masters - 40-1 - 2pts

To do well in the Masters, it is critical you are experienced around Augusta. Therefore it is no surprise to find the leader/joint leader after the first round for the last three years has been been the same player (Justin Rose). Can lightning strike a fourth time? There is no reason to think not, which is why I'm having 2pts at 40-1 on Justin Rose leading after Round One.

In the outright market I have already backed Mike Weir at 80-1. I am reasonably happy with this bet. I don't like to have more than one bet in any event, however if they make a reasonable start I'm considering having further bets on Phil Mickleson (9-1), Sean O'Hair (66-1) and Nick Watney (50-1) (who also has an excellent chance of leading after Round 1 at 40-1). Karlsson could make a play for top European at 14-1.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

No. of finishers in Malysian Grand Prix to be 9 or less - 13/2 - 4 pts win

With rain forecast for the Malysian Grand Prix, there is a very real risk that we will see a low number of finishers in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Of the 20 runners, 14 finished in Melbourne and I therefore think the number of finishers in the humid Malysian environment could easily drop the single figures. I've therefore had 4 pts at 13/2 with Centrebet on this. N.B. I can't see any other bookies operating this exact market.