IN OVER 30 YEARS of cut and thrust with some great bets and wins and some stupid, senseless losses that defy logic, I have naturally mentally attuned myself to the do’s and don’ts for my betting patterns and if you follow the following ten tips into your betting strategy for the New Year, I can’t guarantee you’ll win but I will guarantee you will be better off.
So here are my Rules of Engagement – some are obvious but when you get the red mist (you know what I mean) you need to be reminded of the right path and some require the reader to understand the nature of the fight - but that only comes from experience.
If a bookmaker offers you a concession over its other rivals then for God’s sake take it. For example, Bet365, Paddy Power, to name at least two, pay on first past the post and official result on all UK horse races. Ladbrokes, among others, do not. So why would you bet with them because you will look pretty stupid when the horse you have backed has won and been thrown out in the Stewards’ room. Obviously Ladbrokes has many advantages, not least in the fact you can get a sizeable bet on but let’s be honest with ourselves, are you reading this column and betting at a £1,000 a point?
Over the course of a year if you have taken the best price on your fancy (consult Oddschecker.com) then all the 15/8s over the 7/4s will add up. To borrow a well known strapline from Tesco: Every little helps. To take full advantage of this you need to open accounts with all the High Street and online bookmakers so you are treating your hobby as a business – which it is!
Bet as late as possible (and therefore over the phone and your PC) because it is amazing how, when the prices shorten, especially at large major meetings, at the death, that particular horse justifies the money being down. Obviously bookmakers shorten odds to limit their liabilities on bets they have taken.
Sometimes value can be a shade of odds on, sometimes poor value is the same shade of odds on, it all depends what you perceive value to be. Too often tipsters discount horses because their price is too short, when in actual fact they might represent value and they put up a double figure selection only for it to disappear without trace. Value is different to a great price.
Always balance the benefit of ante post against the likelihood of participation. To that end I place a lot of ante posts on events where the team is playing (football, American football, golf) but less on horse races where a horse can easily be withdrawn through injury.
Ignore ground conditions at your peril. A horse that is proven in heavy going can improve by an enormous amount because it’s got its conditions.
Every horse, every team can always have a bad run or performance. Look at the price offered compared to its usual run rather than its latest.
I have always found it more advantageous to place a slightly extra stake on my selection at source, in the hope of hedging at the culmination of a tournament rather than blindly bet on a quarter or a fifth or a third each way.
Always read the sporting press and listen to the interviews on TV, it’s amazing what is a positive and what is a negative and how this is translated into results.
However painful it is, keep a record of your wins and losses. It’s amazing how it clears your mind to how you’re actually performing.
FORGIVE THE American feel this month but it only happens once every four years, and despite the US Presidential Election (8th November) being one of the most devisive election campaigns in living memory, it does give us an opportunity to profit from the results. And it all adds up to Hillary Clinton receiving the necessary 270 electoral college votes to take up residency in the Oval Office. And Donald, here is the maths! Firstly let me explain my nap selection is NUMBER OF DEMOCRATIC ELECTORAL VOTES BETWEEN 330-359 AT A WHOPPING 2/1 WITH MOST FIRMS.
So have you got your calculators ready? The number of rock solid Democratic votes (in states) is 175. Add on the undisputed 84 votes that Clinton is practically assured of. Now let’s add, of the swing states (the ones that always decide the election) of Florida (29), Ohio (18), Virginia (13), Colorado (9) and Nevada (6).
You are now up to 334. If the other swing states which are likely to vote Republican of North Carolina (15), Arizona (11) and Georgia (16) we are still able to collect if one of these three unlikely targets go blue. Following all that? Back Hillary now and banish the racist mysoginist.
Speaking of America, my Superbowl tip of last month, New England Patriots, continue to be at the head of the betting with the Green Bay Packers in a promising position.
My last outright selection prior to the Superbowl needs to be backed at this point and they are America’s team – the DALLAS COWBOYS – at a generous 16/1 in the outright lists. Their franchise quarterback Tony Romo is now back fit, they have the best offensive line in the league and they are currently 5 and 1. Take the odds now.
Meanwhile I hope you backed my headline selection of America in the Ryder Cup with my tip for outright selections and equally my ongoing tip for Sunderland to be relegated at 9/2! See you next month.
BERNIE THE BOOK
ONE MONTH IN to the new NFL season and already the prime contenders are taking shape. As previously indicated the Green Bay Packers look strong in the NFC, now that their receiving corps is at full strength (Nelson) but the form of the AFC heavyweight, THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS looks menacing.
Their regular season schedule has them playing only Pittsburgh and Denver away and they look primed for the number one seeds for the AFC. We all know how strong the Pats are at home, so my first selection is to take the 9/2 for the Superbowl while it’s still there, and with any luck it’ll be Aaron Rodgers versus Tom Brady next February in Houston.
It’s been and will continue to be a busy end to the English Flat Season with the forthcoming Cesarewitch meeting and Champions Day concluding a fabulous 2016. With regard to Newmarket, the Cesarewitch itself is a race which frequently goes to National Hunt trainers and over the past decade, it has been won by Martin Pipe, Philip Hobbs, Alan King and Nicky Henderson. My tip for the race is STARCHITECT, who was great at Cheltenham and who is freely available at 12/1.
But this is also a time for laying down ante-post wagers for next season’s classics and I was very impressed by the performance of TALAAYAB in winning at Newmarket last week. What was more interesting were the comments in the racing press afterwards and I would suggest more than an interest on Talaayab at 16/1 for the Fillies Classic. Until next month.Until next month.