What do you mean by Value betting?

OK for example, we worked out that Arsenal to score over 2.5 goals is 1.92 but a bookmaker is offering odds of 2.10, there’s about 20% value in this bet. Even if the outcome is a losing bet, if you bet with enough value over the long term you will be positive.

Today the first game on the list for Easter Friday is Birmingham vs Rotterham, their last 3 meetings have been one win for Birmingham and two were 2-2 draws. The true odds for the draw should be 1.33 but in reality draw odds are always above 3 and if you betted a draw for all 3 matches you would have one two and lost one but will be in huge profits. Of course its not that easy to calculate value but I am just emphasising my point here and explaining the basics of Value in football betting.

I won’t go in detail how I work out value in this blog entry but I just want to point out to those who wants to profit from football betting to stop betting on accumulators and short odds, bookies loves you, they love it when you make these bets because they know they will always be a winner long term, yes you do land a £300 accumulator time to time but how many £100s have you lost before you hit one?

Starting Out

I remember when I first started betting on football, it was down my local bookie after school when I turned 18, me and my mates didn’t know what to do in there, we then lumped £1 on 2 accumulators with the odds of 300+/1. We were sure we will win big money and be minted the next day, in reality that never happened. A few years without success punting the pound on big accumulators, I then looked at focusing on picking winners, at the time I would call these MUST WIN BETS, they are often around odds of 1.2-1.3. I would then pick a few and lump a £10 or so on them and hope they come in.

Looking back now, I would laugh at my old-self, which obviously didn’t work, even though a lot of the times you will win, but upsets in the matches will happen, the risk vs reward ratio isn’t worth doing. Bookies will always beat you over the long term because of VALUE, they don’t give a lot of value out as they have very smart people working for them and they play against the sharp sharks everyday. I’ll give you an example of betting with value, if you look at Casinos, they don’t really care if you win 10 hands in a row on Black Jack (unless you are card counting), or hitting the magic number on roulette 5-6 times in a row and got a big win, all the games in the casino gives them an EDGE, mostly 51-53% chance. As a player, we only have around 48% or less chances in the games, so in long term we will always lose in a casino, they don’t care if you have been winning  10 games in a row, they know the variance will sort themselves out long-term and they will be a winner after another 100…1000 games, the law of averages will be in their favour.

Odds are probabilities and if you can master the art of it, you will become successful in sports betting or sports trading and make profit long-term. It’s hard to really say what is the ‘true odds’ of a football match outcome, how would you calculate it? There are so many variant involved and calculating the true price, so what is right and wrong? Well if you look at it this way.. the bookmakers find it hard too and they do get it wrong sometimes, this is where we take advantage of it.

Odemwingie to FIFA 2018

I heard Peter Odemwingie is happy the FIFA World Cup is going to Russia in 2018. Really? Is it the same Peter Odemwingie who once played for Lokomotiv Moscow? Is it the same Peter Odemwingie who got this banner from Lokomotiv fans after he transferred to West Bromwich Albion?

What was difficult to understand about this racial abuse was the fact that his mum is Russian and he was born and raised in the former Soviet Union. Forget the fact that he chose to play for his father’s nation, Nigeria (good choice!); dude still has Russian blood in him. And now he’s happy the World Cup is going to a country whose club fans can make monkey noises when a black player is on the opposing side? Yeah right, but I understand his point of view. According to him, the World Cup will be an opportunity for football fans in the country to experience the presence of other fans from diverse colours, cultures and continents.

He hopes the effect of the experience will lead the myopic ones to understand and accept that anyone can play football (even Yakubu Aiyegbeni, hehehe). The list of Black players publicly facing racist chants in Russia is limitless. When Marseille played Zenit St. Petersburg (and I’m a big Zenit fan) in 2008, Andre Ayew and teammates Ronald Zubar and Charles Kabore were targeted. Not to talk of all the crap Andre Bikey had to take whiles playing for Lokomotiv.

When Dutch mastermind Dick Advocaat was coach at Zenit, he made the situation pretty clear: “The fans don’t like black players”. Does anyone remember the “Monkey go home” banner by Spartak Moscow fans for Brazilian forward, Welliton, in 2007? Spartak got away with just a £13,000 fine, nothing more. I just hope that Russians won’t embarrass themselves in 2018 and shut out the rest of the football world permanently.

English Racist Card

The English used the racist card a lot in their own campaign to beat the Russians to the rights for 2018. Unfortunately, this makes them racist too, and they lost on top of that. However, admit it, not all Russians are racist. It’s only a few topless and drunk boys who can even barely afford their match tickets who come to stadiums with these banners looking for some attention. I have a few Russian friends and they are nice people! For years, the Soviet Union invested heavily in Africa. Thousands of near-retirement professionals in my country had some Soviet education, sort of.

The nation’s policy isn’t racist and we could look forward to a good World Cup. After all, we have heard similar doubts about World Cup hosts in the past, haven’t we? Didn’t we all hear “Can South Africa pull this off” or “We are not sure the Japan-Korea co-host arrangement can work smoothly”? These kinds of comments are common as long as you have sore losing bidders (like England, right?). But FIFA has a good reason to take the World Cup to Russia. They have a vision to spread football to every country in the world. And if spreading football means teaching a racist Caucasian how to play alongside a Black, Latino or Asian, then I’m game. Play Ball!

Politically, the Russian government has a big task, if they are to avoid a boycott of the 2018 tournament. I think their primary weakness is the denial of the gravity of the situation. They even denied the interpretation of Odemwingie’s banana banner! They must accept that all the neo-Nazi chants in stadiums and activities outside of it are a red alert crisis. When a referee has to stop a game because of a chant against a Black player, you think that’s not a problem? Gradually, a new generation of racially intolerant kids will grow and enter sports and politics. The hate crimes continue and people are being murdered year on year for just looking the way they were born to look. If as much as a tiny fraction of an increase in these rates appear in the run to 2018, then forget it.

They will have to attend their own World Cup. A lot of assurances need to fly around the world. South Africa had to promise the rest of the world that its outrageously high crime rate wouldn’t be a problem for fans and tourists. They had to do this repeatedly until we all felt we could walk on the streets in South Africa without looking over our shoulders for a mugger or rapist. Until a lot of things change and tolerance education is intensified in Russia, I won’t be caught dead on the streets of Moscow wearing the Black Star jersey and brandishing my Ghanaian flag. I’ll be in the safety of my living room in 2018, for now…….

Messilona Healing

So soon a new season is upon us. I personally could not wait for this season(am still nursing a fractured heart from our whipping by Messilona). What better way to dry those tears than success in a brand new season? I am however just a tad worried about the capabilities of the other teams in the premier league (you know who am talking about; City, Chelsea, Liverpool. Sorry Wenger, you don’t make the list this time).

City do give me great hope that money cannot buy success. What else can you expect when your star player insists on using his innocent kids as an excuse to escape you? Ballotelli is player full of meaningless teenage angst. I think the worst decision he made was deciding not to play for Ghana. We would have given him some good old African discipline and he would man up. The other aren’t so bad and Toure is essential to their success this season as well as Hart. I believe they made a mistake letting Given go as Hart is not guaranteed an injury free season. Without a champions league position, it will be bye bye Mancini.

The freshest talent Chelsea have acquired this season is the new Manager who at 33, is younger that a lot of their start players. I can’t wait for the drama yet to unfold between him and the ageing primadonnas. Essien is injured and although he is supposedly 30, we all know better. He is at least 5 years older than his ‘football age’. Lampard is fat, Cech is burnt out, Torres is misplaced and Ashley is looking for himself. Throw an impatient billionaire into the mix and you have the makings of a kick ass Mexican telenovella. The only thing missing will be the guns (oops! Ashley will be providing that; so no worries).

Wenger’s Gunners

When Wenger’s Gunners beat Barca at the Emirates in last February, I was one of those who believed it had nothing to do with luck. Arsenal won; fair, square and tactically. Barca is a monster that gobbles up “willing” opponents ruthlessly. Other monsters of times past; such a the Brazilian national team of 1970, the Real Madrid side of 2000 – 2002, The Benfica European masters of 1962 – 1965; seem to pale in comparison to the present Barca side. But that February night in North London, Wenger’s boys forgot for a moment that they were up againt the Catalans and played their game i.e. pass, run, pass and shoot when you have the chance. The also kept a compact defence line, with the help of midfielders who could both clean up the area in front of the back four, as well as join the attack. If only Wenger had been brave enough to go to the Camp Nou and repeat the same antidote. Rather, just like other coaches before him, he went for the conservative and ended up getting bundled out of the tournament.

But at least that gives us an idea that Barca can be defeated in London again. This is how I will do it if I will be in Sir Alex’s seat on Saturday 28th May 2011:

DEFENCE

In Edwin van der Sar, United has a stable pair of hands. With 28th May being his last game in a United shirt, I expect the old Dutchman to be on top of his game, so no problem with goalkeeping. But let’s talk about lateral defence. If Evra is fit, he will be the likely start at left-back. In his more youthful days, Evra was a surety for overlapping. But I am glad he can’t overlap much against Barca, past the centre line. That should be left to whoever plays left midfield on the night. This is because, key to Barca’s dominance of the 2009 finals was Carlos Puyol’s shift to an attacking right wing-back position to wreck havoc down that side. Evra needs to start tight and compact and overlap only with the tracking of a midfield team mate, in case he loses a ball and Barca launches a quick counter down United’s left flank. An alternative to Evra will be a more youthful and level-headed Fabio da Silva. Fabio has enough energy levels to defend and join the attack.

At right-back, Fergie would likely deploy John O’Shea. However, I will prefer one of the reserve centre-backs, preferably Smalling, as a lateral defender on the right. O’Shea may be good in joining the attack, but he can be pathetic against pacy lateral midfielders. Apart from Afellay, Barca may not have natural wingers. But their midfielders Xavi, Iniesta and Messi shift into lateral positions without warning. Not to even speak of Pedro, a forward who naturally attacks down the flanks. Vidic and Ferdinand will remain constant as centre-backs. The have to be quick on their feet and high in the air. Short-heighted Messi (who I have nicknamed: The Midget of Nou Camp), outjumped Ferdinand to score the second goal of the Rome 2009 final.

Liverpool Oh Liverpool

Liverpool, oh Liverpool. I have always admired their slogan. Never walk alone indeed. They just might surprise us all this season and actually challenge for third place. The manager seems alright and the players are working hard. I just hope they don’t 1break under the pressure to finish in the top four.

I know Arsenal are spectators this season but as a football fan, I have to mention them. That sublime soccer, those fine boys; that intense manager(am almost swooning; give me a break here, am a girl and I have needs!). Those boys need to grow a spine and Arsene needs to learn to enjoy the thrill that comes from spending some one else’s money. He has to learn to let go of the cash and build his team and try to win the Carling cup(that’s all he can get this season), otherwise am afraid he will be fired at the end of this season. Good luck to him.

Finally we come to good old United. I worried about us when Messilona humiliated us last May but no more. THE WIN over City told me that the team has been rebuilt and is ready to go. We do need a strong central midfielder though I am not so keen on Schneider. I fear that on that salary, he may just become a god in the dressing room and this will disrupt team unity. How many clubs can overhaul the entire defense in a match against one of their biggest rivals and still go ahead to beat them? My respect for good ol Sir Alex just when beyond the stratosphere after that brilliant win. Berbatov must be really afraid for his position at this moment; not only has he got Chicharito to contend with but he now has welbeck and macheda as well. The lazy genius needs to start learning the basic rudiments of hard work. I believe the 20th title is within reach this season. ONE UNITED!

West Bank high life masks deepening economic crisis

Past the Israeli sentry towers blackened by firebombs and the entrance to a refugee camp emblazoned with posters of rifle-clenching militants, downtown Ramallah sparkles.

The scars of an intractable conflict and occupation melt away: cafes bustle with smartly dressed patrons, water-pipe smoke perfumes the air and basslines from trendy clubs shake the night. New model BMWs ply leafy avenues beneath villas and tall apartment blocks sprout from the West Bank hills.

But its more mirage than miracle.

Thank God for loans, said Ibrahim el-Far, owner of the newly-opened branch of the upscale Italian cafe chain Segafredo Zanetti in Ramallah, the Palestinians commercial capital and headquarters of their government in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Growth in the West Bank is concentrated in Ramallah and in real estate and services even as many sectors like agriculture and construction languish.

Government spending and living on credit at all levels of Palestinian society is rampant and, as the euro zone crisis has shown, may prove to be the economys undoing.

Bank lending for personal consumption in the Palestinian territories has risen five-fold in the last two years to $417 million. Total credit for cars alone accounts for a further $119 million, according to the Palestinian Monetary Authority.

If youre immersed in troubles, why not try to live well, have night life and good coffee? If weve been slapped once by occupation, the slap from the credit bill wont hurt as much, El-Far said.

Aid for the donor-dependent Palestinian Authority (PA), which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals with Israel, has slowed to a trickle.

Salaries for a swollen public sector again cannot be paid in full this month. The productive base for the economy is shrivelling while unemployment climbs along with poverty.

An economic crisis has deepened – growth is down from a peak of 9 percent in 2010 after the lows of the Intifada to 5.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012 from the same 2011 period.

The Palestinian Authority accounts for almost a third of the $3.5 billion in credit given by banks in the Palestinian territories but, with donor aid flagging and revenues down, it is not clear how much longer that can last.

A Palestinian request for a $1 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund was turned down, officials said this week. And foreign aid is waning partly because of global economic conditions and partly in a backlash to the Palestinians abortive bid for statehood at the United Nations last fall.

Israeli-Palestinian violence has dropped off dramatically since the end of a 2000-2005 Palestinian uprising. But peace and coveted statehood remain elusive. Negotiations with Israel have been frozen since 2010 amidst bitter misgivings among Palestinians over Jewish settlement building in the West Bank.

Barca midfielders

Sir Alex should play with 4.5 midfielders (I will explain the 0.5 soon). Now to deal with the Messi/Villa threat, you need to deny them direct access to your back four. You need to clip them (yes, literally) all the time. Which means you plant a “cleaner” in front of your centre-backs to mop up any crumbs left from the process of flushing out attack waves. I am referring here to a JS Park or Darren Fletcher, preferably Park, considering the speed with which Barca attacks through the middle. To counter Park’s erratic but effective style will be a Michael Carrick, who comes with the added feature of being a good ball distributor. So Park cleans, Carrick distribute, easy. In 2009, Park started against Barca in an attack right position, disastrous! This time, he should be made to replicate the role he played in the quarter-final games against Chelsea: a neutralizing holding midfielder.

Now on the flanks, United should not go for full-time wingers. In modern football, a full-time winger is tied down with work along the flanks all game, and barely contributes to central midfield play. Thankfully, Giggs has grown (or rather aged) into a full-midfielder nowadays and Valencia is brave enough to take the entire midfield on his own! So that makes 4 midfielders. The 0.5 is the boy Wayne Rooney. He will be United’s number 9.5: a deep-lying centre-forward. Helped by his physical strength, he will be difficult to pick out since he will neither be in the face of Pique nor in the midst of Iniesa or Xavi. With Rooney lurking in a deep-lying centre-forward position, Busquet will be wary of running forward in attack and wrecking his usual supply damages. And in case Keita plays for Barca, he is likely to behave the same way, as Barca’s central midfielders will have their backs to Rooney, with the threat of him supplying a difficult-to-catch Hernandez.

FORWARD

Rooney will lend his other half in attack to support Hernandez. Hernandez is matured enough to stay on his own, with his speed being his main weapon. Pique is good, but may not be quick enough to outrun Hernandez. Rooney’s other half, as well as Valencia and Giggs coming in from the flanks, could turn the Mexican into a hero on the night, especially Valencia’s crosses (and potential ability to deal with Eric Abidal). Having studied United this season, Guardiola will certainly be smart enough keep an eye on the Mexican. This gives opportunities in a counter-attack situation for Rooney, Valencia, Park or Giggs to pop up with a goal.

Whatever you do Fergie, just don’t go to Wembley and defend all night!

Good coaches are patient ones

Being a good coach requires some real patience. So I had Van der Vaart on my Yahoo Fantasy Football team. Then he was injured last Saturday and scored me no points, I therefore kicked him out. He makes a quick recovery, returns to action on Tuesday, scores a goal against Sunderland and earns over 20 points! I now feel like an ass. But can you blame me? I live in Ghana, West Africa. In this part of the world, we can hire or fire a coach based on the results of just one match!

Anyways, I take consolation in the fact that his goal got cancelled by one from Asamoah Gyan (the man who once broke the hearts of over 1 billion people, a potential Guinness world record for heartbreaks). So it seem to be going well for Gyan, 13 million pound transfer, a goal in debut game (and 4 afterwards)…….I am truly happy for the young man from Accra who also happened to score Ghana’s first ever World Cup goal in 2006. And his dance, it seem to be catching up with the Black Cats fans. I almost rolled over with laughter when El Muhammadi attempted to dance along. Whatever you do, Steve Bruce, keep Gyan away from penalties (and maybe keep John Mensah from playing football altogether! lol).

Ha! I almost got carried away. Who cares about United playing City tonight? All of a sudden, the rest of the world pays attention when United plays City. I thought that ranked on the same level as United playing Nottingham Forest? C’mon, City is rich, so what? When you are rich, you have to be sensible. You don’t go around spending tons of cash on over-priced mid-standard players and expect your new-found wealth to work miracles on the field of play (no mention of names). United shares a city with City, but I doubt they’ve learnt anything from the legendary gaffer in the driving seat at Old Trafford (whose only wrongful purchase was paying 30 million pounds for the “legendary” Dimitar Berbatov, my friend
Alyshah Kanji’sall-time hero). But that’s understandable since Alyshah plays like Berbatov. Apart from stealing Carlos Tevez from us, City has so far thrown money down every gutter they could find, from Asunción all the way to Zurich.