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GW17 Bets

Pre-game picks:

Sat games

Liv v Avl - DRAW 2% @ >5 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sto v Eve - STO 1.5% @ >3.3 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Key Player - Crouch

Sun games
Swa v Tot - TOT 2.5% @ >1.6 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Key Player - Bale

Wba v Whm - WBA 3% @ >2 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mon game
Rea v Ars - DRAW 1% @ >4 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Key Player - Walcott

All odds are stated in decimals, and stake sizes recommended are a percentage of your overall bankroll (if £1k bankroll, you’ll generally be placing bets between £10-£50 per game).

Note - Value betting is a long-term strategy that takes advantage of mismatches between the statistical likelihood of an event occurring versus the bookmaker prices available. As such, bankroll and stake sizing are a critical component of a value betting strategy in order to handle to volatility in the performance of bets.

Syndicate target returns = 25%*
Season to date returns = 36.5%*
* Returns as a % bankroll per season

Value Betting Philosophy
Quick reminder on the fundamental philosophy of a value betting strategy: we identify bets where the price doesn't reflect our modelled likelihood of the event occurring. This means that our picks do not necessarily reflect what we think will actually happen in that specific game, but that if you are placing bets over a high enough volume of games, you will net a positive return.

To illustrate this with a basic example, the Man United win price is generally very well priced when they're playing teams outside of the top 6. The current price of 1.22 for United versus Sunderland is exactly the same as our modelled price. Therefore we do not perceive there to be any value in the bet, as we agree that over 80% of the time it's a winning bet, but around 1 in 5 times it's a loser, so long-term, there is no expected return.
The Sunderland draw event though, IF we believe it occurs ~16% of the time (odds of ~6.25), even though we expect the Man United win to come in, the draw price which is currently floating around 7.5 , and therefore represents a value bet. If we continue to identify bets with this level of value, over a large enough volume of bets, we expect to generate a positive long term return.
(Note - This example is for illustrative purposes only, we're not recommending the Draw bet for this game).

In general, because the market money tends to favour either a home or away win, the draw price generally drifts right up until kick off, and therefore delaying the placement of draw bets until as close to kick off as possible can help you maximise your returns. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to receive any of our team news considerations via Twitter. As mentioned in the GW 16 performance review though, the draw picks do have a high variance, and therefore, similar to being able to handle bad beats in poker, handling the variance in returns is a critical part to a football value betting strategy. Do not be too phased by losing weeks, and equally do not get carried away with weeks of exceptional returns. However, if you are looking to reduce the volatility in your returns, the GW16 performance review discussed some of the options available to you, and a tutorial will be put up on the site in due course.

Liv v Avl
The Liverpool win bet appears to be the most underpriced bet so far this season. Whether it is historic stats or significant money from the Asian bookmaker markets influencing the price, it is unclear, however the Liverpool win price does tend to drift in even further by KO. Their win over West Ham last weekend in spite of being the inferior team for the majority of the game should ensure the drift does take place, and we're currently toying with either a straight Liverpool lay or the draw bet, however we expect the draw price to drift as high as 5.5 by KO which is making us lean towards the straight draw bet at present.
In terms of team news, Villa did play away in the week, however sufficient players were rested for the squad to be fresh enough to make the draw value still evident. Liverpool on the other hand will welcome back Suarez which brings the value in the draw bet down slightly, but not enough for us to reconsider the bet.

Sto v Eve
We've been monitoring this price all week, with Stoke touching 3.41 yesterday, but coming back into 3.18 by today. We do expect some late drift back out closer to game time, as the big money changes hands, however it's a bet that jumped out at us as soon as we saw the early prices. Stoke are actually the only team where the draw bet seems reasonably well priced, as everyone seems to think all they do is draw games. Whilst it is true that they have a higher draw frequency than a lot of other teams, the reality is that there is high variance in their results, which will present a lot of betting opportunities, particularly on the win side of the bet.
In terms of team news, the Everton starting XI is almost back to full strength, with the exception of Phil Neville, however Everton have been very slow starters in games this season, therefore the bet should trade well in play for those looking to take early profits. Stoke on the other hand should be welcoming back Crouch, who is key to our perceived value in the Win bet, so one we will be monitoring until the team news is announced.
Key player watch - Crouch.

Swa v Tot
Definitely one to wait for the team news on, with the fitness of Bale of particular interest. Swansea have been without Leon Britton recently, who is a key player consideration for us, and there is value evident in both the Spurs win and draw bet at the moment. AVB has shown that he is happy to try Adebayor and Defoe up top together in a 4-4-2 more than once this season, given the hot streak Defoe is on, and this does make them a bigger goal threat than his more typical 4-2-3-1, so there really is a reasonable amount of selection news we'll be interested to hear before we make any final decisions, so monitor Twitter on this one.
Key player watch- Bale.

Wba v Whm
The pick of the week. Our stake could rise to 4% on this one. West Ham look set to be without Diame and Carroll, and West Brom's perceived 'bad form' looks to be overhyped in the prices. Whilst not particularly convincing against Arsenal, 2 penalty decisions that could have not been given show that Brom are not easily broken down, and they'll be looking to get back to winning ways, so a depleted West Ham team will an ideal opportunity. Clarke has already made an unusual team selection though that led to us pulling a West Brom bet earlier in the season, so we'll be monitoring closely, although we're not expecting anything too controversial this time, as there is no real rotation/fatigue issues to consider this time around.

Rea v Ars
Most likely an in-play bet from us, as both these teams fit into our in-play criteria in that they consistently turn games upside down, evidenced by the game between the two in the League cup earlier in the season. We're generally backers of Arsenal with Arteta and Walcott fit, so we will be sweating on the fitness of Walcott, however without him, the draw bet is very attractive, as without Theo, Arsenal have shown that they lack pace and clinicalness that historically made them such as potent force.
Key player watch - Walcott.



GAME WEEK 16 Performance Review

Pre-game picks:
Eve v Tot - DRAW 3% @ >3.3
Whm v Liv - WHM 3% @ >3.0
Swa v Nor - DRAW 2% @ >3.5
Sou v Rea - DRAW 2% @ >3.5
Sou v Read - SOU 3% @ > 1.95
Ful v New - FUL 2% @ > 1.90

Syndicate Returns
Eve draw            (3.0)%
Whm win             2.3%
Swa draw           (2.0)%
Sou draw            (1.5)%
Ful win                 2.1%
Mnu win/0-0         0.0%
Wk 16                  (2.1)%
Wk 15                  (4.4)%
Previous wks       43.0%

Season to date  36.5%

Overall an interesting week in terms of results, with up to a 5% negative return for those just placing the outright bets pre-game, however potentially positive returns for those trading in play, with the Everton draw touching 1.12, the West Ham win trading below 1.35, and even the Swansea draw trading at below pre-match prices after 60minutes with the score at 2-3.
As such, this week served as a strong reminder of the volatility that exists in the football bets all the way up to the end of the game, and for those of you not following the gameday information or trading in-play via Twitter, you probably missed out on the opportunity to make some useful some in-play trades.

Below we've taken a closer look at some of the key moments from last week's bets.
Pre-game volatility measures
We do appreciate that some of you will be looking purely to place the straight outright win bets, without the complication of trading in play. Even so, as we've mentioned previously, if you are looking for ways to reduce the volatility of your returns, then there is one basic thing you can still do as part of your pre-game process:
If you’re not sure what this means, we will be putting up a tutorial on the site over the next week or so, so keep checking.
Put simply though, betfair enables you to place orders for bets that will carry over to in-play at prices that have not yet been reached before the game has kicked off. In order for this bet to be kept when the market goes in play you MUST select the ‘keep’ radio button. We’ll include screen shots on the site tutorial.
This effectively means, that once you have placed your back bet with whomever, you can go to betfair and place an order to lay that market for a price of say 1.2. Since no one will be looking to back this market at that price pregame, the order will be unmatched. So long as you have selected the ‘keep’ radio button, this order will stay on betfair throughout the game until it gets matched, or until the game ends.
Betfair prices
Also, a quick note on prices before we move onto the individual games, for those of you backing the betfair prices because the price you see when you’re selecting the bet is above our minimum price – DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE OFF THE BETFAIR COMMISSION. It’s a long term strategy and therefore sacrificing these margins each week will eat into your long term returns.

Eve v Tot
As we’ve already mentioned, the draw price touched 1.12 in-play on this one, as the last goal was scored in the dying seconds of the game.
As we’ve also mentioned above, depending on your risk tolerance, this could mean that the bet paid out for you, or that you at least removed your liability. It is entirely up to you whether you place the pregame orders to close out when prices reach this stage, and you can even get more sophisticated than just closing out at a given price on betfair if you use trading software with automation rules, such as bet angel.
However, one key thing to point out is that some punters do prefer to place the automatic bet closure on draw bets in particular, because unlike with a win bet, you are only ever one goal away from it being a losing bet. The win bet on the other hand can go 2-0, 3-0 etc. As such, you have a much higher variance and volatility on the draw bet, and therefore closing the bet in one way or another at prices of 1.1/1.2 is not uncommon.
As a syndicate, you’ll notice from the Everton draw bet above, and the Wigan v Reading draw bet earlier in the season that we do not tend to close the draw bet out, we’re happy to ride the volatility, with the argument being that in the long-run, we expect it to be the more profitable option.
In fact, we embrace the volatility, as this variance is a big part of the reason that the mispricing opportunities exist in the first place, so without them, we would lose a significant amount of our edge.
Whm v Liv
This game had a slightly different scenario. Again, the pre-game bet traded very well in-play, as West Ham held a 2-1 lead for a significant portion of the game, and therefore came into below 1.35.
Conversely to the Everton Draw bet, the Syndicate did make an in-play trade here, with West Ham at 1.35, taking ~2.3% regardless of the outcome. For those following on Twitter, this was made clear, and the rationale was due to the loss of key player Diame, to injury, whilst the score was still 2-1.
It isn’t possible (yet!) to pre-programme trading rules into betfair to take into account this type of event. However, similar to the draw bet in-play trade concept above, depending on your risk appetite, you might prefer to place pre-game orders to close out bets at certain prices to reduce volatility in your returns caused by late goals/injuries to key players/opposing team potential substitutions.
To give you an example of the in-play trade on the West Ham game, (notional numbers) if we placed a back bet pregame of £100 @ 3, and then in play lay odds moved to 1.5 (after betfair commissions), then we are able to make a £200 lay @ 1.5, such that we win £100 regardless of the outcome, ie – we get an evens return regardless of the outcome. The following table helps explain:
Bet Stake & Price West Ham Win rtns West Ham Lose rtns
Back West Ham Win £100 @ 3.0 £200 (£100)
Lay West Ham Win £200 @ 1.5 (£100) £200
Total £100 £100
Swa v Nor
The last game we’ll mention here is the Swansea v Norwich game. We couldn’t really have dreamt up the outcome of this one, but some key starting XI incidents that went relatively unnoticed which almost certainly impacted the outcome of the game.
Firstly Swansea were without Leon Britton and Hernandez still. Whilst there is reasonable cover for Hernandez in the wide areas, Britton was a key player we watched out for in our early season bets with Swansea, as he is very much at the source of all the positive things that Swansea do, a lot like Arteta’s role at Arsenal.  This was a big positive for us in terms of the draw bet.
Norwich on the other hand, were without Tettey. Not exactly a key player in the usual sense, in that he doesn’t offer the team any additional goal scoring threat. However without Tettey, Norwich miss someone to break up the play in the middle, win back possession, and slow the game down, evidenced by the fact that in the majority of games that Norwich have conceded several goals, Tettey has been absent. As such, with these 2 key players out, the dynamic of the game changed, however, not enough for us to rethink the value in the draw bet.
Norwich going up by one goal in a game like this actually shortens the draw price (although not to a significant extent) so there were 2 opportunities to change our mind on this bet. However as we’ve already discussed in detail, unless there are key substitutions/player losses, as a syndicate, we do not tend to close out our draw picks early.

Sou v Rea
The pre-game value was essentially all in the reading lay, which is why we set up the bets as we did. However, given Reading's propensity for starting quickly, or coming back into games, we held out to make the trade in-play. This does not always pay off, and unfortunately in this game and the subsequent game versus Sunderland, the in-play Reading lay was never an option.
PinnacleSports William Hill
Victor Chandler PaddyPower
Bet365 Coral
Betfred Ladbrokes
188bet Betfair


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