Friday, 31 December 2010

Join The List

With the start of a new year just a round the corner it's often a time for us to reflect and take stock. At the same time we like to look forward to what the future holds, but unfortunately, some of us can't look that much further ahead.

A few months ago I read about the plight of a young 23 year old lady named Victoria Tremlett who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis and who is currently waiting for a double lung transplant to transform here life. Now, most of us would crawl under a rock, feel sorry for ourselves and generally retreat from society but not 'Tor' - she's made it her mission to raise awareness of her 'life on the list' and has campaigned tirelessly throughout 2010 for people in the UK to join the Organ Donation Register.

She's still waiting, and she's not the only one. In the UK it's not compulsory to be a donor and the the sad fact is that somebody would have to die for anyone on the list to receive an organ transplant. Whilst an unexpected death would be a terrible situation to face I can't help but feel that I'd like to help someone 'live on' after I've gone.

So this is an appeal to my readers. To join the list and be able to help others if the worst should happen then click here.

If you want to follow Victoria's story then you can also read her Blog or follow here on Twitter.

Hopefully I haven't put too much of a downer on your celebrations, and I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Buffoon Boycott

Congratulations England. A fantastic first day brought embarrassment to the Aussies and also a well known ageing commentator.

Geoffrey Boycott has been around for donkeys years and whilst he may have been a quality player, how much longer can he milk the BBC out of tax payers money by providing expert analysis?

If any of you were listening to 'Five Live' last night then you'll already know what I'm talking about. Boycott started sledging the England team after just 12 minutes play and came out with brash statements such as, "I can't see England winning this" and "I'm supposed to know what I'm talking about, that's why I'm an expert."

You really need to listen for yourself, so click this link and listen from 42 minutes to 48 minutes. The great thing is that this period also covers the fall of the first Aussie wicket, which is very amusing after his earlier comments.

In the end he couldn't have been more wrong - England put on a clinic and the Aussies folded to 98 all out. Boycott should hang up his microphone for good.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Tough At The Top

I watch quite a bit of rugby but I haven't seen a tackle as bad as the one Xavier Rush made on England International Courtney Lawes at the weekend for a long time. He nearly took his head off! Click here to see it.

Elsewhere, Phil Taylor has stumbled through his first round match at the PDC World Darts Championships. It's crazy that quite a few TV pundits are now suddenly questioning his credentials. I accept that players in any sport will never hit the dizzy heights forever, but write off Taylor at your peril. His price has drifted on Betfair to a very tempting 2.18 from 1.75, but I can't help but think that the 'Sports Personality of the Year' nomination may have distracted him a little.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Snow Problem

With the snow putting many of the weekends sporting clashes 'out of action', it's given me the opportunity to review whether I should continue posting my Premier League ratings on the blog.

The initial reason for putting them on here was to generate thoughts and accumulate some feedback. As that hasn't materialised I'm not sure if there's that much interest despite the positive results. So with this in mind is there any point in cluttering up the blog with uninteresting content?

I appreciate that quite a few of my readers may not want to read about Football all the time so what's the answer?

Well, you've probably noticed the yellow banner above this post - I've set-up a mailing list. This helps me solve 3 issues; it frees up the blog again for other things, it will show me if there's any interest in my ratings and it also gives me the opportunity to present the information in a nicer fashion. Here's an example...

With a busy Christmas period coming up it also ensures that anybody who subscribes won't miss my selections. I won't take it personally if I get little response but there's no charge and I won't share your personal information so you haven't got anything to lose.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Colin Lloyd Loses It

One of the funniest things I've seen in sport for a while happened last night during the first round of the PDC World Darts Championships.

Colin Lloyd, a one-time world number one, totally lost the plot and punched the dart board during his match-up with German Andree Welge.

Unfortunately for Lloyd, even with his fist he was nowhere near the treble 20 :-)

If you missed it then click here to watch. It's even better in slow motion!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Winter Wonderland

After picking 3 out of 4 right results last weekend I'm happy that my ratings are continuing to move in the right direction. With the Man Utd v Arsenal game also a close affair maybe I was a little unlucky not to have a clean sweep? Maybe, maybe not, but one things for sure - I've never been as profitable from betting on Football and that is giving me a lot of encouragement. Here are my latest statistics for the season:

Bets : 58
Won : 36 (62%)
Lost : 22 (38%)
Average Odds : 2.52

And so onto this week....

Blackpool v Tottenham: The only game to stand-out and offer any value according to my figures is this one and once again it would appear that Ian Holloway's men are being neglected. Both teams are very closely rated on 4 match form with Tottenham having a slightly better away/home bias but is this enough to justify odds of 1.70? I don't think so, and with Blackpool having strong performances over the last 2 games there's a chance they could steal all 3 points on Sunday. Conclusion: Lay Tottenham @ 1.70

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Even Stevens

I was very pleased with Everton's late equaliser against Chelsea last weekend as it meant another profitable week for my new Premier League ratings, but I'm not getting ahead of myself. If I can finish the season in profit then I'll accept that maybe I'm onto something but for the time being I intend to keep stakes relatively small and just learn as much as I can in the process.

For the record though, here are the full statistics for the season to date:

Bets : 54
Won : 33 (61%)
Lost : 21 (39%)
Average Odds : 2.47

Now onto this weekend:

From that table you can probably identify quite a few equally matched teams squaring up this week. Maybe a great day for some score draws? I'm going to reserve judgement until Friday when the prices will have firmed up but be sure to come back as I'll be updating this post with my value picks then. In the meantime, here's the latest form table:

UPDATE - 10/12/2010

Aw shucks! Now I know nobody is reading this as nobody spotted my mistake when I posted my statistics. I would dearly love average odds of 2.90 but as yet I can only manage 2.47. It was an honest typo so please accept my apologies.

Here's the latest odds from Betfair:

So what do I think the weekend holds in store? Okay, from the top....

Everton v Wigan: If I wasn't using these ratings then I wouldn't have even considered this bet. Not much in it between the two sides in both the 4 match supremacy and home/away form (Everton slightly stronger on both) so to discover a juicy draw price of 4.50 means there's only one thing to do. Conclusion: Draw @ 4.50

Stoke v Blackpool: Blackpool seem to be completely underestimated every week according to my ratings. Stoke seem to be priced extremely short when comparing the statistics and with both sets of results very consistent over the last 4 games it didn't take me long to decide to oppose them. Conclusion: Lay Stoke @ 1.67

West Ham v Man City: Another match where I'm pleasantly surprised by the prices available. Man City have been very solid form over the last 4 games and are completely dominant (23.75 v 11.50). Their away form is also superior to West Ham's form this season (21.25 v 15.00) so the 1.95 for an away win seems very appealing. Conclusion: Back Man City @ 1.95

Man Utd v Arsenal: A titanic clash with the 2nd and 3rd placed teams in my form table matching up. Not surprisingly the last 4 games for both sides are packed with strong performances and there's no separating them when it comes to home/away form either. The price of 3.60 on the draw is just big enough to gain my interest. Conclusion: Draw @ 3.60

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Spotting Value

Bolton came to my rescue last weekend to pull back a 2 goal deficit and secure a draw at home to Blackpool. At odds of 4.30 the price seemed a bit high as in my book 3.00 (approx 33%) would have been about right. Even though there were other games of interest, that match turned out to be my only bet as the prices on the other short-list selections didn't provide any value and at the end of the day that's what it's all about.

So can we pick any short-list selections this week?

I'll update this post tomorrow with the latest prices and my thoughts, but I'm really interested to see if any of you lot can highlight some opportunities. There could be quite a few in there so let me know by leaving a comment!

UPDATE - 03/12/2010

Thanks to Matt for taking the time to post his thoughts on my latest ratings. Now it's my turn!

Here's the latest odds (Blackpool v Man Utd has been postponed so this match has been excluded) :

There's a lot going on there but these are the stand-outs from my perspective:

Birmingham v Tottenham: Rafael van der Vaart is out for Spurs so can the London side perform without him? He makes a big difference to the team but with a huge 4 game supremacy (26.25 v 16.25) and superior home/away form I think they can get over the line at a generous price of 2.20. Conclusion: Tottenham win.

Chelsea v Everton: These teams are closely matched on last 4 games and home/away form but it does worry me that both have had a stand-out shocking performance recently (Chelsea 14 and Everton's 9). However 5.10 is a big price and that is enough to sway me towards my decision. Conclusion: Draw

Man City v Bolton: A very similar match-up to the previous game although Bolton probably have a slightly better chance of pulling off a victory. I don't think they will mind so I'll plump for the 4.20 that says it'll end in a stalemate. Conclusion: Draw

Sunderland v West Ham: This was a difficult decision - is the 1.91 on offer for Sunderland to win value? Their form beats West Ham on both counts but this doesn't feel as solid a selection as the 2.20 on Tottenham. Ideally I would be looking for a price above 2.00 but the Hammers have been dismal this season. Conclusion: Sunderland win.

An important part of any betting plan is to manage your risk and stake correctly so for your information the value of my bets decrease for selections with higher odds. However, they're all in proportion with the size of my bank. I'm not saying this is the best way of maximising any edge I may have as I could adopt a 'Kelly' approach but it's working for me right now so I'll stick with it for the time being.