Weekend focus through the eyes of an octopus

I know what you’ll be doing at 3pm on Sunday.  Don’t worry, it’s not because I’m a stalker.  It’s just that is when England take on Germany in the second round / round of 16 / eighth final etc…

It goes without saying that it’s worth a flutter.  But which one?  Well, don’t bet on an England win.  And not just because I say so.  So does a psychic octopus which correctly predicted 80% of Germany’s scores in Euro 2008.  Don’t mess with a cephalopod with that kind of hit rate.  (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/10420131.stm)

WIth this in mind, what other bets are there?  Ladbrokes are offering both Germany and England to kick off the match at 5/6.  Um, maybe not.  No…but here’s the bet to go for.  Germany to win by 1 goal is 7/2.  We all know it’s going to be a dire, dour affair with England doggedly defending and then conceding some disputed goal that will annoy us all for years afterwards.  These kind of matches are not spectacles – they’re about getting through, and Germany are slightly better at that than England at the moment.  Don’t take my word for it – but, for the sake of your future winnings, trust the octopus.

  • Bet 20: £20 on Germany to beat England 1-0 @ 7/2
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A little down, a little up

That will teach me (well it probably won’t) – in backing the Germans my treacherous ways came back to bite me with a low scoring loss to Serbia… basically the opposite of what I’d expected! Hey ho. Thankfully steering clear of the England game saved us a packet – really feels like there’s always value in laying England in world cup group games but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it!

Top entertainment award goes to Cameroon v. Denmark game this evening, with comedy defending on show from the off we quickly bought into the over 3.5 goals market @ 5.5. And it didn’t take long for Cameroon to get off the mark thanks to some surprisingly lax Danish defence, passing the ball around for fun when hoofing it up the pitch would have made more sense! Decided to lay the bet off once the 3rd goal had gone in seeing as the odds had come into 1.6, happy to bank a decent profit rather than running out a loser (see P&L for details).

South American sides seem to be doing well so I may go for a Paraguay/Brazil to win and throw Italy into the mix (surely the defending champs can beat NZ, surely!!) for an acca @ 4.4 on Betfair. We’ll see – daily accas have not been too kind so far!

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Don’t hate me, but I’m backing the Germans

German confidence will be sky high after a sound thrashing of the Aussies in their first game, and if they play anything like as well again they should bag another hatful against a dour Serbian side who were very obviously second best in their defeat by Ghana. Bets for tomorrow therefore focus on Germany winning and winning well again…

  • Bet 18: £20 Germany to be ahead v. Serbia by half time @ 2.26
  • Bet 19: £20 over 2.5 goals @ 2.24 Germany v. Serbia

You’ve got to focus on the profit making opportunities, but it still pains me to say it… come on Deutschland!

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So close, and yet so far…

There’s no such thing as a sure thing in football. I think we can safely say that yesterday’s result in the Spain v. Switzerland game has confirmed that in spades. So it proved for our bets over the past couple of days, which were transformed from locked-on winners to money down the drain with the last actions of two games.

  • Slovakia conceding an equalising header deep deep into injury time against World Cup minnows New Zealand scuppered our acca for the day and cost us a £50 winner (Slovakia, Brazil to win + Ivory Coast v. Portugal to end drawn)
  • Uruguay’s 3rd goal against a woeful South Africa yesterday was even harder to swallow, having got a fiver on Forlan first goal and Uruguay to win 2-0 at 29-1. Hmm. Deep breaths. Happy thoughts. Count to 10. And relax.

So that’s about £200 lost winnings in about 10 seconds of football…

Keeping positive though, we were also on Forlan first scorer yesterday for £10 at 5.9 on Betfair, South Africa’s loss puts them in pole position to finish in last place in Group A, and a red card for Bafana Bafana keeper Khune brings the card count to 5 for the tournament so far, so our buy of red cards at 21 is looking good value so far.

And don’t forget, today’s another day, 3 more action packed games to continue in our mission to make £3,000 of winnings on the tournament.

  • Expecting a mean reversion from dearth of goals so far at some point, we’re on Over 2.5 goals for Argentina v. South Korea… hoping Argentina are able to convert at least a few of the mass of chances they create this time round!
  • Expect Nigeria v. Greece to be Draw/Nigeria on Half Time/Full Time market – Greece’s defence should be able to hold out for at least 45 mins but Nigeria likely to find a way through before the final whistle

Don’t foget to follow us on Twitter for updates on bets and bets put on in-play http://twitter.com/3to1bet.

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Update: 13th June

Quick update on bets so far…

Congrats to South Africa for getting off the mark on day 1, but still feel they’ll be lucky to get much more out of their group games against France and Uruguay.

Shame Carlos Tevez couldn’t get on the scoresheet yesterday, very surprised to see that game finish only 1-0 with so many chances there were, particularly for Argentina. Hopefully won’t count against selection against South Korea in the next game…

Both accas still in with a chance, although the high risk one is looking even higher risk with Serbia’s lost to Ghana today and Mexico’s draw with Bafana Bafana on Friday. Other acca is still looking solid, Germany have taken some heat off as well with their thumping of the Aussies this evening. Shame they did quite so well really, on them to win 3-0…

Most promising is our buy of red cards -with 4 seen to date, including 3 today alone. Seems the refs are behaving as we expected, and have been told to crack down on pretty much any contact.

So all in all, things going pretty well, could do with some more reds, lets see what next few days bring for the accas.

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Free kicks? Ronaldo’s on the lash, Messi’s a dinker

Despite what FIFA’s marketing-motivated, desk-bound octogenarian administrators might have us believe, the new ball being launched at the World Cup is rubbish.  Not only have Brazil coach, Dunga, and Spain’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas both commented on the ball’s bizarre and unfamiliar movement in flight – in addition, I hit a shot over the bar and into a neighbouring garden in a recent 6-a-side.

So what?  Well, here’s my thinking….

1. Cristiano Ronaldo is favourite to score the most direct free kicks in the competition, according to Betway (http://betway.com/sports-betting#/world-cup-2010/player-specials/top-free-kick-taker), at 4/1.

2. Whilst at Man Utd, Ronaldo lashed many a ball wildly into the crowd, only scoring the odd spectacular (and memorable) free kick in the process.  In this manner, he is like Roberto Carlos, whose wonder free kick against France in Le Tournoi all those years ago established his reputation as an “expert”, when in fact he really scored surprisingly few.

3. Add into the mix a new ball that seems to spend a lot of time floating around in the air aimlessly, and which when kicked hard appears to break all links with the Earth’s gravitational fields.

4. Back a free kick taker who “dinks” rather than “lashes” his free kicks.  Lionel Messi is 10/1 (the same odds as Landon Donovan!!??), and anyone who saw footage of him for Barca this season will know he is a “dinker”.

Happy dinking!

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You’ve got to speculate to accumulate

We’ve already posted an accumulator for the World Cup group stages and to be honest we’re pretty happy with it. Looks solid. All well and good. However, if you’re the sort of person who fancies a little more gamble in their life, the type who thinks cycling to work in London is a good idea or likes extra chilli on their vindaloo pizza then this is the bet for you. Oh yes. It’s not quite for those of you who put Red Bull on their cornflakes in the morning*, but we’re getting close.

So here you have it, the high risk-high return group accumulator:

  • Group A Group Winner: Mexico
  • Group B Dual Forecast: Argentina/Nigeria
  • Group C Group Winner: England
  • Group D Dual Forecast: Germany/Serbia
  • Group E Group Winner: Netherlands
  • Group F Dual Forecast: Italy/Paraguay
  • Group G Dual Forecast: Brazil/Portugal
  • Group H Dual Forecast: Chile/Spain

With France so poor in qualification, Mexico might find that Uruguay prove their most difficult opponents in Group A. Argentina/Nigeria is unlikely to be scuppered by either the drab Greeks or the plucky but unimaginative South Koreans. England to win Group C because, well, they have to really plus we just couldn’t bring ourselves to back the Yanks. Germany should – should – be strong enough to win Group D and although Serbia have been well backed over recent weeks, we fear this may be our weak link. Netherlands to win Group E writes itself. Italy/Paraguay in Group F is possibly more of a gamble than you may think although both should progress against weaker opposition in the form of Slovakia and New Zealand. The Group Death (G) doesn’t seem that scary to be honest, particularly with Drogba’s injury which will keep him off top form even if he makes it into the first game against Portugal. Brazil shouldn’t have any issues with progression. And finally Chile/Spain seems an obvious pick in Group H.

All in all you’re getting a much bigger bang for your buck with these picks, and a tenner has gone in on this acca at 323 on Betfair. Lovely job. Will get us over the finishing line in one fell swoop! If this comes in targets will happily be reset, I don’t know something like £300 into £30,000… now that sounds like a challenge.

Bring on Mexico to stuff the Bafana Boys tomorrow evening, whilst France and Uruguay toil to a 1-1 draw. Hmm sounds like a decent double.

*one of those has gone on at odds of just over 2000-1, will be sure to let you know if it comes in…

Bet 6: £10 on the higher risk Group Accumulator 2 @ 323 on Betfair

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